Essential Guide to Restaurant Refurbishment

Hospitality design goes beyond aesthetics, it has the power to influence how customers perceive your business and how they feel when they’re there. Let’s take a look at how hospitality design can transform your restaurant into an inviting and comfortable place that your customers will love. 


  1. Restaurant refurbishment & hospitality design basics
  2. Investment means higher spend per customer
  3. Create a unique customer experience
  4. Elements of great restaurant design

Restaurant refurbishment & hospitality design basics

Restaurant refurbishment is about more than just decorating—it’s about an investment in your business that will increase profitability and business growth year on year. It involves taking into account all the parts of your business that generate revenue, and optimising them to make the most of that asset.

The benefits of good restaurant refurbishment 

A high-quality restaurant refurbishment will consider all the ways you can increase footfall, increase covers, improve customer spend while also ensuring employee satisfaction. Additionally, good restaurant refurbishment can also increase loyalty to your establishment, as customers associate a pleasant atmosphere with your business. A well-refurbished restaurant helps your business stand out from the competition by creating an atmosphere that’s unique to your establishment. 

Why invest in interior design for your restaurant? 

To get more customers spending more money in your restaurant, more often. You want to be able to serve more people, more efficiently. It’s essential to attract more customers, and to keep them coming back. Investing in interior design helps you do both, by creating an inviting atmosphere that customers will want to come back to. It also helps create a pleasant environment for your employees and makes them feel valued, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and better customer service.

Investment means higher spend per customer

When customers are welcomed into a pleasant environment, they’re more likely to stay longer and spend more. Investing a refurbishment for your restaurant is an effective way of increasing customer spend per visit. It also pays dividends in the long run as customers will be more likely to return if they have a positive dining experience.

“Your business performance depends on a regular programme of investment and refurbishment because the customer experience needs to evolve over time. Designing a good hospitality space and keeping it updated will help your business stay ahead of the curve and attract more customers.”

Operational improvements attract and retain staff  

A newly refurbished restaurant not only attracts customers, but it also helps businesses attract and retain staff. An inviting atmosphere gives your employees a sense of pride in their workplace and encourages them to perform better. Additionally, investing in good restaurant furniture and equipment can help make work easier for your staff, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

Create a unique customer experience 

Investing in a good interior design can also help reinforce a high-quality customer experience. When people come into your restaurant on a regular basis, they want to see something new every time—a unique décor item here or an updated colour palette there—to keep them coming back again and again. By investing in an experienced designer who understands how to combine familiarity with innovation, you can ensure that each visit feels like something special by giving them small changes they may not have noticed before but which make all the difference when it comes to their overall dining experience.  

Brand opportunities 

Interior design also provides an opportunity to reinforce your restaurant’s brand and identity through creative visuals such as signage, wayfinding, wall art or murals. These pieces can help give your space personality while also providing subtle reminders of what sets you apart from other restaurants. An experienced designer can help you find ways to incorporate branding elements into various aspects of the design without overwhelming guests.

Read our case study on design elements for the Thatched Tavern

Aesthetics and functionality

Aesthetics are powerful tools for creating certain moods and atmospheres in any given space. Colour psychology, for example, is a science used to understand how certain colours evoke different emotions in people. By using this knowledge to choose the right colours for their interiors or exteriors, businesses can create moods that will attract customers and make them feel comfortable and welcome in their establishments. 

Real world experience

If your restaurant has high ceilings but you don’t have sound-absorbing materials installed to reduce noise levels when it gets crowded, your diners may have difficulty hearing each other—which could lead to poor customer service experiences. Similarly, if your hotel rooms lack adequate lighting or storage for guests’ belongings, it could have a negative impact on their stay. Taking into account both aesthetics and functionality when designing both interiors and exteriors is key to creating spaces where customers will feel comfortable and at ease during their visits. 

Elements of great restaurant design

Creating a successful restaurant design is an art that involves carefully considering all the elements that make up a space, from lighting to flooring, to create an atmosphere that is both visually appealing and comfortable for guests.

Mark Green

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Materials and durability

It’s important to make sure your designer chooses highly durable materials that will stand up to wear and tear to maximise your investment. Durable materials include natural stone, long-wearing paint finishes, solid wood and high-quality fabrics like leather and velvet. Additionally, pay attention to finishes that are easy to clean and maintain, as these will help keep your space looking fresh and inviting for customers.

