When it comes to commercial restaurant design in 2019, over the top greenery and free WiFi no longer cut it for tech-savvy millennial customers. The consumer intelligence firm Maru/Matchbox found that 69 percent of millennials take a photo or video of their food before eating, which has deeply impacted our culture’s expectations of a dining experience. Architects in San Luis Obispo are finding that a commercial space’s “Instagrammability” is of the utmost importance—they are taking social media platforms into account even before breaking ground. As a foodie hotspot, San Luis Obispo is constantly hosting new and updated restaurants. Architects can expect to see two types of social media movements on the rise in commercial design around town: the obvious and the subtle.
Obvious Instagrammable details are branded photo booths and large, oftentimes silly sculptures or kitschy phrases. They can also be slogans or business titles written in funky neon signs, or even cuisine themed murals. The obvious details are essentially the hook a restaurant has to offer that reels in customers. Rather than news of a new cafe spreading word of mouth, customers see their friend’s photos of it online and want to share in that same special social media moment. They want to post a photo of that neon sign or silly statue. The obvious social media movement in commercial design has led businesses to create unique flairs that can stand out digitally.
Architects in San Luis Obispo are accounting for the subtle social media movement in commercial design through consistent patterns and aesthetically pleasing scenery. Midcentury modern is officially here to stay, and bright wallpapers and plenty of natural light create ideal insta-worthy backdrops to a perfectly plated dish. The subtle details are those that customers can manipulate themselves when posting a photo. This can range from colorful cutlery to bold tiling and upholstery. Architects even consider the color of the table in contrast to what food a restaurant serves, making sure the two are complimentary in photos. The key to subtle social media design is to have pieces stand out on their own, while also maintaining a consistent branded aesthetic.
Social media is also affecting restaurant design in regard to ergonomics. Smart phones have changed the way we work and move in spaces, particularly in restaurants and cafes where customers wait for their orders. With more people staring down at their phones and taking photos, it is important for architects to incorporate way-finding into floors using arrows and walkway graphics.
Social media is altering what it means to go out to eat, and the impact has been positive. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all cheap and accessible marketing tools, and have allowed restaurants to attract customers from all over the world. At Studio Design Group Architects, we take modern trends and push them farther so our clients can thrive in their own authentic space. Through our collective experience and innovative techniques, we have created compelling commercial projects throughout San Luis Obispo. Whether you’re looking to start a new venture or simply renovate your space, reach out and learn about what Studio Design Group Architects can create for you and your business.