Though the quality and taste of the food is a vital component in customers returning to a restaurant, the design and ambiance are equally important. How a restaurant looks is what draws customers in, then the service and food convince them to keep returning. Modern restaurants are trending toward a central theme or element. Rooftop restaurants, designed to stay open in all types of weather, are becoming popular in large cities all over the world. Whether it is sophisticated cooling systems or cozy fireside dining, modern restaurant design makes use of available space and attracts those who love the feel of outdoor dining. Rooftops offer stunning city vistas as the design focus.
Restaurants are introducing new designs in existing buildings, modernizing the space without having to build from the ground up. Natural influences play a significant role in modern restaurant design. Taking their cue from the world outside, restaurants are incorporating organic elements such as vegetable and herb gardens inside their dining space.
Discerning customers want eco-friendly appeal in their dining choices, so trends such as the re-use of materials are popular. Repurposed wood, old bricks, and old-fashioned countertops lend ambiance and character to space. Less waste appeals to the eco-conscious diner without sacrificing a unique dining experience.
In the quest for an authentic experience, customers enjoy a dining experience where the natural state of the space is maintained. The trend is extremely popular when local resources are utilized. Local resources tie the restaurant to the geographic area and the local people. Natural stone from a nearby quarry, unfinished wood made at a local sawmill combined with an unfinished ceiling where the original pipes are visible gives the impression of history, whether the actual building is new or old.
The natural appeal continues with handmade tableware and tactile surfaces such as linens made from unbleached cloth. The natural look continues with accent walls made of reclaimed wood, or handmade lamps bases providing cozy lighting. These touches add a unique appeal when they are sourced locally, allowing the restaurant to tell the story of the community they serve.
Dining has forever been a social activity, and in many places around the world, the concept of communal dining has remained. It is now finding its way to mainstream dining in modern restaurant design. Communal eating is a trend that has begun to sweep across the United States.
Long tables designed to accommodate multiple parties are building a new sense of community in everything from small quaint eating establishments to sophisticated restaurants. The shared social dining experience, which is, by nature, an immersive experience, brings a sense of excitement to a simple meal. Some restaurants are embracing the trend while still providing space for those who prefer a quiet meal with their small party. You may find long tables taking over the center of the dining room, while small tables dot the periphery of the restaurant.
Customers are endlessly fascinated with how their food is prepared. Designs that give a glimpse, or a full view of the kitchen area, create an air of entertainment. Designers are connecting three restaurant spaces, the kitchen, dining, and outdoors, to maximize the enjoyment of diners. Versatile materials like metal, tile, and concrete are durable enough for all three areas and provide a connection between the spaces. Glass allows the perception of the outside flowing in and can also let customers see what goes on in the kitchen without hearing the noise or being overwhelmed with the smells.
Whatever design elements a restaurant chooses to incorporate, the overall effect should be a warm, inviting space. Customers return again and again to a space that feels like it is theirs. There is something special about dining in a place where you feel a connection to the style, service, and ambiance of a place.