When you go out to eat, how do you choose your place of choice? Is it the food? The prices? The location? These considerations are important, but there’s another factor that makes a restaurant stand out: the dining experience.

Restaurant owners need to give customer’s an enjoyable dining experience so they will want to come back. But if they have a poor dining experience, that could haunt a restaurant: According to the 2012 Tork Report, 96 percent of people are somewhat likely to share a complaint about a dining experience with family and friends.

To build repeat business and avoid bad reputations, restaurants need to create an inviting and welcoming space – besides delivering food they want. Below are five tips on how to create the perfect restaurant setting.

1.    Theme: Every restaurant needs a theme. Themes can be based off of things such as location, cuisine or price. Every attribute to the restaurant space must follow the underlying theme. This will create a coordinated look patrons will find appealing.

2.    Lighting: Lighting will create ambience and mood. Make sure every table has some sort of light fixture either above or on the table to ensure that customers will have clear and comfortable vision while dining. A nice centerpiece with a candle is an easy way to create great light presence.

3.    Color: A fresh coat of paint can brighten up any room and enhance all visuals. Create accent walls with different colors to give the room a different look and shape and don’t forget to match the flooring so everything is in unison.

4.    Furniture: Depending on the theme of your restaurant, consider the appropriate furniture. One important piece of furniture is the tables. Whether they are booths, high-tops or round tables, make sure to accent them with tablecloths, center pieces or even pillows to keep customers comfortable.

5.    Customer Service: One factor that can make a restaurant space so successful is the friendly faces that greet and serve customers. Great customer service is essential to having a great restaurant space. Make sure all employees are properly trained in order to give customers the best dining experience.

Read here how chef and owner Renee Erickson keeps her customers coming back to her restaurants.