In a reader survey fielded in February, 35% of readers of restaurant development + design magazine said “poor acoustics” was their number one restaurant design pet peeve. This pet peeve is shared by diners the world over. Other pet peeves are less universal in nature.

  • Coming in a distant second, poor lighting design is a pet peeve for 22% of readers.
  • Clunky integration of social media elements (like selfie walls) was a pet peeve of 20% of rd+d readers.
  • Poor storytelling in design — a hallmark of well-concepted projects but one that is often subtle to diners — was a pet peeve for 10% of rd+d survey respondents.
  • Finally, 13% of readers surveyed had more specific pet peeves. Those included: uneven floors, uncomfortable seating, poor layouts, use of low-quality materials, and even “sprinkler heads that don’t align with anything.”

Never let it be said that designers don’t have strong opinions. For more strong opinions, check out Designers Dish.

rd+d periodically surveys subscribers on the state of restaurant development and design. This survey was fielded in February 2024. Subscribe to The Pulse to get rd+d’s surveys and results delivered to your inbox six times a year.