How to attract more customers to your cafe or restaurant

In our latest article, we outline how design can attract more customers to your business.

An effective design for any interior project involves getting the right balance of aesthetics and functionality.

Let’s start by identifying the basics of fulfilling the client brief – budget, time and quality, and assume these have all been agreed in the list of required outcomes.

Now we can take a step back and think about the real desired result, which almost without exception is profit driven. The designer has been appointed to help the business increase sales and this should never be far from the mind of everyone on the design team.

The three ways we as designers can improve profitability are:

  • attract more customers
  • increase spend per head
  • improve functionality

I will go into a little more detail about each of these.

Functionality in the context of hospitality interiors splits into two categories:

  • customer flow (experience)
  • operational efficiency

The effective design solution needs to really understand on a very personal level the processes customers and staff go through. A poor operational design will impact on customers, and difficult customer experiences will quickly demoralise staff.

Customers like to feel comfortable and in control of the choices before them:

  • Where do I go?
  • What will this cost?
  • How long before I get served?

Any confusion or perceived ambiguity will cause anxiety and this will deter customers. The design consistency from the front door to the menu, the signage and layout, the opportunity to be acknowledged by staff will all help reassure and welcome.

A relaxed and comfortable customer is more likely to spend.

Effective operational layouts mean staff can work efficiently and provide great service. Locating bars where eye contact with new arrivals makes a simple greeting smile easy. Ensure equipment is laid out to minimise travel distances for repetitive tasks.

The look and feel of a bar or restaurant will immediately set a cost expectation. Daniel Khaneman’s book “Fast & Slow Thinking” demonstrates how this works on a psychological level and is well worth a read.

Subconscious assumptions are made about the quality of the offer and our expectations on cost are adjusted accordingly. It is one of the reasons why, in our experience, refurbished bars and restaurants typically see 35% increase in spend per head.

The combination of a well-designed appearance and considered customer and staff flow creates an overall reassuring and seamless experience. Coordinated and well thought out hospitality design reassures customers every step of the way. As a result, more footfall, more often, and higher spend per head.

There is no one hard and fast rule that will work for every establishment, but at Fruition we work to the above principles applying an individual approach to each new client depending on the needs and aspirations of their business.

If you would be interested in seeing some examples of how our clients have benefited from this approach please visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch for confidential no obligation discussion.