Dine-in service is just as big as delivery in the pizza world. What does your dining room say about you? Having a place that your customers can go that is enticing to your specific clientele will keep them coming back again and again. There are several key elements that are often over-looked when designing the dining room experience. Lighting is an important factor, you want it to be inviting for your guests. You want to create light based on the size of the dining room and the restaurant's concept. Fun table accessories (like candles and lanterns) are a great way to provide soft inviting lighting for any theme. Adding splashes of colors in your lights will also amp up the ambiance. Switching out old light fixtures is a creative and inexpensive way to pep up your pizza parlor regardless if you’re a trendy downtown hot spot or a family oriented birthday play zone. When picking out how you will display your menu make sure you test it out in the restaurant. Ever try to figure out what you wanted to eat with a giant glare on the menu, not fun! Menu display is an important part of the dining experience so make sure the lighting and menus do not clash. This will probably not put you out of business but no one likes to play hide the glare. Pictures will also allow guests to visualize the store's products. A display case in the lobby area is an excellent way to show off those favorite menu items and store merchandise.
Having a nice flow will create a sense of calm that customers will appreciate even if your place is a little hectic at times. Consistency is imperative; toning the dinnerware to the restaurant's style will get you a few more brownie points with the locals. Most sports joints carry the classic commercial white plates, nothing wrong with that, who cares about the plates during a play off? However, that fun spot with the amazing organic pizzas has funky multi colored plates to go with the bright walls and trendy local art for sale on the walls… flow is key! What is on the walls will let your guests know what type of establishment they are walking in to. If you see nothing but framed jerseys and flat screen televisions it is a safe bet you just walked in to a sports joint. Have an obvious theme that guest can identify with.
Is your business new to the area? Support your new community. Sponsoring a local sports team, playing local band's latest tracks and selling creations from the area's artists are all great ways to becoming a positive influence in the community. Music is the soul of your establishment and matching the music to your crowd is going to be tough and take some time. You will notice trends in customers from the time of day to the day of the week. Experiment with what works with each crowd. The lunchtime rush may not want to hear the same volume and type of music as your 11:30 P.M. Saturday night crowd. If you have the room for live music, take advantage. Small spaces provide excellent conditions for live acoustic music and outside patios are the perfect platform for a cover band to rock out.
The kitchen is also great decoration and a source of entertainment. Watching dough being tossed in the air and seeing a wood fire roaring keeps your guests amused and delighted. Watching pizza being made is fascinating and fun so opening up your kitchen or even adding large windows will provide essentially free entertainment for your guests. Being able to see where the food is coming from and how it’s handled gives the guests security. It tells them there is nothing to hide in the kitchen.
Keep it clear and keep it consistent and be relative to the community you live in to boost sales right along with providing an excellent meal at a good price. People are not only paying for the food they are paying for an experience so give them a good one!