The concept of “Transparent Kitchens” has been sweeping across the country in restaurants, college dining rooms, coffee shops, and so many other foodservice establishments. While we have seen an increase in the open kitchen concept marked as the “Transparent Kitchen Craze”, it is predicted to be amplified in 2023 with even more foodservice operators choosing to embrace this concept as it has many benefits and can even increase revenues. This concept of a transparent kitchen did not just appear out of thin air, it is a combination of previous trends leading to this new kitchen functionality we will be seeing in thousands of kitchens in 2023. Below we will go into detail on where a traditional kitchen began and how it has evolved to what we see today. There are often some subtle differences in kitchen trends between a kitchen in one's home as opposed to a commercial kitchen and dining space, but oftentimes, trends spread across these two kitchen types. While kitchens have been around for centuries, we will start with the 1930s kitchen trends. To start, let’s take a look into the later part of the Golden Age of Cocktails.
In spite of the Great Depression taking place during this period of time, kitchens seemed to emulate a different feel opposite of a depression, particularly for those who could afford to stay up with the trends. Kitchens in the 1930s were considered to be bright, glossy and joyful with the combination of the necessity for efficiency. There was now an emphasis on installing standardized cabinetry into one's kitchen, which had not been a common practice in times past. This allowed families to “integrate their new gas ranges and sinks into the cabinets” as opposed to free standing pieces of equipment among the kitchen layout according to a recent article written by Forbes.
This period was marked by the focus on sleekness as it was somewhat of a necessity as presented by the economic circumstances of World War II. Walking into a kitchen in the 40s would be a vision of plain, simple, and practical. While this is true, people became creative with ways to add some excitement to their somewhat dull kitchens by using utilitarian items as decor. This ranged from using decorative storage containers or having a bright colored kettle on a stove. These small items were able to add some cheer to a time devastated by war.
This post-war period was filled with vibrant, happy and candy-land colors in kitchens. Families were starting to move out of the cities and into suburbs and amongst this, there was a housing boom bringing a new focus on what people thought of as a standard kitchen. Women spent much of their time in the kitchen, so why not make it an enjoyable place to be? And that is exactly what the 50s did to the traditional kitchen. This room that was once subject to just cooking now became a place that needed to offer comfortable, style, and functional qualities.
Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows was a vision of this time period along with the desire for entertaining people. Whether this was inviting people over for dinner parties, or offering a more inclusive restaurant dining experience, entertainment was the name of the game. Kitchens were designed to easily connect to the dining space to ensure guests, diners, or customers could be served quickly while still ensuring quality. Bright-colored accessories along with wallpaper were seen inside the windows of every restaurant and among many residential kitchens to offer a more personal touch to the space.
During this period, many people were living in family homes that had been owned by the family for a few generations. People wanted a modern feel weaved in with convenience and new technology while still wanting to maintain some of the sense of home that comes with living in a home you or your parents were raised in. It was common to use warm woods for cabinets to offer a cozy home atmosphere. Bringing in textures and patterns to the design was a craze during the 70s.
The 80s were marked by big and extravagant kitchens, much like many hairstyles of that time. With more women entering the work-force full-time, kitchens shifted into a place for families to gather together. During this period, the concept of an open floor plan kitchen was ignited. The open concept allowed for continuous flow from the family or living room right into the kitchen. Kitchen islands allowed for the two spaces to be defined while letting conversations flow between the two rooms.
A shift from sleek to shabby chic was seen during this time. Homeowners began to take a closer look at professional kitchens when considering what they wanted for their own kitchen. From restaurant to restaurant, customers would take mental notes of their vision and ideas that sparked while dining at their favorite establishment. Cluttered counters were no longer as common and larger refrigerators and gas ranges began to pop into many residential kitchens. This time period marked a shift in the influence commercial kitchens and dining rooms had on residential kitchens.
With the turn of the century, a new aesthetic came to be. With the rise of TV shows on home renovations and kitchen trends, people were more aware than ever of the trends the best restaurants and icons of the time were having in their kitchens. Stainless steel appliances began to rise in popularity and have really taken off since.
While many of the trends from the 2000s slipped into the 2010s, there were some new trends that came about. Reclaimed wood floors began the fad. Embracing the bones of a home or building helped to also bring about the vintage charm trend. Subway tiles as backsplash and farmhouse sinks were selling out quickly as people wanted to create a unique style for the kitchen.
Now to the present day, we continue to see the concept of open kitchens be popular among residential homes. What is unique though is this shift to transparent kitchens in commercial kitchens as well. The concept of a transparent kitchen has been boiling up recently as is predicted to skyrocket in 2023. Restaurants and coffee shops are beginning to allow customers to take a peek into their back-of-the-house operations with these transparent kitchens and many operations have reaped numerous benefits from this transition. Consumers are able to feel connected and involved in the preparation of food and this has been shown to improve overall dining satisfaction. Not only this, but consumers can now see the food safety procedures being taken to ensure their food is being prepared with their well-being in mind.
Having a transparent kitchen does put your cooking process on display which means that your equipment will be seen by guests. With this new trend, having equipment that not only is durable, but also aesthetic, is more important than ever. When your equipment is front and center in the consumers vision of the kitchen, it is crucial to invest in the right equipment. Lakeside offers a wide selection of durable pieces of equipment that provide storage and transport for supplies while also offering an aesthetic and clean look. Explore storage and transport solutions today to start your first steps towards a transparent kitchen in 2023!