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Did you know that a restaurant’s interior colors can determine how profitable it can be?

Color psychology is a real thing. One study found that college students shown the color red before a test didn’t do as well as students who were shown other colors, perhaps because red is an energetic shade that causes people to rush.

If you own a restaurant, it isn’t enough to choose paint colors that look good. You want ones that will make your customers feel comfortable and want to eat there, too.

Here’s a guide to choosing the best restaurant colors.

Consider Your Restaurant’s Concept

Before you begin brainstorming paint colors for your establishment, you should let your restaurant’s concept lead the way. Is it a formal restaurant where you want diners to linger and relax for a while? Neutral or earthy tones will create a calm atmosphere.

If your restaurant’s brand focuses instead on quick meals and serving as many customers as possible, more energetic paint colors may be appropriate.

Sometimes there are exceptions to these rules. A Mexican or family-focused restaurant may include some bright colors to play up the festive or fun dining experience.

In some cases, your logo and other branding elements may help guide you towards the right paint colors. You may want to paint your interior so it reflects some of the colors on your website and marketing materials.

Take some time to think about your brand and how you want diners to feel during their visit before you decide on paint colors. Understanding how color psychology affects your business can help you make informed choices.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Neutrals

Whether in your home or business, you really can’t miss with neutral-colored paint. That goes for restaurants, where shades such as white, cream, light grey, almond, and bisque create a warm and inviting interior. These colors are not visually distracting and won’t interfere with one’s appetite.

Neutral paint is especially a great choice for a traditional, sit-down restaurant or ones that offer a high-end experience. A darker accent color such as a deep navy, brick red, or even black pairs well with a neutral color. Neutral paints can add a romantic touch if that’s what you’re going for.

The color white can make your restaurant feel clean, but too much of it can remind diners of a hospital or other sterile environment. Try an off-white or cream-colored paint if you plan on using it for the majority of your interior space.

Light colors such as neutral shades will also help your restaurant space feel larger while darker colors can make it seem smaller.

Next Best Overall Choice: Earth Tones

Earthy shades such as brown, dark orange, olive green, and umber make good choices for foodservice businesses because they reflect nature’s palette. If your brand focuses on an organic, natural, or healthy menu, these shades can be the perfect match for your restaurant.

Earth tones are also warm, inviting, and relaxing. You’ll usually find them in health food stores, yoga studios, and massage spas. They’re also exotic which means they work well in ethnic restaurants.

Most importantly, they reflect what most naturally occurring foods such as fruits and vegetables look like and can encourage a diner’s appetite.

Good for Cafes: Pastel Hues

Pastel colors are usually popular with more casual dining establishments such as bistros, cafes, ice cream shops, and eateries.

They have a lightheartedness about them that evokes childhood and having fun.

Lighten them up further and these shades become neutral tones which may just work for your type of restaurant. They can also be complemented with a deeper accent color.

Go Bright for Fast Serve Restaurants

For foodservice businesses whose goal is to keep their customers moving, warm and bright paint colors may be right for you. They create a feeling of energy and excitement. Orange, red, and yellow in particular are cheery colors that can drive home the concept of getting food quickly.

But it is possible to overdo it, so you don’t want to go crazy painting your restaurant several eye-popping shades. Stick to one or two or use them to highlight areas of your restaurant instead of putting them on all of the walls. An overwhelming color scheme can turn off customers.

The One Color That Restaurants Should Avoid

Is there a paint color that most restaurants should stay clear of?

Yes, and it’s a bit surprising considering that it’s the world’s favorite color: blue.

Even though blue hues can feel relaxing and calming, they’re just not a great choice for the foodservice industry. That’s because when associated with food, blue tends to turn off one’s appetite.

Think of the artificial blue dyes that color some foods such as cereals, desserts, sugary drinks, and food products aimed at kids. Other than blueberries, you just don’t see the color blue occurring in natural food. This is also why many restaurants avoid serving dishes on blue plates.

There are a few exceptions. Blue tends to make people feel thirsty, so it may be a good choice if you operate a bar or coffee shop. Oceanside restaurants may also opt to include blue in their color scheme to play up their natural surroundings.

The Right Restaurant Colors Can Boost Your Sales

As you can see, choosing the right restaurant colors can encourage more customers to visit you, but it is a bit of a balancing act. You want to strike the right tone with your diners and your brand while making sure the paint makes the dining experience all the more enjoyable.

If you need your restaurant painted, schedule your free quote with us! We can also give some pointers on the best paint colors for your San Diego area business.

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San Diego, CA 92126

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