Design Strategies to Increase Walk-ins For F&B Outlets

While some people like to search for online reviews first before deciding which restaurant they will choose, the majority of the rest simply ‘trust in their guts’ and enter the one that appeals to the senses and whet the appetite. 

Design has a critical impact on decision-making; It is one of the first factors why someone decides to enter an F&B (Food and Beverage) outlet within seconds. That is why we highly recommend discovering these design strategies to increase walk-ins for your business. 

Attractive Facade

“The face of your business.”

A captivating shop front design for restaurants and cafes does more than looking good, it excites people’s curiosity and gives a visual clue that hints at what to expect by conveying your brand message. 

Yakiniku Yokocho Japanese Restaurant Shop Front
Yakiniku Yokocho, Sydney | Interior Design and Branding by Vie Studio

Unique businesses take their facades up a notch. Imagine having a hard time deciding what’s for dinner until you see this vibrant yet mysterious restaurant that screams vintage. The overall design subtly tells you that the restaurant serves authentic Japanese cuisine, at the same time, intrigued to enter in order to explore more.  

Eye-grabbing Signage and Props also play significant roles in completing the whole design of your business exterior. It’s like the ‘accessories’ to complete your everyday look. 

Signage should be distinct and easy to read in order to grab people’s attention, especially at night. Props are more than just decoration, they are a way to reflect the desired persona of your business — whether it’s fast, casual, fancy, or a hybrid. Plants or custom made sculptures are some of the popular choices. 

Scultures at Roji Monster Sydney
Custom Sculptures at Roji Monster, Sydney | Interior Design by Vie Studio

Our Tips:

  • Walk-in customers love to “window shop” F&B outlets, it is a good idea to avoid any exterior clutter so potential customers can have a peek at the overall ambience and what is being served (unless you are aiming to create a private and exclusive setting). 
Sushi Hotaru shop front
Sushi Hotaru, Sydney | Interior Design by Vie Studio
  • Another way to increase traffic is to put a few seats outside such as sidewalk café tables, these seating will act as a “living billboard.”
  • Your signage should be clear to read and use contrasting colours to prevent the text from blending with the background.
  • Avoid overcrowded display of your props. 


Welcoming Lighting

“Extra lights, Extra Shine”

Lighting is one of the most important facets of interior design and as the options are endless, you might want to navigate it down by identifying the overall mood you want to accentuate. For instance, you might opt for low lighting to create a more laid-back mood or bright lights to encourage a lively atmosphere. 

Lighting at Japanese BBQ restaurant
Lighting Design at Yakiniku Ryoma BBQ, Sydney | Interior Design by Vie Studio

Lighting also depends on the theme of your brand and should never be overlooked. Speaking of lights, neon signs add extra ambience and is a great way to showcase your business’s personality and creative flair. 

neon lights, Thai restaurant shop front
Neon lights at Thai Riffic, St Clair | Interior Design by Vie Studio

Our Tips:

  • Take into consideration how your lighting will look in both daytime and nighttime, as dimmed lights might be a problem when it is dark while lights that are too bright are a bad idea when the sun is up. However, this also depends on the location of your outlets and whether natural lighting is an option. 


Is it Photo-Worthy?

“Camera eats first”

With the burgeoning popularity of social media, many businesses put lots of thought into design elements that could tap into the love for photography and moment sharing of their potential customers. We got impressed at how the little details like a romantic quote on the wall or a hanging light could be the reason why people step in that door. 

Photo wall at Machi Machi tea shop
Machi Machi, Sydney | Interior Design by Vie Studio

Our tips: 

  • Do some research on what clicks for your target customers. 
  • Avoid overcrowding your space with photo-worthy spots. 


Learn more about our previous projects or discuss in-depth design strategies that will help boost your walk-ins today with one of our professional designers.

Get in touch | (02) 9550 5268