Restaurant Design Trends/Predictions for 2018


restaurant design san luis obispo

Interested in restaurant design in San Luis Obispo? This is the post for you pal. Competition in the U.S. restaurant industry is fiercer than ever, with some 625,000 restaurants and more than 1 million locations generating over $800 billion in annual sales. Restaurateurs are increasingly driven to differentiate their brands and relying on design to convey compelling brand stories. Today Abbott | Reed Builders is outlining the 2018 design trends you can expect to see across the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Visible kitchens

With the multitude of chef-centered shows streaming today, customers are increasingly fascinated by how their food is made. Visible kitchens allow curious patrons to see behind the scenes. Millennials in particular value this type of transparency. Open kitchens are more likely to engage diners and encourage memorable experiences, and may even inspire a greater sense of community.

Retro touches

While chrome was all over the ‘60s and ‘70s, the splashy metal has been all but absent from the design world, until recently. Now diners can expect to see chrome across acclaimed restaurants in every major city. Chrome isn’t only on trend in the restaurant world either; high-fashion houses from Gucci to Kenzo have incorporated chrome into their modern runway collections.

Bespoke lighting

Hospitality designers understand that diners not only want to feel good, but look good too. Flattering, bespoke lighting is one way to accomplish this. New technology offers more lighting options than ever via apps, remote controls, and singular bulbs. Guests agree – ambiance is greatly affected by changing color or dimming lights. Be on the lookout for this trend in restaurant design in San Luis Obispo.

Midcentury modern style

Midcentury modern style is here to stay for the foreseeable future. From furniture to color palettes, and lighting – designers have long been inspired by this swinging era in history. Today, even wood paneling is making a comeback as natural textures add warmth to inviting environments. Reclaimed wood in particular is going to be all over the place in 2018.

Minimal designs

Clean, simple lines continue to influence design from architecture to functional furniture and beyond. Minimal design puts craftsmanship front and center, so guests can appreciate every detail.

Green design evolves

Indoor plants and ‘living walls’ are everywhere and will only continue to grow (see what we did there) in the year ahead. This green trend doesn’t only contribute to a friendly atmosphere, but there are also positive health benefits associated with being exposed to elements from the natural world. Architects and designers alike suggest that this influx of greenery has increased in popularity as a contrast to our increasingly technological machine-made world. A new facet of this trend also includes more ingredients from produce to herbs being grown on-site in gardens and greenhouses. It doesn’t get any more local than that.


Social media bait is driving restaurant design. There’s no doubt about it. Millennials increasingly have money to spend and they want to spend it in spaces where they can snap and share visually captivating photos. Patterned tile floors, neon signs, colorful art and cheeky signage are a few of the ways designers are adding visual interest to restaurants. Unexpected vintage elements and colorful touches add whimsy diners can’t wait to capture for their Instagram stories.

Hungry for more details? Contact Abbott | Reed Builders online here, at (805) 543-7277 or email