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  • Writer's pictureJillian Stern

European Trends in American Dining are A"meze"ing

European styles are inching their way into the American dining experience, and we’re ok with it! At elite | studio e, we keep tabs on upcoming trends so we can best help our clients meet their design goals. Like swapping your knife from right to left hand after cutting your food, there are other aspects to American dining norms that aren’t as prevalent in the European scene.

“Even though there are cultural differences, there are broad agreements across the world when it comes to the way people should behave at the dining table", Lauren Brown from Where & What in the World

Although there may be agreements on behavior, it is not always that way with how the dining spaces are designed. From structural differences and stylistic choices, to sanitary/ health laws impacting food displays, where can we start when diving into the trends of European vs. American dining? We all know there are major differences, and that’s what drives the hunger to see, taste, smell, hear, fully immerse yourself in new places through travel.

And we’re here to tell you more about it.

For Americans who cannot travel to Europe as much as we’d like, we're lucky to experience European influence in some of our spaces. One example is the new Hoboken, NJ, train station, which is being built with European intention. ABC News says, " The project touts an European market where commuters can relax, eat and take a break from their hectic commute".

What do you think about when you hear “restaurants”. Food? Ambiance? Design? Maybe all the above. As of 2021, Europe was the second smallest continent, but the third largest populated. It is home to hundreds of cultures that are as vastly different as they are rich and enticing. With lots of cultures all in one continent, you can imagine the variety of design trends. Some of the types of European feels we have been emulating, stem from northern and southern styles.

Scandinavian design, coming from northern Europe, oozing into modern finishes and inspiration. With its minimalist feel, delivered with light colors, wood, and clean sentiments.

Credit: GETTY IMAGES, Martha Stewart

Additionally, we have been calling on our reps for ornate textures and fabrics, artisan tiles and patterns, inspired by places like Italy in southern Europe.

Incorporating each of these styles encourages elevation in our looks.

Credit: Condé Nast, Architectural Digest

The “meze table” is another theme we have been embracing with open arms (and stomachs). This European concept promotes sharing, and feelings of togetherness. We're also seeing more pastry displays and food cases showing a variety of options in a carefully curated setup.

"But overall European restaurants are more unique, more authentic, and more themselves than American restaurants", says Restaurant Engine. We have been aiming to achieve these attributes in our projects.

At elite|studio e, we will be using our expertise to implement more of these trendy demand in our designs. Call on us for a consulting, let us be your next partner in envisioning foodservice solutions. From concept to completion, we can deliver these, within law limitation (like food guards) to your space.

On a more personal note:

I spent some time in Europe this summer and these themes were even better in person. The difference in food displays, presentations, and ambiance in restaurants is unparalleled. It makes sense why these trends are seeping into American foodservice designs!


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