When it comes to dining in a sandwich shop, customers' first priority will likely be how the food tastes. However, if they were to walk into your food establishment, they are making inferences about the dining experience based on how the space looks. If you are looking for a way to grab the interest of patrons from the moment they walk through your restaurant door, keep some decorating ideas in mind.
Coordinate your style of decor with the type of food you are serving. Not all sandwiches are made the same, of course. For example, you might specialize in the Louisiana-style po-boy. In this case, decorate with fleur-de-lis symbols, the colors purple, green and gold and other symbols of New Orleans. If your focus is on meaty Italian subs, you might include Italian skylines or Tuscan-inspired decor.
Put the food first in the design. Creating an ambiance is important, but do not let art and accessories overrun the food because this may detract from sales. Many sandwich shops choose to let the sandwich-making process be visible to the customers. This is not necessary, but you could work this into the decor to make customers feel involved in the process.
Choose seating that is consistent with the atmosphere you want to create. For example, if you want a place where customers can gather together and get comfortable for food and conversation, booth seating is ideal. For a quick deli atmosphere where patrons are encouraged to get in quick, eat and go about their day, simple small tables and chairs are ideal. Of course, if your sandwich shop is to-go only then no seating is necessary, though you may want to have a place where customers can relax while they wait for their orders to be filled.
Decorate with warm, inviting colors. From the paint color to the table designs and the artwork, try to incorporate these colors in order to get customers hungry and ready to purchase food.
Use lighting to create an atmosphere according to your chosen decor. For a soft, romantic lighting, hanging pendant lights over the tables is an option, as are individual table sconces. Recessed lighting throughout will create a bright and inviting environment. Consider also using spotlights to call attention to certain areas in the space. For example, if your sandwich shop has an area where customers can assemble their favorite sauces and sides, spotlight these areas to get patrons excited about this feature.
Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.