Tips for a welcoming café

Tips for a welcoming café


Designing your café requires multiple different layers and factors to come together, which creates a space that you, your employees and customers enjoy spending time in. Through designing a welcoming environment, you are encouraging customers to explore and spend time in your café, increasing the numbers of new customers into your café, and improving upon the retention rate for existing customers too.

In this article, we will examine the most important factors to consider when creating a welcoming café, and how they can benefit you and your business.


Understand what kind of café you want to be


There are plenty of options to consider when you begin thinking about how you would like to design your café, such as; your audience, the food and beverage’s you offer, how long you want to spend there and what you want to do with the space you have. These decisions can be more easily made when you define cafes into four sub categories:

  • The old-style café – Best fitted for smaller café designs, this style keeps true to an original vintage style layout. This makes for a relaxed atmosphere with antique features, creating a warm environment that customers can feel very much at home within.

Exaggerate these features with warm earthly and copper tones, mixed with exposed brick work on the walls, or a large antique bookshelf.


  • The grab and go café – More popular amongst corporate chains, these areas include a very limited seating area and a big space for queuing, as these cafes mainly focus on the ‘eat or drink on the go’ features.

Grab and go Cafés have a relatively simple design, with hints of modernist talking points to keep customers engaged whilst waiting for their order.


  • The ‘hangout café’- These cafes are a mix between the old style and grab and go designs previously mentioned. They focus very much on balancing a design between rustic and modern, in terms of their furniture, lighting and colour scheme.

Hangout cafés are often accompanied by one defining vivid colour coupled with subtle earth tones, to set the ambience for the environment.


  • The corporate cafes – In contrast to their name, are cafes which are usually host to the most unique and individual design themes in the industry. These cafes are usually individual or ‘indie’ coffee shops that encompass a variety of themes, from retro and bohemian to modern and sleek. Many of these cafes display a range of colours and textiles, which add to the visual stimulants and create a warmer environment.


An inviting exterior

When designing an inviting café, it is easy to disregard the exterior of your café. However, the exterior is the first impression of your café that any potential customers will receive, and therefore it is essential that the outside looks just as inviting, homely and welcoming as the inside does.

Investing in a dazzling and stand out logo to display on the outside of your café is a really wise choice to make. A well-crafted logo reinforces the idea of high-quality products, whereas an interesting and unique design on both logo and exterior intrigue customer’s, imagination and encourage them into your café.

Creating ambience

Creating the perfect interior for your café depends heavily on getting the ambience right for the design you have. Ambience includes the colour scheme, lighting choices, acoustics and scents that you have incorporated into your café.

  • Colours in your café – Choosing the correct colours for your café is really important, as colours play a big role in human psychology. For example, Red and yellow colours are used excessively in the fast food industry, as they create hunger and impulsive behaviour in customers, which is great for selling food, but not for keeping customers in your café.

Through mixing these colours with more subtle and warm tones, you can create a more relaxing place for your customers to take their time and enjoy their time in your café.


  • Lighting in your café – To create the perfect café environment, stay away from bright and invasive light fittings, and opt for more subtle and dim lighting. This gives off a rustic and homely feel. Providing the right amount of lighting is equally important, as owners want the customers to be able to see their environment with ease, but with reducing the lighting just enough so to give a warm vibe to the atmosphere.


  • Acoustics in your café – Choosing the right volume of music played in your café is very important. Most people come to cafes to relax and catch up with friends or family, so playing heavy metal at full volume, will be a big ‘no’ for the majority of your customers. Through regulating the volume and soundtrack for different periods of the day, you can set the tone for your cafe, according to how busy it is and who Is in your café at any given moment.


  • Scents in your café – Coffee is a naturally enticing scent for many. This is a clear advantage of working within a café, as allowing this scent to gently permeate the interior and the outside of your café, can really help draw people into your café. Make sure that this scent is dispersed sparingly, as too much can be overwhelming and cause headaches or nausea.


If you are looking for more tips on designing or decorating your café, pub or shop, why not check out the rest of the services Lake contracts has to offer on our site, or contact us today, for further information.