8 Restaurant Design Trends to Consider in 2023

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Restaurants have been around for hundreds of years. Since 18th-century Paris to be exact! From dishing out “restorative soups” to lining the streets of every modern-day city, restaurants have grown more and more integrated with society over the years.

    With that societal integration comes the pressure to be in line with (or even ahead of) the times. Whether you’re planning on renovating your current restaurant or building a new one from scratch, keep these 8 restaurant design trends in mind to ensure your business shines.

    1) Open Kitchen + Layout

    Many people go out to eat in hopes to have an experience. They like to be right in the center of the action rather than tucked away out of sight. With this in mind, open floorplans have become more and more trendy.

    An open kitchen allows guests to feel integrated into their dining experience. Open kitchens allow diners to see how their food is prepared, and they also offer a form of entertainment. When guests can see, hear, and smell their food being prepared, their senses are engaged, allowing for an excellent experience.

    An open floor plan in the dining area borrows from the popular open layout in other commercial buildings like offices and medical facilities.

    open layout restaurant design trend

    2) Optimizing Outdoor Space

    People have always enjoyed dining outside on a nice day, but the numbers have increased since the Covid-19 pandemic. A successful modern restaurant design incorporated plenty of outdoor dining options to help patrons feel safe while enjoying delicious food.

    You can even go one step further with this design trend and incorporate eye-catching design features outdoors, such as:

    • String lights
    • Plants
    • Attractive shade umbrellas

    Even if your restaurant only has minimal outdoor space, try to optimize it as much as possible for outdoor seating. One way to do this is to extend your patio into your parking lot space.

    3) Instagram Aesthetics

    Just hop onto Pinterest or Google and search for the “most Instagrammable restaurants” in your city. Whether you love or hate how popular social media is, Instagram isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    Guests love to post photos of their food on Instagram, especially if your decor is trendy and your food is well-plated. Have you ever heard the phrase “the camera eats first?” This refers to how people take photos of their food to post on social media before digging in.

    If you want to aim for a viral restaurant, try these design tips:

    • Eye-catching wallpaper
    • Great natural lighting + lighting fixtures
    • Decorative floor tiles
    • Unique, well-plated dishes
    • Stylish dinnerware and cutlery
    • Hanging plants
    • Neon signs
    • Exterior mural
    neon sign on wall, a popular restaurant design trend. The sign reads "better together"

    4) Play With Textures

    Your restaurant shouldn’t just play to your guests’ tastebuds, but also to the rest of their senses. Incorporating textures throughout your restaurant design is a fantastic way to engage your patrons.

    Try featuring plants indoors, a combination of booths and tables, unique wall decor, and stone or wood flooring. Try transporting your guests to a completely different world than the one that exists outside your restaurant’s doors. If you can pull this off and connect your menu to the interior design, you’re guaranteed to have consistent business.

    5) Separate Takeout Areas

    Another thing that’s gained popularity over the past few years is takeout orders. Many patrons would still love to eat the wonderful food from your restaurant, but they’d prefer to enjoy it in their own homes.

    To keep your takeout customers from clogging up your waiting area and interrupting the flow of your dining room, consider crafting a separate area just for takeout. A walk-up window at your restaurant can be a fantastic way to implement this design idea. This would also allow delivery drivers to easily find the orders they need without adding congestion in the dining area.

    woman carrying takeout food from a restaurant

    6) Don’t Neglect Your Ceiling

    When most people think about art and design in a restaurant, they probably don’t think about the ceiling. But incorporating design into your restaurant’s ceiling is a unique way to take your space to the next level.

    Try these tips:

    • Painting the ceiling a complimentary color
    • Painting a mural on the ceiling
    • Placing art on strings/wires that hang from the ceiling
    • Add unique lighting fixtures (chandeliers, string lights, etc.)
    contemporary lighting fixtures in a restaurant design

    7) Mix and Match Furniture

    All-white, minimalistic designs have their time and place, but they’re no longer at the forefront of interior design. Instead, designs are becoming more and more eclectic.

    Contrasting furniture and cabinetry started in home design and has made its way to restaurant design. If you have a smaller restaurant, you can save some money by finding unique vintage furniture items. Otherwise, you can find chairs and tables in similar styles but different complimentary colors.

    8) Feature Local Art + Handcrafted Goods

    Nowadays, most consumers much prefer supporting local restaurants over large chains. The same goes for the art they consume. If you can, opt for decorating your establishment with local art. It’s a great way to support the same community that supports your business.

    You can go one step further and utilize locally handcrafted goods like pottery, blown glass vases, or candles. This feature will attract your community members who appreciate supporting locally-made goods.

    Plus, incorporate locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Patrons love knowing exactly where their food is coming from.

    Undertake Your Design With APX

    What do you think of these up-and-coming restaurant design trends? Which ones spark your interest for your new or remodeled restaurant?

    If you’re feeling ready to build or remodel a restaurant but aren’t sure where to start, you can rely on the award-winning design-build services at APX Construction Group. We’ll help bring your restaurant ideas to life in a way that exceeds your expectations.

    Contact us today to learn more!

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