The Power of Colour in Restaurant Advertising

Do you know that eyes are responsible for 83% of received information, from which 80% is colour. This means that we receive almost 70% of all information from colour.

It is not surprising that in recent years, scientists, marketers and business people have begun to study the effect of colour on human perception, in other words, the power of colour.

Why is it profitable for businesses to turn to research about the power of colour?

  • The choice of colour in window dressing doesn’t influence the cost of design work (the cost of black and red signboards will be the same).
  • The use of a particular colour in advertising and interior design has a huge impact on the revenue and profit in the restaurant.

The choice of colour depends on the place where you will use it: on the signboard, counters, flags, posters, in advertising or interior design of your restaurant. It is important to determine the main goals that you are going to achieve with the power of colour.

Why is red used on signboards, stands, posters, and billboards?

Красный цвет фасада кафе издалека привлекает взгляды прохожих

Red colour of the cafe facade attracts attention of passers-by from a distance

  • Red has the longest wavelength among all light waves visible to the human eye. Therefore, red is well visible even from a distance. So it should be used where it is necessary to draw attention: on signs, billboards, stands and posters informing about discounts.
  • It has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, speeds up heart rate, breathing, and increases blood pressure. Red restaurant colour makes people leave fast, since it is difficult for people to look at this colour for a long time. This is advantageous, for example, in fast food restaurants.
  • It stimulates the stomach and intestines, whets the appetite.

Owners of fast-food restaurants often choose this colour in the interior so that customers will eat faster and leave tables for new guests.

However, the power of colour has a downside.

  • As the red colour stimulates the nervous system, people get tired quickly. So, they cannot stay in red rooms for a long time. Of course, they order and eat quicker but also leave quicker. Therefore, red restaurant colour will not bring high profits to food-serving establishments aimed at long-term pastime of guests.
  • Consultants do not use red in the design of their workplace. People who get consultations in a red room are restless and inattentive.
  • Red is associated with fear, blood and pain. Therefore, it shouldn’t be used in the interior of pharmacies.
  • Red gives a feeling of warmth and heat. Consequently, it is desirable to use this colour in winter.

Why do bars use red for interior design?

  • It makes people feel agitated.
  • It whets the appetite.
  • When people drink alcohol the perception of red colour increases and they feel even more hungry.

However, there is a drawback: red makes people aggressive and uncontrollable. So you should think about design of the bar carefully. It is best to make high partitions between tables.

Why is orange used in sports shops and restaurants?

Оранжевый цвет используют в оформлении недорогих заведений питания

Orange is used in inexpensive food-serving establishments

It is good to use orange in everything that relates to sport because it cheers up and improves mood. This color is suitable for sports shops, shelves with sports nutrition and sports bars.

Orange whets the appetite and it is therefore used in food-serving establishments.

However, orange looks cheap. Therefore, it is advantageous to use this colour where you need to emphasize the low cost of goods or services. Expensive products on orange shelves or in orange interior do not sell. You should also remember that using this colour too much makes people irritated.


Why is pink used in cosmetics departments and children’s shops and cafes?

Розовый цвет хорошо использовать в дизайне помещений детских кафе

Pink is good to use in interior design of children’s cafes

Pink suppresses adrenaline and relieves nervous excitement. It gives people a sense of security. It is good to use this colour in interior design and in the staff’s uniform in such places as pharmacies and hospitals. It is also associated with tenderness, so it is used in children’s cafes, shops and playgrounds.

Pink is used in cosmetics departments in the US as people associate it with youth. Also it is used in pharmacies, because it gives a sense of comfort.

However, you shouldn’t use pink on shelves with dietary products because its closeness to red increases appetite. Dietary products and everything associated with them must be drawn up in blue.

Why is yellow used in shops for young people?

Yellow stimulates brain activity: willingness to learn, imagination and concentration increase. It accelerates reaction and perception. Yellow gives a sense of light and energy, so it is advantageous to use this colour in interior design for young people. Yellow is good to use in cafe or restaurant design if your main customers are young people.

However, yellow makes adult women feel uncomfortable. In Europe and Asia this colour is associated with death.

Yellow (like orange) is associated with low prices. It is good for price tags for products sold with a discount and in design of shelves with essential goods. This price tag can make women feel uncomfortable, but it emphasizes low cost of goods.

Why is green used in places where healthy products and vitamins sell?

Green is in the rainbow centre. Scientists say that it has a good balance, so it appeals to many people.

  • Relieves stress
  • Gives a feeling of comfort
  • Removes eye fatigue
  • Relieves headache

Therefore, green is often used in interior design of places related to health and leisure. Green design is suitable for pharmacies, cafes in sports centres, fruit and vegetable shops.

