Top 10 Restaurant Design Trends for Your Business to Discover!

trendy restaurant design with wooden floors and greay seating chairs

Going to a restaurant is not only about the food. Every aspect of the visit counts, from the quality of the service you receive to the ambiance and the décor. With restaurants reopening, consumers want a complete experience when dining out, and for many restaurant owners, that requires refreshing the venue’s décor. Learn how to create a restaurant design that will capture the essence of the restaurant, follow the latest trends, and impress your clients!    

Develop your restaurant’s design and identity 

Designing a restaurant goes far beyond picking out your favourite wall colour. While painting is certainly a part of the process, you also need to consider menu appearance, overall design, and the chef’s story. Chefs spend a lot of time developing incredible menus where each dish is not only a recipe but also a story. The overall feel of the restaurant should reflect that story!  

As a restaurant designer, there are a few key questions you can ask the owner and chef to help you design and define the restaurant’s identity.  

Questions to ask a restaurant owner: 

  • Who is your ideal customer? 
  • What are you trying to achieve with this restaurant? 
  • Are there any sentimental furnishings, décor items, or art pieces that help tell this story? 
  • What mood do you want this restaurant to evoke in people? 
  • Are there any colours/patterns you like or dislike? 

Questions to ask the chef: 

  • Describe your journey with food so far? 
  • What do the dishes you create mean to you? 
  • How/why did you get started as a chef? 
  • Are there any must-have elements that make working in the kitchen easier for you? 

Restaurant floor plan and traffic flow 

A crucial aspect of any restaurant design is its operation. Restaurant staff need to be able to circulate the restaurant without causing chaos. And patrons will be uncomfortable without proper spacing between tables and clear pathways to the restrooms. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced restaurants to adapt and rethink their spaces, traffic flow, and restaurant capacity.

Restaurant trends  

Restaurant design is always evolving and growing. Keeping up with those trends is what keeps successful restaurants in the game. With that in mind, here are some of our favourite restaurant design trends for 2023! 

Texture 

The days of minimalistic design are over. In 2023, consumers are craving a more comfortable and inviting space that incorporates numerous textures. From the furniture to the walls, consider incorporating lush fabrics like velvet and linen. For bar stools and chairs, try mixing in some leather or Naugahyde. When choosing artwork for your restaurant, look for pieces that showcase unique textures as well. Mixing textures adds personality and originality to a restaurant and will keep consumers coming back time and time again. 

Warm comforting tones 

In recent years, all-white marble interiors and cool tones were all the rage. In 2023, successful restaurants will transition into a warmer colour palette. Autumnal tones like red, burnt orange, and brown leather will dominate this year. Changing up the colour pallet of your restaurant might feel intimidating, but don’t worry. Studies show that warm tones like red and yellow actually make people hungrier. It’s a win-win. 

Walk-up windows 

In 2020, the need for alternative food delivery methods shot through the roof. Most restaurants adapted contactless delivery and curbside pickup options, and they’re here to stay. But this year you can expect to see walk-up windows added to the mix. They give you another chance to display your branding and personality all while offering consumers an easy, fun way to order takeout.  

Dynamic eye-catching visuals 

It’s true what they say: we eat with our eyes first. That’s why having dynamic eye-catching visuals is a key element of restaurant design. Your menus and menu board are a smart place to start incorporating these dynamic visuals. Try a digital menu board that incorporates animation, for example. But don’t forget about food presentation. Every meal should be arranged on the plate in a way that’s interesting and appetizing. This concept isn’t new to restaurant owners; however, it will be a major focus for people in the industry in 2023. 

A green twist for menus and décor 

Modern-day consumers are conscious about the places they eat, shop, and spend their money. That’s why aligning with consumer values is more important than ever. Most restaurant-goers are looking for green, environmentally friendly options. Search for biodegradable take-out containers, source food locally when possible, and opt for second-hand thrifted décor when you can. 

Grocery option 

To stay afloat during the pandemic, several restaurants began offering groceries at their location. Incorporating a small grocery corner into a restaurant allows owners to sell take-and-bake meals along with other staples already being used in the kitchen. This is another way to stand out and make restaurant offerings more accessible for everyone. And it’s another opportunity to showcase branding and gorgeous visuals as well. 

Nostalgic elements 

Whether it’s a piece of furniture or a menu item, tapping into consumer nostalgia will be popular in 2023. Consider adding a throwback or a reference to a popular food item from the past on your menu. Alternatively, you could name a menu item after an old song or TV show and have matching décor. 

On point branding 

Having good branding is not a new concept, but, in 2023, going over the top with branding efforts will be on trend. Branding should be perfectly aligned with the restaurant’s story, colour scheme, and identity. Add a tagline and mission statement to your website so consumers know exactly what your restaurant is about. Take your time crafting the perfect logo. In this industry, standing out is vital to success, and proper branding is the best way to differentiate from the competition.  

Curbside appeal 

You need more than just excellent food to draw in a crowd. Restaurant exteriors should be given nearly as much attention as the interior. Use the restaurant’s branding, logos, colour palette, and personality for exterior restaurant design. The idea is to let consumers know what kind of vibe they can enjoy before they even open the door. 

Mix and match furniture pieces  

There’s no rule that says every table in your restaurant needs four matching chairs. In 2023, don’t be afraid to switch it up. A mix of vintage chairs with modern tables that fit your colour palette will make the restaurant feel welcoming. And you don’t have to stick to just chairs, either. Try upcycling some different furniture pieces like couches and stools to offer alternative seating. 

Serving up success 

Turning your business dreams into reality is hard work! If you’re ready to take the plunge, our Commercial Account Managers can help you with your commercial renovation and construction projects, including restaurant renovation. Still in the planning stages? Here’s some more design inspiration for your restaurant or business! 

Amber Van Wort is a freelance content writer with a degree in journalism from Durham College. Amber’s work has been published in Narcity, Chicago Tribune, The Belleville Intelligencer, Best Reviews, and more. Her passions include food, travel, and real estate. When she’s not busy meeting her client’s expectations, you can find Amber in the kitchen, elbow-deep in a bag of flour.