Colores y restaurantes

Food & colours – Part II



Colourimetry for restaurants can be a determining factor in the success of a gastronomic business. Did you know that there are colours that whet the appetite or that influence the comfort of customers?

The success of an interior is not determined by the predominant colour, but by how the target customer reacts to that colour. Restaurant interior colours act on customers’ feelings, stimulating sensations that influence their behaviour (increasing their appetite) and their mood (making them feel comfortable or uncomfortable).

As such, colours must be carefully and deliberately selected so that they can align correctly with the key message and emotions you want to convey in a piece (we don’t want to use a colour that evokes “hate” when our message is one of “love”, for example).


InOutStudio_Kai La Caleta_30

Kai Restaurant design by Nayra Iglesias – [email protected]


Light-coloured floors in shops help to make them appear larger, while darker-coloured floors create more intimate and secluded environments.

Large areas of white and grey produce boredom and even anxiety in prolonged doses, while fiery reds or oranges are capable of accelerating the heart rate of those who look at them.

Whites have a multitude of shades that are normally grouped into cool or warm tones, i.e. with bluish or grey reflections as opposed to yellowish reflections.

In general, neutral colours, greys, blacks and whites are a good base as they combine well with all of them and provide balance, stability, cleanliness, etc.

They can be used as a counterpoint to corporate colours. A good tip is to use a single predominant colour or two at the most.


Colores y restaurantes

Colourimetry for restaurants by Nayra Iglesias


If you ever thought that almost all restaurants use red in some form or shade in their design scheme, well, you’re not imagining it. It is a well-established fact that red is the most effective colour for stimulating appetite.

Why is this? Red is abundant in nature, and the brain’s reptilian response is a remnant from the days when our ancestors were still hunters and gatherers. Red, especially bright reds, would generally indicate energy-rich, sugar-filled fruits or vegetables.

Colores y restaurantes

Colourimetry for restaurants by Nayra Iglesias


Kai Restaurant design by Nayra Iglesias – [email protected]



Green and turquoise are mild stimulants. You could argue that green should be a strong stimulant because many leafy vegetables are green, and you would be partly right. Green indicates edible, benign, non-poisonous plants. However, these plants are merely fibrous, not full of sugar like most colourful fruits, which provide a jolt of energy.

These days, green is also associated with health. This is not surprising, given that, again, most green things are fibrous and have no sugar.


Colores y restaurantes

Colourimetry for restaurants by Nayra Iglesias


Kai Restaurant design by Nayra Iglesias – [email protected]


Finally, black, brown, purple and blue are appetite suppressants. Research suggests that this is because these colours do not exist in nature, i.e. not in the form of food.

Long ago, blue, black and purple also indicated something that was rotten or poisonous, something our ancestors learned to avoid with their eyes. Like our brain’s response to red, orange and yellow, this too is a remnant of those days.


Colores y restaurantes

Colourimetry for restaurants by Nayra Iglesias


Chelsea Bistro_08

Hospitality design by Nayra Iglesias – In Out Studio | [email protected]


When combining colours, keep the colour circle in mind. You can make combinations by looking for contrasts with opposite or complementary colours of the circle or look for harmonies with colours that are close to each other.

The choice of colour can respond to different needs:

  • To reinforce the corporate style
  • To improve the lighting of a space
  • To visually enlarge or reduce a space
  • To convey certain sensations
  • Facilitate the perception of the products on display
  • The theory of colour combination provides us with a pattern that will guide us in the appropriate choice of colour palette.

Knowing the basic patterns, we acquire the knowledge to then experiment with the possible variations.


Restaurantes Bistro Colonial

Restaurant design by Nayra Iglesias – In Out Studio | [email protected]


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