Daousser Chennoufi, chairman of Draw Link Group, shares the design factors that play a role in shaping customer behavior at an F&B outlet

Today, restaurants aren’t just about food: they must offer a unique dining environment and an enjoyable guest experience. Lighting, music, artwork and the design theme have a direct impact on the mood of a guest, influencing how long they will spend in a restaurant and how much food and beverage they will consume.


Appropriate lighting creates the right accents on furniture and objects in a space. Bright lights can shorten the duration of time spent in a restaurant, while dimmed lighting can make the atmosphere more comfortable and relaxed, thereby encouraging guests to stay longer.

Furniture is a crucial aspect of interior design, with comfort and functionality of more importance to the customer than visual shape. Our experience shows that the majority of restaurant guests would prefer softer and taller furniture. Additionally, there is a direct link between furniture preferences and the climate. In cooler countries, customers prefer warm upholstery, while in warmer climates, they tend to favour materials such as leather.

Another important consideration when it comes to furniture is creating the right spacing between tables: a lack of space can reduce intimacy, while too much space will make guests feel like they are on show. Colour must be used carefully as it can stimulate the senses and is psychologically linked to smell and appetite. For example, red and yellow are appetite stimulators, which explains why they are commonly used in fast food chains. Colour can also impact space perception, with dark shades making a space look smaller, thereby creating a more personal and intimate feel.

Crucially, the interiors must complement the dining concept, and this is influenced by market trends. For example, today there is a tendency towards smart luxury and informal dining, and customers therefore prefer modern venues with a casual, social atmosphere, rather than high-end venues. Finally, while interior design is the most important factor for adding value to a customer’s experience, the restaurant’s exterior should not be ignored, since this creates the first and last impression.

Daousser Chennoufi is chairman of Draw Link Group, the umbrella company of Draw Link Interior Link Architecture, Draw Link Project and Draw Link Technical Works. Headquartered in Dubai, the company has offices in Qatar, Tunisia, Belarus and Shanghai. Chennoufi previously founded Trans Dazz Interior Design and Concept Showroom in Dubai, and headed up the design and concept development of HUES Hotels & Resorts.