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Restaurant Feng Shui-ing!

Feng Shui Life Mapping on KQED TV

I recently had the honor of being on Check Please Bay Area – a TV show that invites guests on to review their favorite restaurants. The show aired this week on KQED and you can catch my restaurant pick, The Grand Cafe, in the video clip to the left or you can watch the entire 30 minute show on-line here.

The show was fun, but much of my Feng Shui tips did not make the edit… so I thought I’d serve up some Feng Shui tips for making restaurant choices.


Feng Shui tips for Restaurant Picks

An unhappy environment gets cooked right into the food, and while good service can add life to a space, more often than not, waiters will mirror their decor. Here’s what to look for when evaluating the quality of a restaurant from a Feng Shui perspective as well as some suggestions on what to do to fix a situation to ensure you have a pleasant dining and digestive experience:

  • The first thing you see sets the tone. Just as with your home, the first thing you see upon entering a space will either uplift or dampen the energy. A good example of this is at Firewood Cafe here in SF, the first thing you see is their wood-burning oven – a nice touch! If you walk in and are greeted by chaos – prepare to dine and dash – well, pay the bill, but don’t expect to linger!
  • Yin & Yang environment.  Yang has more open space, hard surfaces and bright light – this means you’re being subtly moved along quickly. Yin is more cozy, dark, and soft (table cloths) – this means you’re being invited to stay for a while. Ideally, there will be a balance between the two with the seating area more yin.

Feng Shui Fix: If the environment is too Yang, use your napkin as a placemat (even paper napkins) as this will invite your energy to settle down and your tummy to enjoy the food.

  • Path of Chi. Imagine a strong wind coming in the front door, that wind follows what we call the “path of chi” from the entrance and into the main room. Best case is for there being an entry space like a reception area or a hostess station, or half wall, or even a large fish tank which can all help to soften and guide the chi flow.

Feng Shui Fix: If the door opens directly into the restaurant prepare for a rush of energy while eating. Ask to sit as far from the door as possible and hopefully off to the side of the direct path from the doorway.

  • Back to the door. Having your back to the door is a topic I covered in a previous article, “Feng Shui Tips from my Mafia Grandfather.” The idea is simply this: if you have your back to the door, you can’t see what is coming from behind and won’t be able to fully relax, and in this case, that means you can’t fully enjoy your food or digest it properly.

Feng Shui Fix: If your table requires someone to sit with their back to the door, offer the seat facing the door to your date – this will allow him/her to relax more fully, and place your jacket on the back of your chair to give you a bit of protection – even hanging a napkin off the back of the seat is better than nothing.

  • Check the bathroom!  Nothing speaks louder about how a restaurant appreciates you as a customer than the way they keep their bathroom. If you want to see how it is done right, check out Samovar Tea Lounges – they’ve got it down!  If you’re debating on whether or not to eat somewhere, ask to see their bathroom – if it isn’t nice, the food probably won’t sit right with you either!


Do the Happy Chi Dance

In a good restaurant, the ambience is uplifting and nurturing in a way that allows the staff to be in good spirits and helpful… and the health of the environment will work its way into your food to ensure a good and nourishing meal.



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“Huge difference in how I feel in my space!” – Rachel A

“Huge difference in how I feel in my space!” – Rachel A

Rachel A:

Salvatore is amazing!! I have attended 2 of his workshops on Feng Shui Life Mapping and he has come and feng shui’d my home.  The several small changes in my home he suggested – have made huge differences in how I feel in my space, and in my life, and what I have been wanting and am now creating.  Thank you Salvatore!  You brought fresh air into my life!!

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