8 Delicious restaurant design trends that will be on the menu in 2017
December 7, 2016 Cristina Villalón
restaurant design trends

These restaurant design trends will have a big impact in 2017.

Today’s eateries need more than good food and excellent service to impress customers.  Restaurants must deliver the pleasant, thrilling and memorable dining experiences patrons have learned to expect when going out to eat.

Educated and seasoned customers look for dining establishments that are clean, inviting and exciting. Every design element—walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, lighting, bathrooms, music, the overall decor—contributes to the dining experience and can either enhance or hinder whatever lasting impression the food and service are designed to make.

Creativity and innovation never fail to impress but you always have to consider your clientele. Often, the way a restaurant is designed affects the kind of customers it attracts. Other times, the patrons themselves—their lifestyles and expectations—inspire restaurant owners to embrace new ideas. Ever-changing technology, too, is having a significant impact on restaurant interior design.

Being stylish and staying fresh when design trends are fleeting is tough. You have to think ahead and implement up-and-coming trends before they become ordinary.

To help you provide the kind of ambiance that produces the delightful experiences customers crave, here are the top restaurant interior design trends for 2017.


No list would be complete with one of the hottest restaurant design trends to emerge—and remain—in recent years. Creative design concepts not only set restaurants apart from the crowd but they give customers a distinct experience from the moment they step into the restaurant to the moment they leave. Concepts allow patrons to become part of a story, and that leaves a lasting impression they will seek to repeat.

Check out: 

Chef Paul Pairet has redefined the restaurant experience with his latest restaurant in Shanghai, Ultraviolet, where he tantalizes all your senses with an arsenal of sense-specific output devices.

For the sense of smell, there’s a dry scent diffusion system. For the eyes, 60 LED lights controlled according to different scenarios and seven projectors that fill the walls with images and video.  See more of this unique restaurant here.

restaurant design trends

Ultraviolet room, Autumn Soil. Photo by Scott Wright


Art is in. A beautiful painting, an intriguing sculpture, a dramatic mural, digital art, graffiti or a famous quote on a wall—these are eye-catching design elements that tell a story and cause memorable emotional responses that engage customers. Art can also be a topic of conversation even among strangers, not to mention the unique selfie opportunities it provides. Some restaurants opt for exhibiting artwork from local artists, which many patrons support as a community service.

Check out:

“These 8 Restaurants Feature Amazing Art by the Likes of Banksy, Basquiat, and More” here.

restaurant design trends


Several years old and still going strong, this trend blurs the lines between the front and the back of the house. An exposed kitchen not only has nothing to hide (Kitchen Nightmares, anyone?) but also serves as a source of entertainment for patrons, who get to see how a restaurant kitchen operates and how their food is made. Thanks to numerous reality TV shows, customers are more curious than ever about food preparation, plating, and presentation. Foodies love to be a part of the action, and ringside seating by an open kitchen is a treat for them.

Check out:  

Spectra and Zanotta restaurants at The Leela Ambience Gurgaon Hotel & Residences in India.


Next year expect to see more raw materials such as exposed bricks, pipes, wood, and concrete as more designers go for the rustic or industrial approach. The stripped-down look and feel of exposed material adds texture and depth as well as a dynamic  dimension  to restaurant design. Better yet, customers seem to love it!

Check out: 

“16 Restaurants Winning at Industrial Design” here.


Wi-Fi is a must. USB charging stations? A new trend. Designers are incorporating these stations into restaurants for the app-loving crowd. At the same time, other restaurants are designating device-free zones for those wishing to unplug themselves from technology while enjoying a meal.

Check out: 

“The Most Smartphone Friendly Restaurants in Boston” here.


Energy efficiency is attractive to restaurant owners for two reasons: it saves them money and patrons support any effort to go green. LED lighting and Energy Star-certified equipment alone can cut utility bills and reduce a restaurant’s environmental impact. Many restaurants participate or are planning to participate in comprehensive recycling and compost programs. Others are installing solar panels and filtering systems.

Check out: 

Mixt restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

restaurant design trends


The so-called Scandinavian concept of understated and functional furniture will continue to expand next year. When it comes to furniture, today’s patrons seem to prefer simple, clean lines over heavy ornate tables or chairs. Mixing and matching chairs such as wooden seats, benches and stools is becoming ever more popular.

Check out: 

Zucca restaurant in Tokyo.


In 2017, restaurants are expected to continue to invest in ambient lighting such as pendant lamps, recessed mood lighting, and customized lights to create a sophisticated and alluring atmosphere that attracts customers and adds to their dining experience.

Check out: 

Scena Italian Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai.


When all is said and done, interior elements such as wall murals, open kitchens, and minimalist furniture are valuable additions to any restaurant design— and while there is no substitute for great food and friendly service—these small details can help contribute toward making a memorable first impression —one that will hopefully keep customers coming back for seconds.

1 Comment

  1. Collins 5 months ago

    Eco-friendly yet modish and fresh interior designs are an appreciable specie of interior designing. Moreover, an informative blog to go through.

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