Printing Opportunities in Restaurant Design
In the past few years, few industries have seen as much disruption to their business as the hospitality industry. Restaurants were hit early and hit hard by the pandemic. Yet, they showed an incredible capacity to make changes and adapt quickly to a rapidly changing situation. Today, we see that customers found many of these changes desirable and convenient.
As we look at current trends in restaurant design, we see interior designers incorporating many changes restauranteurs made out of necessity into permanent design features. And several of these trends offer opportunities for printers to find more business in the restaurant design market.
Three Key Trends in Restaurant Design
Increased To-Go Dining
What began as a way to keep favorite restaurants open during the pandemic, to-go dining has become a convenience for diners and an additional revenue stream for restauranteurs, and neither is eager to give it up as an option. Yet increased take-out orders shouldn't distract in-person diners or negatively impact the atmosphere in the dining room.
With this in mind, interior designers are designing restaurants to accommodate these transactions without disrupting the indoor dining experience. One solution has been to incorporate clear signage to explain where pickup areas are, both inside and curbside. At the beginning of the pandemic, people bought whatever signage was available, but now there is time to print signage that coordinates with the restaurant's design and stays on brand.
Creating a Sense of Community
While many people enjoy the option of dining at home, it can't replace the feeling of in-person dining. Restauranteurs aim to serve more than just a good meal; they want to serve an entire experience. Additionally, they want to foster community by providing gathering spaces and shared experiences.
One way they do this is by incorporating locally designed items into the décor. For example, accent walls created with murals or large graphics designed by local artists make a unique statement. They also have the added benefit of expanding a restaurant's online community by giving customers something Instagram-worthy to share in their feeds.
Cleanability and Comfort
Restaurants have always had high standards of cleanliness, but many establishments upgraded their cleaning routines during the pandemic. Restaurants began cleaning more frequently and with harsher chemicals. These changes mean interior designers must choose materials that can withstand these increased demands from the beginning of the design process. Printed materials excel in this situation, unlike lush, highly textured textiles. For example, vinyl and faux leather offer excellent cleanability, and when printed with beautiful designs, do not sacrifice the aesthetic.
And while most places have removed temporary dividers such as plexiglass, restauranteurs are now prepared to utilize these items quickly if the situation changes. With more time, more thought can go into making these temporary dividers more decorative with printed designs that coordinate with the overall look of a restaurant.
The adaptability and resilience of restaurants have inspired us.
Locally owned and operated restaurants, in particular, can make decisions and changes quickly to adapt to a rapidly changing situation. These accommodations are easier to make thanks to digital, on-demand printing. With low minimums and beautiful printing, these examples of adaptability can apply to other small businesses, giving them the tools to weather unexpected challenges gracefully.
Kristen Dettoni is the founder and CEO of Design Pool LLC, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers. Since 1996, Kristen has worked for mills throughout North America, designing fabrics for automobiles, furniture, and home furnishings. She developed the first sustainable upholstery fabric for office interiors, the first sustainable upholstery fabric for automotive interiors, and was awarded a patent for automotive suspension seating. Kristen believes strongly in the power of good design to transform our environments and experiences.