Different Restaurant Themes

Building a restaurant starts with a very specific theme. Without that guiding force behind every build decision, the design of the restaurant is unlikely to reflect its purpose. Being able to narrow down the theme of an eating establishment before construction begins helps you realize your long-range goals.


Anchored by rough-cut furniture and natural wood throughout, a restaurant with a rustic theme focuses on items found in the wild. Handmade — versus machine generated — accessories and decorations are often used to add emphasis to the exposed beams and wooden benches that are built into today’s rustic restaurants. Plank walls and exposed lighting provide a nod to an era gone by while also highlighting a simpler time that is often reflected in the food that is served.


As starkly different from the rustic look as night is from day, a restaurant with a modern focus provides the opportunity to offer plenty of sleek and polished surfaces as well as a distinctive minimalist look. Often based on striking color contrasts such as black and white or bold and bright colors like reds and yellows, a modern restaurant design allows the designer to push the envelope when it comes to trying new theories. Uncluttered and no-frills, a restaurant with a modern design emphasizes space as well as the latest trends in menu items.



Upscale restaurants are the stuff of starched white tablecloths and plush upholstered booths. Muted lighting that enhances such design touches, like mahogany railings, hand cut stone and gently curving banisters are just a few of the items that can be found in the top upscale restaurant designs. Smooth traffic flow from the kitchen to the dining area is necessary to ensure that the upscale dining experience is upheld. Menu items often consist of the freshest ingredients that are presented in interesting and visually appealing dishes and sometimes feature modern twists on traditional favorites.


Casual, welcoming and made for messes are the backbone of a family-friendly, child-welcoming restaurant design. Flooring that can hold up to lots of vigorous traffic, walls that are finished with washable paint and furniture that can easily be pushed together to accommodate large gatherings of families are the types of amenities that make a restaurant child friendly. A kid-pleasing menu that also offers delectable items for the adult palate — think gourmet pizza, chicken fingers with homemade sauce and hand-cut French fries — allows this type of restaurant to stand out among the crowd.

While there is some overlap when it comes to restaurant design — for example, a restaurant can be both modern and upscale while a rustic restaurant lends itself well to also being child friendly — knowing the unique characteristics of each helps you to narrow your focus further when it comes to restaurant construction.