12 Instaworthy Restaurant Décor and Design Trends

Choosing an aesthetic for your full service, quick serve or fast casual restaurant can be overwhelming. There are tons of restaurant design and decor ideas out there! To help you narrow down your options, we’ve compiled a list of twelve design ideas for restaurants.

The terms “instaworthy, instagram worthy, ‘gram-worthy” etc. have become part of normal life for many. The implied objective of instagram-centered design is to convert online traffic or brand interactions to offline, real revenue generating business for brick-and-mortar locations. If you build it, the followers will come, right?!

Not only do restaurateurs want to make food that meets this criteria, they are now focused on creating entire spaces that consumers will want to share with their own followers.

1. Typography

When done right, typography as decor is always a hit. Bold graphics, marquee letters, diagrams, and charts are all fun (and informative) ways to add type to your design scheme. Old-school neon signs are a big hit right now, too – try getting one custom made with a food item, quote or phrase that reflects the vibe of your restaurant.

2. Support Local Artists

If you have a lot of open wall space that you want to design on a budget, reach out to local talent for help. By featuring a new artist or group of artists either monthly or quarterly, you get a rotating collection of unique decor and local artists get their work seen and potentially sold. This idea is especially cool if your business is located in the arts district.

3. Murals and Wall Art

If you want to showcase a local artist but aren’t into the gallery-inspired idea above, hire an artist whose work you admire to create a mural. Guests won’t be able to resist a selfie with this Instagram-worthy piece of art, giving you added publicity in the form of user-generated content. No room inside for mural-sized art? Put a mural on your building’s exterior instead!

4. Go Green

Indoor plants are having a moment right now, so decorate your space with lots of greenery. Not only are plants beautiful and relaxing, but many help purify the air. They also make a visual connection for guests about the freshness of your ingredients.

5. Open Up the Space

Make the kitchen itself part of the decor, especially if you have a unique focal point, like a wood-burning oven for pizza. If opening up the kitchen isn’t a possibility, consider a glass display, perhaps displaying desserts. Inviting people to get close to your products gets them talking and the more they learn, the more they tend to spend.

6. Pick a Theme

Themed restaurants have a reputation for being a bit overboard, but they don’t have to be. Try to pick a theme that isn’t too trendy – it will look dated in just a few years. Instead, pick something that reflects your menu or brand and incorporate your theme in a modern way.

7. Modern Minimalism

If you’re looking for a less-is-more vibe, go with a minimalist look; think clean lines, natural materials, and a simple color scheme. Remember that going simple can sometimes be more difficult because every little detail matters and will be noticed.

8. Embrace the Classics

Certain looks are classics for a reason, as long as it works with your fast casual restaurant’s menu. French bistros, ‘50s-style diners, or a classic pizzeria look with the checkered tablecloths can all lend a sense of nostalgia while still having a modern twist.

9. Community-centered Design

Food is the great equalizer and restaurants can bring a community together. To create a community-centered experience in your restaurant try adding a communal table, removing TVs, or offering board games for guests to play while they wait.

10. Location-based Design

Sometimes your decor will decide itself. A seafood restaurant on the water is going to call for blues and whites, light wood, and tasteful nautical touches while a BBQ joint in Texas is going to set an entirely different set of expectations. Take a look around you and think about what customers will expect when walking into your restaurant.

11. Be Mindful of Lighting

Good lighting creates ambiance for your guests. Think about what type of environment you want to create and how you want your guests to feel in your restaurant. Besides the feel of the restaurant, other things to consider when choosing your lighting is energy efficiency, staff safety, and whether you want customers to be able to get a good shot of their plate for the ‘gram.

12. Functionality is Key

Function can be far less fun to implement than design, but a well-functioning restaurant can make a huge impact on your bottom line. Hire a professional designer to plan your layout and maximize function. A small space doesn’t necessarily need to feel crowded or cramped!

About OrderMatic Corporation

At OrderMatic, we develop solutions that enhance the customer transactional experience in new and innovative ways. For over 60 years, we have provided turnkey contract manufacturing services nationwide. From exploring digital menu boards to using presell menus effectively, there are many ways to improve your restaurant’s efficiency even beyond best sales practices. Contact OrderMatic to discuss how you can enhance both your drive-thru and dine-in experience!