Restaurants leverage technology and their passion to do right by the environment to adopt best practices for water conservation.

Pork Shoppe Andersonville Chicago, main dining room

A certain aesthetic springs to mind with traditional barbecue restaurants, where design often receives far less attention than smoke, sauce and brisket. The same does not apply at the new Pork Shoppe in Chicago's eclectic Andersonville neighborhood. The owners of this two-unit restaurant set out to prove that serious barbecue and sophisticated design need not be mutually exclusive.

Tack Room at Thalia Hall

Thalia Hall and Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

A beta test of the Hyatt Regency brand, Viento, at the Hyatt Century City in Los Angeles was designed as a pop-up restaurant that can be periodically switched out to showcase different concepts through menu and design changes. As such, designers looked to develop a blank slate for the renovated space so that additional decorations could be added to create that changing concept. If successful, the hotel giant plans to roll out the pop-up concept nationally.

Sharky's Exterior with fire pit

New prototype elevates the fast-casual dining experience.

Bin 702

Innovative restaurant operators continue to collaborate with creative designers to develop restaurants out of shipping containers. The results are smaller, focused concepts that often can go where other brick and mortar locations can't.

James Biber

It all starts with having a great design, but for those who dream of winning a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Award, there's a bit more to it. First off, it requires taking the time to enter the contest. Doing so involves preparation and investment, and now's the time to plan for that: The call for entries in the 2016 program begins this October. For insights on the awards and tips on what makes for a successful entry, rd+d called on architect James Biber. He served for several years as a juror and was chairman of the Restaurant Design Awards Committee this year.

Twenty-foot robots, blast holes in the walls, and tank tread embedded in polymer paneling all support the brand of this "better burger" concept.