The restaurants that do best on social media, which is exactly the aim for most of them, are the ones that offer something more. They offer an experience, but one that can be easily transferred onto social media. Sometimes the interiors do this, sometimes the entertainment does this, sometimes the food does this, but the point is always that you’re not only coming for the meal.
People are eating out less and looking at social media more, which means you have to entice them with something extra in 2022. If you’re having trouble coming up with your concept, take a look at our picks for the best restaurant theme ideas in 2022.
The zen theme
Sometimes you’re looking simply for some peace. People are working from home at record rates nowadays, but that gets dull quickly. Before you know it, internet cafes are making bank off of parents waiting for their kids to come out of school and students looking to get away from their dormmates.
If you can create the ultimate zen eatery, you’ll be doing well in this fast-paced world. Kit it out with a library in case someone would rather relax than work, gentle music, and of course, decent Wi-Fi, and you’ll create a space where anyone would love to spend long hours.
You can take inspiration from Asian interior design: bring in plants, candles, and water features to bring nature inside for a healthy space for your mind to be and lower stress.
The music hall theme
Food and music go together as well as soup and a sandwich. The only way you can improve music is with a dining experience, so why not combine the two.
The good thing here is that you don’t have to stick to the one demographic and if you do want to, you’ve got a lot to choose from. If your restaurant is more casual you can have nights where a rock band is playing or a solo player with a guitar. If you’re more upmarket you can have a piano player playing or a jazz or swing band for more lively nights.
The Hard Rock Café managed to make an entire franchise out of the concept. And who doesn’t love eating in a place that’s part history museum to music’s greatest icons? Take some inspiration and create a mood with your interiors for the ultimate music lover’s hangout. Offer something more than music. Merchandise, a collection of vinyl to browse and buy from, the chance to choose the next song, etc.
The movie buff theme
Do you remember the best element of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie as a kid? It was, undoubtedly the pizza – with a cheese string that seemed to go on for miles.
If you’ve ever heard the name Binging with Babish you’ll know where we’re going with this. Some people, present company not excluded, simply fall in love with the food seen in TV and movies. Binging with Babish is a New York chef who has attempted to recreate all of these recipes and decided to turn them into a cookbook and a YouTube career.
Those of us who have no culinary skills need him to open a restaurant. People need to try The Princess and the Frog’s New Orleans beignets, Bob’s Burgers Burger of the day, and Ratatouille’s… well, ratatouille.
You can decorate the restaurant with hallmarks of the classics of cinema, and even install a projector for a themed night at the weekend.
The dog-friendly theme
Maybe we’ve been watching too much Fleabag and decided a café that has guinea pigs running around was too good an idea to pass up on, but come on, who doesn’t love dogs?
Dogs have mountains of mental health benefits that could create an adorable place to hang out. Imagine a cutesy decorated space, perhaps with a fire and a traditional theme to the design, leather, and squishy chairs, a cup of tea nearby, or an ultra-modern tea room look with tiny sandwiches served. Or a menu that specializes in a dripping plate of ribs in the interest of sharing.
There are so few establishments that allow dogs that it becomes a gem when you find one. Can you imagine a place that will not only allow dogs but encourage them? You can meet up with your friends on a day where they don’t need to leave the pup alone, or go and simply enjoy some attention from some new furry friends.
Okay, there might have to be limits on how many plates a waiter can carry at once and there might be some creative restaurant seating arrangements in place, but other than that you’ve got a recipe for love.
The street food theme
See, the problem here is that street food is a very broad term. You probably can’t define it, certainly not by nationality like other genres of food, but more by its convenience. Can you eat with fingers or a spork? Can you eat it from a cone? Does it come from somewhere far away and you’ll never find anything like it in a traditional restaurant? Then it’s street food. That’s the real allure.
But in rainy cities, like Seattle, for instance, street vendors aren’t so common. No one wants to stand in the rain while they eat.
However, there are a lot more options than simply parking the food truck and buying a restaurant. The appeal of a food truck, for one thing, is its distinct lack of rent payments. We can’t say all these options lack that, but they are more affordable. Thanks to Covid, restaurants had to adapt to a lack of physical customers and came up with some good ideas. Like the ghost kitchen, which can simply be you cooking out of your own home and using a delivery service to get it to the customer. Or the pop-up kitchen, which has a canopy, seating, and restaurant pop up out of nowhere.
You could have themed nights, where you offer street food from all around the world and offer people with less favorable climates the chance to eat street food without getting snowed on.