NEW YORK - More restaurants are painting themselves red as the color rises in popularity for restaurant designs, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Red is a sexy color," said Steve Lewis, a partner in Lewis-Dizon, which designed the Darby, a new restaurant.
"More importantly, it€™s a color of power. My perception of the place is that it was going to be a place for those who have already arrived€¦and red is a very good representation of them. It's the Chinese color of luck. The emperor wears red, right?" said Lewis.
While red€™s popularity in the foodservice industry has long roots, the color has experienced a resurgence recently. "In the '70s the color was pink, like a blush; in the '80s it was kind of mustard yellow€¦Now we really get a lot of red," said Clark Wolf, a restaurant consultant. "It started at the higher end because really wealthy communities love Chinese lacquered walls, and these things trickle into the rest of the culture."
Food packaging uses red more than any other color and some color therapist say the color stimulates the appetite. Red also shows up on the popular television series "Mad Men," which in turn is based on 1960s New York.
"We€™re aware of some of the psychological features of red," said Kristina O'Neal, a principal at design company AvroKO. "We have always heard that the most successful restaurants or the top-grossing restaurants feature red in the main dining room. We don't know what's urban myth or fact."