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Published on Thursday, February 11, 2016

Five Ways to Punch Up Your Dining Room

A new year is the perfect time to make some subtle - or dramatic! - changes to your restaurant. When it's tie to transition away from the holiday centerpieces and special menu items you've added for the season, why not introduce your patrons to the "new you" with a dining room redesign, or just a few new splashes of color and style.

If you're thinking of making a change but your not sure where to start, consider these tips.

Assess the angles. Take a seat at every table in your dining room. Walk around the room during peak capacity time. Are there spots that seem too tight for patrons and wait staff to navigate? Are any of the tables too close together? Do the hosts say there is always a longer wait time for empty two-seaters than for four-tops? Remember, a dining room needs to put function before style, so change what's necessary to make sure the bones and the flow of the operation are in great shape.

Add flair with fabrics. Take a look at the window treatments you have in the dining room. If they've been up for longer than a year, even with regular cleanings they probably need to be replaced with something that hasn't faded. And address the table linens! A new color scheme for your tablecloths, chargers and napkins can instantly liven up a dining room that had gotten stale and drab.

Take a look at the lighting. Are patrons squinting to read the menus by candlelight you were sure would set just the right mood? Are they wilting under the harsh glare of overhead fluorescents? Inventory the lighting situation and adjust as needed to make sure your guests will be relaxed - but can still read.

Dress up the help. Your servers, bartenders and kitchen staff are the faces of your business, so make sure they are presenting a professional, clean and uniform look by providing new bistro aprons for servers and new chef coats and cook shirts for kitchen staff. Giving your employees a bit of a makeover will make them feel valued and add a touch of sophistication to the room.

Don't forget the front door. Make the best first impression with new logo mats that introduce your restaurant's style and class from the moment patrons walk in the door. And while you're at it, refresh your staff's tired legs with anti-fatigue mats in the kitchen and behind the bar. Their smiles will dress up any dining room.

Spending some time assessing these key areas of your dining room can change the whole vibe, giving your business a jump on the competition in 2016.

A family-owned company founded in 1959, Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply offers restaurant linen services and uniform rentals. Headquartered in Jessup, Pa., Dempsey has a service footprint that spans seven Mid-Atlantic states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. It's $18 million commercial laundry service facility in Jessup has received national recognition for its state-of-the-art, environmentally sound processing systems. Dempsey also has facilities in Sunbury, Harrisburg and Lehigh Valley, Pa., as well as Baltimore, MD.

For more information: www.dempseyuniform.com/linens or call 1-800-378-8060.
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