• Your pizzeria’s interior design should be unapologetically and authentically you, says the owner and principal designer of House of Form.
  • It’s important to perfect your menu before you design your space in order to guide your design team in creating the perfect look and feel for your pizza shop.

Pizza Power Report 2022: Get ready for the robots!

By Dala Al-Fuwaires, House of Form

Pizzerias are one of the most popular restaurant styles in the United States, with more than 70,000 of them across the United States. This means pizza shop owners deal with a lot of competition nationwide and need to find ways to stand out from their counterparts. The most obvious way to stand out is the quality of your pizza, but the taste of a meal is only part of the equation. It is also important that you give your diners a complete experience, and one of the best ways to do this is through the interior design of your pizzeria.

Great interior design can give your restaurant the complete experience that encapsulates all the senses. However, there are a few things you need to do to ensure your space is authentic to your and your diners. As the owner of interior design company House of Form, I have worked with restaurants and pizzerias to help them craft the ideal dining space. Here are a few things we think are important when creating an interior design strategy for your pizzeria.

The Space Should Tell Your Story
The interior design of your pizzeria should be unapologetically and authentically you. You don’t want your shop to look like every other New York-style pizza place in your area. You want a place that shows your customers the uniqueness of yourself and your restaurant.

The best way to make your restaurant stand out is to make sure you and your interior designer understand who you are as a person and restaurateur. A good interior designer will help you do this during the interview process by asking questions about you and your interests. By understanding your genuine interests, an interior designer can craft your ideal space.

For example, our firm worked on a pizzeria in Surprise, Arizona, called REEL Pizza Pies. After speaking with the chef/owner of REEL, we learned they had an interest in music and high-quality ingredients. The restaurant is named after a tape reel, and we were able to use that information to texture a wall to look like tape cassettes. The owner’s love for great ingredients inspired us to base the restaurant’s color scheme on the famous Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes can. Interior designers can only come up with unique concepts for your space if you work with them on a personal and collaborative level. Your story as a person and restaurateur will shape your dining space so give all of yourself to the design of the space.

Understand the Type of Restaurant You Want to Create
Understanding the type of restaurant you want to create seems like an obvious step to any experienced pizza shop owner, but it is an issue many new restaurateurs struggle with. Do you want your pizzeria to offer a casual or fine-dining experience? The direction you go will change the way an interior designer will help you create your space.

A fast-casual space will feature brighter and bolder colors to match the daytime lunch-rush feel. A fast-casual pizza shop would also spend less money on high-end seating, since there is no need to create custom upholstered seats in a space where diners will not sit for an extended period of time.

Related: Designing a safer, smarter pizzeria kitchen

If your pizza shop is more of a fine-dining experience, you would have different interior design needs. A fine-dining establishment would need to focus more on lighting. You will spend a lot more time fine-tuning dimmer switches and making sure your pizzeria can successfully transition from daytime to nighttime dining. Colors in a fine-dining establishment will be more muted in order for diners to focus more on the dining experience.

It is important to understand what direction you want to take your pizzeria. Knowing the type of restaurant you are creating will allow you and your interior design team to focus on the more important details that will make your space unique.

(Photo by House of Form)

Perfect Your Menu Before You Perfect Your Space
At the end of the day, nothing is more important than the food you cook. Design your space around your menu instead of designing your menu around your space. A creative and authentic menu is the first step in breaking the mold and making your pizzeria stand out. Your menu should tell a story just like your restaurant space. Do something unique with your menu design and the food itself. Put a spin on an old classic or create something drastically different. Your menu should be the truest expression of yourself as a restaurateur. Designing a perfect menu will guide you and your design team to the perfect dining space.

Designing a unique pizzeria is no easy task, but take the time to perfect your menu, learn what type of restaurant you want to be, and share your story with your interior designer. Following these steps will ensure that you design a pizza shop that is uniquely you.


Dala Al-Fuwaires is the owner and principal designer at House of Form, a boutique hospitality design firm based in Scottsdale. They specialize in creating memorable spaces and experiences for restaurants, hotel groups, and other commercial spaces.  

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