Snag More Customers With These Eye-Catching Restaurant Theme Ideas

Jun 14, 2021

exploring unique and cool restaurant theme ideas

As a restaurant owner, coming up with an entirely unique restaurant or restaurant concept can prove difficult. And that’s why restaurant branding is key to gaining notoriety with the public.

If you’re looking for some restaurant theme ideas that will catch customers’ eyes, then look no further than this easy guide. Here are a few cool ideas to inspire your next restaurant design.

Types of Restaurants

First and foremost, you need to know exactly what style of restaurant is best suited for the type of cuisine that you plan to serve. You wouldn’t serve greasy burgers at a fine dining restaurant, for example. Constructing the right design theme begins with the dining experience.

The Heart Attack Grill Restaurant Theme Fast Food

A fast-food restaurant specializes in quick service. Burgers and fries tend to be synonymous with fast food, but there are plenty of other foods you can serve, too.

Focusing on a particular comfort food item can prove to be a huge hit. KFC, Chick-Fil-A, and Popeye’s all stake their claims around chicken. Finding your food niche might be your ticket to creating a central theme for your fast-food restaurant.

Let’s use the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas as an example. There are millions of restaurants that specialize in burgers and fries. This restaurant takes the concept even further by poking fun at the health risks associated with eating too much fast food by naming their burgers after heart-related medical procedures. Teasing that eating your food will induce a heart attack in your customers isn’t exactly a positive selling point, but it sure helps you stand out from the crowd.

Pop-Up Restaurants

pop up style restaurant fish and chips theme truckPop-up restaurants are an interesting phenomenon in the culinary world. Instead of staying confined to one location, pop-up restaurants have the luxury of traveling all around the country or even the world to let customers try their food.

There are plenty of different types of pop-up restaurants out there. A food truck can be considered a pop-up restaurant since it moves from place to place all the time.

Of course, your restaurant still needs a noteworthy gimmick to get customers’ attention. Simply popping up out of nowhere and hoping for the best will not interest the public in your food, no matter how good it might be.

This is where a good social media presence can help. Stir up buzz for your new restaurant business by posting mouthwatering pictures of the food you plan to serve. Your recent posts can make or break a customer’s impression of your restaurant, so be sure to update frequently.

A sleek website design can also boost your restaurant’s credibility. Make sure your site’s menu, blog, and interface are completely up-to-date and user-friendly. Both potential and returning customers will rely on your site for any menu changes, limited treats, and other events taking place at your restaurant.

Press releases about the “new, hot menu item” that only your restaurant serves can also really boost your reputation. Soon enough, you might even sell out of everything on your menu, which will only make your food more popular.

Casual Dining Restaurant

Casual dining is basically a sit-in restaurant with a more relaxed atmosphere and dress code. Friends and family alike gather here to hang out and have a nice, hot meal. You can even open a combination restaurant and bar to appeal more to adults who want to unwind after a hard day.

Fun Restaurant Ideas

Casual dining restaurants have more luxury to dedicate to a specific theme. Inspire your creativity by taking a peek into these fun restaurant ideas below.

Location, Location, Location

Your restaurant’s theme could center around your location. If you open a restaurant location near an airport, for instance, an airplane restaurant might be a cool idea. Some restaurants take it a step further and convert old planes into fully functional dining restaurants.

Special Events

Other casual dining restaurants might offer unique perks not found anywhere else. For example, cat cafés allow guests to interact and play with cute cats while they eat. Customers even have the option of purchasing food and treats to feed the cats that hang out with them.

Your restaurant might also decide to host special events, including live music, live performances, wine tasting, and so much more. Centering your restaurant themes around the events you decide to host might be a good start, too.

The Magic Castle restaurant in Hollywood, for example, provides excellent meals alongside outstanding local magic acts. Ellen’s Stardust Diner in New York City is another great example. This 50s-style Broadway diner is home to singing waitstaff, an indoor train, a drive-in theater, and all sorts of 50s memorabilia. Nothing gets more Broadway than rising stars belting out show tunes while you eat.

Hiring guest chefs through a gig app like ShiftPixy could also be a fun selling point. By supporting your local chefs, bakers, and cooks, you can foster a healthy community and give your customers a unique dining experience to look forward to with each and every meal.

Pop-Ups and Pop Culture

Avid fans of beloved pop culture icons will definitely flock to a restaurant that centers around their particular fandom. The Hobbit Café in Houston, Texas, caters to fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series of films and books. The Saved by the Max restaurant in Los Angeles recreates The Max from the hit sitcom Saved by the Bell in painstaking detail. Fans can feel like they’re on their favorite shows or movies just by eating at your restaurant. The pure novelty of pop culture restaurants can’t be beat.

Theme Nights

Of course, if you absolutely cannot choose between your favorite theme ideas, then you’re welcome to host specific theme nights at your restaurant. Theme nights offer you all the fun of owning a theme restaurant without sacrificing your current restaurant business plan. You can set up your restaurant to look like an underwater palace one day and space exploration the next.