In the current social media, and particularly Instagram and TikTok dominant, age of virality and free marketing of check-ins, tags and shoutouts the café industry can really benefit from pictures of both their products and their interior design.
Both from their own pages and their customers. Having a standout interior that really pops and invites content creation can not only look inviting, it can also increase exposure.
The Generation Z and millennial generations are acutely aware that a great café is founded, not only, on its food and drink offerings, but also on its interior design. It is as much a place to sit and have experiences as it is a place for great coffee and food.
How to Design the Interior of Your Cafe?
In fact, many surveys are starting to reveal that for a vast number of customers the experience is paramount, above even the quality of food and drinks. A few furniture pieces in hospitality can add some depth of character to a plush and homely café style, whereas a reclaimed wood, full-length railway sleeper table can add a rustic element to an otherwise modern café and invite a more shared space, perhaps for working or reading while enjoying a flat white. Read on to learn more about decorating and designing the interior of your cafe.
What Are the Potential Pitfalls?
The interior design of a café should come hand in hand with the psychology of the customer. A psychology that is markedly different from the psychology of a restaurant customer.
Cafés invite a massively diverse clientele, from the hurried businessman to the time-rich friends meeting for a catch-up, there can never be a single target audience, so cafés need to aim to please an array of people.
Restaurants can more directly target a single ambience, and therefore a more segmented and directly targeted audience. So, the first pitfall to avoid is having too refined a mental image of the desired target audience.
This can lead to an overly individual environment that can be cloying to other styles. Therefore, the interior of the café dictates the customer's reaction to their environment and hence their length of stay, potential online engagement and therefore your exposure.
With that said, the concept of your café does matter to how you approach the interior design process. What price point are you aiming at? Is the food offering going to be more of a Bistro offering or more commercial foods?
The former calls for pastel colours, wooden furniture and calming quiet music. For the latter reclaimed commercial furniture and repurposed pub furniture can work a treat. Traditional surroundings with flashes of the new and modern can be captivating or confusing, so be careful when trying to break the mould too much.
It’s not only décor, colours and layout that need to be carefully considered by proprietors but also interior café furniture such as café tables and chairs, repurposed or reclaimed canteen furniture, desks and bar stools and even music.
All of these and more contribute to how your customers perceive your café and therefore how they spend their time and money there. The end result of all these elements in harmony can be critical in the overall success of the business. That is no understatement.
Seating can be the final indication of whether the café can be used as a collaborative or individual workspace, long tables and benches clearly show that a small to medium team can all congregate and share ideas. Whereas deeper, more comfortable seats and sofas show a friendly vibe for long chats and cake.
Individual stools at a bar are places for lone café goers or pairs of friends or colleagues at most as the nature of the seating arrangement limits lines of sight for larger groups. Lighting, again, can be a clear indicator of whether reading a captivating book is in the offing.
Likewise, louder music can give a party atmosphere with low-level background music conversely highlighting an invitation to chat. Even seemingly small details such as aroma contribute to the ambience.
If you want to invite long stays, reading and sipping lattes then try to labour the ventilation carrying the coffee machine bold scents around the café rather than carrying overpowering food aromas to non-eaters.
Where to Begin?
If you’re finding this overwhelming, as with all goal-setting, it is important to break this down into smaller, manageable steps. First, carefully consider the concept and desired purpose of your space and not the types of people you mainly want to attract.
A quick pitstop vs a long multiple coffee catch-ups call for hugely different interior designs. Next, browse our website and decide if you want new, reclaimed, vintage or industrial furniture to be the base of your environment.
Create a Wishlist and make sure to fully create and refine your vision before jumping into any purchases and designing your place.
The size of your café will be dependent on your desired, predominant use for the space of course but also potential walk-ins will be determined by natural footfall patterns in the local area.
Nevertheless, we don’t recommend being too far outside of 800sqft – 2500sqft, that way customers are never too tightly cramped or spaced out, creating an appearance of being empty – never a good look. The larger café calls for more extensive planning and a larger interior design bill. Feel free to call us or pop into our Hooton site for help and guidance, we’re always happy to help.
One of the best ways to get the word out that your space is somewhere that the customer will feel at ease and want to spend time in is to showcase it on your social media channels and display just how stylish it is.