In a pulse survey fielded in February, 57% of restaurant development + design readers say that poor acoustics that make it hard for dining companions to hear one another is their biggest pet peeve in restaurant design. But that was far from the only complaint!

Coming in a distant second, poor lighting design irritates 18% of rd+d readers. Another 11% say that poor storytelling in design is their biggest pet peeve. And 7% said that clunky integration of social media elements (like selfie walls) is the biggest restaurant design pet peeve they have.

Another 7% felt the need to elaborate with complaints that ran the gamut from “lack of cohesions of the brand and the build environment,” to “[im]proper allocation of space” to “inconsistent artwork.” One designer noted that “cooker cutter” spaces that “lack originality” was their biggest pet peeve.

This question was asked as to tie in to the 2023 Designers Dish! annual roundtable. To read our panelists’ takes on their big pet peeves, check out the feature here.

rd+d’s ongoing research project periodically surveys qualified subscribers on the state of restaurant development and design. This survey was fielded in early February 2023.