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The Top 7 Restaurant Lighting Mistakes & How to Fix Them

restaurantRestaurant lighting contributes to the customer’s experience and mood. Want to learn how lighting impacts restaurant patrons and the risk of poor restaurant lighting?

Keep reading to learn the top seven restaurant lighting mistakes and how a GCE National expert can help you avoid them!

Lighting Has a Significant Impact on Restaurant Patrons

Lighting is the first thing everyone notices when they walk into a room. We subconsciously judge each room by what we can see and how well we can see. Areas with sophisticated pendants and chandeliers are marveled at. On the other hand, areas that are dark with no complimentary fixtures are not as appreciated.

Lighting has a significant impact on restaurant-goers and guests. The lighting of a restaurant can determine if a customer will return or not. With this being said, it is necessary to get the lighting right! Good lighting can help create returning customers and ensure your restaurant’s success!

As a restaurant owner, you want your guests and customers to feel comfortable in your restaurant. Lighting can help you do this! Restaurant owners must implement the perfect balance of lighting.

Too much light can make guests uncomfortable and completely change the atmosphere of your business. Not enough light can hinder your ability to operate. The correct balance of lighting can create an environment that customers and employees enjoy.

Risk of Poor Lighting

There are many risks of poor lighting. Lighting can affect your food, customers, employees, success rate, and restaurant atmosphere.

Particular lights emit various colors, temperatures, intensities, and shades. The way customers perceive your food is based on the lighting and ability of your cooking staff. Poor lighting can make food look unappetizing. What may look exemplary under the kitchen lights may look messy under your dining lights.

Low-quality lights can change the look and feel of your restaurant. For example, poor lighting can make a sophisticated area look cheap and rundown. Good lighting will enhance the features of your rooms.

Customers can also be affected by poor lighting. If there is not enough light, customers may feel awkward or nervous. Restaurants need enough lighting for guests to feel comfortable and at ease.

Poor lighting may obstruct your employee’s ability to work. Low-quality lights in the kitchen will make it difficult for workers to perform their duties.

Seven Restaurant Lighting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

1 Not Enough Light

Not enough light can hinder your customers and your restaurant. Too little lighting can make it hard for customers to read your menus and signs. It can also make it hard for customers to navigate your restaurant. You want to provide enough light for guests not to strain their eyes. Consider adding lights that illuminate pathways and important signage. Also, the use of pendants and hanging fixtures can aid customers in their ability to read the menu.

2 Too Much Light

Just like not enough light, too much light can also be a mistake within your restaurant. Too much light affects the ambiance and quality of your food. Sit-down restaurants are typically places that couples and families venture to for date nights and intimate get-togethers. Too much light may overwhelm your customers and create a stiff and cold atmosphere. To avoid too much light, consider using light dimmers and timers. Dimming the lights and putting your lights on a timer will allow you to simulate natural light and improve the overall look of your restaurant.

3 Not Enough Variety

Too much of one thing is never a good thing. Having only one type of light fixture can appear dull. Similarly, having only one kind of light bulb can make the appearance of your building blend together. You want a variety of fixtures and lights. A variety of lighting can transform a room for the better. It can also highlight key features of your restaurant. Layer a variety of lights to make your restaurant more appealing.

4 Failure to Consider the Experience

Restaurant owners should consider the experience when installing lights. Each restaurant should make a statement and create a brand for itself. For instance, a reimagined 1950’s diner should focus on bright lights, neon lights, and vintage fixtures. A western steakhouse will not benefit from the same lights as a reimagined 1950’s diner. To solve this problem, establish what you want the ambient environment to be before choosing your lights. Make sure that your lights reflect your restaurant well.

5 Minimal Task Lighting

While lighting is a significant factor in the restaurant business, the service can make or break your restaurant. Good workers are hard to find; it is vital to create a space that encourages productivity and efficiency. Not having enough task lighting can impede an employee’s capabilities. Task lighting is also for customers. Customers utilize task lighting when they are executing essential duties. Make sure that there is adequate task lighting in vital areas of the restaurant. For example, task lighting should be in the kitchen, freezers, bathrooms, storage rooms, registers, parking lots, and walkways.

6 Forgoing Natural Light

Another mistake that restaurants make is forgoing natural light. Natural light is an excellent resource for restaurants. You can use natural daylight as a way to cut electricity bills and to create a happier environment. It is scientifically proven that sunshine is a powerful influence on a person’s emotions; this is why some people struggle with seasonal depression. Sunshine and natural light can uplift spirits and bring an area to life. To utilize natural light, design a space with tables that are accessible to sunlight.

7 Not Having a Plan

Not having a plan is one of the biggest mistakes a restaurant can make regarding lights. Producing a lighting design plan can be the difference between success and failure. Having a lighting plan allows business owners to assess their restaurant’s capabilities and potential before installation. The best way to make a lighting plan is to talk to a professional!

GCE National has restaurant lighting experts on staff. Our team can help you determine what lights and fixtures will upgrade your restaurant. Talk to a GCE National expert today about your restaurant lighting!

Keep your projects on track, on time, and on budget!

Download our e-book 7 Things To Consider When Selecting a Lighting Supplier to help guide you in making sound decisions and avoid potential mishaps along the way.