The 1 Color to Never use Around Food.

The 1 Color to Never use Around Food.

We’re working on a branding project right now and our client asked some interesting questions about color. As I’ve learned through graduating from a Color Psychology Institute (who heavily tests colors) certain colors illicit various emotions and reactions.

It’s no secret that I love food. I also enjoy trying new restaurants. Often I have to go quickly, since the restaurants rarely stays open longer than a few months. They seem to fail faster than any other business. I’ve seen statistics like a 96% failure rate. It’s scary.

Some of the things that scream “This Restaurant is going to fail” are:

  • Signage looks homemade. They’re hand-painted and busy. Or overly simple. Cheap-looking banners that seem like their kids painted them. Professionalism sells! Cheap says “we don’t know how long before we go bankrupt; so we don’t want to waste money on signs or marketing.”
  • Wild Specials. It never fails, as soon as a restaurant doesn’t get traffic, it starts to have crazy, spur-of-the-moment specials. People standing with signs at lunch time. Random, too-good-to-be-true specials that still don’t bring people in.
  • Generic within its ethnicity. Often Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants have the same look, feel, and menu as the restaurant down the street. Nothing sets it apart. It’s the same old, same old. It’s not known for anything.
  • Bad service. I don’t care how good the food; if the service is bad; the people will stop coming. Of course the proper mix is to have good food AND good service.
  • Blue walls, logos, menus, etc. Blue should never be used around food. It actually creates an adverse reaction. God didn’t make blue food (even blueberries aren’t really blue); so we sub-consciously disconnect it from good food. Brown, interestingly enough makes food taste sweeter (think chocolate).

Basically, professionals have formulas to connect good food with an audience. It’s not for the faint at heart. It’s always worthwhile to have good professional help.

1 Comment
  • Mark

    I should have pointed out that Seafood Restaurants can get away with using blue. When used with seafood, blue connotes a “Fresh from the sea” feel.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm