2021: Predicting Trends in Restaurant Design

2021 Restaurant Design Trends - Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Do you miss having a meal at your favorite restaurant? I sure do! When we can confidently walk through the doors of our favorite dining spot, what changes will we see?

For restaurants to survive during the pandemic owners were forced to pivot, and designers were looked upon for quick solutions.  Expect some of the quick solutions mentioned below to evolve into spectacular restaurant design trends in the new year.

Here is What to Expect:

  1. Customers will experience less contact. Dine-in locations during the pandemic are depending upon digital platforms to share the menu, offer specials, and provide contactless payment. These changes are expected to stay, allowing for cost savings (saved printing expense for menus & specials), allowing expedited payment, tracking of customer favorites, and greater access to a rewards program for reoccurring customers.
  2. Fast-casual restaurants will be smaller and more convenient. Typically, every 10 years food chains renovate their current design.  They may be changes to interior finishes and lay-out, digitally enhanced experiences, or even a remodeled exterior. As a result of current pandemic conditions, some enhancements are being expedited, and some locations are even considering eliminating indoor seating all together, hoping to lead to a more efficient and cost-effective model.
  3. Platform based food hall design is expected to thrive while still evolving. The pandemic made it impossible for individuals to utilize dine in food halls. The successful food halls pivoted to a digital platform for take-out and delivery. Now, we can digitally order an egg roll as an appetizer, a pizza for dinner, and a cannoli for dessert.  Watch for this design to expand post COVID, while continuing to evolve with our new purchasing and experience habits.
  4. Generation Z will be followed and targeted by corporate establishments. Corporate has noticed the massive popularity of TikTok. Dunkin Donuts has built an entire marketing campaign around one of the most followed TikTok accounts, with reportedly 84.8 million followers. Wow; that is lot of Dunkin and TikTok togetherness!

In summary the good news is dining out (and in!) is here to stay.  The even better news is that next time you check out that new local restaurant or go where you are known on a first name basis, changes of comfort and convenience will be integrated into your experience.

If you are ready to start the design process of your dream restaurant (that you have finally decided to act on), contact us here at JL Architects.  Our 30+ years of expertise in restaurant design can help your dream become a success.