How should you light your New Restaurant Chain?

When you are expanding your restaurant into a chain, sometimes it's hard to know what to do about the inside of the locations. There are a lot of decisions to make and everything from tiling the floor and furniture to a color scheme and lighting will have to be considered.

Lighting is especially important. After all, without a proper amount of light in the right places, your servers are more likely to trip, your customers won't be able to find their credit cards, and everyone will just think that your establishment is gloomy. Since that is the last thing that you want, here are some questions that will help you to determine the kind of lighting that you should choose.

What type of lighting are you interested in? 

And don't say the kind that uses bulbs. Many do.

However, you will have to decide whether you want recessed lighting, pendant lighting, track lighting (which can also use pendants), or something else. Your choice will depend on what you are looking for in terms of style and illumination. For instance, if you think that track lighting looks a little too industrial or you want to use some ornate lampshades, then standalone pendant lighting is probably your best option

What kind of ambience do you want?

Intimate Italian restaurant, pub, well-lit upscale diner? Remember, if you have a type of aesthetic that you are aiming for, let that guide your lighting choices. For instance, an Italian restaurant (the non-pizza kind) may call for lower, more romantic lighting. In this case, you may want to choose recessed light that can be dimmed and place some candleholders on each table. On the other hand, a pub that has semi-enclosed booths might need pendant lighting over each table.

What kind of space are you working with?

For instance, if you have a large restaurant with high ceilings, you may want to go for a combination of recessed and pendant lighting so that you can better control the entire space. A smaller establishment with lower ceilings may want to just opt for one or the other.

Are you trying to match your flagship?

If you have developed a signature look for your first location, you have one of two options: branch out or try to match. This is a personal call and depends entirely on your tastes. If you want to streamline the look of every restaurant in your chain, just take a look at the style of the original and invest in something similar (since your first place is local, you may have used products and labor that are unique to the area). You could try to make every restaurant a little unique, so that each has its own regional character; in this case, you may want to buy wholesale lighting pendants or other products from a company that can offer you a variety of options.

Take these factors into consideration and you will have taken an important step in determining your lighting and design needs.

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