Feng Shui is a system of laws which govern how your space is arranged and how this reacts with the flow of energy, or chi.
To understand Feng Shui, you first must understand chi. Chi is the life force of the world, and is said to originate from the sun.
It is described through the literal translation of Feng Shui. Chi is energy. The basic idea of Feng Shui is to bring in good chi and deflect negative chi. There are more complex rules in regards to this, but basically, in order to maximise positive energy in your restaurant, here are a few tips to clear the air, and space and make your restaurant more welcoming.
1. Clean the Restaurant
Imagine chi to be fresh air flowing through your restaurant, you want it to sweep through and exit slowly, leaving a nice fresh feeling. In order to do this, you need to clean properly, make sure that the cupboards aren’t dusty at the back and that there is minimal clutter - especially in the front of the restaurant. This is where people want to walk in, and not be surrounded by coats, clutter and tables bumping by their knees.
Clean your windows so the chi from the sun can come through. Natural light is a big plus for restaurant diners during the day, and keep the curtains open during the night if the stars are out.
2. Decorate With Plants
In 1989, NASA approved air purifying plants which can improve your indoor air quality. 10 of these plants and their uses can be found here. Bright and uplifting plants in your restaurant are something different to the usual type of restaurant you may see, but also if you happen to be located in a busy city centre, a perfect oasis from the concrete jungle awaiting outside. Place your plants at the entrance, which will draw the energy/chi in.
3. Strike the Right Balance With Space
It is always better to be too small than too big with Feng Shui, when your restaurant is too big it can feel empty, whereas a smaller restaurant gives the feeling of being cosy and snug. As long as when the customer first walks in they have space, this is all you need. When people are walking by they can see that people are enjoying themselves and are drawn in by the positive energy being reflected, if your restaurant is too big and empty, instead it will look cold giving off more negative vibes.
4. Be Strategic About Where You Place Your Cashier
You cashier should be located on the right hand side of the restaurant from the inside looking out, and should always have a strong, solid wall behind them. This is to show stability in cash flow and there is solid support in employees.
5. Focus on Service
This may seem like a given, but more than just good service - positive energy from one person to another can easily change a situation and boosting the overall positive energy in the room. Always show attention to your customer, even if this means bringing them some complementary breadsticks before they’ve ordered, as this will show you’re paying attention to your customers and will also give off positive energy in the form of generosity.
6. Use Color Strategically
There are 4 colors commonly linked to restaurants, these being green, red, yellow and white. Each of these colors have connotations behind them that can invoke certain feelings and emotions in your customers.
Green represents nature and freshness, and is also linked to good health.
Red is the color of fire and warmth, but be careful: you don’t want to send out the connotation of “stop” or “danger.” Make sure you use warm reds to represent the heart’s desires.
Yellow represents appetite. White is the color of cleanliness and balanced emotions.
Through these colors your restaurant will be appealing to the eye and also the stomach.
Feng Shui is easily applicable in your restaurant and although you may not believe in chi or Feng Shui outright, these tips are easy to put in place, with great benefit being potentially drawn from them. When the changes have been applied, enter your restaurant again and notice the feeling has changed.