You've probably gone to a few restaurants more for their ambience and design rather than for their food. It could be that distinctive cozy feel or that cool atmosphere that keeps you coming back rather than the steak or the fine wine.
In general, no one will disagree that interiors matter to customers and that splendid design significantly increases anyone's dining pleasure. If you're planning to open your own restaurant or you want yours remodeled then you should consider hiring an interior design pro. Aside from improving your place's aesthetics, interior designers can raise your restaurant's functionality and layout efficiency. What's more having a designer work on your restaurant can increase your property's market value. Hiring a good one could spell the difference between awesome and mediocre design so you better be on the look out.
The first thing that you should do before hiring an interior designer is to know what you really want. Seriously think of how you want your restaurant to look or how you want your customers to feel when inside it. Once you've thought it through then you're all set to hire a designer.
Know where to find the good ones. Try to listen to word of mouth referrals from your family, friends, and even from other restaurant owners. You can visit the website of the American Society of Designers to search for one working within your locale and specializing on restaurant design. However, if you want to get an amazing bargain – high-quality design for a relatively low price – post a job offer in an interior design school within your area. Students are highly creative and they work almost like a pro but because of their limited experience, they can't charge you too high a fee.
Short-list your options and if possible, interview each one of them. Look for high levels of imaginativeness, creativity, professionalism, and persistence. Hire one that can communicate his ideas well both verbally and through sketches. Ask them to present you with a portfolio of their previous works and do some background checks from previous clients. Experience with restaurants or hospitality establishments is a plus but isn't a real requirement.
Ask a lot of questions before hiring one and go over his proposed design from the over-all look to the exact furnishings. Your designer should be able to collaborate with your contractor, architect, and electricians to make the design a reality. This entails having at least some knowledge with the local building and heath codes and understanding technical blueprints.
Once done with all of these, you can now enter into a contract with your chosen designer to finally have your vision of your new or improved restaurant come to life.