TOP TRENDS | Culture Map Austin: Texas restaurant design expert digs into 3 big eatery trends for 2022

Having been in the hospitality design industry for over two decades, Construction Concepts CEO Josh Weisman has seen every popular interior design trend come and go.

The last two years have no doubt seen massive shifts in the restaurant industry, as everyone navigates the changes brought on by the pandemic.

From takeout and third-party delivery to outdoor dining and limited seating, see which trends Weisman says are here to stay.

Outdoor dining
In Austin, outdoor dining isn’t a new phenomenon — it has long been a part of the dining culture here. However, those that were not already part of that trend were forced to adapt in order to survive when the pandemic hit.

As a result, make-shift patios popped up as sidewalks and parking lots were converted essentially overnight, and their popularity grew so much that now people expect that option to continue.

“We are going to see tremendously more outdoor dining and social spaces across the board in all industries,” says Weisman. “We are going to see downtown dining venues incorporate outdoor seating into their design plans, whether that be a new build or a remodel to an existing space. Before, we may have only seen that in areas that were on the water or outside of downtown. Now it’s here to stay, and with the right design it can be a huge benefit.”

While we are lucky to live in a warm climate, Texas is known to throw all four seasons at us on a moment’s notice.

“This is one factor that some restaurants cite as to why they didn’t have outdoor dining in the past,” continues Weisman. “Those concerns are easily overcome with countless options for enclosed seating areas that allow you to reconfigure as quickly as the weather.”

Social-distance dining
While not every venue can offer outdoor seating, every venue can benefit from a well-thought-out design that can quickly adapt when needs change. The use of architectural pieces will be in high demand this year, as flexible interior layouts are still essential.

“A good design has to do more than just look good — it also has to function well,” says Weisman. “Eliminating booths isn’t necessary, but reconfiguring them with higher backs or architectural elements that divide the space but still feel cohesive is definitely in demand. Unique, structural, open walls can serve as a focal piece of the design and provide separation that still allows everyone to feel a part of the overall experience. The key is to balance the design with the build.”

To-go isn’t going anywhere
Whether fast-casual or traditional dine-in, to-go is now engrained in the food and beverage ecosystem. Restaurants need to offer both of these services seamlessly, so designs must include built-in collection areas for food delivery that won’t disturb diners or create congestion at the host stands. Kitchens also need to be reconfigured to provide adequate space for prep and packaging.

According to reports, the online food delivery segment is projected to reach $66.565 million in 2022, and the number of users is expected to amount to 209.8 million by 2025.

“This is one of the top requests we have from our existing clients,” says Mark Bordman, COO of Construction Concepts. “This has become an essential part of the industry, and a trend that is going to see exponential growth over the next few years. If you haven’t already recognized this, you are behind the curve. The good news is, an experienced restaurant builder can create a space specifically designed to function seamlessly within your existing space, troubleshooting any design obstacles that may pop up.”

Construction Concepts was recently named to Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100 Companies for the third consecutive year, as well as been nominated for six Landmark Awards across three categories and recognized with the Business Impact Award for the work done through its charity initiative, BLDit (Building Lives and Dreams in Texas).

Additional recognitions include being named as one of the Best Restaurant Contractors by General Contractors Magazine, Best Hospitality Contractors by, and the 2018 Salon of the Year Award from

They are also a two-time recipient of the INC. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America Award, INC. 5000’s Regional Texas Award, and INC. Magazine‘s Best in the Business award.

Explore their expansive portfolio here and let them know what they can build for you.

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