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Feng Shui for Restaurants: Design Tips for Success


Why is it that some restaurants are simply not successful? Have you ever seen a building where there seems to be a different restaurant opening there every few months? I’ve been watching one such building in New York City for several years, and have counted at least four restaurants in the space during that time (this is the latest, above). All are beautifully decorated, and I am sure they have terrific food, yet they just don’t survive. 

So is bad Feng Shui part of the problem? The short answer is “Yes.” In cases like this, a Feng Shui consultation will reveal that the underlying energy of the building is not strong for money and business. So, regardless of how much the owner tries, in certain cases their environment is working against them. A Feng Shui analysis will identify and remedy the problem areas. However, some buildings will still be too weak to support success. (This is why it is important to have a Feng Shui analysis before signing a lease!)

However, in addition to the Feng Shui energy of the building, the interior design of a space can have a strong influence on how successful it will be.

The restaurant at the top of this post is the newest incarnation in the building that I mentioned. While the design is lovely, I do not like the suspended beams overhead (see above). They are hanging by ropes, and while I am sure they are secure, the feeling is precarious. Any design in a building that has a history of being weak for success, such as this one, needs a design that instills comfort and security. 

By comparison, the restaurant below, also in New York, conveys comfort and elegance. Even though it has a glass enclosed wine storage area that projects out over the dining room, it feels securely stabilized. 

When designing restaurants, I always start by determining the best feng shui layout, colors and materials, and then I build them directly into the design, for a subtle but powerful effect. Furthermore, Feng Shui restaurant design takes into consideration balancing of pairs of opposites: such as soft and hard surfaces, bright and dark lighting, and color choices that evoke certain feelings in the diners. If the pairs of opposites are out of balance, it can lead to “dead zones” – areas where diners simply do not want to sit. This can cost a lot of money to restaurant owners, and could even lead to their downfall.

The front door of the restaurant is another important area to design. A Feng Shui consultation can determine the ideal place for the front door – it should be an area with strong energy for fame and success. If changing the front door location is not possible, the door should be designed in the best material and feng shui color to enhance the energy in that particular area. (By the way, red is not always the best color for your door. It varies from building to building.) The goal is to draw people in!


The same is true for the placement of cash registers. It is crucial to ensure they are in areas with strong money energy. I once had a client who asked me to do a consultation of her bar.  I determined that the existing cash register location was in an area with a risk of robbery. Sure enough, she told me that the business had been robbed the year before. We moved the cash register to a much stronger area, and she is now doing so well that she is looking to open a second bar.

So while you might think that good food and a great looking space are key to a successful restaurant, don’t forget the secret ingredient: good Feng Shui!

August 23, 2010   9 Comments