restaurant design trends

Restaurant Design Trends to Embrace in 2018

Restaurant Design Trends

Milwalky Trace Restaurant – Libertyville, IL

Restaurant design trends change with time as consumer tastes evolve.

Quality food, convenience, and service will always be important factors in restaurant success. In addition, fresh design is an important differentiator. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in competitive restaurant markets.

City and suburban residents have many restaurant choices. They make their selection based partly on a restaurant’s atmosphere. Restaurants that keep up with current design trends will have a distinct advantage over other establishments, especially in competitive markets.

Here are the restaurant design trends we’re embracing in the New Year.

Natural Elements

Many of us are craving the look and feel of the outdoors. Research on the positive effects of green plants and the benefits of time spent in nature have not gone unnoticed. In addition, the health benefits of nature, including decreased stress and improved wellbeing, are seen as an antidote to our fast-paced technology-driven world.

Restaurant designers are adapting by bringing nature indoors. Look for living walls of green plants and in-house chefs’ gardens in many chef-owned restaurants. Hand-crafted clay, glass, and wood vessels and bold floral features are also trending this year. Oversized, distinctive hand-made items are especially coming on strong.

restaurant design trends

Shakou – Park Ridge, IL

Flexibility & Choice

Walls of windows and operable window walls allow indoor diners to feel as if they are outdoors. Openings to the exterior allow for air movement and sunshine within dining areas. Restaurants can take full advantage of the good weather with flexible furniture arrangements and operable wall openings.

Using non-traditional seating, such as shared tables, couches, and benches bring variety and versatility to the look and feel of restaurants in 2018.

Patios and roof decks are trending as well. Patrons want the option of dining outdoors when the weather is suitable. Bonus: Decks and patios can add a significant number of seats to restaurants. Propane heaters extend the use of outdoor areas into the cooler transitional months.

Restaurant Design Trends

Milwalky Taco, Libertyville, IL

Photogenic Spaces

Social media images strongly influence restaurant design trends. Diners look for ways to share their experiences with friends online. Restaurants that are tagged in social media posts benefit from increased exposure and implied endorsement.

Bold and atmospheric backdrops enable restaurant patrons to become part of the scene. Distinctive paint treatments and unique wallpaper can bring a quick update to an existing space.

Diner expectations are high – unique restaurant features and personal experiences are trending as never before. Attractive furnishings, tabletops, and meals will be photographed (and shared online) many times. We also value colorful food and photo styling opportunities.

restaurant design trends

Shakou – Arlington Heights, IL

Wood, Everywhere!

Wood paneling [a la the 70’s] is making a big comeback in restaurant and retail spaces.

Midcentury color palettes, lighting, and furnishings have been popular for several years. Wood paneling complements the aesthetic nicely. Look for warm wood paneling on walls and ceilings at your local Midcentury modern-inspired restaurant.

Genuine spaces that expose the architecture continue to appeal to restaurant patrons. In addition to applied natural materials, revealed building elements like exposed wood trusses, steel beams, and brick walls continue to resonate with patrons. Authenticity and craftsmanship are valued more now than in recent years.

restaurant design trends

Mickey Finn’s Brewery – Libertyville, IL

Lighting Automation

Trends in restaurant lighting are changing too. Remote controls and new apps allow restaurants to finesse lighting in a way that was previously not possible.

Influenced by these new technologies, lighting can now be easily controlled and scheduled by users. Users can program a lighting menu that automatically takes the space from daytime to nighttime.

Because of lighting smart controls, restaurants save time; staff does not need to turn lights on and off, adjust the dimming, or make changes to the color of a space. All of these functions can happen automatically.

LED lamps also save money, energy, and labor. Read our blog article Shining Light on LED Lamps for more in-depth information about this advanced technology.

restaurant design trends

Shakou – Arlington Height, IL

Evolve with the Trends

Restaurant owners will benefit by evolving with design trends. This is especially true in crowded city and suburban markets where fresh design is an important differentiator. As consumer tastes change, restaurants that evolve with current design trends will have a distinct competitive advantage.

Read more about restaurant design trends in 2018:

Restaurant Insider décor ideas

International design inspiration from Scribd

5 trends for 2018 from GrandRapidsChair