Good enough colour to eat!?
Colour can be a major factor in a restaurant’s success, and studying the science behind colour, and its effect on appetite and mood, will pay dividends.
While there’s no ‘one size fits all’ for restaurant colour design, Duane Paterson, Ambience Designs’ Projects Director, advises: “It’s about your customers, the food they are eating, and how they will relate to their surroundings - not about your favourite colour.”
So, while there’ll always be room for the occasional ice-cream parlour in kitsch pink, the majority of your paying customers won’t be clamouring to come back to a venue that’s reminiscent of Barbie’s wardrobe.
Red is another colour to be treated with caution. It can work well as an accent shade, but even the Red Restaurant in New York uses it sparingly. Only if you’re a fast food outlet, with an ambition to get your customers in and out as quickly as possible, is a bright, sharp red the answer.
Terracotta shades, on the other hand, can be a winner. The paint manufacturer Farrow & Ball carries a colour called Eating Room Red, made popular in the middle of the 19th century. Earthy and warm, this brick red works to stimulate the appetite, along with shades of orange, deep yellows and fresh greens.
A signature colour of golden yellow was the choice for Café 1505, a popular, relaxed eating spot in Edinburgh’s city centre. The colour reinforces the menu’s emphasis on fresh, wholesome food.
A few streets away, the up-market and eco-conscious Burger chain chose orange as a predominant colour for its new restaurant, bringing a light-hearted and fun approach to the décor, reflecting the playful menu.
According to the feng shui experts, blue is a colour to be avoided – it stimulates thirst rather than appetite and can look cold and unappealing.
However, as with all things in this life, there’s always an exception to the rule, and Alston Bar and Beef is one of them. This glamorous Glasgow gin bar and steak house features some moody blue and violet lighting.