While the quality of the food and service in a restaurant should always be the most important factors in operating a restaurant, a large reason that many patrons visit restaurant is for the dining experience. A well decorated restaurant that speaks to the type of cuisine and intended atmosphere can make all the difference in determining whether a patron will return to the same restaurant. Regardless of your budget or design needs, decorating your restaurant should be an important concern.

Develop a theme for your restaurant decor based on your cuisine. If your cuisine is Mexican, you will likely want to feature elements of Mexican design, such as warm saturated colors, rustic wood and mosaic tile designs. The style of your restaurant will also come into play. For example, your restaurant could feature family style seating or intimate tables, depending on whether you want a casual environment or a fine dining feel.

Paint walls and accent walls to add interest to different sections of the restaurant. A coat of paint can make all the difference in visually enhancing the space. Combined with decorative accents such as window treatments, flooring styles and lighting, the paint you choose can help create the foundation for your restaurant design.

Furnish your restaurant with furniture that will maintain your restaurant's formality, as well as style. For example, if your restaurant is casual, vinyl booths and wooden tables are standard. If your restaurant is more formal, choose tables and chairs for their style and finish. You can also cover them with tablecloths that add color to the space.

Use lighting fixtures as an opportunity to set the space's ambiance. Along with overhead lighting throughout, pendant lights over the tables, wall sconces and even candle centerpieces can be effective lighting choices that create presence in the space.

Consider the table style as part of your overall design aesthetic. After all, it’s what customers will likely look at the most while they’re enjoying their meal. There are many ways to accent tabletops, such as paint, tablecloths, tile and glass covers with inlaid designs.

Hang art to add interest to the walls. One option is to feature images that are reminiscent of the cuisine. For example, an Italian restaurant could feature scenes of gondolas in Venice or famous Roman art.


Be unexpected and innovative with your restaurant design. Consider what makes your menu uniquely different from others, and then consider how you can express that in the restaurant's design. Do not clutter the tables of the seating area. Presenting the food in an appetizing manner should be the primary concern.