20 Genius Restaurants Innovations That Are Making Dining Out Even Better

Robin Zlotnick - Author

May 30 2019, Updated 1:22 p.m. ET

food featured
Source: Reddit

Don't you just absolutely love it when places of business anticipate your needs? Tons of restaurants out there are busy living in the future while we're stuck in 2019. These magical places are filled with things like biodegradable straws, champagne buttons, and mouthwash dispensers in their bathrooms. They have figured out solutions to problems you didn't even know you had.

While the rest of us plebeians are busy squeezing honey out of a bottle into our teacups, one restaurant has an actual beehive filled with actual bees on the table, and those bees are buzzing around, happily doing their jobs and delivering fresh honey for your meal as you eat. That's the kind of world I want to live in. And frankly, that's the kind of world we all deserve to live in. So peep these innovative restaurants. They'll blow your mind and also serve you delicious food. What more could you want?

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1. Cell phone slot

Raise your hand if you've ever knocked your cell phone off the table or pushed it into a puddle of water at a restaurant. Yeah, I thought so. This genius restaurants has glass-top tables with slots for your cell phone, so they don't take up space on the table, but you can still see the screen.

2. Ketchup at the ready

Honestly, I don't often use ketchup at restaurants because it takes forever and it's just not worth the effort. But this place tilts the ketchup bottle and primes it so that sweet stuff is ready to come pouring out! At this restaurant, you won't look like one of those pour souls in those Shake Weight commercials every time you order fries.

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3. Magnetic trash chute

This seems so obvious when you think about it, but most people have never thought about it. This trash chute has a magnetic rim to catch any silverware that's accidentally being thrown away. This perfectly good fork was saved from certain death! 

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4. Soy sauce spray bottles

If you have ever accidentally dropped a piece of sushi in your dish of soy sauce and had it soak in the salty stuff, this innovation is for you. It's a little spray bottle filled with soy sauce! It ensures even distribution over whatever you'd like it on without drenching your food. This is genius! It's often way too hard to control the flow of soy sauce when pouring it. Why didn't we think of this sooner?!

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5. Beehive

This restaurant in Japan puts an active beehive on your table to provide the freshest honey for your meal. Honey is delicious, and believe me when I tell you there is 100 percent a difference between the stuff you buy in the bear-shaped bottle at the supermarket and the fresh stuff straight from the bees' butts. That's how they make honey, right? They poop it out? That's what I thought.

[ed.: Actually, honey never enters (or exits) a bee's digestive tract! The nectar is stored in a separate sac called a honey crop and that, mixed with enzymes from glands in its mouth, is where honey comes from.]

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6. Hair ties for cleaner soup consumption

This ramen joint provides a jar of hair ties if you have long hair that needs to be reined in while you're slurping up soup. Bless this restaurant. If you have long hair and you've ever tried eating ramen without pulling it back, you know that you just end up with ramen-flavored hair. It has happened to the best of us.

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7. Toe door opener

Sometimes, restaurant bathrooms are designed in such a way that you have to be a parkour ninja to wash and dry your hands, and then leave the bathroom without touching the gross door handle. This bathroom eliminates that trouble with that hook on the bottom of the door! It lets you open the door with your foot, so your hands remain clean and ready to devour that burger.

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8. Pizza bag

I want to cry, this is so beautiful. While pizza is the best food in the world, it's not the best food to carry. Those pizza boxes are unwieldy and easy to drop. They don't fit in bags either. Until this bag with openings for the pizza box corners came along. Now everything about your pizza experience can be perfect.

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9. Drink chart

I really love how this bar designed its drink menu! It makes it super easy to find exactly what you want. I have a feeling most people fit into one of those four quadrants. Give me the upper left quadrant or give me nothing! Although I'm very curious to know what a Kurt Cocaine is. Sounds dangerous.

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10. Toilet paper wall

toilet paper wall
Source: Imgur

I feel like someone probably complained about this restaurant bathroom not having toilet paper at the ready one too many times. Well, this is the perfect solution. It looks kind of cool, so it works as decor, and it's more toilet paper than you could ever need. I hope.

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11. Tiny tabletop trash can

It's really annoying to unsheathe your straw or your chopsticks at a restaurant and have nowhere to dispose of those little paper bits. This place eliminates that problem by putting a teeny tiny trash can on each table! I'm sorry, but this is the cutest thing I have ever seen. And it makes so much sense!

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12. Champagne button

Um, I have several questions about this button that you can press to be served champagne. First, where is this? Second, can I go to there? Third, do they make these buttons for real life so I can have one on me at all times and no matter where I am when I press it someone will bring me champagne?

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13. Pasta straws

This restaurant uses large hollow pasta noodles as straws! They are so much better for the environment than plastic straws, they work just as well, and you can turn into a little kid again and munch on an uncooked pasta noodle when your drink is finished! It's a win-win-win!

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14. Mouthwash dispenser

Restaurants are some of the most popular date destinations, and yet mouthwash dispensers are hardly found in them. This is a travesty! How are two people who just ate a whole meal supposed to make out in the car if they haven't had a chance to freshen up? This restaurant knows exactly what it's doing.

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15. Mesh lemon cover

OK, file this in the "So Obvious and Yet So Brilliant" department. This restaurant gives you a half a lemon to squirt on your food, but it covers it in a little mesh bag to catch the seeds when you squeeze it! 

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16. Food coaster

This restaurant has an actual roller coaster that runs through the entire restaurant delivering food and drinks directly to your table. This is the future right here, folks. Soon, you will enter your orders on an iPad and minutes later, the food will just appear in front of you, like a hologram, but it will be real. Until then, we have food coasters.

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17. Tiny town

The tables at this restaurant have a tiny town and railroad inside them! My neighbor has a tiny town in his yard, and I can't tell you how mesmerized I can get by the little train. This is the best idea for a restaurant and the most terrifying idea for an episode of The Twilight Zone.

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18. "Talk to each other discount"

This pizzeria offers a free large pizza to groups of four or more if they agree to put their phones away in a locker for the duration of their meal. This might seem like a blast from the past, but I have a feeling more restaurants will be providing ways for you to give up your phone while you're eating.

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19. Branded ice cubes

The name of the restaurant is printed on their ice cubes. This is some next-level branding right here. This place won't stop until every inch of their establishment is branded. Pretty soon, all their servers will have the name of the restaurant tattooed on their foreheads. It won't stop. The branding will never stop. 

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20. Fresh basil

This Italian restaurant keeps a fresh basil plant on each table so you can add some to your dishes as you like. This is genius! Fresh basil will elevate any dish in a matter of seconds. Plus, it smells so good, so even if you don't want any on your food, you still get that delicious aroma.

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