Hopes and Dreams: 54 Restaurant Ideas for 2024
We want Easy Buttons for the check, ball pits, and spontaneity, and we want it now
As the calendar braces to turn over and 2024 literally becomes the new 2023, it’s time again to imagine what could be for our great industry next year. Sure, ‘23 was cool. Even though we didn’t get the Lazy Susan Act passed and nobody opened a gourmet buffet dreamscape (see last year’s wish list), it was a solid year for the restaurant industry. How, now, do we dial it up from here? Funny you should ask. Behold, our 54 restaurant ideas for 2024:
Restaurants that charge by the minute
Sometimes we want to graze, but running the clock for free doesn’t work for the house. Maybe just charge $1/pp/minute and everyone is happy? Don’t worry, the burata can still be an upsell.
Crumbl opens on Sundays
Here’s an easy one. We really can’t have cookies on cheat day?
An ad-supported restaurant network
Dinner’s on Proctor & Gamble, but you gotta endure product placement and servers pitching CPG brands between every course. Oof, but maybe not-oof?
Less dishes made tableside
Doesn’t the kitchen have one job, this being it?
More dishes made tableside
But it really is a good gimmick.
Reservations, but make it a dating app
He may not be Brad Pitt, but he is a man with a great smile and a 7:30 2-top this Thursday at 4 Charles Prime Rib.
Another shot for Flavortown
Guy is an elder statesman now. Maybe he deserves another bite at the donkey sauce-marinated apple.
An expensive cheese board on every menu
A la carte olives, almonds, and jamon is a tedious framework anyway.
Dave Portnoy x Charlie Redd Pizza Collab
It’s time for the Boston boys to make up, and nothing brings the bros back together like some crisp ‘za.
Ball Pit at Michelin-starred restaurants
Look, this one is #45 for a reason. We know it’s a long shot. But shouldn’t adults get to have fun, too? Is this hospitality really that unreasonable?
An authorized Taylor Swift restaurant
If you build it they will fo shiz come.
A ban on physically oversized menus
11”x17” is an insane size for a menu with 12 items on it, fam.
Bring back the Stinger
Yes, it’s old school and all booze – this forgotten classic means business, and so do you.
Doesn't securing a good Spanish rice feast need to get a lot easier?
Amazing food paired with bowling
Thai Diner + bowling = 🔥.
Bread, but make it hot
Serve it hot or don't serve it at all.
We’ll take the check now, please. That was easy.
A one year moratorium on playfully named cocktails
Puttin' on the Spritz, we're puttin' you in a time out.
Make Upcharges Downcharges
Price pasta with truffles and list the downgrade option.
Make the 90-minute turn an official thing
2024 is the year the dinner death zone—when a meal suddenly turns into a marathon—disappears.
Redesign the check
No one has looked at the design of the printed check in ages. It's probably time for a punch-up there.
Less truffle, more caviar
A year or two without truffles will set them up for a triumphant return in 2026. Meantime, caviar opulence is more fun anyway.
Drink tickets everywhere
Shouldn't you always have a free round in your pocket?
More brand extensions
Jon & Vinny’s pancake mix, Via Carota bottled cocktails, Nobu hotels. It’s a wonderful start, but we need more.
Cardi B presents an Atlanta food festival
Her Hotlanta rant surely came from a place of love. Lady’s just trying to place a to-go order on a Tuesday night! Let’s get Keith Lee in the middle of this thing and turn her frown upside down.
Grand Theft Auto, the restaurant
If it’s time for a resurgence of theme restaurants, let’s skip Mario and start here.
Ubiquity for canelés
These little guys are really wonderful. Why are they so hard to find?
Make White Russians the new martinis
The Dude abides, and he ain’t counting calories.
Tinned fish tasting menus
Let’s just keep upping the ante with this delicious trend.
Embrace the Big Boxes
Tin Building, Row DTLA — these places are polished and well-curated. Enjoy them.
Servers on skates
We want to see that roast chicken gliiiiide.
A restaurant that’s an elevator
What if instead of the Marriott Marquis revolving 360 degrees per hour, it’s a restaurant that slowly ascends to the 100th floor?
The right combination of dishes unlocks a meal on the house.
Titanic, the restaurant
If Grand Theft Auto isn’t your thing you would totally go to this joint for beef with chateau potatoes and Waldorf pudding.
Consider the food crawl
Those Basques, they know something. Appetizers at one spot, primi at another, the branzino at a third, dessert who knows where?
A restaurant that also does Ozempic shots
How does 1 percent food cost sound, Stephen Starr?
Going big at lunch
The Italians have this one right, but why haven't we caught on? Dinner doesn't deserve all the fun.
Every restaurant gets a sister shoppy shop
Yes, Missy Robbins is onto something.
More food x fashion collabs
We can do better than the Panera Purse.
And more live music in restaurants
Spotify playlists are so 2023.
Normalize to-go cocktails
So what if the pandemic is long gone? De Niro shouldn’t be the only New Yorker scoring take-away martinis from Nobu.
"And an order of chaser fries for the table after dinner?" will soon become the signal that your waiter knows what's up.
Sports bars with sushi
Why isn’t this a thing?
Follow George Motz’s lead
More scholars in the kitchen, more dead-simple grand slams.
The midnight resy drops aren’t working anymore. How about 6 p.m. walk-in drops? If you Gram it, they will come.
A gin floater option for all spritzes
We got you.
Focus on after-dinner mints and really nail them
There’s Andes and then there’s those peppermint guys at the diner. This cannot be all we ever get.
Ban multiple sauce options for steak
It’s your restaurant, isn’t it? Bernaise, au poivre, chimichurri, oy! Just pick one, chef, and we’ll ride.
A buffet concept restaurant, but make it a hotspot
Ok, no one bit on the buffet but make it Michelin. How about Buffet, but make it 🔥.
Coat checks, but for phones
How about the phone never eats?
A dinner jacket renaissance
Yes, last year it was out, this year it’s in! Deal with it 😎.
Give Dave Matthews the CEO gig at Margaritaville
He’s already Buffet 2.0. Let’s make it official.
A restaurant that only accepts credit card roulette as payment
The risk adjusted expected cost of a meal playing credit card roulette is exactly the same as the actual per person expected cost of the meal itself. Fun for free.
French onion soup has had the monopoly on the cheese topper for way too long. Plus, if 2024 is the year of soup, which it is, it’s time: tomato soup with melted mozzarella and bread over the top. Don’t you dare fight it.