Written by Claire Richmond, Design Director at TGP International

Space and environment impact human mood, behaviour and overall perception. Through design we can create places and moments that resonate with people and keep them coming back time and again.

While recognising the extensive depth and breadth of this topic, below are a few fundamental ways restaurant interior design influences the customer experience—and why our decisions in this area are so key to the way we develop restaurants.


A design narrative is the overarching story that guides the creation of a restaurant, or F&B space. It ties together everything from service, menus, colour, textures, layouts, and furnishings, making the space cohesive and impactful as a whole. It’s something you feel rather than something you see.

Although not everyone who steps through the doors of a restaurant, bar or food hall, will know how to describe the concept, everyone should still feel elements of a shared experience through the choices that have been made to create that space.

During the creative process, it is this story, concept, or “big idea” that pulls individual components together.

One of the goals when developing an interior design narrative is to evoke certain emotions and create memorable experiences. Through the careful use of texture, lighting, sound and pace of the space, we can offer guests an atmosphere that resonates with them and has an authentic core as well as being visually appealing.

Naturally, the human experience is key to interior design strategy for restaurants. It is through an understanding of the audience and the kind of mood we want to create that our choices create a cohesiveness that is so important when coordinating the ideas and experiences of a diverse group of people.

Without narrative and concept, it’s true that spaces may still appear aesthetically beautiful or luxurious, but it’s much harder to connect to the guest with intention, to create certain feelings and emotions that relate to the goals of the overall project.



When integrated thoughtfully, an effective layout can produce spaces for gathering and socialising and also give someone a place to retreat from the chaos of their day. This also has the ability to shape mood and behaviour.

Open dining spaces, for instance, may evoke a sense of freedom and expansiveness, which is great for social and interactive dining. Meanwhile, more enclosed, or segmented spaces offer opportunity for intimacy, connection and seclusion. Each approach offers a different kind of experience to the customer.

The strategic placement of sharing tables, banquette seating or bar benches will each have its own impact on the overall feeling and functionality of a restaurant space.

Just as comfortable soft seating may invite groups to relax and linger, facilitating prolonged interaction and dining with friends, more minimal or austere seating arrangements may accommodate movement and dynamism suited to quick lunches or morning meetings.

It is this broad spectrum of possibilities that needs to be determined based on the needs of diverse users, accommodating various preferences for solitude or social engagement, and, in the end, contributing to the success and profitability of a venue.



Lighting in architecture and interior design holds a pivotal role, particularly in restaurant spaces—it shapes the way customers perceive their meal and overall experience. Each type of space will come with its own unique set of challenges when negotiating the way light impacts a space.

In practical terms , lighting needs to be right for the venue to function as a place to eat and enjoy company. For example, the correct brightness and colour rendering over dining tables ensures that customers can comfortably read menus and enjoy their meals.

Beyond this, however, lighting sets the mood, enhances the decor, and impacts how a restaurant’s overall concept is perceived with other elements in the space.

For instance, light and shadow affect whether a space feels like an intimate, cosy retreat or somewhere lively and energetic. And with F&B venues being used for a broad range of purposes today, including remote working and places to seek entertainment and human interaction in a digital world, curated flexibility in lighting can be really important.

Additionally, well-placed accent lighting can highlight unique moments within the restaurant and guide the flow of the customer’s attention through the space.



The selected colour scheme of a room, building, or entire urban complex, holds the power to enhance the most incredible ideas and design concepts—either subtly shaping how individuals perceive a space or intentionally evoking certain emotions.

Colour strategy may also be vital in adding certain qualities or features to a restaurant venue, whether to increase the perception of space in smaller venues or make larger or industrial-scale environments seem more intimate.

During the initial stages of restaurant development, it’s important that the use of colour doesn’t contradict the overall message of a restaurant.

We use colour to understand how our concept can either blend into and complement its surroundings or stand apart. As such, visiting locations in person and getting a sense of predominating colours nearby is key, whether this is from competitor restaurants and businesses or the natural environment. The “right” approach to colour can be something entirely different when designing a venue that sits on a busy commercial high street compared to something that is surrounded by nature.

Well-designed restaurants have the remarkable ability to wield colour as a tool in enhancing visual appeal but also influencing how customers experience the space and how likely it is to resonate with them.


Paying close attention to these elements of restaurant interior design (among others) in order to create spaces that meet people’s needs and shape how they feel is both challenging and incredibly fulfilling.

Like any creative endeavour, the final outcome is a mix of many thoughtful choices and considerations, as well as the combined effort of many people.

Our goal at TGP is to craft environments that people feel connected to in a way that is rewarding—a task we believe holds great importance

Speak to our team

Have a question about franchising or licensing? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the TGP team. We can outline the franchising process and offer insight into your specific plans and goals.