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conception d'éclairage de restaurant

#10 – Enhancing customer experience with Restaurant Lighting Design

Enhancing customer experience with Restaurant Lighting Design


There are numerous elements that go with the overall brand of a restaurant. Aside from the food, there’s the choice of equipment, the service, and the ambiance. In terms of atmosphere, your choice for the lighting design of the restaurant plays a major role in how customers perceive your business.

A common mistake that restaurateurs make is downplaying the importance of lighting and its influence on marketing and customer experience. To help you avoid this costly error, Baseline explains to you how lighting design can affect the customer experience in a restaurant.



1. It sets the right mood

When customers enter a restaurant, one of the first things they notice is the atmosphere and the hospitality of the staff. The ambiance is largely affected by the color temperature and brightness of the lighting, setting the mood of the place before customers even take their seats.

Customers dine out because they seek a different experience than what they feel when eating at home. This includes not only the food and the service but also the location and the atmosphere – everything that appeals to the senses are counted under customer experience.

Customer needs for restaurant lighting design vary according to the time of the day.

In the morning, they prefer bright temperatures that mimic the natural light outside the establishment. At noon, they usually prefer yellow for a little warmer appeal. In the evening, customers want a more festive atmosphere, thus the preference for red, orange, and yellow color temperatures.

When the lights in the restaurant are more discrete, customers tend to be quieter. You often notice this in high-end restaurants where they even use candlelight as an extra light source. The darker atmosphere promotes privacy and intimacy at the deepest level.

On the other hand, brighter lights in a restaurant can be associated with a livelier crowd. The cool temperature of the restaurant lighting design, coupled with the natural light that enters the establishment, enhances the energy in the room. It’s not unusual to hear people chatter excitedly in restaurants where breakfast is served.

Customers are looking for restaurants that not only serve great food but also present an inviting ambiance. With the appropriate restaurant lighting design, you can set the atmosphere you want your brand to be remembered for.


2. It makes your restaurant more effective

Studies show that restaurant lighting design has two roles: one is to emphasize the atmosphere, space, and aesthetics of the place; the other is to promote certain activities within the establishment.

Fig. 2. Argentinan polo club (Baseline)
Fig. 1. Hong Kong Cricket Club

Lighting is often disregarded when it provides the right amount of brightness and color. It’s likely to be taken for granted because customers feel that it’s naturally considered part of the restaurant’s decoration.

On the other hand, the lack or excessive supply of light calls the attention of customers. It’s the only moment they notice the presence and importance of the lighting design because it inhibits them from doing specific activities. When the restaurant lighting design is called to your attention, that’s when you know it’s not as effective as you expect it to be.

As a rule of thumb, there should be enough light to make it easy for customers to read the menu, but not too bright that they suffer from glare.


3. It influences the length of customer interaction

Depending on the kind of lighting you use, you can influence customers to either stay longer and enjoy every bit of their food or have them conduct quick transactions.

Warm lights make customers feel more at home and comfortable, welcoming them to prolong their stay. This encourages more employee-to-customer interaction and possibly more orders on their tab.

A bright light suggests to customers to make quick decisions on which food to order. You’ll often see this technique employed in fast-food style restaurants and stalls that require lightning-quick service and short interactions.

Using this restaurant lighting design tip, you can easily decide which color temperature is needed for your establishment.


4. It enhances the food’s apperance

People love to take photos of their food before they start eating. Food that looks good on pictures usually gets raving reviews, while a bland-looking plate tends to get mediocre ratings.

Good lighting can bring out the best in your food plate. It can amplify the colors and make its taste ooze out of photos.

On the other hand, poor lighting will develop poor photos that will make your food look nothing more than ordinary. Customers will assume that the taste of your food probably matches the averageness of how it looks in the pictures.

The huge influence of social media on dining decisions has made restaurant lighting design more important than ever. Businesses who fail to adapt to this trend are already one step behind their competitors.


5. It defines the areas of the restaurant

Restaurant lighting design must have a functional purpose and not just be there for decoration. When appropriately positioned, lighting can direct customers to where they should go for specific actions and help accomplish the task they intend to do.

The reception area should be bright enough to ensure guest security and promote an inviting appeal. The cashier area should also have bright task lights to help the staff count bills and changes correctly. And if you’ll notice, the dining area usually has warm lighting to enhance comfort and privacy.

The emergency areas should be kept illuminated, especially when power is out. This helps direct customers to the designated exits.

Restaurants can be divided into sections using lighting. By contrasting the color and intensity of lighting, you can differentiate which is the waiting, dining, counter, and bar areas. The lighting design for each designated area should tell what that space is for without customers asking for a single clue.


6. It ensures food quality and staff safety

Chefs need an ample amount of lighting in the kitchen to check food quality and avoid hazards. This factor might be indirectly related to enhancing customer experience, but it’s one of the most important aspects of ensuring the quality of food served.

Poor lighting can make it difficult for the kitchen staff to spot contaminations. They might mistake molds for normal vegetable spots and proceed with using the ingredient, not knowing they’re already serving bad food. This, in turn, can lead to customer complaints and more.

A well-lit kitchen ensures not only the quality of the food served but also the safety of your kitchen staff. They’ll avoid spills on the floor, spot differences in food appearance, and see clearly everything they need to make the best dish the customers deserve.


Business owners have to deeply think about their restaurant lighting design and not consider it as an afterthought. It has been proven that lighting has a direct and indirect impact on the customer’s decision whether to dine or not in your restaurant.

Optimizing restaurant lighting design is what we do at Baseline Lighting Design Studio. We can assist in designing, simulating, installing, and managing your lighting system to ensure you provide the best customer experience possible.

If you already have a stellar menu and all you need is an impressive ambiance, send us a message and let’s see what we can do for your restaurant.



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