Re-designing Dining: How a Pandemic is Changing the Restaurant Interior Norm

a restaurant interior in china
World’s first blockchain bar in Hangzhou China. 2100 Club Bar has been promoting the basic design concept of a restaurant interior in a post-pandemic world. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

The pandemic has changed how we interact with the world. Before we can fully understand the impact of COVID-19, it already has changed the way we work and play that even the luxuries of dining have been greatly affected. In addition to delicious food, a cozy atmosphere, and affordable menu prices, there is a additional criteria that guarantee a restaurant’s success; restaurant interior safety.

Believe it or not, but safety is what actually sells in a post-pandemic world. Moving forward will let people appreciate more the experience of dining out and enjoying the smaller intimate circle of a restaurant. It will become an event rather than a necessity. More than ever, each aspect of the dining experience will be noticed, especially the restaurant interior.

In this article, Tokyo Grand Renovation will discuss how to take advantage of the new norm by using restaurant interior.


According to the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID), the recalibration of public spaces, especially environments aimed at mass gatherings, has now, more than ever, become an important interior design undertaking, as private and public spaces evolve with health, hygiene, and safety considerations.

nudging in restaurant interior
People tend to make decisions unconsciously. A nudge helps redirect them toward a better one. What more when combined with the restaurant interior? Photo courtesy of Bressler group.

One safety consideration that PIID has looked into is the use of nudging. A nudge is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.

“One of the hallmarks of design is its power to encourage favorable human behavior. And in the light of the pandemic, our habits and behavior have to change, for the wellbeing and survival of everyone” -Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID)
restaurant interior with signs
A restaurant interior that has visual cues used for nudging. Photo courtesy of One News Ph.

One safety consideration that PIID has looked into is the use of nudging. A nudge is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.

According to the Centers for Diseases and Control Prevention, signs and messages placed in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances, in restrooms) may maintain a healthy environment. that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering.


In the wake of more modern technologies and simplified use in materials, an almost infinite variety of partitions have taken the market by storm. At first, it was purely made for decorative, now it is used for safety. More and more inventive designs and bolder use of materials have made this element very interesting and sought after for restaurant interior in this post-pandemic world.

Retrofits involve a balance between enhancing functionality while preserving the existing feel of a restaurant interior. “The trick for us is to try to come up with solutions that can promote safety and are, in fact, functionally safer,” Niemeier  of  SPACE Architecture + Design says, “but they don’t detract too much from the aesthetics and ambiance.”

restaurant interior using partitions
Rick Stein Bannisters in Soldiers Point, Australia. This restaurant interior showcases that design is not compromised in having safety measures for your dining experience. Photo courtesy of Wallpaper.

It is also written in the CDC restaurant guidelines that physical barriers and guides are needed in areas where it is difficult to be 6 ft. apart from each other. This includes space between tables.


Surrounded by all the modern comforts of our home, it is important that we can also access the resources of an actual workspace.


As you consider on your restaurant’s furniture, reflect on your business’s long-term plans and goals, this includes the pandemic’s impact. The furniture you choose depends on whether you are operating a fine dining or casual dining establishment. Regardless of your dining atmosphere, do not sacrifice the quality of your restaurant interior.

restaurant interior that uses bar stools
Commercial bar stools are already popular before the pandemic. However, using this type of furniture may help your restaurant interior promote safety dining. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

There has been a huge spike of antibacterial furniture in the market recently. But if you wanted to opt for the traditional furniture, take part it being creative of your furniture layout.

For quality sanitation, purchase tables, chairs, and booths that can be easily wiped down and cleaned. Plus, all fabric furniture should be stain-resistant and colorfast. Don’t forget to consider materials and fabric patterns that will complement your decor and desired environment.


a restaurant interior with open kitchen concept
London's Silo restaurant interior promotes open kitchen safety. Photo courtesy of Dezeen.

Of course, open kitchens have been around in varying forms at restaurants for decades, from cramped diners where cooks ding bells and holler “Order up!” to Subway franchises, where bread bakes and staffers assemble sandwiches right in front of customers. It’s just that now, the open kitchen is being embraced not simply for entertainment purposes but also for practical reasons that will make diners comfortable.

Research suggests that we will see more open kitchens during and after the pandemic, as they promote “transparency”. An open kitchen restaurant interior is an opportunity to showcase sanitary processes and the steps taken to turn fresh, high-quality ingredients into each mouthwatering meal.

An open kitchen concept can help make or break a restaurant. The answer may lie in a compromise, expose part of the process and keep the line prep, solace for staff, and the dishwashing behind closed doors.

Having trouble with your restaurant interior? Give it a timeless look with Tokyo Grand Renovation!

Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR) is a design and build specialist when it comes to crafting luxury and functionality in one. Inspired by Japanese philosophy and style, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.   

For inquiries, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 832 16 76, or send an e-mail at

TGRはマカティの高級インテリアデザイン、リノベーション、会社です。TGRは 住宅および商業 スペースの為のデザインと建築を提供 し ております。お問い合わせは 、02832 1676 にお電話いただくか、 電子メール へ送信 お願いします。


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