However, green gives the impression of vagueness and uncertainty.

Why is blue used in pharmacies?

Blue is the favorite colour in the world.

  1. Relieves tension, normalizes pulse and blood pressure, calms breathing and reduces the temperature. Blue is recommended to use in shops where products for health sell.
  2. According to psychologists, blue is associated with intelligence, precision, honesty, purity and freshness.
  3. It gives the impression of coolness and freshness, therefore it is recommended to use this colour in design of places selling drinks and ice cream.

However, blue is not recommended to use in winter because it can make people feel uncomfortable. In addition, it reduces the appetite, so the use of this colour in design of shelves with food products and in restaurants reduces sales.

Why is purple used in cosmetics departments and places offering to spend a comfortable leisure time?

  • Relieves stress
  • Calms down

Ill and depressed people perceive purple as a beautiful colour. Therefore this colour is used in design of places related to health.

However, different people perceive purple in different ways. Some consider it as intelligent, royal and rich. Others – as vulgar, cheap and strange. In addition, it reduces the appetite, respectively, this colour of a restaurant or a grocery shop will not bring high profits.

Why is white used in laboratories, uniform and interior design?

The ability to reflect rays makes white the brightest of all colours. Thus, it is used for light amplification. White gives the impression of cleanliness, so it is used in uniform where it is necessary to emphasize sterility (hospitals, grocery stores, laboratories).

Many think white is too beautiful and inapproachable what results in inferiority complex. That is why most clinics around the world use pink or beige so that patients could easily establish contact with the hospital staff. These colours are trustworthy and facilitate a friendly conversation.

Why is black used in expensive restaurants?

Чёрный цвет ресторана подчёркивает его высокое качество и стоимость

Black colour of the restaurant highlights the high quality and prices

Black gives the impression of dignity, majesty and high quality. Therefore, it is often used for facades and signboards in expensive restaurants and shops.

When people see black, they subconsciously think the place is expensive. If your customer is a rich person, this colour of the restaurant facade will attract visitors and increase profits.

Black is not suitable for interior design in restaurants as it slows down functions of human organs and, therefore, reduces the appetite.



Warm and cool colours

Warm colours (red, orange, yellow) make the object visually closer and larger. Letters decorated in these colours seem thicker and larger. Therefore, it is recommended to use warm colours in advertising.

Cool colours give a feeling of depth and remoteness. They should be used to expand and increase the space visually, for example for painting walls and ceilings.

Perception of time depends on the colour

Colour affects perception of time. Warm colours raise blood pressure, quicken the pulse and breathing. If you are in a place decorated in warm colours, time flies. Therefore, you should use warm colours in places where you need to sell quickly (discounts) or serve fast (fast food restaurants), as well as in a buffet or in a cafe.

Cool colours calm people down and the time spent in a room decorated in these colours flows slowly. These colours are good to use where people should select items in a calm and careful manner, for example in pharmacies and expensive shops.

How does colour influence perception of temperature?

Depending on the colour people perceive temperature with a difference of 3 degrees. There are colours that make people feel warm and those that give a sense of coolness.

Colours depending on the perception of warmth:

Red -> orange -> yellow -> green -> purple -> black -> blue

To attract customers in winter it is recommended to create signboards and shop interior in warm colours and in summer – in cold ones. To keep the number of customers at the same level within a year the Japanese combine cold and warm colours on shop signboards.

Influence of colour on the perception of weight

The same objects decorated in different colours seem different in weight.

Researchers carried out an experiment:

Boxes of the same weight (100 g) and size were decorated in different colours. The research subjects were asked to identify their approximate weight. When they were asked what the lightest box was, all subjects responded that the white one.

The results of the weight peception were the following:

  • white box – 100 g
  • yellow box – 113 g
  • yellow-green box – 132 g
  • blue box – 152 g
  • red box – 176 g
  • purple box – 184 g
  • black box – 187 g

The experiment shows that black objects are perceived 2 times heavier than white ones.

Brightness of colour is very important

Objects of light and bright colours seem light, dark ones seem heavy. This characteristic  of colours is used in supermarket design. Dark packages are put at the bottom so that people could examine goods in a comfortable way. Light packages are placed on the upper shelves.

The power of colour

Every colour affects people in a different way. You should choose colours for the interior and facade based on your business goals. It is also important to consider what you are decorating and for what purpose: a signboard or a billboard to attract attention, a shop counter to increase sales of goods or interior for the comfort of your customers.

The right restaurant colour scheme will contribute to the success of your business.

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