Daylight & Dining

A restaurant’s lighting plays a key role in how a customer feels during their meal; and how a customer feels will impact how they perceive the quality of both the food and the facility as well as whether or not they will return. For restaurants that specialize in sit-down dinners, dim artificial lighting helps to set the mood for a more intimate dining experience where customers are more likely to eat slower and stay longer. For other types of eateries like cafes and diners that operate primarily during daylight hours, natural lighting is the best way to create a bright, buoyant atmosphere where customers can come to wake up and leave feeling refreshed. Restaurants with a greener or more nutritious menu may also benefit from natural lighting as customers tend to feel healthier and eat healthier in naturally lit environments.

When bringing natural light into an eating area, however, even the choice between transparent and translucent glazing is a critical one and can have a dramatic affect on the overall ambiance of the space. While a transparent daylighting solution like Major’s Auburn® glass skylights may be great for those morning eateries where warm sunlight and unencumbered views of the sky are the perfect way to start the day, there are other locations and situations where a translucent option may be more suitable. Translucent solutions like Major’s Guardian 275® translucent panel or IlluminPC™ polycarbonate systems offer an excellent alternative to glass in situations where a hot midday sun might interfere with lunch and create an uncomfortable environment for customers who find themselves in a hot spot or are forced to squint in order to see. With a translucent option, restaurant goers can relax and eat comfortably under soft, diffused daylight no matter the time of day. To learn more, check out our Retail & Hospitality Daylighting Design Guide.

Images (from left to right): The Prisoner Wine Company – St Helena, CA (Cesar Rubio Photography), Monroe Restaurant – Albuquerque, NM (Matt o Photography), The Hub – Salt Lake City, UT (Martin van Hemert Photography, Inc)