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How to Select the Best Artwork For Your Restaurant

Learn from art consultant Sy Kraft about how to elevate the dining experience through art.

My name is Sy Kraft.  I have over 20 years of overall creative strategy and planning for interior spaces, brand start-ups and overall networking connections to make projects the best I can be.  Born NYC, raised in LA with stints living and working in Austin, London and Cancun.  I also open restaurants and work on commercial, mixed-use and residential projects overall.  Currently living in North Hollywood, California and an adjunct professor at FIDM LA (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising)

You can learn more about Sy on his Website or @sinkconsulting or @globalcuratorsinc

Why is having art inside a restaurant important?

Restaurant art serves a few purposes.  First, it really frames the overall concept of the experience.  The food in combination with the concept and art makes for a transporting experience that many are looking for no matter what your taste buds are craving.  Holistic experiences are of utmost importance and keep patrons coming back.  Second, art serves as a talking point for staff and for word of mouth.  Again, it sets the stage for the overall vibe and substantiates the price point more often than not.

Curation of an art package or even a single piece of work or sculpture is more than picking a range or work from a mass seller.  Art is a reflection of you (if something for the home) and of the brand in larger spaces. Shows you care, are thinking more of the big picture and has the range of viewership in mind.  This goes a long way.  If work is for your personal collection or for the masses, it should be memorable and evoke a feeling.

Tips for selecting artwork in...

Luxury dining

Here you want to be sure the work works well the the lighting, furniture and imagination of the food presentation and overall vibe.  Again, it is all about the experience.  From an outdoor brunch to a luxury steakhouse, you want work that either vibes or intentionally contrasts.  It is a well thought out strategy that take place from the very early planning stages of the concept and build out.


Fast-casual dining

Due to the lower price point, a chain can justify a bit higher pricing if the art and "staging" is on point.  Think about Benihana or P.F. Chang's.  It's a culture based environment.  Even El Torito.  These aren't the Nobu's of the world but they are also not the Panda Expresses of the world either.

Fast or Take-out

Again, it's all about the vibe.  In N' Out is California classic.  El Pollo Loco is all about family and authenticity.  Taco Bell is innovative and bit off the wall!  The art choice should reflect the brand 100% at all touchpoints.  This includes the to go packaging, TV commercials and even the kid's meals!

Bars & Drinking Establishments

Bars are one of my favorite spaces to work on.  You can really push the selections of art and not have to appeal to the masses as much.  It can be curated, edgy and the theme concept options are so vast, it's a blast finding the perfect matches to make how you feel a few hours in the best it can be!  All about talking points here and really setting the stage for a great time and a space you want to frequent as a customer.

My closing thoughts

Any interior designer of any space should never underestimate the importance of art and the impact it makes on the experience.  All aspects have to work together, but if a customer isn't feeling their environment, it can fail.  Art can stave off a bad night in the kitchen or enhance a beautiful meal.  SINK Consulting exists to help designers fulfill their vision. We are a compliment to any project, but always available to help concept the whole thing from inception!

Sometimes art drives the entire project!  

Sy Kraft - Art for Dining ExperiencesSy Kraft - Art for Dining ExperiencesSy Kraft - Art for Dining ExperiencesSy Kraft - Art for Dining Experiences
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