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Designing for F&B in 2023: 10 Key Trends

Designing for F&B in 2023: 10 Key Trends

The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving. As consumer preferences and expectations change, it’s important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and create an experience that stands out. 

In 2023, we can expect to see a variety of new and exciting design trends that will shape the future of the F&B industry. Keep reading to discover the top eight F&B design trends to watch out for in 2023.

1. Nature-inspired design: Bringing the outdoors in

Incorporating natural elements such as wood, stone, and plants into the interior space to create a more organic and calming atmosphere, nature-inspired design has been on the rise in recent years. This trend not only adds visual interest but also promotes a sense of well-being for customers.

When it comes to nature-inspired design in the F&B industry, The Green Table in New York City is a great example. The restaurant’s interior features reclaimed wood walls and tables, a living wall, and a variety of plants throughout the space. The natural elements not only add to the ambiance but also create a connection to the restaurant’s farm-to-table concept.

2. Sustainable design: A conscious and responsible approach

Sustainability has become a major focus for many industries and the F&B industry is no exception. Restaurants and cafes are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint by incorporating sustainable design elements such as energy-efficient lighting and appliances, repurposed materials, and water conservation measures.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located in Pocantico Hills, New York, is one example. The restaurant’s interior features reclaimed wood and stone. Their commitment to sustainability is also reflected in their menu and operations, making it a great example of a holistic approach to sustainability in the F&B industry.

3. Minimalism: Stripping back to the essentials

In 2023, we’re expected to see more minimalism in interior design. This type of design focuses on simplicity, functionality, and clean lines. The use of a neutral color palette, limited decor, and clean lines create a serene and uncluttered space that is perfect for relaxation and enjoyment.

In London, The Hoxton is a great example. The hotel’s restaurant features a neutral color palette, limited decor, and clean lines. The simplicity of the space allows the food and atmosphere to take center stage, making it a great example of how minimalism can enhance the overall dining experience.

4. On-brand design: Storytelling through design

By infusing elements of a brand’s story and identity into the design of a space, businesses can create a more immersive and memorable experience for customers. This trend is becoming increasingly popular as customers are looking for more than just a meal, but an overall experience that aligns with a brand’s values and story.

On-brand design and storytelling are exemplified in the F&B industry at Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai. The Roastery features design elements that pay homage to Chinese culture, such as traditional lanterns and a two-story, bronze cask adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops, and tells the story of Starbucks and its partners in China. 

5. Industrial design: Raw and rustic

Industrial design is characterized by raw and exposed materials such as concrete, brick, and steel. This trend is popular in the F&B industry as it gives a sense of authenticity and creates a unique atmosphere. This is achieved through the use of raw materials, open ceilings, and vintage or reclaimed elements.

There are many examples of industrial-style interiors in the hotel and restaurant industry, such as The Hoxton in Chicago, which features exposed brick walls and steel beams. Copenhagen’s Coffee Collective also has an industrial interior with raw concrete walls and vintage lighting fixtures.

6. Technology: An Enhanced Customer Experience

F&B brands are utilizing technology to enhance customer experience. Dining experiences are made more convenient and efficient by applying digital menus, ordering systems, and payment methods. These efforts not only streamline the ordering process, but they also offer an interactive and engaging experience for customers.

Restaurant chain TGI Fridays is an example of this trend in action. A number of technological innovations have been implemented by the company, including tabletop tablets for ordering and paying, mobile ordering and delivery options, and the use of augmented reality. 

7. Experiential Dining: Immersive dining experiences

Restaurants and food establishments are no longer just about the food, they’re about the entire experience. This trend is all about creating an immersive environment where diners feel transported to another place or time. This could include interactive elements like live cooking demonstrations, virtual reality experiences, and more. 

The Chefs Club in New York City offers a unique dining experience where diners can watch the chefs in action through a large open kitchen. Another example is The Lost Kitchen in Maine, offering a farm-to-table dining experience where guests are served a multi-course meal in a beautifully restored 19th-century gristmill.

8. Open-concept Kitchen: A new way to interact 

This trend is all about transparency and creating a connection between the kitchen and the diners. Open kitchens are also great for smaller spaces as they don’t require as much square footage as traditional kitchens. Additionally, they help to create a sense of community and intimacy as customers can watch the chefs in action.

New York City’s Fat Radish is an example of this with its open kitchen concept that allows customers to see the chefs working. A communal kitchen is also open to the public at The Hoxton, Holborn in London, where diners can interact with chefs and watch them in action.

9. Modular furniture: Making the most of multi-functional spaces

In today’s ever-changing environment, the need for flexible furniture has become increasingly important in the F&B industry. Whether it’s tables that can be moved around to accommodate different group sizes or chairs that can be stacked for easy storage, having multi-functional furniture helps to optimize the use of space and create a versatile environment that can adapt to changing needs.

An example of a brand that incorporates this trend is Hay. The Danish design company offers a range of modular furniture, including stackable chairs and tables, that can be easily rearranged to accommodate different group sizes and configurations. Another example is Magis, which offers a range of multi-functional furniture pieces, including chairs that can be stacked and tables that can be adjusted in height, to meet the needs of modern spaces.

10. Take-out options: Catering to the Convenient Consumer

With more and more consumers seeking convenient dining options, take-out options have become an essential component in the F&B industry. Providing a seamless and easy way for customers to enjoy your food outside of your establishment is key to building customer loyalty and keeping up with the demands of today’s consumers.

A great example of this trend is Sweetgreen. The restaurant offers a mobile app that allows customers to pre-order their meals, pay ahead of time, and skip the line when they arrive to pick up their food. Another example is Dig Inn, which has a mobile ordering platform and offers a variety of pick-up options, including curbside and in-store pickup.

As the world of food and beverage design continually evolves, keeping up with these trends can help businesses to attract new customers and create a unique and memorable experience for their customers. 

If you’re embarking on a new F&B project or have a renovation planned, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help.

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