Spring is in the air, and it can’t get here fast enough.

Soon, restaurateurs will set up their patios, and guests who reside in a place with real winters will hashtag their Instagram posts with some variation of their love for #PatioLife and dining al fresco.

Speaking of Instagram, it appears to be rd+d readers’ social media platform of choice. Instagram is impossible to overlook as a tool for garnering interest in restaurants and brands and as a marketing tool for designers. So, we jumped in with both feet a few months ago, and it’s been a lot of fun. You can find bonus images from the pages of the magazine (and web exclusives) at @restaurantdesignmag. I also have an account where you can follow along on my adventures in eating and editing: @rddEditorBex.

From snapping pics of their food to researching the menu to checking out the aesthetics, people review prospective restaurants online like they would a prospective date. Setting expectations from the outset plays an important role in shaping a dining experience, and Contributing Editor Amanda Baltazar explores this niche subject in How to Connect the Digital and Analog Brand Experience.

Every restaurant guest tells their own story on their social media feeds, and their story intertwines, for however long, with the places they visit. In a feature on storytelling in restaurant design, Once Upon a Restaurant, Senior Contributing Editor Dana Tanyeri explains how restaurant design can immerse a visitor in a story without the design devolving into kitsch.

You can catch me outside (or online — sometimes both),

For all bonus content related to this issue visit