Creating Restaurant Ambiance – How to set the Mood!

We should think of Restaurants as we do our homes. Think of your guests as if your Mom was coming to visit! [Hopefully you think of your Mom coming to visit in that way!] We really must take pride in making sure our home is set for the perfect comfort level to our Guests. What is the mood that you are creating? It has to be consistent, whether cozy and romantic, vibrant and upbeat, or a casual happening place; all elements need to work together in harmony.

There are several key elements to ensuring great ambiance when our managers walk in for their shifts that are easy to forget when we live in that environment every day.

  1. Lighting - The lights within the building should reflect the mood of the time of day. A good rule of thumb is to have full lighting during the day until the 5:00pm dinner shift begins. At this time, the lights should dim to reflect a quiet evening ambiance.
  2. Temperature – Is it comfortable for those visiting?  Not stuffy or too warm? The perfect temperature is generally around 70 degrees. Remember that windows that are in direct sunlight will need to be addressed differently with a shade or separate setting.
  3. Music - If the music is set to a certain genre during the day, it's important that the genre is consistent from day to day. For dinner, a nice evening music setting that is a great match to the mood you are creating. Volume is most important. If not loud enough, it can be annoying or not even heard, but if too loud and guests cannot hear themselves in regular conversation, then that doesn’t work either! Remember not to let the staff control the volume.
  4. Everything in its place - A thorough walk-through of the area should be done every day by you, or your manager. Check for clutter, cleanliness, table sets, etc. You are about to go live; make sure that the set is ready!

Of course, the decor is very important. We will discuss that in future posts!