Successful restaurateurs know that interior design is a key element to a successful operation. Design is in essence a part of the strategic focus of the restaurant, and a key tool used to differentiate the eating establishment from competing restaurants. Interior designers and their creative uses of building materials such as glass, textures, stone, colors, patterns, mirrors, flooring, furniture, lighting, and metals and so on are the basic ingredients by which designers create a masterpiece of a dining experience. By mixing and using these elements they transform a restaurateur's dream into a reality. In today's highly competitive restaurant marketplace it is not enough to serve delectable dishes and fine spirits, today's restaurant patrons want an experience. It is the experience and everything that goes along with the experience that makes diners come back time and time again. The experience starts on the outside of the establishment, whether the exterior of the establishment is built with such building materials as glass, metal, tile/stone and so on.
Colors, textures, and the way they are applied or installed set the tone for the experience that the restaurant patron is going to have. Inside the four walls it is the interior designer's responsibility to use their artistic ability to select such items as: flooring, wall covering, ceiling materials, lighting, window treatments, bars, furniture, table tops, decorative accessories, fixtures, structural items/changes, sound systems, acoustical elements, nightclub lighting, and so on. Today's highly educated interior designers must act as project managers and co-ordinate the efforts of a working team of architects, contractors, builders, furnishing companies, carpet manufacturers, finishing carpenters, electricians and several other tradesmen; everyone involved in taking the owners' vision of what they want, and transforming it into a reality for the world to enjoy. The interior designer can make the difference between just an average restaurant and one that is frequented by movie celebrities, pro-athletes, and the upper crust.
The interior designer must understand the client's wants and needs, and then use their talents and skills to create the experience that makes patrons feel like they have escaped the stresses and perils of the outside world. Through their talents, hard work, and hours of meticulous coordinating and planning, they transform an open space into a soothing, inviting and relaxing dining experience, so pleasing to their clients that they can not resist but to return again and again.
There are many benefits of using a licensed interior designer. The American Society Of Interior Designers (ASID) licensed designers have gone through rigorous training to achieve board certification. To maintain their credentials they must also take continuing education courses and keep abreast of new and up to date trends in building materials and furnishings. An expert and knowledgeable commercial interior designer with restaurant design experience adds a lot of value to a project. By using their talents and experience they can help design an efficient use of space, and work within a budget set by the restaurateur. Their experience is invaluable and can save the property owner a lot of grief in the long term by knowing what materials will survive environmental effects of day to day business, how colors will affect the design, what options are available for finishing and details, and what materials will truly compliment the project. While it is the interior designers' mission to listen to the needs of the owner or manager of the restaurant and transfer those thoughts into visual and eye catching designs, the strategic mission of the restaurant is still to turn a profit. An interior designer must identify and conceptualize certain aspects of the project before starting a project. They must identify and understand the demographics of the target market that the restaurateur wants to attract. For example: design elements such as outdoor furniture or art deco lighting that works in South Florida, may not have the same results in New York or London.