Hakkasan and Wagamama founder Alan Yau believes UK consumers are turning away from chain restaurants towards more craft-driven, chef-owner led concepts.

Yau said the UK was becoming a “post materialistic society”, with the middle classes seeking experiences over material possessions, and also hailed single-product concepts for achieving high levels of quality and consistency.

The feted restaurateur, speaking to Frontiers podcast series, tipped home delivery to continue to grow, and argued it need not be a negative for the dining out industry as it was becoming a platform in its own right.

Sharing his thoughts on interior design, he discussed how “emotional architecture” – the way a space allows guests to physically and socially relate to one another – was his most important consideration when designing a restaurant.

Yau said: “The food and restaurant industry is being transformed by craft, meaning a restaurant that is anchored by a chef-owner. It’s a nicer place to eat than a chain, and will become more and more popular, as Britain become a post materialist society. By this I mean the educated middle class ceases to work for materiality, but work because they want to be happy.

“The popularity of mono products is also exciting – a single venue specialising one item. That’s where you truly get the quality and consistency.”

On delivery he said: “I feel like technology has truly disrupted the food sector in the same way it has disrupted the entertainment sector.

“It’s been shifted to much more aspirational dining, meaning you make a deliberate choice to stay at home

“With that the whole market segmentation will increase in a way that will be as a comprehensive as the entire eating out market. It’s not a bad thing, it’s another platform, and a different type of experience, and I think it will grow and grow.”

On the importance of thoughtful interior design, he added: “The emotional architecture of a space is like the transition of a house into a home; it is getting the right vibe, atmosphere, or energy.

“I believe you can tune that space to a level that’s compatible in terms of what you want it to be. It’s the most important notion of design.

“You can create a certain feeling in a space by how you light it, the level of comfort by the depth of the table, and the relation with the two diners. If the table is too far away, the relationship becomes negative in terms of social intercourse

“I find it extremely exciting because you can impact a space without people knowing what you’ve done.

“That’s the most important aspect of design, because it impacts the most in terms of whether you feel comfortable.”