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How Good Restaurant Design Sets The Scene (WTOP)

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World-class cuisine is as close as your smartphone.

A few taps, a few minutes, ding-dong and bada-bing: Hot sambusas are sitting on your doormat while you’re chilling on the sofa.

Talk about convenience. Why even go to a restaurant? In D.C., restaurant goes to you.

Or some of it anyway. Yes, you’re nom-nomming premium yum-yums at home, but you’re not truly dining out. No offense to your living room — it just lacks a certain ambience.

A restaurant, after all, is more than a place to eat. It’s a theater for meaningful human connection, so much so that a few New York restaurants have been employing actual theater and film designers.

In D.C. — another city full of exceptional food and disposable income — this sense of theater can be the difference-maker in a restaurant’s success. And restaurant designers are doing just as much work setting the scene as chefs do plating the meal.

Knowing the audience
Like good theater, good restaurant design should evoke a feeling. It should resonate with a diner and ensure return visits. As Jason Maringola, Streetsense’s design director for interior architecture, puts it, “It’s really about the emotional experience.”

“It starts at the door when the host or hostess greets you, and the way that they greet you and make you feel as you’re walking through the space,” he said.

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