Post-Pandemic 2020 Restaurant Design Duet Design Group Denver Colorado Thumbnail v2
Post-Pandemic 2020 Restaurant Design Duet Design Group Denver Colorado Thumbnail v2

Post-Pandemic Restaurant Interior Design

How will you build your next restaurant?

Predictions on post-pandemic restaurant design. It’s time to rethink restaurant design.

Restaurants will be back, but they won’t look the same as they did pre-pandemic, and that is obviously a good thing. Safe distance table layout. Designated takeout counter space and entrance. Safe open kitchen layouts for customers and employees. Sanitary antimicrobial linens. One time use menus. Smarter with less space. These are all the “new world” ways of thinking about design planning for a restaurant moving forward into today’s new normal. The old, wide open, large dining rooms, 50+ table sections, community bar tables, are now a thing of the past. Which likely seems odd to read. As much as we love this atmosphere, this will not be available anymore in a post pandemic social distancing world. Our children will grow up not knowing how it used to be. Moving forward we will appreciate the experience of going out to eat and enjoying the smaller intimate connection with the restaurant. It will become an event rather than a necessity. More than ever each aspect of the dining experience will be noticed, especially the ambiance and style.

An estimated 1 out of 5 restaurants will be permanently closed due to COVID-19 (read full Business Insider article). Once we learn more about COVID-19 and find a way to live and survive alongside it, restaurants will start to open up again in time. Unfortunately, the restaurants that closed will not open up as they once were. To operate, they will need to pivot and readjust their business plan. If they don’t, they will not survive another pandemic in the future. This is their opportunity to rebuild stronger by becoming a recession and pandemic proof operation.

The restaurants that will survive COVID-19 are the restaurants that adjusted quickly and provided new innovative services. 

  • Improved takeout packaging 
  • Small menu with higher quality
  • Fast service
  • Online ordering (no hand-to-hand payment)
  • Curbside or drive through options
  • Home Delivery 
  • Offer family style meals
  • Easier connection to customers via text or messenger apps
  • Stronger presence on social media
  • Stopped using 3rd party delivery services

Before the 2020 pandemic, all the restaurants that will survive COVID-19 most likely didn’t offer half of these services. But they were quick and grabbed market share while their competition failed to react and innovate.

Here at Duet Design Group we are also adjusting the way we think about design during this pandemic. Space planning, fixtures, furnishings, etc. Everything design is looked at differently with a new lens. Working through the lock down as an essential service, we’ve noticed daily changes to design and have stayed ahead working with our partners and watching the recommended government mandates. We know that we will all come out of this pandemic eventually and restaurants will slowly start to open again. But, we don’t want to fool ourselves thinking it will all be the same as before. We want to be a strong partner and available to the restaurants by providing a new way of approaching building a restaurant from the ground up. By working with forward thinking individuals, who aren’t hesitant with change, is how we as a whole will come out of this pandemic smarter and stronger than ever. How will you build your next restaurant? When the time is right we are ready to help reopen Colorado. 

with delight


At Duet Design Group we look for inspiration from all over the world. Here are 5 restaurants that we love and believe have been innovative and ahead of their time in this new world.

John Anthony – Hong Kong, CHINA




Diaoyutai HOTEL – Hangzhou, China

Awards & press