by David Klemt

Datassential Identifies Top Design Trends

by David Klemt

Maximalist interior bar or restaurant design

For their latest FoodBytes research topic, Datassential tackles some of the top restaurant design trends.

Click here to download Datassential’s “Foodbytes: Restaurant Design Trends” report. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up for FoodBytes reports.

As the title states, this Datassential resource addresses the state of restaurant design. Now, we recommend reading the report for yourself but below you’ll find the points that really stand out to us.

If you’re among the 22 percent of operators that Datassential says are either considering a dining room redesign or have completed one, this report is particularly relevant to you.

Back-0f-house Design

Unsurprisingly, most people envision the interior dining area when considering restaurant design. However, as Lauren Charbonneau of Reitano Design Group says in Datassential’s latest FoodBytes, “Restaurants are living spaces that need to be agile.”

That means considering the entire space, not just the front of house. There’s also this stat from Datassential: 64 percent of operators think shrinking their footprint would be detrimental. If that’s the case, making the BoH smaller rather than the front may be the way forward.

So, let’s take a look at what Charbonneau identifies as BoH design trends to consider.

Clearly, it’s crucial operators consider their back-of-house teams. Providing a better workplace experience and improving efficiency can be done through design. Per Charbonneau, operators can use clever design and equipment choices to reduce steps, movement, labor, footprint, and costs.

Additionally, sustainability is not only crucial to responsible operation, being sustainable can reduce costs. Selecting Energy Star, Water Sense, and multi-functional equipment can make tasks easier for BoH teams, make a business more sustainable, and, again, drive down costs.

Maximalist Design

Finally, it seems, the minimalist design trend is losing its stranglehold on restaurant design. Of course, if that approach and design language works for a particular concept, it works.

However, maximalism is growing in popularity. For this type of design, think lots of color and bold patterns. Then, think about using multiple patterns and textures, including on the floors.

So, wallpaper, artwork, plush seating, loud tiles… Per Datassential, maximalism appeals to younger guests. In part, this is because these spaces can offer so many Instagrammable moments.

Monochrome Design

Okay, before we begin, “monochrome” doesn’t only mean a black-and-white palette. While that can work very well depending on the concept, monochrome also means using different tones of a single color.

Of course, there are multiple ways to approach this design trend. For example, if one does want to select a black-and-white scheme, Matte Black Coffee in Los Angeles is compelling.

Not only is the design monochrome, guests feel as though they’re inside a two-dimensional image. Per Datassential, this type of design is growing in popularity across the US specifically.

In terms of colorful monochrome, a great example is NYC’s Pietro Nolita. Not only have they chosen pink for their palette, it’s a core element of their branding: Pink AF.

Yet another way to approach this trend is for operators to use varying tones of particular colors to delineate different spaces. So, the dining room may be tones of pink while the bar is green and a private dining room is blue.

Nostalgic Design

As we’re all well aware, the pandemic derailed people’s plans. In particular, people hit the pause or cancel button on travel and vacations.┬áNow, people appear to restarting their travel plans and getting back out there.

However, we’re also dealing with inflation. So, many people are holding off on spending money on travel. This is where restaurant design comes into play.

According to Datassential, “nostalgic escape” is a trend to watch moving forward. While very specific, this trend combines a dive into the past and capturing vacation vibes.

Per their FoodBytes report, Datassential identifies the following elements as key to this design approach:

  • Soft shades of colors. In particular, pink.
  • Tropical designs.
  • Fifties, Eighties, and Nineties design elements.

One concept that leverages this trend and did so before the pandemic is the Hampton Social. Currently, there are eight locations and two more are on the way.

Of course, it’s imperative that operators commit only to design language that’s authentic to their concepts. Pursuing a trend simply to pursue it is a clear path to disaster. That said, these design trends have massive appeal and can work for many operators and their brands.

Image: Davide Castaldo on Unsplash

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