Designers often ask “how does an environment impact the sense of taste”? Well, a tangible example of this can be observed within restaurant designs. After all, a restaurant atmosphere can set up expectations of how a meal will taste, and it can impact how those tastes are perceived, enjoyed and remembered.
It is interesting to think that innovative restaurant design ideas can make dining experiences extraordinary. A restaurant experience can add or detract from how food tastes. After all, environments impact their inhabitants physiologically – where for instance, a relaxing environment can help a person to relax and de-stress in order to taste their food more mindfully. In other words, restaurant design can play a role in how the taste of food is perceived – and upon how deeply it is enjoyed.
To design a restaurant, one needs to design the entire dining experience. This turns the dining experience into a journey – thus, entering the restaurant orients a person’s mood. For instance, a restaurant design can relax, excite, or even entertain its patron. Many nuances within the restaurant design impact whether a meal is to be celebrated, appreciated and enjoyed. And failing to design a good restaurant can have a detrimental impact on the way a meal is perceived.
Just imagine dining where one can smell the aromas of great food to come versus dining where a nearby factory smell is in the air. This can indeed affect one’s appetite.
You see, as a meal progresses from appetizer, to entree, to dessert – there is great opportunity for the environmental designer to “play” with sensory effects. Perhaps a restaurant’s patron can better enjoy their meal because the lighting makes it look very appetizing, and the patron feels healthy while eating because the seating is comfortable. Conversely, if the surrounding environment’s temperature is too hot (or too cold) the patron may not appreciate their meal as much – since this will make a person too hot to enjoy a hot soup or too cold to enjoy an ice cream dessert.
Thus, to innovate your restaurant design idea, it may be best to understand the type of food being served, the journey that person should take within your restaurant, and the way you want them to feel once they are finished eating and leave the restaurant. This means going beyond what is comfortable, to truly innovate the dining experience. How can you improve upon a signature entree within a restaurant by setting amazing environmental conditions? How can your design go beyond helping a meal to “look good” to actually helping it “feel good” as it is being mindfully eaten? What role should your restaurant design idea play not only with the enjoyment of a dish, but with all else that goes on surrounding the context of a dining experience?
Of course, the food of a restaurant should strive for the highest quality possible. And as a designer, this is a chance for you to coordinate with the chef. After all, your restaurant design may be setting the chef’s creation “center stage”, and your design becomes an extension of the food just as the food is an extension of the environment which you create. Use your restaurant design ideas to “feed” the senses, both literally and metaphorically. And use your imagination to tap into new ways for a dining experience to evolve – promoting greater health and happiness through taste.
Image Credit: © kichigin19 | Fotolia
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