The restaurant industry is ever changing. Between advancements in technology and shifts in cultural preferences, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in food service. What shifts has 2020 brought restaurant owners in terms of restaurant design and decor? We’ve broken down the latest design and decor trends into both larger concepts and smaller design elements below.

Larger Concepts

restaurant lockers

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Separate Waiting & Ordering Areas

The growth of delivery services like Uber Eats and Grubhub has spawned a wealth of new business for restaurant owners who are now able to cater beyond individuals that step into the physical restaurant space. For restaurants with thriving ordering systems, it can be a burden for both the restaurants and the delivery staff to have to deal with the constant traffic of delivery men and women in the restaurant space. That is precisely why more restaurants are starting to build separate sections for delivery drivers to easily come and pick up items without adding increased congestion.

communal dining

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Communal Dining

It used to be that communal dining was almost exclusively reserved for hibachi dinners at Japanese restaurants. However, communal tables and spaces are becoming increasingly popular at more restaurants looking to offer unique social dining atmospheres. Communal dining layouts also help to maximize the amount of available dining space so that restaurants can further increase profits.

rooftop restaurant

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Rooftop Dining Spaces

Rooftop dining has always been popular in larger cities with highrises that span multiple stories, but good bird’s eye views aren’t just reserved for the urban jungles of the world. Many diners enjoy eating outside and an elevated position (even just one story up) gives individuals the opportunity to have even more to gaze at. If your location has roof access and you can obtain the proper permits to build on your roof, it’s likely a worthwhile investment to transform your roof into a dining space. Outdoor patio heaters and dome igloos are allowing restaurant owners to leave their rooftops open for business all year round, even in colder climates.

Shipping Container Restaurant

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Shipping Container Properties

Shipping container homes made waves in the residential world and sparked an equal amount of inspiration in the commercial development sphere. While not really much cheaper to develop with (and sometimes actually more expensive), the industrial look of shipping containers brings a unique feel to any space. Many restaurants around the country are capitalizing on the shipping container trend to provide unique dining experiences for customers. Cities like Detroit even have dedicated shipping container food halls.

Open Kitchen Floors & Plans

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Open Kitchens & Floor Plans

In both the medical and food service fields, there’s a growing mistrust between consumers and the products or services they consume. Diners analyze ingredients and preparation methods with more scrutiny than ever before. In an effort to build trust and display transparency, many restaurants have incorporated open kitchens and floor plans into their designs to give restaurant goers a view into the kitchen. Open kitchens not only allow diners to see how their food is prepared, but also provides a form of entertainment and brings them into the food preparation experience.

Smaller Design Elements

Mixed Furniture In Restaurant

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Mix & Match Furniture

The internet has allowed communities everywhere to become increasingly more eclectic and that eclecticism reflects in interior design. Contrasting furniture has been a trend in home design and is moving into restaurant spaces to help people feel even more at home. You can incorporate this trend into your space by finding tables and chairs that are the same color scheme, but different in style.

Comfortable Restaurant Seating

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Comfortable Seating

Comfortable seating took over the office world with resimercial design and is continuing to gain momentum in the restaurant space. People want to be comfortable and feel like they’re at home no matter where they are. The result is dining spaces that are as easy on the rear as they are on the eyes. More and more restaurants are incorporating cushioned seats and upholstered chairs into their dining floor layouts.

Plants In Restaurants

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Plants & Green Spaces

Researchers have found that plants improve an individual’s perception of a space, as well as, their overall happiness. There is a strong movement to bring more plants into the home and that movement has extended to restaurants too. Plants have been trending in restaurant design for a few years, but we expect that trend to be taken even further in 2020 with even more plants. We expect to see interior designs that look more jungle-like in nature with indoor trees and wall-to-wall leaves.

Local Art In Restaurant

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Local Art

There’s a clear consumer trend to favor local restaurants over larger chains. As restaurant goers flock away from national chains like Chiles and Applebees to dine at smaller local eateries, tying your restaurant into its local roots will help to win you points with diners. Locally sourced ingredients and specialities have been a hot trend for some time now, but the penchant for local is also starting to trickle into the physical space of the restaurant floor. You can save wall space to promote art from local artists and celebrate the local culture that surrounds your establishment.

Restaurant Warm Color Pallet

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Warm Color Palettes

Gray and white color bases have dominated for some time in the world of restaurant interior design, but grays and whites are starting to transition into browns and warmer tones like burnt orange and golden yellow. Warmer color palettes are more inviting and have been shown in psychological studies to increase heart rates and excitement, which in turn stimulates hunger. Natural, earthy tones help diners relax and enjoy the company of those that surround them. Thus, it’s no surprise restaurants are moving in droves to add more color and warmth to their interiors.

Maximalist Design

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Maximalist Walls

The maximalist design trend is rising in popularity to contrast the minimalist, rustic look that has reigned for the last half a decade. Maximalism replaces white walls and rustic barn wood with saturated colors, bold patterns, and eccentric finishes to create a feeling of grandeur and excess. A common theme in maximalist design is to mix antique elements with modern furniture for a unique layered look.

Bold Restaurant Type

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Bold Typography

Type is very much in right now and has been in for the past few years. When done right, bold marquee letters, graphics, diagrams, and charts all provide a fun way to make the walls of your restaurant pop. Neon type is also just as much of a draw as painted or hand-drawn type. Colorful neon signs hung over exposed brick or white porcelain tile provide a popular esthetic that many eateries are chasing.

Restaurant Wall Art

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Exterior Murals & Wall Art

Murals don’t cost much at all to produce, and are an insanely effective marketing tool. Both tourists and locals alike flock to take photos with visually appealing murals. Selfies end up on Instagram and often include the location tag, which inadvertently helps to drive more foot traffic to the location.

If you can find a local artist to team up with, it’d be well worth your time to create a mural for one of your restaurant’s interior or exterior walls. Photo op hunters will come for your mural, but stay for the food.

Building Your Restaurant’s Brand

Interested in building your restaurant’s brand beyond the interior design of your location? The branding experts at Budget Branders can help you further refine your dining experience with custom branded cups and bags that will carry your brand outside of the physical walls of your location.

Custom printed restaurant supplies were once reserved for only the largest chains in the country, but we’ve teamed up with supply manufacturers to provide you with custom branded cups and bags at an affordable price. Call (888) 373-4880, fill out a contact form, or chat now to learn more about what Budget Branders can do for you.