Bad restaurant lighting a big turn-off for customers



Poor restaurant lighting in the UK is driving away customers, according to a new survey.

The OnePoll study surveyed 1,500 people across the UK for energy company Npower and found that nearly a third of respondents (29%) have walked out of a restaurant or bar because of bad lighting, where it was either too bright or too dim.

Our work with a wide range of brands in the hospitality sector supports this finding. We have seen how important it is to work closely with hotels, restaurants and pubs and help to guide them to the best choices in any lighting retrofit.

The quality of light from the best LED fittings and lamps makes the difference between getting it right and making an expensive, customer-unfriendly mistake.

We always trial a range of LED solutions in any setting to ensure that the light quality is just right, complementing and enhancing the overall design and ambience of any property.

Our LED lighting retrofits with leading hospitality brands Carlson Rezidor and Ralph Trustees, owners of The Grove, The Athenaeum and The Runnymede luxury hotels have been very focused on the quality, consistency and durability of light.

Lighting is about emotion as well as visibility and the research, conducted in June, also highlighted just how important lighting is for pubs and restaurants looking to attract love-struck customers. Some 88% say that lighting in venues such as pubs or restaurants would affect how much they enjoy a date or romantic meal.

Nearly three-quarters (715) said lighting is an important consideration when picking a venue for a date, above price (66%) and music (53%).

Good lighting increases the chance of customers returning to a venue and with 87% stating they would pick a venue they have been to before for a date, establishments who get their lighting wrong may lose some customers forever.

Rachel Vincent, head of customer service for small business at Npower, says, “We can probably all think of an occasion that has been spoiled by a restaurant or bar not getting the ambience right and lighting is a crucial part of that. Our research shows how damaging bad lighting can be to the success of a business.

“For this reason, business owners need to think about more than just their menus or location. Ambience is vital to securing new customers and getting old ones to return. By simply altering the light output, adding candles or changing the bulbs, businesses can set the right tone as well as lower their energy bills and consumption – a win-win for all.”

We’d support this view, adding that it is really important to work with a trusted expert lighting partner who can guide businesses through the tricky terrain of retrofits, avoiding the pitfalls and expensive wrong choices. 

In our experience, the most common mistake companies make is to assume that LED choices are simple. It actually takes some time and experience to choose and trial the right products. This is time well spent because ensures an optimum LED solution that not only provides the best lighting but also delivers energy savings of up to 90%.

Mark Sait is managing director of energy-saving specialists He is among the speakers at Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Sustainable September conference, which you can find out more about here.

Photo: Gerhard Hollisch via Free Images

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Further reading:

Energy efficiency helps households battle rising utility costs

Sustainability and the worrying consumer-company gap

7,000 businesses compelled to report energy use and potential energy saving strategies

Commercial property sector faces £29bn green refurbishment bill

Connected lighting: the smart revolution


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