How to select the best colours for restaurants?

How to select the best colours for restaurants?

If you are planning to set up a restaurant, you must attract the attention of customers so that they notice your establishment as well as offering them the best service.

To capture their attention, the decoration is a primordial factor in the first impression that people will have when they enter the premises. This is where restaurant colours take centre stage, believe it or not.

In restaurants, diners not only take into account the attention, taste or presentation of the food, but also the decoration and the colours that are part of it in order to cause sensations and evoke feelings.

If you want to know a little more about colours and their meaning for the personality of your restaurant, find out below what is the best colour for the theme of your restaurant.

The first impression is made by the eyes

Several scientific studies and statistics have shown that the presentation of food dishes is one of the factors that generates the greatest appetite in people.

If a customer is served a colourless and bland dish, the diner will not feel like eating it and will certainly call the waiter to change his order.

On the other hand, by serving a dish with substantial flavours and a colourful appearance, you will make a difference and captivate them.

When you look at food, the hunger-producing hormone ghrelin increases or decreases in the blood, generating or eliminating appetite.

In addition to satisfying the customerā€™s need to eat, dishes have that visual factor that creates sensations and emotions through which you can sell.

To complement this, different colours are used on the walls of the restaurant to generate the visual factor of the dƩcor and, when combined with the food, create a perfect experience for the diner.

Colour psychology for your restaurant

In addition to the food and the colour of the walls, the combinations used in your restaurantā€™s logo, menu, tables, chairs, napkins, tablecloths, glasses and plates are also important.

Each of the components of the establishment has tonalities that show one or several colours that cause different sensations in the diners, among which we can mention: comfort, security and tranquillity.

Here we will explain how peopleā€™s subconscious reacts when visiting an establishment according to the colours that make up the decoration.


Yellow is a colour that activates the analytical part of the brain, which is why this colour makes it easier for people to make the decision to consume the dishes they want.

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It can be used as a guide to convey emotions such as enthusiasm, happiness and optimism. It is generally used as an element of persuasion.

The use of yellow will depend on what you want to show, if you use a strong tone , the ideal is to combine it with a neutral colour that counteracts its effect.

Another option is to use subtle shades of yellow, which will allow you to achieve a state of relaxation in customers during their stay in the establishment.


Blue is used by conservative and traditional businesses, symbolising security and confidence.

This is not one of the most commonly used colours in restaurants of all kinds, especially luxury ones.

However, when combined with white, it works well in Mediterranean restaurants because of its association with the sea.


White is one of the most used colours in the hotel and catering world as it generates a feeling of freshness, purity and cleanliness in customers.

It is a versatile colour, which can be combined with any colour to give more life to the theme of your restaurant.

In addition, it generates a feeling of spaciousness and luminosity that favours small establishments with deficient access to natural light.


Red symbolises energy, passion and love. It improves appetite and is known to increase energy.

It is seen more quickly by the human eye and increases nerve impulses. Red should be used with caution to avoid overdoing the intensity levels in your venue.

It is recommended to combine it with neutral or lighter tones to maintain balance in the decoration of your spaces.


Brown evokes a connection to the earth, represents comfort, sincerity and calmness.

Most restaurants that use this colour apply it because of the relationship it has with the products they sell, usually used in cafes or chocolate shops.

Brown is also used to provide a natural look in restaurants, it can be combined with green tones to increase the tranquility of the diners.


Orange is a colour that conveys energy, optimism, fun and boldness.

However, it has to be used in subtle shades or neutral colours to avoid giving an impression of superficiality and immaturity.

This colour transmits joy and vitality to customers and can change the mood of diners just by entering the establishment

It also helps to promote conversations between customers, creating new spaces for communication.

Black and grey

The colours black and grey convey strong sensations that can overwhelm your visitors, limiting feelings of joy and tranquillity.

Black is associated with classic, elegance and sophistication. While grey symbolises confidence and maturity.

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When using these colours it is ideal to combine them with strong and neutral colours, according to the concept or theme of your restaurant. This way you can highlight the different areas of the restaurant.


Green symbolises balance, nature, creativity, harmony and relaxation.

By using green in the decoration of your establishment you will make diners relate the business to the sale of healthy, vegetarian or organic food.

In general, spaces with these shades provide a sense of wellbeing and peace.

Exceptions to colour psychology

Red is an intense colour that causes people to have a need for a quick response, so they order the first dish that catches their eye and if it is used on tablecloths people tend to order more food.

If you choose orange you can use it as the main colour, but it must be accompanied by a neutral colour capable of maintaining the positive sensations that this shade brings.

If you open a fast food restaurant, yellow is the right colour to achieve customer turnover in your business, as it is a strong colour that tends to generate pressure on people to leave the place quickly. This way you can serve new diners without them waiting in long lines.

Black and grey cannot be used together without another colour because it causes a feeling of sadness in the diners . That is why it is recommended to use a cheerful colour or to use them as a companion to strong colours so that the customer does not feel uncomfortable.

Importance of colour for restaurants

Each of the colour elements that make up the restaurant in harmony, allow to be more successful in the world of gastronomy and with respect to the competition.

Choosing the right colour palette allows you to highlight some relevant aspects for your client such as:

  • The decision to eat in your restaurant
  • The quick choice of the menu
  • Relaxing inside the establishment while waiting for their dish
  • Enjoying their order
  • Leaving the restaurant with a good impression of the business and being satisfied with the service.

On the other hand, using several strong colours or shades that do not match results in the customer feeling annoyed and uncomfortable, preferring to opt for another restaurant.

In addition to causing sensations in each person, colours work as a marketing strategy

People who go to eat at your restaurant and enjoy the place, the attention and the good service will recommend the business to people close to them so that they can also enjoy an incredible experience just like them.

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