By: Mahsa Gholizadeh, Design Manager - Interact Group
One of the terms often associated with interior design and architecture is ‘functional space’. This can simply be described as the consideration given to the nature of the space design and the purpose the design seeks to achieve to the benefit of the end user. A Project Owner in the Food and Beverage industry thinks along the line of a functional space before any project begins. This is because the end result of the project should justify the intention with which every business entity operates: to maximize profits. A returning customer is usually a satisfied and steady one, and valuable to every business as they cost less marketing efforts to retain.
The story isn’t different in the F&B sector either, where two main factors account for customer loyalty; cuisine and ambiance. Over the years, the focal point of most culinary establishment has been what is served on the menu. This is unsurprising as it is the primary product of their business. However recent studies have shown that, good food or drinks in a lousy environment does not equal a satisfied customer. Considerable efforts and expenditure is now being allocated to the business environment or ambiance more than ever.
The space design always contains elements that influences the mood of the customer such as colours, lighting and artwork. A good blend of these elements would create a bubbly ambiance whilst the reverse is true, creating an uneasy ambiance. Psychologically, elements in the design space affect the taste of the food or drink depending on the mood of the customer. A good ambiance creates a good mood, which leads to customer satisfaction, then customer retention and ultimately an increase in revenue generated.
The design layout of a restaurant, is indicative of the numbers that a customer would come along with. Interior design entails space planning and management, and this includes the seating arrangement and layout. Additional design features for a restaurant includes family rooms, party areas, business and corporate eat out areas and meeting rooms. These lead to an increase in the probability of having more customers coming to the restaurant all other things being equal. Eventually, numbers would mean more revenue with the right pricing mechanisms in place.
Customers stay for longer periods in an ambiance that is natural, welcoming and comfortable. A great design makes this possible and not necessarily food and drinks. Customers who stay longer tend to spend more in orders, that leads to a positive impact on the total revenue.
Usually, most people are quick to forget about F & B workers, and how their mood could be affected by the ambiance. A more ergonomic design indirectly affects the psyche of staff and leads to higher productivity. Higher productivity would mean better service and a happy customer, directly increasing revenue.