Pay attention to acoustics

The acoustics of your restaurant are also important to consider when designing a hospitality space. Poorly designed spaces can create an uncomfortable atmosphere for customers, as loud noises or echoes can be distracting and off-putting. A good designer will pay attention to these details and use soundproofing materials such as acoustic panels and carpets to help control noise levels and create a pleasant, inviting atmosphere.

Mood and atmosphere 

The atmosphere of a restaurant has a significant impact on customer experience. It sets the tone from the moment they walk in, so it’s important that your restaurant reflects the concept you are trying to convey. That’s where interior design comes into play—it helps you create an atmosphere that makes guests feel comfortable and intrigued by what’s inside. Lighting, colour palette, furniture, textures, and artwork all contribute to creating the perfect mood for your restaurant. An experienced interior designer will be able to work with you to create something unique that perfectly captures your brand identity while still being inviting and comfortable for guests. 

Layout and flow 

The layout of your restaurant plays a large role in how guests experience their time there. You want to ensure there is enough room for people to move around without feeling too crowded or bumping into one another as they are walking around. The flow should also be considered when designing the layout; it should be easy for guests to find their way from the entrance all the way through to the exit and bathrooms if needed. Additionally, making sure that tables are not too close together can help improve the overall flow and give guests ample space to enjoy their meal without feeling cramped. 

Read our guide on wayfinding and signage here


Lighting plays an important role in any design, especially restaurant refurbishment. It sets the mood of your restaurant by creating a certain ambiance and it also helps guide customers throughout their dining experience. Soft lighting can create a calming atmosphere whereas brighter lights can help create energy and excitement in certain areas of your establishment such as bars or lounges. Choosing different types of lighting can also help define different areas within your restaurant like seating areas, bar areas, and even outdoor patios and beer gardens.

Colours and textures 

Using colours and textures is another way to create a unique atmosphere within your restaurant while also helping define different spaces within it. Bold colours can add drama while softer colours evoke feelings of comfort and relaxation; keep in mind that colours have a psychological impact on people so choose wisely depending on what kind of atmosphere you are trying to achieve. Using texture can help create visual interest throughout your space while adding layers of depth and dimensionality; think about incorporating wood, stone, tiles, fabrics, and more into your design scheme.          


The furniture in your restaurant should be comfortable while also being fashionable. Whether you opt for contemporary designs or traditional pieces, choosing furniture that is appropriate for your selected theme is key. Additionally, seating should also reflect your guests’ needs – booths and tables should provide enough space to comfortably eat as well as move around when needed. Investing in quality furniture pieces that are sturdy yet stylish will go a long way in helping you achieve a cohesive design throughout your restaurant space. 

Focus on the Demographics

When selecting furniture and design elements for your restaurant, it is important to consider who your target audience is and how you want them to feel when they enter your establishment.

A Stunning Entrance

Make sure your entryway stands out from the rest of the space by adding eye-catching artwork or colourful lighting fixtures that capture the attention of customers as they walk in. This can immediately set the tone for their dining experience before they even sit down at their tables. 

Don’t Forget the Toilets

These spaces should be clean, comfortable and stylish – meaning owners should pay extra attention here when selecting materials such as tiles, countertops, fittings, in addition to making sure plumbing systems are running properly. Guests enjoy being able use facilities without feeling uncomfortable during their visit–so making sure these areas look just as nice as your dining room and bar areas.

Designing the Perfect Restaurant Experience 

When it comes to restaurant design, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Every restaurant has its own unique atmosphere and style that should be reflected in its interior design. Whether you’re looking to create a cosy atmosphere or something more contemporary, there are some essential tips you should keep in mind when designing your restaurant space.

Restaurant refurbishment is a great way to create an inviting atmosphere in your restaurant. Not only will it make customers feel at home, but it can also make the overall experience more enjoyable. From choosing the right colours and materials to paying attention to the details of your space, restaurant refurbishment can transform your restaurant into a cosy and comfortable haven for guests.

The end result is a place where people feel welcomed, appreciated and most of all—happy.

Interested to learn more? If you’re interested in learning more about how a refurbishment can improve your business,  get in touch. We’ll help you visualise your ideal space and make sure every element meets your needs so that you can create something truly magical for diners. With our expertise and knowledge, we look forward to helping you turn one of your greatest business dreams into reality. Get in touch