With consumer tastes constantly changing, we spoke with Lebanese interior architect Delphine Gebran to hear what’s trending in restaurant design.
Creating something unique and timeless
As designers, we cannot base a design concept on what is out there now, as our work will be outdated by the time the restaurant comes to life. Interior design trends go beyond colors and materials of the year. They are determined by lifestyle.
Restaurants are not just places to eat. They need to deliver multisensory experiences.
During the pandemic, many restaurants turned to takeaway and delivery to sustain their businesses. As restaurant delivery continues to be sought after by consumers, we are witnessing a rise in “grab and go.”
From a design perspective, customers or delivery drivers who are picking up orders should not interfere with the diners’ experience; the atmosphere should remain unchanged. Space comes at a premium in every restaurant, so this is always a challenge. However, careful planning goes a long way.
We, as designers, must create a strong restaurant design with a solid flow that links the back of the house to the front kitchen to avoid food sitting and getting cold. We seek to integrate a packaging area, a clear pick-up station on the counter, a window to communicate directly with people outside and, ideally, two separate entrances to help takeaway transactions go smoothly.
A well-studied set up and route, from the moment the client arrives to receiving their order and leaving, is essential. Even if it is for a few minutes, we have to create a whole new experience that will accompany the client back home and throughout their meal.
Instagrammable interiors and sustainability
Instagrammable interiors are all the rage. Restaurateurs want a captivating space to attract an audience who will come and experience their spaces.
It is true that a strong interior identity can help attract customers, but it is important to focus on a timeless design to avoid it feeling outdated with time.
In a restaurant, people are actors and not spectators. We are not just drawing things and hoping that guests will say “wow” and simply take pictures. The goal is to ensure that they come back
After multiple lockdowns and the knock-on effects of the pandemic, particularly in terms of mental health, people realized the importance of taking time to reconnect with nature. Interior designers are coming up with new, inventive ways to blend indoor dining experiences with the great outdoors.
Biophilia is a trending topic in interior design. It involves integrating nature into the restaurant interior with a visual connection to green spaces and landscapes. It creates a more relaxing and happier experience for customers. However, biophilic design does not just involve the careful placement of plants. Mother Nature has more natural materials to offer, such as wood, leather and stone. Designers are swapping shiny, plastic materials for organic materials to give birth to a relaxing and joyful ambience.
At the end of the day, diners are looking for unique experiences that give them a reason to eat out rather than ordering delivery. Designers play a key role in bringing people back to the table, whether indoors or outdoors, and ensuring their return to restaurants is both memorable and enriching.