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Painting Them: Food Courts and Snack Bars

A commercial food facility, above all things, must serve food and beverages that are widely known, and appeal to the diverse tastes of the public.

 

What type of atmosphere works best to stimulate that hunger for food, or thirst for a beverage?

 

Do you have an established theme? The 50s décor with its juke box, vinyl-cushioned booths and roller skating servers, was a popular style in its day. A well-established theme will keep the patrons, guests, and visitors interested. Coming back for more! And, create a great place for conversation and socialization.

 

Most food courts, whether at a hotel or a mall, are designed for guest comfort. The design should correspond with the surrounding décor. It should incorporate some of the same elements in décor, color, textures, tone, etc. And, all elements used should stimulate the appetite.

 

“Spaces” within the food court: Eating/drinking, socializing, studying, resting.

Special construction elements: Solid woods, steels, metals, laminates; glass, heavy plastic; slip-proof flooring; one level, no steps.

Special features: High traffic, specialty clusters in bigger space, opps. for lots of mingling.

Special needs: Smooth surfaces and corners; no residual fumes/odors; pleasing aesthetically; high durability; easy cleaning and sanitizing; obstruction-free traffic areas;

Exposure: Water, cleaning agents, grease, high heat, etc.

Design elements: Graphics, stripes, geometrics; inlay pieces; food-inspired paintings/murals; original paintings; illustrations.

Color schemes: Bright accents; subtle touches. Inviting, and conducive to dining. Welcoming! Uplifting, cheerful, and relaxing. Also, great for conversation, reading, listening to music.

 

Bring life to your food service area. Here’s how!

 

1. Utilize scenic paintings or photos related to leisure and travel. People love to envision themselves there.

TIP: Hang printed and enlarged photos of enticing scenes on the hotel property. Flowers, plants, brook, fountain, rest area, etc. Hang small paintings found/donated by staff members.

 

2. Paint wall graphics to increase the element of creativity, and to reduce blank wall space.

HINT: An original wall graphics was hung on the walls of two adjoining restaurants, and corridor that connected them. It was the creation of a local paperhanger/patron.

 

3. Vary wood tone colors used on tables and chairs.

TIP: Tables in light oak with laminate, tile, or block tops, chairs in dark oak or even painted.

 

4. Use track and neon lighting with various combinations of colored lights to create mood appropriate for area’s theme. Examples: Friendly, business-like, folksy, formal, romantic.

TIP: The right lighting also enhances the appearance and appeal of the food and beverages. And, the entire area!

 

5. Heavy-textured vinyl wall covering adds to the atmospheric mood.

TIP: Commercial-grade wallcoverings clean well. They’re very durable. They retain color and finish/texture longer.

 
6. Surrounding guests with a sense of memorabilia tends to instill sentimentality and comfort.

HINT: Old kitchen utensils and cooking pots, laundry aids, photos, tools, small implements, etc. lined the walls of The Wagon Wheel in Merrillville, Indiana. Eating there was like eating at a grandparent’s circa 1800s kitchen table.

 
7. Convey a sense of realism by using a system of murals.

TIP: Continuous murals are fun. Example: A walking trail, or farmer’s market, or big garden.

 
8. Refer to the “psychology of colors” to see what colors stimulate an appetite best.

TIPS: Red – Hot foods, romantic drinks; Blue – Cool foods, relaxing drinks; Green – Nature.

 

Above all, you want the food court and/or snack bar to make every patron feel comfortable, and unrushed. Totally welcome there!

 

It’s all about atmosphere. The service. And, definitely, the food, beverages and snacks.

 

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“Food without atmosphere is like tacos without spice.” Rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015.  Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

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