Garden centres have experienced somewhat of a revival over the past few years. No longer are they simply a place to buy plants and garden furniture – many now offer event days, activity mornings and shopping concessions, making them a fun day out for all.
Another key part to the recent success of garden centres is their catering services. Gone are the days of customers lining up for pre-packed sandwiches – garden centre catering has become far more sophisticated and is now a lucrative market.
From wood-fired pizzas to afternoon tea, patisseries and artisan cooking, garden centre owners are investing thousands into their restaurants, allowing them to entice gardeners and food-lovers alike.
A recent HTA Market Information report found that catering typically makes up 15-20% of a garden centre’s annual turnover, so getting the design and layout of your garden centre restaurant is crucial in order to increase profit margins.
What are the garden centre restaurant trends for 2022?
While design trends are constantly evolving, garden centre owners have recently had to employ extra design ingenuity to entice customers back into their retail spaces.
1. Outdoor Dining
With indoor capacity limited during much of the pandemic, many cafes and restaurants offered outdoor dining as a way of generating revenue whilst making sure customers felt safe and comfortable.
Al fresco dining is still seen as a novelty by many, so it’s likely to attract further custom going into 2022. Firepits, patio heaters and canopies can all be installed to keep diners warm and dry during the winter, whilst diners will relish eating amongst gorgeous garden displays during the summer months.
We worked with Moss & Moor garden centre in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, to create their outdoor restaurant terrace. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Cow and Calf rocks, it provides an incredible backdrop for dining come rain or shine.
2. Botanical & Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is a concept that has been gathering momentum for a number of years. Put simply, the term describes building a connection between a building and the natural environment in order to increase happiness and wellbeing.
Introducing plants into indoor spaces is a key part of the trend. Adding greenery to a garden centre restaurant may seem like a simple task, however, the trend encapsulates more than just plants – natural light, ventilation and natural landscape features must also be prioritised in order to achieve the indoor/outdoor look that’s popular right now.
Biophilic design is another trend Moss & Moor wanted to tap into with their restaurant refurbishment. To do this we focused on restaurant layout to highlight their countryside surroundings, used natural materials such as birch and ash plywood to manufacture their bespoke booth tables and introduced warm and calming colours in neutral and green tones. Of course, we also introduced indoor trees and other shrubs into their restaurant to truly bring the outdoors in.
Other popular biophilic design features include: flower walls, water features, living moss walls, hanging plants, natural materials and maximising natural light.
3. Ethical & Sustainable Design
As consumers grow more and more aware of the growing climate crisis, many are looking to support ethical and sustainable retailers wherever possible.
To coincide with this, there is now a lot of emphasis on reuse, reduce and recycle when designing new restaurants and retail spaces. Choosing to work with sustainable suppliers is important too.
Incorporating vintage pieces, upcycling old furniture, using reclaimed materials to manufacture new products and hiring sustainable suppliers are all good ways of ethically designing a new restaurant.
The disposal of food waste within a restaurant plays a part too, so you may want to consider converting waste into compost – this will benefit the environment and can also be used within your garden centre setting.
The typography trend has been around for a while now and looks set to stay. Coupled with vibrant graphics, marquee letters, neon signs and calligraphy, typography can add personality and style to any establishment.
For your garden centre restaurant, choose elegant fonts that delight the eye, or make the words themselves the main event – from an inspiring motto to eye-catching signage. Alternatively, use the same font that’s used in your branding to ensure your restaurant stays on-brand and is easily recognisable on social media where the trend for typography first emerged.
Typography can also be easily incorporated into accessories such as cushions, mugs and prints if you’d like to keep the shell of your restaurant more minimal.
5. Mix & Match Furniture
This is an interesting restaurant trend as it might initially sound like something that would push customers away, however, when executed properly, it can lead to an increase in sales.
Mixing and matching tables and chairs can add a homely feel to a restaurant. It essentially sends visual cues to customers that your eatery is not part of a copycat restaurant chain, but rather a thoughtfully, handcrafted place.
Mix and match furniture in a restaurant is all about creativity, flexibility and individuality. That being said, it can be difficult to achieve a cohesive look when using furniture that isn’t designed to match. The key to achieving unity is to establish a common theme, whether that be through colour, texture or materials.
Mix and match your restaurant furniture to create a unique space that will captivate and amaze diners.
To see more about our work with Moss & Moor garden centre, please take a look at our case study.
If you’d like to speak to us about your restaurant redesign, or how to incorporate any of these trends into your restaurant, please contact us here: https://www.gralyn-joinery.co.uk/contact-us/.