CAFE AND RESTAURANT MARKETING: Why café and restaurant interiors are just as important as the food

You may think your food is top-notch, but have you got the interiors to match? While the product itself is partially responsible for the popularity of your venue, a great fit-out cannot be overlooked. In fact, the importance of great interior design for your café is of equal importance to the food and service. Creating an inviting and memorable space for your customers to enjoy not only improves their overall experience but also reinforces a positive atmosphere they will want to return to.

Focusing on singular aspects of your venue in isolation will only become problematic down the line. Instead, aim for excellence in all facets of your venue’s offering. Launching with a beautiful venue to match your menu will enable you to reap long term rewards and create lifelong customers. From heightened professionalism to positive brand perceptions, interior design can have a big impact on the overall profitability of your business.

Source: Social Hideout by Kera Bear Eats

We sat down with Jonti Friedman of GURU Projects to further understand the significance of beautifully designed cafes.

Why is it so important to have a fantastic café or restaurant fit-out?

“Good question! The food scene in Sydney is one of the best in the world right now. We have amazing chefs, exceptional dishes, and such a density of restaurants that consumers always have a choice. Competition is fierce, and good quality food is no longer enough to guarantee that your message is heard. People want experiences, and a quality experience involves every element being perfect – food, service, comfort, ambience, lighting, everything. Fit-out plays a large role in this regard – it gives the restaurant an opportunity to tell its story in a much more tangible way.” 

What are some of the biggest trends in hospitality businesses we are going to see in the next couple of years?

“For customers, coffee automation is starting to appear everywhere. This is a very good thing for coffee drinkers! It means that the quality is consistent every time. For cafe owners, it means that your coffee must be up to scratch and that customers will shift towards experiential purchases. If the coffee is the same quality everywhere, you go to the place with the nicer interior, the friendlier barista, the faster service.

Design-wise, this is always a tough question to answer. For every trend, there is always a counter-trend. The obvious answer is minimalism and warehouse/industrial, which are very popular and show no signs of slowing. For us, we’re interested in the unpredictable designs and designers, the risk-takers. You can be sure you’ll see Guru carving out our space as a Sydney trendsetter!”

What are some of the most common blunders venue owners make with their fit-outs? 

“The number one blunder is when operators assume that their food is so good that they don’t need to spend money on the fit-out. Successful operators pay attention to every single detail, not just the food. Design, fit-out, staffing, uniforms, cutlery, menus, online presence, everything. Value engineering is critical. It’s not about having an unlimited budget, it’s about being clever with your investment and creating an experience so memorable and impactful that customers come back again and again.” 

What has been your most successful project to date? 

“That’s like asking a parent to choose their favourite child! I think they’ve all been successful in their own way – it just depends on how you define success. Several of our venues have won design awards, several others have been shortlisted/nominated. Lots of our recent venues have been written about extensively online. For us, we define success as a project in which we’ve been able to exceed our client’s expectations and gone above and beyond in terms of service, quality and attention to detail.”

How often do you receive feedback about how your café designs have improved revenue? 

“For us, the best feedback we can receive is a referral from a happy customer – and this happens all the time. Guru is very much a relationship-driven business, we still work with our first ever customer to this day. For us, if a renovation doesn’t improve revenue for the client, it’s not worth doing in the first place. Having said that, driving revenue requires every aspect of a cafe working together – we can optimise the workflow and create an unforgettable fit-out, but the food needs to be stand out as well, and the online presence needs to tie everything together in a package that consumers will remember!”

How have you seen good cafe design help lift revenues or make the cafe a hit?

“It happens all the time. Most customers these days hear about venues either through word of mouth or through online publications. To be written about, you need to have a great PR/social partner, and your venue needs to photograph well. You won’t be written about if you have a bland venue! Everything needs to tie together, and good design is at the heart of it.”

GURU Projects specialises in curating winning designs for cafes and restaurants. As the name suggests, they are unmistakable gurus in all things hospitality and work to create custom solutions for hospitality businesses. The brains behind some of Sydney’s most memorable venues of recent years – Reign, Esquire, Regiment 333, Harry’s Bondi, and Restaurant Nel to name a few, these guys are the best when it comes to café and restaurant fit-outs. Get in touch if you are looking to overhaul your shop’s interiors.

As noted by Jonti, indeed interior design has the power to change a business’s entire perception. However, it cannot be relied on in isolation. In addition to food, service and interior design, a well-executed online strategy is integral to a venue’s success. Businesses that fail to implement a public relations and social media strategy are making a grave mistake. By actively managing the spread of information about your café or restaurant, you will be able to secure publicity and gain exposure, increasing the likelihood that customers will visit your venue. Think you’ve got all the makings of a great venue but unsure how to market your offering? CPM Online Marketing is one of Sydney’s top hospitality marketing companies, helping to elevate the Sydney food scene.

We can help to create hype about your venue, through our tried and tested formula, which in turn drives business growth. Want to learn more? Contact info@cpmonlinemarketing.com today.

There’s also many other aspects to successfully marketing your cafe or restaurant and you can read them here! http://cpmonlinemarketing.com/10-effective-ways-market-cafe-restaurant-2019/