When it comes to creatively visualizing how to transform a venue for an event, inspiration can be found everywhere:
Fresh ideas to spice up event layouts can also be found in restaurant design. At its core, restaurant design creates a holistic experience for the customer. Whether it’s the entryway, the seating areas, kitchen visibility, or the bar’s energy, every component is purposeful.
And like the events and meetings industry, restaurants were forced to make significant changes at the start of the pandemic. Quick pivots to outdoor dining, revamped décor, reconfigured seating layouts, and much more have evolved into long-lasting trends influencing event designs.
Put your event space in the best light with these six creative event design trends from the restaurant scene.
Get inspired by the local area
In the quest for restaurants to be more memorable, particularly chains and spaces in historic or destination areas, designs have shifted to incorporate local area icons and landmarks. While locally sourced ingredients and specialties have been hot for a while, more physical spaces also reflect the community.
To reflect local flare while keeping a touch of elegance, consider adding event décor that fits in with the area — adding artwork from local artists, incorporating accents from community artists, using resources and materials native to the local environment, or even inviting local entertainers to perform during receptions, awards galas or headline the event.
Open up the floorplan
A restaurant’s floorplan and flow are crucial to its operation. Full-handed staff needs space to circulate and avoid bumping elbows with colleagues or diners easily. And patrons will be uncomfortable sitting at tightly clustered tables or maneuvering cluttered pathways to access the bar or restrooms.
Design an open event floorplan to mimic what restaurants have achieved from both a function and design standpoint:
- Create a warm welcome in the lobby or registration area with plenty of room for expected foot traffic.
- Ensure waiting areas, registration points, and queue lines have appropriate signage to avoid unnecessary crowding and aimless wandering.
- Spread out and have enough tables in reception or dining areas for guests to comfortably take their seats.
- Incorporate different types and quantities of seats to accommodate small, medium, and large groups in networking spaces.
- Leave enough aisle space for event guests to move easily from area to area.
Bonus tip: design and utilize to-scale floorplans to take clients through 2D and 3D versions for a virtual walkthrough.
Embrace the outdoors
Outside spaces became a viable alternative when restaurants were forced to close indoor dining options. Alfresco bars, lounges, dining areas, and even self-contained pods popped up everywhere and quickly became preferred spaces for eating, drinking, or hanging out.
Event designs can benefit from embracing the outdoors. Not only do these spaces increase venue square footage and capacities, but they can give attendees a much-needed change of scenery from a packed event schedule.
Maximize outdoor event spaces by:
- Considering the year-round climate and adding appropriate weather protection elements (i.e., sun canopies, industrial fans, heaters, or fire pits).
- Positioning tables, umbrellas, canopies, or other décor items to ensure guests and servers can easily walk through without obstructions.
- Incorporating lighting, AV, or other equipment for turn-key announcements, presentations, or live entertainment.
- Building an outdoor bar station that serves double duty as a reception or break space.
Indulge in IG-worthy décor
Like it or hate it, restaurant goers love Instagram, especially for sharing pics of meticulously plated meals. But guests don’t just stop at publishing stylish snaps of food. Posting pics of trendy restaurant interiors or accent elements have been on the rise too.
Embrace distinctive and chic aesthetic event décor that social media influencers can’t resist capturing – and sharing with their followers. Incorporate dynamic, eye-catching event elements, like greenery focal walls, incredible murals, bold wall prints, or neon signs. All these post-worthy décor items create a modern vibe and are sure to attract the attention of attendees to share event snaps on social media.
Mix and match furniture and seating
People don’t visit restaurants just to eat. They also visit to socialize, meet up, and make connections. Restaurants have catered to this trend by offering alternative seating, like couches and stools to create a welcoming vibe.
The same goes for event designs: don’t be afraid to switch up traditional seating. Mixing vintage chairs with modern tables takes an event dining space from boring to beautiful. Or clusters of mix and match furniture in networking or lounge spaces create cozy conversation hubs.
Warm up with colors and textures
Clean, crisp, and primarily all-white restaurant interiors and cool tones have been all the rage for many years. Of late, there’s been a shift to warmer restaurant tones and color palettes as consumers crave more comfortable and inviting spaces when eating out. Research has also shown that more rich tones like deep reds, golden yellows, or burnt orange increase people’s heart rate and excitement, stimulating hunger and making them more likely to order more food.
With warm colors pairing well with neutrals, event venues can easily incorporate warmer palettes through accent elements and textures. Feature a warm palette in décor elements like seating, flooring, and accents to give event attendees a more intimate, inviting experience. These tones and décor make for more Instagram-worthy photo backdrops that customers love to share.
Don’t forget to also incorporate lush fabrics like velvet and linen in warm tones. Mixing textures add personality and originality to an event design and create a welcoming and inviting event environment.
Why stick to what’s been done before when selling your venue space? Restaurants will always serve up ample inspiration so use these trends to spice up your event design.
Help your client visualize your space in new and different ways with Allseated’s floorplan design and virtual tour tools. It’s easy to get started !