Restaurant Design Trends for 2021 | Modern restaurant management


The design of restaurants, kitchens and the dining experience for customers have changed over the past few years and with the COVID pandemic, that could change again.

EMPAD Architecture & Design Architects have designed franchised and private restaurants over the past 17 years for various types of restaurateurs, ranging from small, quick-service and drive-thru restaurants to stylish one-concept and full-service dining establishments. full. Some trending concepts in recent years have included more open seating concepts, high ceilings, and exposed structures. These aspects create a dining experience that is both modern and interactive with a connection to the built environment. In addition, the open and visible cooking line kitchens are of a new age design so that customers can see the food preparation and cooking process. Covered outdoor dining areas are always a great addition to the catering concept and we have learned of their growing importance this year.

Some states have difficulty eating alfresco due to the varying seasons and temperatures, but most can be overcome with the use of covered areas, fans, heaters, and a variety of other items to maintain a healthy environment. pleasant dining experience. Customers have always cared about the caliber of food, but now it’s as much about the dining experience as it is about the price. The qualities of the space must complement the menu options to provide an unforgettable experience.

Be creative with the outdoor space

One of EMPAD’s local clients is the restaurant owner / operator, Chef Chris Ponte. He recently opened “Olivia”, a modern Italian restaurant in Tampa, and also owns and operates “On Swann”, an American cuisine restaurant also located in Tampa. Ponte and the EMPAD team are currently designing the new location of their latest concept “The Ponte” in Tampa’s new Midtown neighborhood.

We asked Ponte what he thought of recent restaurant design trends. Ponte said: “I think it would be fair to say that we have given more thought to how we use our patio space and how we will think about alfresco dining in the future. As restaurant owners in Florida, patio seating can be seen as a less than desired part of our space, especially in the spring and summer. With the current climate in the United States, we are seeing more and more customers requesting outdoor seating and as a result, restaurateurs are starting to work more creatively in the way they design their patio space in a way. so that it can operate all year round.

In addition to the known changes that the pandemic has brought, restaurants have also changed their take-out, pick-up and delivery options. Windows at the wheel are now becoming essential for many restaurants. But it also prompted restaurateurs to rethink the design and flow of the kitchen and food collection areas within their facilities. The pandemic has also created a different dining experience for many existing restaurants, extending as much as possible to outdoor areas available for dining tables, including courtyards, patios and even parking areas.

Emerging trends

In a recent EMPAD project in downtown Saint Petersburg at the restaurant “Bodega”, a large opening glass window was used on the front facade to create an order / pick-up window. This trendy concept, especially in dense urban settings where everything is within walking distance and there is plenty of usable outdoor space, allows customers to incorporate any nearby outdoor location into their dining experience. It also allows local restaurants, bars, brasseries and other stores to collaborate and share customers. To push this concept a little further, there is also the “hall concept”. common environment. He evolved the mall’s food court into an upscale environment that shares all types of restaurants, bars, and craft breweries. This concept offers customers the option of tasting dishes from various locations or allowing different food options for different people.

Another trending concept currently being designed by EMPAD is a multi-ghost kitchen concept that can rent out individual suite spaces to over 30 different restaurants for food preparation, pickup and delivery. This is a trendy concept that is spreading to all sectors of the market, which can allow catering to flourish even more than before.


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