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Fast Food with Class: Design Ideas to Make Customers Want to Eat Slower and Stay Longer

20 October 2015 No Comment

canstockphoto4328120A fast food restaurant should not always mean a harried atmosphere that caters solely to people who want to head out the door as soon as they have their mealtime fill. It would be nice to encourage people to savor their food and stay in the restaurant longer. This helps them develop positive associations about the place, improving the chances that they return for another meal. Through creativity and an understanding of how most consumers think, your fast food outlet can exude a touch of class rivaling that of an upscale restaurant–as explored in these two studies, “Turning the Tables: The Psychology of Design for High-Volume Restaurants” and “Interior Design Trends and Implications,” which pretty much speak of the power of smart interior design. Here are great design ideas to consider for your fast food outlet.


From the logo design to the color motif on the walls, you might want to echo your fast food restaurant’s signature or theme multiple times throughout various design elements. This gives a unified, carefully put-together look that effectively contributes to strong branding. If you use wooden elements, for example, then repeat that motif on your napkin holders, menu boards, tabletops, and organizers for condiment dispensers.


Consider having real plants–and not plastic ones–as part of your restaurant d├ęcor. Plants are universally pleasing to look at. They impart an organic touch that offsets the stereotype of a fast food outlet’s messaging of mass-produced, calorie-filled, and generally unhealthy fare.


Lighting heavily influences people’s impression and experience of space. A successful lighting solution for a fast food restaurant consists of evenly placed lighting fixtures such as recessed ceiling lights or stylish pendant lights. This prevents the presence of overly bright or dark areas. Consider investing in energy-efficient LED bulbs, too.

A dimming panel may come in handy so you can vary the lighting intensity according to the time of day. If you serve breakfast, customers appreciate good lighting while they read the morning paper. To increase turnover rates at lunchtime, use moderate lighting to keep up with the rush of people. Dinner necessitates a little bit of intimacy, so you might want dimmer lighting to evoke a leisurely atmosphere.


Your choice of tabletops, tables, and chairs plays a major role in enhancing customers’ impression of your fast food restaurant. Muted tones, wooden tabletops, and wicker furniture spell warmth and bring to mind the comfort of home. Shiny metal and glass, on the other hand, bring forth a contemporary vibe.

There are plenty of restaurant furniture options. From the Web alone, you can already formulate a great interior design strategy depending on your prospective furniture choices. Key furniture pieces like restaurant table bases and seating solutions can always be sourced online.


If space permits, a striking accent adds a touch of class to your fast food restaurant. This can be as simple as a bold accent wall that bears your restaurant’s color motif or a piece of framed art. But don’t overdo your decorations. The accent is intended to establish a memorable focal point and not to visually overload your customers.

Marquis Fore has already been involved in a number of retail design projects and likes to share the knowledge he has acquired with an online audience. He is a frequent contributor for a number of specialist websites.

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