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Trends in hospitality & design that are HOT right now!



Trends in hospitality & design that are HOT right now!

Listen up peeps, 2018 is nearly over. With this is mind, we've decided to compile the top trends of 2018. If you have't rocked one of these trends yet, now is the time to get trendy. Capitalize my friends and increase revenue with these helpful tips. Most importantly, remember your target audience and the people who drive these trends - the Millennial's.

Image above: Charlotte's Little Sister Cafe, Sydney. A small splash of colour and just the right amount of artist expression, paired with raw timber that acts as both shelving and wall feature make this cafe unique and personable.  

Social Media Mindfulness

In a nutshell, be instagram worthy. Create a space or food that people will want to take a photo of and share with the world. Free publicity for you and a great way to generate business and attract customers. Some hotels and restaurants even have dedicated 'selfie' areas. You want to encourage customers to photograph, post, share and like your food, cafe, hotel as much as possible. Design your space and create your food with interesting visual elements that capture and hold people's interest. Most businesses, particularly restaurants, have their own instagram and facebook pages, which are great marketing tools. Remember people don't go to a hotel for just a room, or a restaurant for just a meal - they go for an experience. They want to be entertained and mesmerized by what it is that makes your hotel/restaurant unique. So, be experience focused.

Maybe you have fruit, flowers and plants hanging from the ceiling. Maybe you have a wall made entirely of bottle tops. Maybe your freak shakes are super freaky or your burgers are double beef, double cheese, double everything. Whatever it is, and it can be practically anything these days, make your hotel, motel, restaurant, cafe or coffee-shop unique and different.

Technology Integration

Stay connected or get left behind. It's no news flash that people are literally connected to their devices, all.... the.... time.... They come with us wherever we go and switched on businesses are banking on the fact that you will want the convenience of contact-less, wire-less devices. Charging stations are available in furniture, on furniture, next to furniture, wherever you might need them. The ability to charge your personal devices while you eat lunch is a major draw card. Hotels and restaurants can lure customers in with their hi-tech conveniences. Hotels now offer self check-in and programmable rooms that are controlled from your smart phone. Lights, tv, heating, cooling and music are only a finger tap away. Restaurants and cafes have digital menus, where you order and pay right at your table - no waiting in lines or waiting for a waiter/waitress to notice you. You can customize just about everything. Constant connection, it's the norm.

And let's not get started on at home delivery. You don't even have to go to a restaurant anymore, just tap-tap-tap on your phone and your burger & fries is brought straight to your door. While the majority of restaurants still offer in-house dining, this too is becoming a thing of the past. There are now "ghost" restaurants, places where you can only order food - no dine in option. And I'm not talking just about pizza or fish & chips.

While all of this scares some people, the majority are being swept up along with the crowd. Contact-less payments, tickets, ID as well as food and accommodation are just so conveniently easy and it's everywhere.

Colour, Texture & Shape

Let's talk colour. It's been back for a while now, no more all white and grey colour schemes. Earthy colours are especially popular right row- deep reds, rusty oranges, teal blues and native greens are all popular at the moment. And yes, Millennial Pink is still fashionable. Pair a colour with some natural (or natural looking) finishes and you've got a winner. All kinds of timber, stone, glass and metal are being utilized to compliment and enhance the natural, earthy vibe. For soft finishes, velvet is big - people still want a little luxe with their naturalistic themes. Recycled fabrics and fibres are also catching on in a big way - leather made from pineapple, woven grass and any type of recycled or reclaimed material you can think of.

Let's not forget a fair amount of greenery. There's a name for it now, biophilic design -designs encompassing plants, vegetation and greenery. The health benefits have been proven and it looks great. Real plants aren't even required, prints, patterns, wallpaper, sculpture & artwork can be used to add a touch of green. Trees are planted inside, green walls and ceiling installations are bringing the outside, inside. This is a comforting sight in a mostly digital and man-made world.

Concepts are more fluid and/or geometric. Organic and mathematical shapes or lines are used to create a visual drama is strangely harmonious. Spaces are contrasting ideas and designs that are aesthetically pleasing when paired together. The result is the creation of a new eclectic contemporary style featuring the unique, forgotten and overlooked.

Fine Casual

Fine dining has had its time in the sun, but there's a new kid in town and he's popular. Fine Casual is the go-to for many diners and travelers. More and more people are wanting less formality in their private and public life - this includes hospitality. Only a select few require sparkling white tablecloths, variously sized cutlery and five courses of minuscule portioned main courses.

Restaurants and hotels are cutting back on the extravagance. Formal lobbies and receptions are slowly being phased out. In their place are functional, multi-use spaces. Staff seated behind desks and computer screens are a rare sight. Now staff are standing or walking around with tablets in their hand, helping guests to their rooms or with their luggage. The lobby is now an open plan room that doubles as a sitting room and cafe/bar. A much more approachable and relaxed environment for all.

People are embracing the blurred boundaries of home and work, indoor and outdoor, public and private. Comfort and convenience are in style. People love casual as long as its good quality and presented well,  casual does not mean cheap and sloppy. People will gladly pay $16 for a burger and chips if its gourmet, free range or grass fed and looks like a work of art. Simple food, made with wholesome ingredients served on a slab of timber or stone.

Image Below: New York City, Smyth Hotel’s lobby area is divided into four sections:  Living Room, Den, Library, and Evening Bar. 

Health Focused

Being focused on health and wellness is a gold mine right now. Never before have people been so dedicated and vocal about healthy lifestyles. We've made fitness and being healthy stylish and popular. There's designer 'active wear', yoga meditation rooms at airports and every kind of milk that isn't from a cow.

Restaurants and cafes now offer gut-friendly food, freshly squeezed detox juices and menus that are natural, organic and ethically sourced. People are focusing on their bodies, what they put into it and how they use it. Wellness programs are accessible at hotels and workplaces. Pilates, yoga, meditation, personal trainers. We want to look after ourselves to increase our longevity, quality of life and overall happiness.

Clean eating and living are what people want and businesses are cashing in on the health craze.

Image above: Qantas yoga lounge

Things to remember!

  • Don't over generalize, people like things that are different and unique
  • Target millennial's
  • Stay connected
  • Bring the outside inside with natural finishes and greenery
  • Don't shy away from colour
  • Be experience focused and social media worthy
  • Make business less formal, be a home away from home
  • Take an interest in and cater to people's health and fitness
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