When you think of fine dining, you think of exotic ingredients and intricate dishes crafted by world-class chefs. People visit fine dining restaurants to celebrate special occasions or just to savor the best cuisines along with the best wines. While the primary purpose of an excellent dining restaurant is indubitably the food, having the right ambiance also matters.
Fine dining is not for loud conversations or loud music – it requires a quiet, subtle, luxurious ambiance in which discerning eaters can unwind and pay attention to their food. Choosing appropriate décor, therefore, becomes crucial. If you're unsure about exactly how to design your excellent dining restaurant, worry not – we've rounded up some time-tested ideas that will undoubtedly lend an air of class to your establishment.
Design a suitable entrance
Think of the entrance to your restaurant as your invitation to diners – depending on how attractive it looks; they either will or will not enter. While the finest food is often found in humble dwellings, it is safe to assume that the more sophisticated your entrance, the more diners you'll draw in.
Use materials that blend with the theme or cuisine of your restaurant – foliage for an outdoor dining experience, or stone slabs for an Italian restaurant. Make sure the name of your restaurant is prominently visible on a sign. Ideally, have a staff member outside to welcome your guests and take or confirm reservations.
Design a stylish waiting area
At an excellent dining restaurant, you want your diners to feel excluded from the moment they enter, and making them stand at the entrance while awaiting their table is not a good idea. For your more crowded nights, therefore, design a luxurious waiting area where diners can relax until a table frees up.
Lounge sofa seating combined with sleek room divider shelves stocked with books makes for a comfortable waiting area. You can also add a bar area at the entrance so that guests can enjoy a cocktail or two before ordering their meal.
Use top-quality furniture
It's superfluous to say that fine dining deserves fine furniture. Choose the best-quality seating arrangements and tables that are in harmony with your theme, and ensure that the table linen is of matching quality.
The crockery and cutlery need to be top-notch too. Use materials like crystal, brass, copper, ceramic or stone as per the theme of your restaurant. Keep a full stock of beverage glasses so that you can serve cocktails and wines in the appropriate glassware.
Use artwork judiciously
Artwork adds much to the atmosphere and personality of a place, and can undoubtedly accentuate the luxurious air of a fine dining establishment, Choose pieces that blend well with the theme without being too distracting or taking up too much space.
Suspended ceiling tiles in different materials and designs are an excellent décor choice. Arrange your tiles in a pattern in a central part of your restaurant. You can also add sculptures, tapestries or paintings that are in sync with your restaurant's theme. Focus on your tables too – an attractive centerpiece with flowers or scented candles can go a long way in enhancing the ambiance for your diners.
Add sophisticated wall décor
The walls of your restaurant can play host to many forms of décor. While you may choose to cover them with intricate wallpaper, plain wood-paneled or stone walls can be ideal canvases for distinctive types of adornment. Informative framed pictures about the restaurant's origins, founders and recipes are always good ideas, as are any awards or citations you may have received. You can also add several types of wall art for a different effect.
For instance, 4x8 wall paneling with designs matching your theme is an ideal form of décor – they attract attention, but are not ostentatious. Choose patterns appropriate to your restaurant. For a Chinese establishment, use oriental design panels – and for a molecular gastronomy experience, use modernist designs.
Ensure privacy for your diners
Your diners will typically wish to enjoy their meals in peace, whether they are on a date, in a group or by themselves. It is thus essential to ensure that all your guests have suitable levels of privacy, which requires your tables to be spaced out appropriately.
Room divider screens are ideal in this regard, as they divide your property into sections and allow for more secluded dining. You can also include options like curtained cabanas or private rooms for diners who wish for a more intimate experience. If you have limited space, ensure that there is a reasonable amount of distance between each table, and try to keep at least a few smaller tables further apart for those who wish to enjoy a quiet date.
Keep the lighting subtle
Nothing distracts quite as much as overtly bright light – especially when it's shone into one's eyes. Ensure that all of the lightings, from the overhead chandeliers to the table-top lanterns, is bright enough to see by but still subtle enough to enhance the atmosphere of quiet, unostentatious luxury.
Yellow and orange lights work best for an excellent dining restaurant, as they are naturally on the dimmer side. Use intricately carved brackets for a more antique feel, and sleek black holders for a modern ambiance. You can also use posh panels with concealed lighting on the walls for a more unorthodox yet understated feel.
An excellent dining restaurant can't rely merely on its food – it needs to get every aspect right, from the size of the chandeliers to the print on its napkins. Guests come here for an exclusive experience that's worth the prices you're charging, and their expectations are correspondingly high. In addition to ensuring that your menu is faultless, therefore, invest a little time into planning your layout and décor in a manner that brings out your restaurant's theme in an optimal way. The result will be a top-notch excellent dining restaurant that your diners will keep returning to!