3 Keys to Creating the Perfect Atmosphere

Many of us know the feeling of visiting somewhere for the first time, yet for some reason, we are overwhelmed with familiarity and comfort.  What is this, “Je ne sais quoi”?

This is evidence of a great atmosphere. Elements that come together to create the perfect fusion of dining and experience. The purpose of this blog is to inform those looking to entertain with tricks of the trade to creating a great dining experience.

It’s no secret, more like a science…


1. Lighting

The perfect lighting can do wonders for setting the tone at your restaurant. Ensure your lighting reflects the type of business / product and highlights all your best features.

Consider how your space is lit during different times of the day.

You want your guests to feel welcome while being able to enjoy their food and beverages. We all eat (and drink) with our eyes first, so assure your product is visible and looks great table-side.

If lighting is stark, it’s difficult for people to unwind. Dimmers can be a great way to change the mood depending on time of day. Dim lighting can create a more intimate feel. Candles can add a romantic ambience, perfect for late at night.

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Settlement Co – Uptown Waterloo

Bright environments with lots of natural light and plants, brightens the space and is inviting.

Lighting is one of the key elements to creating an atmosphere that people will feel welcome to enjoy.


2. Music

Selecting music that resonates with your audience and is appropriate for the product, service and concept of the space; is critical for creating a comfortable mood.

Move through the space paying close attention to the sounds you hear to determine the best volume to set the music to. If there’s a full house, select a more up beat tempo. For slower services, select a slower tempo.

Keep in mind to work with the acoustics of your space. Guests enjoying conversation is a key element to creating a great guest experience. Ensure the music is not impeding on conversation.

Not sure what to play? With so many playlists that cater to different moods and time of day, it can be hard to choose the perfect playlist for your crowd.

As a general rule, try to select music that caters to the average age of your guests.

For example if the majority of those dining are an average age of 50, throw on, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey (or some tunes that they might have listened to in their teens). Want proof this works? Watch for their reaction.

They will be instantaneously transported to another time in their life. They’ll have fun singing along, drink more, eat more and probably stay longer because the music is triggering memories of the good ‘ol days.

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Band: ill Evans at Abe Erb – Uptown Waterloo

Live music is a luxury that is not feasible for all businesses. If you are fortunate enough to have the space and budget for live entertainment, you’ll be able to really ‘Wow’ your guests.

The interaction between live entertainers and the crowd can be magical. This also saves you from having to assess the volume, content and playlist for a few hours. When booking a band, research before agreeing to have them entertain in your space.

Take into account the flow of the service and the concept of the space.


3. Aesthetic

The aesthetics of your space includes everything that your guests come into contact with, during their visit. Consider what the seating, table settings, materials and colours add to your atmosphere?

Carefully select each element to support the concept of your space. They silently yet effectively tell the story of your business. Comfortable seating is a big part of a great dining experience. Mix it up, make it comfy. Offer a variety of seating styles to cater to different needs. Cutlery, table linens and napkins are opportunities to elevate the dining experience.

The better the thread count, the better the experience.

That’s not to say we’re all vein; but rather, as a guest you deserve a higher quality. Materials that are selected, tailor the guest experience. There are many options to choose from, so don’t be afraid to explore.

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