6 Restaurant Design Trends To Watch In 2020

2020 restaurant design trends

Are you a restaurant owner wondering which design features will be popular in the New Year? We’ve got the lowdown!

From conceptual trends to intriguing elements, here’s a list of our top six predictions for 2020 restaurant design trends to watch— all based on our experience working in the food and beverage industry.

slashie restaurantsOne: “Slashie” Restaurants

“Slashies”—a new wave of restaurant environments that combine multiple concepts from one owner under one roof—provide a single-building, multi-concept approach that allows restaurateurs to maximize profits while fulfilling customers’ varied cravings.

The maximization of profit comes from the Slashie’s ability to stay busy for a much wider window of the day. Rare is the coffee shop that’s actually bustling at 9 p.m., or the full-service restaurant that’s busy at 10 a.m. By combining these two concepts into one building, the business keeps traffic and profits flowing. And, customers appreciate the thrill of experiencing something new and exciting with every visit.

Slashies come in many forms, from full-service restaurants with smaller side operations, like a bakery or dessert shop, to full-service restaurants complemented by retail components.

mix and match furniture restaurant design trends 2020Two: Mix-and-Match Furniture

The term “resimercial” design, which is a combination of residential and commercial, is officially a household term in the design world. It highlights the “welcome home” feeling, using the residential trend of mixing and matching furniture to adorn a bar or restaurant space.

Using contrasting furniture lends a home-y feel and also sends a visual cue that your establishment is not a chain, but rather a thoughtfully handcrafted eatery. To achieve this look, it’s best to stick to one shape of furniture while varying the color of your pieces, or you could keep color consistent throughout and go wild with the shapes.

handmade goods restaurantsThree: Handmade Goods

Locality and the growing support for local businesses greatly impacts the way we source our products nowadays. Artisanal goods have a place in our homes, and now, they’re making their presence known in restaurants, too.

Using handmade goods allows an establishment to support other small businesses while also emphasizing the value of their handcrafted, “artisanal” experience. Dinnerware, table accessories, salt shakers and even bud vases—they can all be sourced from unique local makers to lend authentic personality to your space.

sophisticated colorsFour: Sophisticated and Multi-Color Palettes

As Pantone’s Color of The Year, Classic Blue suggests we’re expressing a desire for both traditional and youthful colors in design, simultaneously. The traditional element brings about a feeling of familiarity—moody hues and organic tones—while the youthful twist offers a nod to the era of personalized self-expression with bold and daring shades. Among the restaurant design trends of 2020, color schemes will be traditional and familiar with a youthful twist, making for an overall sophisticated theme highlighting three or more shades. 

immersive experiences restaurant design trends 2020Five: Immersive Experiences

Kitschy themed interiors may be “out,” but immersive experiences are most definitely “in.” Restaurants are no longer just part of a night out—they are the night out.  They’re immersive and multi-sensory, activating all of the customers’ senses and transporting them somewhere new, while at the same time rooting them where they are in the moment.

To create an immersive environment, you’ll need to develop experiential activities that evoke an emotion or a memorable reaction. Themed establishments and limited-run pop-ups are two ways you can fulfill this trend. Whether dining in the dark or drinking in a cold bar made entirely from ice, customers want experiences that they can’t find anywhere else…and, of course, ones they can brag about to their friends, too.

front and center kitchensSix: Front-And-Center Kitchens

Yes, the open-kitchen concept and related push for food transparency have been a “trend” for a while now, but the open kitchen is being reinvented to play an even bigger role.

The theatrics of all stages of food preparation are still being put on display, but its footprint is now being moved to the entrance of the restaurant, making the kitchen the first thing customers encounter when they walk in.

A strong presence of the kitchen at the forefront of your journey sets the “quality bar” pretty high. It also allows the guest to watch in awe (and with even more anticipation!) for the their food to arrive at the table.

Dala Al-Fuwaires, Principal of HOUSE OF FORM, a globally recognized boutique interior design studio specializing in commercial interiors, residential interiors, product design, branding and graphics. With over a decade of experience in the interior design field, Dala has worked on hospitality and retail design projects ranging in size from boutique to national rollouts. Dala graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Purdue University. Outside of design, Dala can be found traveling to new places, hosting dinner parties for friends and family, remodeling her home, and photographing all of the above.