Design Trends 2022

Rachel Ng and Nick Anwari

Faced with immense challenges, the Hospitality and Food & Beverage sectors are employing design ingenuity to increase customer appeal and claw back business. 

The hospitality and food & beverage industries have been among the hardest hit by the trauma of 2021, and as the end of this notorious year approaches, they have learned more than many about the essentials of commercial survival. With so much of their business depending on face-to-face contact, one of their strategies has been to use the practical and aesthetic power of design to re-engage customers in a changed world.   

Here are some of the main themes these industries will be pursuing in 2022…

  1. A sense of belonging. Interior design that is influenced by local culture can give restaurant diners a familiar and comforting sense of place and belonging. This is especially appreciated when socialisation has been so restricted. Simply using materials that are native to the local area can help.
  • Experiential dining. Customers who dine out expect more than good food and service. An attractive menu is just the starting point, today’s millennials are looking for a multi-sensory experience encompassing an atmospheric environment, sophisticated lighting and sound, and professional entertainment.
  • Biophilic design. This trend brings the stress-relieving benefits of nature into urban settings. Along with increased greenery, designers also use sunlight and natural materials to create welcoming environments. Outdoor dining, with its open air circulation has many attractions too. Experts in green architecture, Terrapin Bright Green (TPG), have researched and developed 14 patterns of biophilic design.
  • Flexible furniture. Spurred by recent events, flexible interior layouts have become essential in restaurants for controlling traffic flow and enabling different seating arrangements. Movable decorative partitions can help here. They can also be used to create private designated sections for exclusive dining.
  • Sustainability. The F&B sector can have a significant positive impact on sustainability, not only in the selection of materials used for interior decoration and utensils but in choosing sustainable suppliers. The disposal of food waste plays a part too and many outlets convert this to compost, benefiting the environment.
  • Take-out options. Now an establishedpart of the F&B ecosystem, Southeast Asia’s online food delivery spend is predicted to grow over two times faster than total food service spend over the next five years, hitting $28 billion in 2025. Restaurant designers have to build in collection areas for food delivery that won’t disturb diners. Self-service click-and-collect kiosks may also be included, requiring good traffic and space planning.
  • Open Concept Kitchen. If the desired atmosphere is one of entertainment and activity, an open kitchen where customers can feel part of the action and see fresh produce being prepared is a bold design decision. Designers have to consider that aesthetics in the kitchen are equally important with the front of the house and make material choices accordingly.

CDI World are expert designers of restaurant and F&B environments. Talk to us about your plans for 2022.

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