The covid19 period has been one of the worst periods for the hotel sector. Many hotels and restaurants have closed, and those that survived have gone through some of the most challenging times in their existence. The social distancing and lockdowns were especially tough on the sector.
With the industry finally bouncing back, it’s only logical that owners and managements find practical ways to jumpstart growth. We believe that the well-thought restaurant design ideas could be the magic wand restaurants need to bounce back.
Restaurant design and redesign is an effective way to attract guests while retaining old customers. The right design ideas can also breathe new life into your restaurant, giving you a leg over the competition. The following are a few tips to consider.
1. Express kitchens
There’s been a strong trend in express kitchens. Inspired by social distancing regulations, this new trend takes the concept of ghost restaurants up a notch. Whereas the ghost restaurant only has delivery teams, an express kitchen allows customers to visit the restaurant without really visiting the restaurant.
There’s no sitting – even if you’re making a takeaway order. Instead, guests pass by the kitchen, grab whatever they need, and drive away. It’s different from delivery because you can still see the chef and experience the smells of a traditional restaurant. However, you cannot enter the premises.
2. Pickup windows
Another trend we’ve seen a lot during the covid period is pickup windows. Pickup windows allow you to serve customers through the window without the need for the guest to enter the restaurant. For instance, you can designate a pickup area on the storefront and ask guests to drive through as they make and pick orders.
The beauty of pickup windows is that they are straightforward to create. Most restaurants merely repurpose existing windows for pickup. Meanwhile, others swap out existing standard doors for Dutch doors. Another option for those with sliding windowed walls is to open up a section to run a pickup window.
3. Designated pickup areas
If you cannot create an express kitchen or pickup window, you should consider a designated pickup area. This isn’t a new concept per se. However, it’s more important now than ever before. With decreased indoor dining, most customers are picking orders on the go. You need to provide a designated area where they can pick their orders safely.
Pickup warmer lockers are a good option. They keep meals warm at a food-safe temperature before the customer arrives. Once installed, the customer needs a code from their order to access their food.
4. Dining pods
We’ve seen an uptick in outdoor dining options in recent times. But, unfortunately, those tables might not be as comfortable when the weather changes and the cold season sets in. To solve this problem, many restaurants are opting for outdoor eating pods for cold seasons.
Dining pods can be plastic igloo tents or plexiglass sheds. The bottom line is that they offer customers privacy while protecting them from the biting cold. Above all, they allow guests to keep social distance while protecting the restaurant from the legal consequences of open dining under the new covid19 regulations.
5. Private hotel dining rooms
Social distancing requirements and the growing demand for privacy are also driving the restaurant industry to private dining rooms. A private dining experience could be a two-hour reservation during which the guest can enjoy private time with their friends or family. After two hours, a new reservation is booked.
Private dining is beneficial for restaurant owners and management in many ways. For one, it allows them to put unbooked rooms to good use. Secondly, it allows them to take in more guests while adhering to social distancing regulations. Above all, the hotel can charge guests slightly more as privacy is considered an added benefit.
6. Rooftop dining
Another restaurant design idea that has become popular during the covid19 period is rooftop dining. The rise is partly because of the social distancing regulations. However, it’s also a result of the increased demand for outdoor dining, a trend that was starting to pick up even before the coronavirus. Rooftop dining allows restaurants to address the shortage without breaching social distancing regulations.
Those already on the rooftop dining bandwagon rely on plants and umbrellas to liven up the rooftop spaces in the summer. Meanwhile, blankets, fireplaces, and outdoor patio heaters keep the guests cozy during the cold season. A major attraction of rooftop dining among guests is the opportunity to indulge in the beautiful views.
It’s been a tough time for the industry. However, you have to keep going. The above restaurant design ideas should allow you to continue serving your guests safely.