Planning to Renovate Your Restaurant: 5 Tips To Keep in Mind
First impressions always count, especially in the restaurant industry. Diners are always on the lookout for mind-blowing meals and an exquisite experience. If your chef makes out of this world meals, and your revenue doesn't seem to speak to the quality of your meals - it's time to start asking the big question.
"When should I renovate my restaurant?"
A well done renovation can inject new life into your staff. It can also play a huge role in how customers view your brand - premium, iconic, exotic - you decide!
However, refurbishing your restaurant is serious business. You have to plan, consider your budget, timing, and if possible speak to your regulars to get a sense of what they might like to see when you reopen.
To get the best out of your planned restaurant renovation, here are 5 tips to keep in mind.
1. Have a Plan
A renovation without a solid plan is dead in water. This not a fly by the seat of your pants project. List your future goals for the restaurant and how renovation can help you achieve new financial success. Decide on which parts of your restaurant would need a face lift, and then spend time on market research to get inspiration and some ideas.
Your plan has to also ensure your restaurant doesn't lose its core essence, unless you are planning a total re-branding.
2. Match Your Budget to Your Plan
The next thing you need to do is create a budget that funds all the beautiful ideas you have listed on your plan. Your accountant should be able to help create this if you are not experienced in planning a budget.
Look, most projects of this sort almost always overrun the planned costs. You can however reduce the chances of this happening by setting up a contingency budget.
3. Decide if You Want to Stay Open
Some restaurant owners might not want to miss out on the revenue they can earn during the renovation period, and so they want to keep part of the restaurant open.
Depending on the scope outlined in your plan, renovations can be rather disruptive. Lots of noise and dust, workmen carrying equipment and parts all over the place. You have to decide it's wise to keep your diners away from all the mess, and bring them into the new shiny space once the work is done.
4. Select the Right Contractor
Your choice of contractor is a make or break decision for your renovation project. Overrun costs, extended deadlines, and wrongly installed cooling systems are just some of the effects the wrong contractor can have on your project.
That's why it is important to not just hire friends seeking experience, and instead look for licensed professionals such as those trained at Contractor Training Center. These experts train across the country, from California to Ohio. They can properly scope and manage your project from start to finish. If you have a friend you'd rather hire to help out, encourage them to get officially certified first.
5. Prioritize Being Hands-On
Yes, you have hired the best contractor available...but you still need to be hands-on, and ensure they keep to the scope of the plan. Ensure the most critical issues in the plan are taken care of before anything else.
It's your project, so keep the communication lines open from day one to ensure no surprises.
The Bottom Line
While a restaurant renovation won't guarantee you hockey stick growth, it will keep your business fresh and relevant in the face of your diners and competition. It will definitely cost you some money upfront, and you may lose some traffic during that period.
Ultimately, your restaurant stands to make more revenue over time due to the new experiences your renovation can create. Pair your renovation with a new marketing campaign and you'll have a new set of customers.