Creating the right interior is crucial for the success of all commercial establishments, but this is particularly true in the cafe industry. Think about it: a huge chunk of customers that frequent cafes do so specifically for the ambiance – and ambiance is all about interior design.
Sure, the quality of your cups of coffee is important. But even if you create the greatest tasting cup of joe in the world, nobody’s going to stick around to enjoy it if your cafe doesn’t look and feel right too.
With that in mind, here are some interior design tips that might help you out when it comes to fitting out or refurbishing your cafe.
1. Determine the Type of Cafe Your Business Represents
‘Cafe’ is a broad term. Generally, it usually means somewhere that sells hot beverages and light meals. However, there are many different types of cafes, and it’s important to determine exactly what type of cafe you’re hoping for yours to be in order to get the refurbishment right. Here are some different types of cafes:
Grab n’ go – this is the kind of cafe where your customers mostly order their coffee to go. Your customers might be busy professionals on their way to work; the kind of people that don’t stick around.
Hangout cafe – these cafes are the total opposite of the aforementioned type. Hangout cafes are cafes where people go to socialize and relax. Your customers might be students who want somewhere with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to sit with their friends over lunch, for example.
Old-style cafe – these cafes opt for a very specific vibe and opt for a more ‘homely’ feel. They feel less like large chains and more like small hideouts where you can read a book. Your customers might be creatives looking for a place to work, or bookworms looking for a nice relaxing spot to drink coffee and read.
2. Utilize Space Appropriately
Once you’ve determined the type of cafe you’re going for, you can use this to inform how to utilize space efficiently during your refurbishment.
For example, if you’re a grab n’ go cafe, you might want to dedicate more space for queues to form, and have longer counters.
Conversely, if you’re trying to create a hangout space, you may prefer to keep queue space limited and use that space instead for more ample seating.
3. Create an Open, Inviting Exteriors
The exterior of your cafe is probably the more important part of the overall design. You need to get people through the door to make money.
During your refurbishment, speak to your fit out company about window space. Many cafes opt for lots of tall windows to give potential customers a clear view of the space inside in order to entice them in.
4. Incorporate Different Kinds of Lighting
Cafes tend to make use of three different kinds of lighting: ambient lighting, accent lighting, and decorative lighting.
Ambient lighting is the ‘key’ lighting and is there to spread lighting throughout the space.
Accent lighting is there to draw attention to specific key pieces; for example, you might use accent lighting to draw your customer’s eyes towards your food display or artwork.
Decorative lighting is less functional; it’s solely for aesthetic purposes. You might use elaborate light fixtures or even elegant chandeliers to create the right look in your cafe.
You should make full use of each of these different types of lighting. A good fit out specialist will be able to help guide you regarding lighting choices.
5. Use the Right Colors and Design Aesthetic
Finally, let’s talk about color and design. The goal with your color scheme and overall interior design is threefold: to create an inviting space for your customers that makes them want to come back, to help out with branding, and to help drive more sales.
The latter point means you’ll want to think about how lighting can influence your customers’ purchase choices. As you’ll probably be selling food, you may want to utilize earthy colors with gold and red highlights as these types of colors have been shown to stimulate customers appetites.
Red and yellow is an even more effective color combination for stimulating appetite (think McDonalds’ logo) but will probably look out of place in a cafe setting.
Earthy colors and materials are a mainstay of cafes, so you’ll probably want to use these kinds of colors and materials throughout the design. The type of cafe you want to be recognized as should also play an important part in your decision making.
For example, old-style cafes tend to make use of things like exposed brick walls, tall bookcases, and soft, dramatic lighting to create a homely charm.
A good commercial fit out company can help you to make all these kinds of decisions, but it helps to start thinking about them now so that you can communicate more clearly with your company when it comes to it.