Many of us have favourite restaurants, or ones that we think stand out among the rest. What are the things that we have taken into account when we choose restaurants? Pricing and menu may vary from one restaurant to another. But aside from just pricing and menu, another point that many say influences their decision is the atmosphere. According to studies, 75% of consumers say that the colour scheme and layout of a restaurant was a deciding factor.

One of the important things about building your restaurant atmosphere and ambiance is to create a place where your customers can feel comfortable and at home. If you are able to achieve this, you can likely keep your customers coming back again and again.

But what are some of the steps involved in restaurant ambience? Based on our experience as custom furniture manufacturers, here are a few ideas.


As the saying goes, there’s never a second chance to make a first impression. These means also paying attention to how your restaurant looks from the outside. If you have an outdoor seating area, this will be the first thing your customers see. If not, it can be helpful to add an outdoor focal point, or something that draws attention.

Outdoor seating at Prive Orchard, Singapore

Soft colours complement the cozy and casual atmosphere of the restaurant in OverEasy, Orchard.


Always think different. Think of your restaurant as a stage. The food of your restaurant is like your performance, and your customer is your audience.

The colour and style of your “stage” will often be the first thing that someone notices when entering your restaurant. Here you can influence people with unique types of furniture, eye-catching decor elements, and meaningful menu design.

Try to choose furniture that compliments your menu. With the shade of greens and browns, your restaurant can present healthy items. At the same time, brighter shades of red and terracotta may hint towards more spicy or flavourful cuisine. Are you going for trendy? Or minimalist? These are things to keep in mind when selecting your colour theme and style.

When it comes to fabrics, we also have to look at more than just the colours, but even the patterns and feel of the fabrics. Floral printed or embroidered fabrics add a touch of artful beauty, while geometric patterns tend towards an off-centric or contemporary atmosphere.

Choosing the correct colours or decor items and help your guests feel like they have come to the right place when they enter your restaurant.


While colours and unique design might be visually satisfying, we need to also consider comfort. Keep in mind that that wrong choice of seating may completely put customers off. Choose comfortable chairs that provide back support, where customers are able to relax for extended periods if they choose.

There are so many different seating options to choose from, including wood, fabric, metal, and much more. Whichever you choose, make sure that it is inline with the overall theme of your restaurant — but never compromise comfort and function for style.

Outdoor seating at Bayswater Kitchen provides a combination of sofas and synthetic seats, providing comfortable seating in line with the restaurant’s theme.


Light is an essential part of setting the mood in your restaurant. In most restaurants, the owners allow natural daylight using glass windows. During evening hours, providing sufficient light is necessary for the customers so they can see their food and companions. At the same time, lights that too bright may also be unenjoyable.

As with the various points we mentioned earlier, your lighting should match the overall theme of your restaurant. There are 3 main types of lighting that every restaurant should have.

Ambient lighting sets the overall mood for the restaurant, whether its natural light or overhead lights.

Task lighting refers to a brighter light that is needed to accomplish a task. This may be the light for preparing the food in the kitchen, or light needed for guests reading a menu.

Lastly is Accent Lighting which is for decorative or ‘drama’ purposes.


A last word to the wise is to pay attention to details. More often than not, it’s the little things that matter. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to building a good restaurant atmosphere. However, it’s important to recognize that guests usually go out for more than just food, but are looking for a positive experience. Creating a positive experience ensures your guests will keep coming back, and also recommend your restaurant to others.

9 September 2019