Combating staff shortages and rising costs with interior design – yes, it can be done!

Rising costs are having a crippling effect on businesses and individuals across every sector in every industry.

This matched with the 2020 reports from the Chamber of Commerce that reported that 76% of businesses are facing difficulties filling staff vacancies, and over half of businesses currently reporting that they are operating below full capacity, means looking ahead almost seems too bleak to think about.

However, changing the interior design of a venue can address the challenges many face today.

By creating spaces that meet customer needs and demands and by taking your customer on a journey, providing a unique and memorable experience with your brand, you can ensure they return time and time again—helping you to not only create a sustainable brand but increase your profit margins along the way.

At Black Ivy Design, we’ve used these challenging times to look at more creative ways to combat staff shortages and rising costs, all through intelligent interior design, and we want to share our top tips with you.

Create memorable brand identities 

The focus is changing your space and creating a visual identity that truly sets you apart from your competition. When your customer walks into your venue, they immediately understand your brand’s values and vision; it is what they expected and so much more.

We would advise that you incorporate and design different spaces within your venue (i.e., a different

waiting area, a different feeling when you move to the bar, a different experience when you’re sitting and having a meal etc.) allowing you to create different environments based on your customers’ expectations.

Creating stunning and comfortable experiences so customers will not only keep coming back but also recommend you to others.

For employees changing spaces can also improve productivity, supporting motivation and well-being.

Reconfigure `till you get it right

With the rising costs of running venues and keeping your employees happy, it’s time to get creative and reconfigure layouts to improve the functionality and efficiency of your hospitality space.

Working with a professional interior designer lets you cleverly and creatively examine traffic flow around and through your venue. This can significantly impact wait times and greatly improve the customer experience.

Reconfiguration matched with varying textures, shapes, focal points such as feature walls, and bar spaces that incorporate natural resources such as tiles and even natural clay to give a rustic yet contemporary vibe, all help to improve the flow around the venue and the ambiance, telling a story that captures your customers and entices them to stay longer.

This improvement in wait times, matched with increased operational efficiency, can improve profit margins while reducing energy and maintenance costs.

Set the mood with the right lighting

A great energy-saving tip is to use natural light as much as possible. If you have large expansive windows, don’t hide them away. They can still be used for advertising, and you can keep security levels high with protective film – the aim is to maximise natural light exposure internally.

Look to remove artificial lighting and create an environment that bolsters creativity, speaks to your brand, and incorporates products and sustainable design elements that reduce energy costs, such as energy-efficient lights and sensor lighting.

It’s also appropriate to note that circadian lighting is growing in popularity across many venues as it supports customers’ well-being and feeling of calm.

Oversized lighting, as well as bringing the `wow` factor, can also positively affect the customer experience and, if appropriate, should be highly considered.

Introduce digital-friendly features

As digital continues to move at pace, introducing certain technologies into design can reduce costs and support businesses when faced with staff shortages.

For example, introducing QR codes in restaurants and bars, ordering on the app instead of table service, self-check-in at hotels, charging stations for electronic devices, and more.

However, it’s important that these features also `fit` with the atmosphere you’re trying to create and positively impact your customer’s experience.

By improving the experience, you will see an increase in customer satisfaction which boosts loyalty, attracts new customers, increases footfall, and makes it easier for you to retain staff.

Awaken the senses

Promoting wellness and introducing natural designs and green spaces can inspire employees and appeal to customers two-fold.

Introducing greenery, and natural elements, mixed with the right lighting and even the right smells, can connect you with your customer in a way that speaks to your brand values. In addition, connecting with your customer on an emotional level plays a significant part in brand loyalty.

Think about colour psychology; what do you want your customers and staff to do, feel, and remember?

Scents can also influence how people feel and behave; they can affect what people think and more.

Of course, music must also be considered as part of your interior design, complementing the look and feel of the venue, inviting customers in, and creating an environment where they want to stay.

The focus is on boosting productivity and motivation, and this emotional connection can also encourage employees to develop their skills with you in-house, where you not only gain the advantage of a highly skilled workforce but also avoid the rising costs of onboarding new employees.

Think sustainability

Your interior design must incorporate everything, and we mean everything. From the reconfiguration of furniture to large art displays and feature walls to the smaller design elements such as menus and even cutlery.

Enhancing your visual brand, including these intricacies of interior design, leads to customer loyalty and increased productivity, all leading to increased revenue.

Moreover, with rising costs across all products, opting for more sustainable materials now will be crucially beneficial in the long run. Opting for items that are eco-friendly and non-toxic, it’s also chic to take on the repair, not replace mantra, with upcycling growing in popularity and adding character and charisma to venues.

Black Ivy Design

Creating memorable brand identities, improving functionality and efficiency, and using clever design to save on operational costs and retain top talent is what good interior design can offer you.

Fostering growth, innovation, and productivity, we work collaboratively with venues throughout the design process to understand your needs, goals, and objectives.

We help venues understand the space’s capabilities, creating environments that support businesses to look forward with determination and drive to support staff shortages and rising costs, all while creating experiences that your customers never forget.

For further help and advice, call us at 02475 227 623 or email [email protected].