Key aspects for designing an attractive and authentic restaurant

Design is one of the best communication tools for brands. In the restaurant industry, design aims to entertain customers to make their stay in the restaurant an unforgettable experience. With the advent of the pandemic and the need to go out and socialise, it has become clear that eating out is no longer an activity that demands only good food and quality service. 

In fact, restaurant customers are often looking for an activity that is closer to leisure, i.e. a gastronomic experience that involves all five senses: taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. The distribution of the spaces, the design and decoration of your premises must attend to the functionality and usability of the same and to each of these aspects, providing an attractive, authentic and differential atmosphere that will make your customers return and recommend it to their contacts.

Comfort, technology and new spaces with soul in your restaurant design


In the last two years, the pandemic has forced us to pay special attention to the planning of the spaces we inhabit. New workplace designs tend to be more flexible, friendly and comfortable places to attract talent and gyms have learned to personalise their offerings and delve into the hybrid model, all to offer a unique and differentiated experience from the competition.

For bars and restaurants, the pandemic has also brought about a paradigm shift and, increasingly, there is a move towards holistic designs that take into account the user’s well-being, comfort and familiarity through the combination of colours, materials and other natural elements. 

However, it is technology that has decisively reshaped the restaurant industry. From online booking and digital payment to the development of new operating models, many venues have integrated these new solutions to respond to changing regulations while meeting changing and growing customer expectations. Thus, many restaurant formats have emerged with multiple gastronomic solutions such as food trucks, nomadic restaurants, or dark kitchens, in response to the demand for delivery, as noted in the latest monograph on catering by Miquel Àngel Julià Hierro for ES Design.

On the other hand, as happens in retail, customers are brand prescribers through their comments on social networks and ratings on platforms such as Tripadvisor. Thus, spaces must be conceived and designed not only to be enjoyed live, but also to be photographed and shared on social networks. This change of use of space requires, for example, very good lighting of the room. To design a successful restaurant, it is important to respond to the new demands of the client and, at the same time, to design a space with soul, genuine and unique, which is a reflection of the business model.


Food Design and its relationship with spatial design


This continuum of innovations is joined by the concept of food design, the facet of design that is primarily concerned with reflecting on how we create, present and consume food. However, food design includes not only the design of new foods, but also the design of packaging, spaces, objects and forms of presentation and preservation. Increasingly, customers are looking for unique experiences that involve all the senses in their gastronomic experience. Food design is no longer exclusive to chefs, but is a much broader area of knowledge, which is why we can see the boom in the number of courses in this discipline in the best design schools. 

Catering is a clear example where leisure and business intersect and, as in art, we must focus on the pleasure of the diner as the observer. And as in many other disciplines, as designers we increasingly need encounters between professionals in the sector, with different knowledge, so that we can share and create new concepts. This is the purpose, for example, of the international Food Design Festival that is held in Madrid, which every year condenses into a week of conferences, round tables, masterclasses, workshops and networking sessions with an extensive programme of activities in physical and digital format (digital) featuring national and international designers and professionals from the food value chain. 


From idea to implementation: restaurant design and build services


With the change of paradigm, the strategy prior to the design of the premises is going to be very important. In line with the reflections of Ferran Adrià and Juli Capella in the Design Talk organised by D!OS (Design Institute of Spain), a restaurant project with a reasonable, powerful and feasible business plan is guaranteed to be successful.

As we have seen there are many ways of planning a restaurant, we must reflect on how we will apply food design in our project, what space the kitchen will occupy, what the dining room will be like, the atmosphere that will transmit the restaurant’s brand and the restaurant itself. Increasingly, the surroundings, the terrace, the patio, the porch or the views are gaining more and more weight in the diner’s choice of restaurant.

Also as a result of the pandemic, the need for more flexible spaces with shared uses has been consolidated in other sectors such as the workplace, hospitality or retail. Thus, for example, in the same restaurant we can find open spaces designed as tasting, showcooking, shop and experimentation areas or more private meeting areas or spaces adapted to teleworking.

At Grup Idea we are specialists in the design and construction of shops and commercial premises, corporate offices, hotels and restaurants. We incorporate our experience and work to provide a tailor-made solution for each project based on the client’s business model. We carry out the project in an integral way from the design and previous strategy to the final construction of the space. Discover now all our hotel and restaurant projects.