The ambiance and mood of the dining experience can be made or broken by the lighting. The right chandelier when coupled with good food can change people’s day and create the experience that will keep them coming back year after year.
There is no one size fits all chandeliers and this quick guide will help put you on the road to restaurant lighting success one chandelier at a time. In this article, we will go over the most important things to consider when choosing a chandelier for the restaurant.
Consider the type of dining experience
To begin we will define the main types of restaurant dining experiences (you will find descriptions of each below).
- Corporate and Business
- Elegant fine dining experiences
- Casual Dining
Then, make sure that your chandelier is as unique as your restaurant! Since the chandelier is the main focus when your clients enter the restaurant, it should be unique and go along with your theme.
Don’t forget that the entryway chandelier for your restaurant is the pièce de résistance. Adding an entryway chandelier to the foyer or lobby of your restaurant will provide a more aesthetic feel and will give your customers a more comfortable experience.
Other important points to mention:
- Consider the natural lighting of your restaurant and place the chandelier accordingly
- Choose light bulbs with care to enhance mood and atmosphere.
- Don’t forget to use layers of light to create the perfect ambiance for your restaurant.
- Position the chandelier high enough, not to have bumps, and low enough to have enough light.
Choose chandelier based on types of dining experiences
Fine Dining restaurants fall into one of two main categories:
- Corporate and Business dining. Restaurants that cater to corporate and business diners that arrive for lunch or business dinners have specific dining needs. The clientele, of these restaurants, want a modern, elegant dining experience that will enhance the sense of success and opportunity that they want, to feel during their meetings.
- Fine dining. Elegant fine dining experiences often cater to creating a memorable experience for special occasions. During the day these can range from family gatherings to couples reconnecting. In the evening couples predominate with gatherings of family and friends celebrating or grieving.
With today’s busy schedules the chance to dine together out on the town is not a daily or often even weekly occurrence. So, when these people do get the chance to experience each other’s company they want a memorable experience that increases the quality of their time together.
The atmosphere in these restaurants will be one of intimacy. Linen tablecloths, table lighting, and often a feeling of more space between tables than is often found in more casual restaurants.
Casual dining restaurants come in many styles but for this guide, we will break them into two primary types:
- Theme restaurants include cuisine, for example, seafood, International cuisine, location-specific themes, and more. These will all require a chandelier that will fit within the theme.
- General dining experience. These restaurants rely on good food, and atmosphere and offer a wide variety of entrees. Often creating a memorable experience is more difficult in this style of restaurant simply because of the broad range of choices on the menu, and the low-key style that is the casual dining atmosphere.
Chandelier for fine dining and business dinners
- A modern polished chandelier that offers a sleek design will enhance the atmosphere of success without being ostentatious is important.
- Fine dining lunch customers want a brighter area than the evening business dinners. A chandelier that offers brightness controls will allow you to cater to both corporate lunch and dinner customers.
- Avoid light shows or moving parts to the chandelier. These will only distract from the atmosphere you are cultivating.
- The chandelier colors should flow with the color scheme of the restaurant as a whole. For example, you do not want a wooden chandelier with a white and black dining experience.
- The chandelier should allow for a range of bulb choices. Often a change of the bulb style, brightness, or color will allow you to enhance your restaurant experience without the expense of updating the lighting fixtures.
Chandelier for elegant or intimate fine dining
- Creating a sense of intimacy and privacy without reducing available tablespace can be handled by the right chandelier. A chandelier should illuminate the common areas of the restaurant and leave accent lighting at the table for a sense of intimacy.
- The area of the restaurant the chandelier will be in is critical to selecting the best chandelier. The bar area of a restaurant can often benefit from a chandelier that lends itself as a conversation starter. Much like a coffee table book will in a home. Where the buffet area should have a bright chandelier that enhances the food presentation.
- Consider the benefits of a chandelier that can be raised or lowered to increase its range of light. Often this simple tactic will increase the range of atmosphere that the right chandelier can complement.
- Each chandelier should be elegant and special. Diners want a special dining experience at these restaurants and the run of the mill lighting fixture will not cut it. Look past the color schemes and styles of your restaurant to the emotions your diners desire. Intimate, special, and memorable should be the effect of the chandelier and its lighting should increase this atmosphere.
- Do not seek a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all, chandelier for your restaurant. As every customer will be unique so should your restaurant offer microclimates of lighting choices. This will allow you to tailor the lighting to each section of your restaurant. From the small table by the kitchen to the large tables for groups select as many styles of the chandelier as necessary.
Choosing chandelier for casual dining theme restaurants
- Many theme restaurants make the mistake of filling their restaurant with chandeliers that are uniform and drab while going to great expense to create the unique theme dining experience the customer desires. Do not be afraid to go with the unusual, unique, and odd chandelier if it enhances the theme and mood of the restaurant you desire.
- Often it is the subtle elements of the theme that create the greatest impression. Instead of the crab and lobster chandelier consider a nautical style of chandelier. Look for chandeliers that fit the motif without being cheesy.
