Transforming a restaurant from one distinctive brand to a very differently themed establishment is hard enough. Try renovating the space while keeping the old business open.

Band of Bohemia

Chicago shows no signs of slowing down any time soon when it comes to new restaurant openings. Here’s a look at four design-forward restaurants you won’t want to miss if in town for the National Restaurant Association show this month.

This James Beard semifinalist restaurant celebrates mid-Atlantic cooking in an environment that emphasizes tradition.

Organizing systems to speed throughput, maintain quality and improve accuracy determines drive-thru success.

The right number of tables in a restaurant is a balancing act between generating revenue and creating the perfect ambiance for guests.

A well-thought-out and flexible application of lighting, materials and other design elements can help restaurants seamlessly serve guests from one daypart to the next, thus maximizing revenue opportunities for a single location.

A Call for Entries: the rd+d awards

Who doesn’t love great restaurant design? Beyond a splashy photo, however, is the story of how it came to be. With that in mind, we have developed the rd+d awards, honoring excellence in both restaurant design and development.

Our readers are some of the most innovative and creative professionals working today, and rd+d exists as a peer-driven resource to share information and to spark conversation.

With that in mind, we’d like to hear about your recent crowning achievements.

Click on the category for more information and to submit your project:

  • Best New Prototype — Existing Chain Concept
    Awarded to the best prototype and branding package rolled out by an established brand.
  • Best New Concept Launch
    Awarded to the best new concept from the ground up, from development through execution, of a scalable design, meant to launch a concept for growth.
  • Best Limited-Service Restaurant Design
    Open to all restaurants in the limited-service category; awarded to the best overall design concept and execution; open to both new builds and renovations
  • Best Full-Service Restaurant Design — Check Average under $50
    Open to all full-service restaurants with a check average less than $50 per person; awarded to the best overall design concept and execution; open to both new builds and renovations
  • Best Full-Service Restaurant Design — Check Average over $50
    Open to all full-service restaurants with a check average more than $50; awarded to the best overall design that delivers a unique experience and fulfills the vision set by the design team; open to new builds and renovations. 
  • Best Bar Design
    Open to all new and newly renovated stand-alone bars or designated bar areas within a restaurant. Awarded to the best overall design concept and execution.
  • Form and Function Innovation Award
    Rewards the most innovative and successful approaches to specific areas of the front or back of the house; from bathrooms to entryways to technological integration — even bars and lounges within restaurants — that capitalize on the integration of form and function in design

Entry window has been extended. Please submit your project by Friday, October 19 at 11:59PM Central time. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or concerns.


  • This competition is open only to restaurants.
  • A restaurant may only win in only ONE category. Please select the category that best aligns with your project. Multiple submissions of a single project in multiple categories are discouraged.
  • Include final, approved floorplan, not just concept drawings.
  • Renovations should include before and after pictures.
  • Our judges compare the criteria outlined on the submissions pages to the actual submissions. Directly address the questions to improve your odds of placing.
  • Judges are free to reject any entry that does not meet basic criteria outlined on the submissions page. Judges may also choose to move an entry from one category to another if they feel it’s a better fit.
  • Judging will occur in late fall and the award winners will be notified via email.
  • Award winners will be featured in the January/February issue of rd+d! 

Leveraging a thoughtful design platform, Bread & Butterfly provides customers with a comfortable atmosphere across multiple dayparts.