Posted by VELUX Skylights on January 16, 2023

Skylights in Restaurants

Commercial Design DESIGN AND INSPIRATION Restaurant

The restaurant business is extremely competitive. To give you an idea, in 2022 alone the food service industry amassed almost $900 billion in revenue. But what makes a restaurant worth going to? Think back to your last great dining experience. I am sure it was not just the food that made it memorable. Thriving restaurants have not only great food but also the ability to create great memories with a combination of ambiance and service as well as great food.


I can't tell you how to sear a scallop or please customers from a food service perspective, but I can attest to the impact natural light has on restaurants with some surprising benefits that go beyond just looks. 


Benefits of Natural Light in Restaurants 

Aesthetics or overall ambiance is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the benefits natural light can have on a restaurant. The restaurant industry is extremely competitive, often times it's not enough to just have good food. Skylights are a great way to bring life to the front of the house with the natural light they bring in.  


An increase in performance and productivity can be directly linked to increased natural light throughout the day. Daylighting has been associated with improved mood, enhanced morale, less fatigue, and reduced eyestrain (Robbins, 1986). Many studies show that the performance and productivity of workers in offices, industrial, and retail environments can increase with the quality of light. Companies have recorded an increase in productivity of their employees of about 15% after moving to a new building with better daylight conditions which resulted in considerable financial gains (Edwards and Torcellini, 2002). 


Ventilation from a skylight can play a key role in overall cleanliness when it comes to the back of the house of a restaurant. If you have ever worked in a restaurant you're very familiar with the stale, hot, and smelly air that can accumulate in the kitchen. All of the cooking smells and people working in tight quarters can make for quite a funky overall odor. Venting skylights are a great way to expel all of those harmful airborne toxins that accumulate on the ceiling. Think about it: skylights are able to expel hot air and moisture as it rises to the top making for a fresher-smelling work environment in the kitchen without having to rely on expensive electric fans. 


Design Inspiration 

Figuring out where to put a skylight in a restaurant is best left to the professionals, but here is some inspiration to get an idea of how beautiful a skylight can be in a restaurant.


Skylight in Restaurant Collage



Edwards, L., Torcellini, P. (2002) A Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.
Robbins, C. L. (1986) Daylighting Design and Analysis, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.