The grind is real. Your restaurant might have an edge today, but how do you stay on top?
As a restaurant owner or manager, plants benefit and elevate your space in a number of ways. Leverage biophilic design, it’s trending. Use plants to make an instagram-worthy visual statement to improve social media metrics. Plants can reduce noise and improve acoustics. Plants as art: use plants to create textural interest, inject color, or soften your space. Align with the local movement by growing herbs in-house for your chef or bartender.
Let’s talk local first:
Align with the local movement
People go crazy for local. There’s nothing more urban farm-to-table than growing right in the restaurant. Right in front of them. They can see it growing, maybe it’s even on their table.
And don’t worry that it has to take up a lot of space. It could be as simple as a row of herbs growing on a shelf. Or a little jar with some basil growing on each table. Or a living plant wall, taking up no floor space at all.
Your bartenders and chefs can garnish their creations with a sprig of truly local herbs. Now that’s conversational capital: something worth talking about.
Biophilic design is trending
Just look at the google trend graph for ‘biophilic’.
People are increasingly realizing they really like plants. Businesses are responding by increasing the amount of greenery: living walls, planters, and plants of all kind are on the rise.
A major trend over the last few hundred years has been urbanization. People moving out of rural areas, away from nature, and into cities. Biophilic design turns this on its head by bringing nature inspired design back into cities.
It’s an easy trend to capitalize on at a wide range of budgets. We have a deep primal connection with nature, so when this trend levels out, it’s here to stay.
Biophilic designs have a huge number of psychological and physical health benefits. You can increase employee engagement, help them be more productive and attentive, and they’ll be more likely to keep coming back. The same goes for customers.
Plants increase Instagrammability
Does your restaurant demographic include millennials?
If millennials find the aesthetics and visual impact of a vacation spot this important, wouldn’t it be reasonable for them to find the same qualities important In a restaurant? Instagrammability is the most important factor millennials consider when choosing vacation spots.
A restaurant is a micro-holiday.
A holiday from washing dishes.
A holiday from eating the same thing again and again.
When people have new experiences, they like to share them.
Content generation is increasing at a rapid rate. Plants can help you position your restaurant for easy visual content generation. Now that’s money well spent.
Increase your Instagrammability
- Create a unique space that people want to share.
- Do something visually bold, add interesting props or backdrops
- Light the perfect shot: modify your lighting to give people easy shots
Aesthetics: Plants as art
There is something really pleasing about designs where form follows function. Plants are the crown jewels of this principle. Eons of evolutionary refinement have left us with the plants we’re surrounded by today.
Plants have a natural symmetry. Symmetry is an important component of beauty. For plants as well as people, symmetry is a proxy for health. Space don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical. But they feel right when there’s an element of balance.
Balance can be between textures, tones, positive and negative space, and many other things. Plants are useful tools to modify a space, and they come in a wide range.
Consider a huge exotic like a Monstera Deliciosa, a Canna, or an Elephant’s ear if you want a plant with a lot of visual weight. They’ll attract attention, provide a visual barrier, and they’re almost a one stop jungle.
Or if you’re looking to start small, golden pothos is the tried and tested go-to. Just don’t water it too much.
And finally, they soften a space. The round curves, the repetition with slight variation. The different sizes of leaves, all a play on the same shape. Through all these effects they soften a space visually, but they also do so acoustically.
Even with great food, diners might not return if noise levels are high and they can’t have a conversation. Dining at a restaurant is an immersive sensory experience, and sound is very important.
Noise is the second most common restaurant complaint, after bad service.
Plants improve acoustics by reducing reverberation time and dampening the air vibrations that are sound.
Living walls are particularly effective at improving acoustics as they cover larger areas, are very plant dense, and are in a good geometry for sound control.
And, as they grow over time, the acoustics just get better and better.
Your clients and employees will subconsciously appreciate the initiative to bring plants into the environment. They’ll come back again and again.
Dip your toes by introducing potted herbs, or go for a living plant wall to make an instagram-worthy statement. If you’re looking to take your restaurant to the next level, leverage:
- Urban farming: Offer a component of your dishes or drinks that’s truly local.
- Biophilia: Design with nature in mind through.
- Plants as Design: Improve aesthetics.
- Absorb sound: Improve acoustics.
- Instagrammability: Make your space easy to share on social media, and they will.
I’m Alex Lafreniere. I learned a lot about plants when I built and operated a landscaping company. But, there’s always more to learn. Ever since travelling across the world, I’ve wanted to find ways to bring more tropical and exotic plants into my life. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned with you.
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