Dining out at restaurants is an enjoyed pastime that exceeds cultural and national boundaries. Across the world, people enjoy visiting restaurants with family and friends, but just as important as the food they consume is the service they receive and the setting of the restaurant itself. With the right design, a restaurant can attract punters and retain them as regular and occasional customers. With the wrong layout, lighting, and décor, you’re putting off customers no matter how great your food and service is.
In past decades, restaurant have been competing to become the most quirky and unusual in order to provide a completely different dining experience to anything their visitors have experienced before. This attracts customers by word of mouth, but give them an one-off experience that is reason to return. That trend is now becoming tired and the restaurant world is moving on, as customers are demanding more traditional settings with ordinary tableware and courses that can be enjoyed whilst the focus of the event remains on the food, the people, and the conversation, instead of the venue.
In the past decade, more restaurants have followed the trend for industrial style, with exposed bricks, visible piping, metal features, and single lightbulb lighting fixtures. This style has now become commonplace, so thus year we can expect a move towards more plush and luxury feeling restaurants; a step away from one trend that is now becoming tired.
We should also expect a move towards more street food-style restaurants, with a very informal setting that promoted all-day dining. Inspired by quick and easy street food, but given a more communal setting with higher quality food, street food style restaurants will often follow the style of the cuisine they’re serving. Expect warm red and yellow hues with lots of ceramic patterned tiles in Spanish restaurants, minimal colour palette and sharp furniture in Japanese cuisine restaurants, and ornate and dainty tableware and décor in a traditional English tearoom, but with a promotion of the informal.
We can also expect to see more traditional and straightforward tableware, following the trend of any other object used as plates, from slates to wooden slabs and other bizarre and quirky presentations, we expect restaurateurs will bring it back to basics and provide diners with straightforward utensils.
The use of light in restaurants is also changing. In formal and evening focused restaurants we’re used to seeing dimmed or moody lighting, but as technology and lifestyles are changing, we’re dining more during the day and require restaurants with lots of lighting, either natural or artificial, that doesn’t put us to sleep, but actually invites us in throughout the day.
One more movement we will expect to see is more natural materials used to bring more texture to the dining space. As well as wood, materials such as stone (granite, Quartz, and ceramic) will make a heavier appearance in the décor and in the furniture. Glass, which can be hardened and digitally printed to turn any look into something stylish, unique, and durable, will also make more of an appearance in places we have never seen it before, such as tables and furniture, thanks to material innovation.