Trend report: Food and beverage venues will not require large spaces in 2018 says Paul Bishop

Trend report: Food and beverage venues will not require large spaces in 2018 says Paul Bishop

Bishop Design, Design trends 2018, F&B design, Paul Bishop, Restaurant design trends, Trends

Commercial Interior Design and designMENA asked Dubai-based interior designers to contribute to this year’s trend report that looks at themes and socio-economic events that are set to shape interior design industry in the coming months of 2018. 

In such a competitive market, F&B outlets have to stand out from the crowd by innovating and developing unique concepts & offerings. It is up to us as designers to lead the way in creating original and bespoke venues alongside restaurant owners and investors. The way forward, and I predict this would be an emerging trend in 2018, are restaurants which do not require large spaces, and contradictorily, spatially larger ones with a multifaceted diverse physical offering. This is crucial for F&B outlets to survive.

We are going to see F&B outlets focus on smaller, unique and more niche markets; answering to customers’ desire of a much more personalised experience. These trend predictions are only loose guidelines of a panels overview of what will be popular, but an interior can be popular without being ‘trendy.’


Performance-driven venues will also become an integral offering to F&B outlets during 2018, enhancing the guest dining experience even further. This is perfectly represented in our project Dolce Sky which is due to be completed in Q1 2018. Both restaurants are designed with the understanding that the performer and chef will be the primary visual attractions, allowing guests to be exposed to a beautiful hybrid of performance and dining.

I believe 2018 will see a wider use of statement art as a fixed installation to animate a space, with art being considered as the main in-situ focal point holding a physical and visual presence perfectly. Establishing an equilibrium between interior styling, material, finish and space, it is what connects subliminally to people’s subconscious, and what they will remember from the venue. Our upcoming project, Torno Subito, due to open in January, is a perfect representation of not just how original but also how playful and daring you can be with a dining space.

People want a more playful approach with fresher, youthful and more dynamic styling. Current colour palettes use yellows, pinks and turquoises, ranging in different intensities from pastel hues through to brighter tones, all of which beautifully harmonise together within the interior. I like to think of colour as the animation and not the entire envelope – it is there to bring visual enhancements.


In addition, I envision a hybrid of casual yet elegant venues to be created and developed. High end experiences accessible to all that will attract a wider range of clientele, which is paramount in ensuring food and beverage venues thrive in this demographic due to the diverse and multifaceted culture of Dubai (although we don’t just design for Dubai, we design on a global stage).

Trends are generic. They are global, but for me a trend is something that happens sporadically. The venues I have most enjoyed are the ones that surprise, and I don’t necessarily mean the palette and materials. It’s experiential. That is the trend. More engaging. Pleasantly surprising. In theory you create your own trend. Is it a trend, is it not?

I feel there is an 80’s revival coming – which can be seen on the high street. Film, fashion and music which sets the precedent for what we do in an interior. I believe this will be continued and enhanced throughout 2018, following the idea of imperfection is beauty.

Even the simplest contrast enhances a space, making it come alive whilst adding visual dynamic and vibrancy.


Trends are also about what we take, how we evolve, and how we apply it. Take Tulum in Mexico, which attracts people for the food and experience. Chefs are experimenting with new indigenous ingredients that they’ve never had access to before. That’s the trend. Not what the space looks like. Its about what the chefs are doing. People make things trendy. However, trends occur sporadically so what has been popular this year may well be non-existent the next.

A trend that will always remain paramount though is creating memories through the interior, of storytelling, establishing a narrative. Its just about how we achieve that. Whether it be through art, colour, Instagrammable opportunities, unique lighting solutions or whatever other elements we conceive, design and create. Its all about how we combine these in the creation of something extraordinary.

In conclusion, restaurants are set to become more specialised in their offerings, catering to the needs of smaller markets, whilst ensuring a personalised experience is achieved through the cuisine and ultimately through the interior design.

By Paul Bishop, Interior Designer and CEO, Bishop Design


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