- Theme restaurant chandeliers should create comments from the diners. People who go to these types of restaurants are seeking entertainment as well as food. A well-chosen chandelier can help provide that.
- Versatility in the chandelier for this type of dining experience is essential. These restaurants will often serve tourists during peak tourism times and these diners will want the full theme experience. In the evening or off-season times, the locals will want good food without feeling like they are in a tourist trap. The right chandelier will offer this lighting versatility.
- Avoid modern sleek designs that will be out of place in a casual dining restaurant. Instead, you want to create a more casual atmosphere where people will not feel the need for a shirt and tie.
The chandelier should reflect your decor
How your restaurant looks is unique, and your chandelier should be no exception!
Whether it is a themed restaurant or a casual one, a chandelier should reflect the décor of your restaurant. An ideal lighting scheme is one of functionality and artistry that is pleasing to the eye without distracting from the meal.
A chandelier can diffuse different decorative sources of light and combine them with other types of lighting. Attention to detail is critical to selecting the right chandelier to achieve the right effect of light for your restaurant.
The chandelier should enhance the restaurant ambiance
The day is brighter than night and this is no accident! Your restaurant’s lighting must be tailored to meet the needs of each area of your restaurant.
Consider this when fashioning different ambiances for each meal or when you want different setups of lighting for when your restaurant is busy versus when there are one or two customers.
Take the time to decide what type of lighting you want over each area of the restaurant, whether it is subtle lighting over the tables and customers or bright lights over a buffet table if you have one.
If your restaurant has more windows than solid walls, less lighting over the tables closest to the windows during sunny days but with enough lights that can be switched on during cloudy or rainy days and at twilight and evening.
Never forget that you are not only choosing the lighting for your restaurant, but for the customers who frequent your restaurant as well. After all, the customer is the highest priority when it comes to what chandelier you choose.
Chandelier should enhance your color and lighting scheme
Lighting changes everything. Color, mood, and atmosphere are all enhanced by the right lighting choices. Whether the chandelier is stainless steel, wooden, brass, or a combination of any of the aforementioned chandelier types, the right bulb will add to the aesthetic beauty of your restaurant.
Make sure to choose wisely when it comes to the right light bulb for your chandelier to enhance or mute your color scheme. It enables you to give your customers the right effect for their dining pleasure.
These different lighting types include but are not limited to, natural light or artificial light. The types of artificial light, or light bulbs, include halogens, incandescent, fluorescent, and energy-saver or LED bulbs.
Each type of light bulb can enhance certain color schemes. Incandescent light enhances reds, oranges, and yellows while muting blues and greens.
Fluorescents, on the other hand, enhance greens and blues. Halogens act much like natural light and are used at night to shift from sunlight.
Energy-saving LEDs come in either cool or warm shades or even frosted glass. While some chandeliers do come with bulbs, many do not, leaving restaurant owners free to determine what type of bulbs they need to attain the right lighting for their restaurant.
One way to find the right lighting for your restaurant is to bring samples of your carpet or the paint swatches of the colors you had chosen to test how the colors look under the different types of bulbs to determine which is the best bulb for you.
Every chandelier can produce a wide range of lighting options
To make the most of your chandelier you should familiarize yourself with these methods of increasing your chandelier’s light range. Layered lighting is a way designers employ several different lighting types to accomplish a look that is unified for your restaurant’s environment.
There are three basic layers to any lighting: ambient, accent, and task.
It is used to give your customers a comforting place to eat. This type of light source includes natural light or light provided by chandeliers. It allows the customers to move around and see the décor of your restaurant.
This lighting is used to perform a certain task, such as preparing the food or allowing the customer to easily read the menu. It is essential for both you, your employees, and your customers.
This includes lights that are bright or a table lamp to help perform the task of reading the menu.
Last but not least, accent lighting can add or enhance the ambiance of the dining space. Accent lighting will allow certain visual features of the restaurant to be accentuated.
A focal point for your customers to focus and draw their attention to can be best achieved by placing some accent lighting on a picture or work of art. You can even use fun colored bulbs to add a bit of accent to a certain area of the restaurant such as a bar.
Sometimes your light source can produce more than one of the lighting layers depending on how it is used.
In chandeliers, size does matter
Unlike a chandelier in a home, you need to decide the best possible way to position the chandelier to better accent your restaurant. Make sure the chandelier is positioned in the right place to ensure that there is enough light for your customers to see and move around.
The chandelier should be high enough that no one bumps their head on it as they walk by but not so high that the light from the chandelier does not light the whole room.
Tips and tricks for your restaurant chandelier
- Be sure that the bulb you use is not too bright that it shines on your customers, producing shadows on their faces that are unflattering. Also keep in mind that the bulbs are not too hot, making you, your employees, and your customers uncomfortable.
- Using a bulb dimmer will help create a more comfortable atmosphere for your patrons.
- Covering the chain of the chandelier with a narrow sleeve of fabric will add some flair to your chandelier.
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