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What does the easing of some alcohol regulations mean for bar design? Not much yet, at least according to a February survey of restaurant development + design readers.

An overwhelming 71.56% of rd+d readers surveyed said that even given the loosening of alcohol takeout regulations in some states, they do not anticipate the bar area in full-service restaurants to change. The remainder of the answers were split: 11.93% felt that bar areas in full-service restaurants will be larger than before and 13.76% said they felt the bar areas would be smaller than before.

“Restaurants are built beyond the challenges we will still have this next year,” said one respondent. “Looking ahead to what will trend in the next 5 to 10 years is where [designers and operators] should be making their decisions on overall layout and size of functions.”

Another noted that bar size will shrink “only if alcohol to-go continues after the pandemic is over.” 

rd+d launched a yearlong research project in December 2020 that will periodically survey qualified subscribers on the state of restaurant development and design. Each issue in 2021 will feature new data collected from very recent reader surveys. 

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