The restaurant industry is always evolving, and newer, trendier restaurants are always popping up and threatening to take your business. To stay relevant, restaurant owners need to plan for renovations to give their business a facelift and increase sales.
As you plan to undertake a restaurant remodel, we empathize that it can be an overwhelming process! Consider these 7 tips before you get started to ensure you’re prepared for a successful renovation.
1) Solidify Your Vision
Your restaurant’s vision needs to be cohesive through and through. If you really want to serve casual Mexican food but want to decorate the interior with dark lighting and fancy tablecloths, then your vision isn’t lining up and customers will feel out of place.
Sit down with your team and ensure the ambiance of your remodeled restaurant will match your brand and vision. Feel free to get creative and challenge the industry by stepping out of the box, but make sure your ideas don’t clash.
With a solid vision in place, designing and executing your restaurant renovation will be much simpler.
2) Choose a Reputable Design-Build Contractor
It’s highly likely that you won’t be able to execute a restaurant remodel by yourself. You’ll need the help of a skilled design-build contractor who can help you plan, design, and construct your vision.
Choosing the cheapest contractor isn’t always the best choice because you may get unreliable communication and poor workmanship in return. When you choose a highly-rated and well-respected design-build contractor like APX Construction Group, you’ll get a remodel that stays on budget, on time, and never keeps you in the dark.
Ask these questions to help you narrow down a great design-build contractor for your remodel:
- How many restaurants has your firm remodeled?
- Can I see photos of your previous restaurant remodels?
- Do you have customer reviews?
- What’s your average timeline for remodels?
- Who would be my primary point of contact?
3) Set a Budget, Then Set Your Real Budget
It’s good to set a budget goal so that you’re not left bankrupt at the end of your restaurant renovation. Set your numbers as low as you’d like them, but then be prepared to increase your budget. Restaurant remodels almost always cost more than you want them to, but they are a fantastic investment for the future of your business.
Try to find a happy medium between a multi-million dollar renovation and your customers barely noticing a difference. Find your biggest priorities to help streamline your remodel— maybe your flooring and walls need a refresh, or perhaps your kitchen equipment needs an upgrade.
An honest design-build contractor will help you narrow in on a realistic budget based on your needs and wants without pressuring you to spend an arm and a leg.
4) Add Your Personal Touch to Relevant Trends
When you re-open your restaurant doors after the renovation is complete, your restaurant should feel new and fresh, not outdated. But you also don’t want it to look like every other restaurant in town which would hinder you from standing out.
Become well-versed in modern interior design trends and trends that are specific to the restaurant industry. While doing so, you want to keep in mind that trends come and go, so you want to maximize the longevity of your remodel.
Sometimes trends can be design-based, and other times they can be technology-based. Consider these ideas:
- New point-of-sale (POS) systems
- High performing kitchen appliances
- Open layout
- Hardwood flooring
- Modern lighting fixtures
Research current restaurant trends and then go further by putting your personal spin on the trend. Customers want to feel like they’re having a completely unique experience, not a cookie-cutter copycat of what’s on the internet.
5) Be Intentional About Art, Seating, and Table Decor
Dining customers bring in the money to keep your business alive, so you need to focus primarily on their experience. What’s the first thing that every customer sees when they walk into a restaurant? The front-of-house reception area.
Make sure the reception area feels welcoming and gives an accurate first impression of your restaurant. After guests are seated, they spend the majority of their experience in the dining area, so everything in your dining area design should be intentional.
Comfort is key, even in the fanciest of restaurants. Choose dining furniture that amplifies the ambiance and decorate the tables accordingly.
When it comes to wall art and decor, create a signature style. Use colors that compliment your restaurant but are bold enough to make an impact. Large murals and canvases are often a huge hit with restaurant guests.
6) Don’t Neglect the Kitchen
While the dining room experience is very important, ultimately guests want to eat incredible food! Keeping your staff members efficient and supported is the best way to ensure smooth dinner service.
Take good care of your employees by redesigning the kitchen to be functional. Make sure the flow allows your chefs and line cooks to be productive. Avoid stuffing too many appliances into one area or blocking any clear pathways.
Update your kitchen with the latest appliances to ensure the food you send out is of the highest quality.
7) Prioritize Marketing
Lastly, what’s the purpose of remodeling your restaurant if no one knows about it? Be sure to run an effective marketing campaign during and after your restaurant renovation. Utilize outlets like:
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Print marketing
- Announcements on your website
- Paid ads
Consider offering discounts for your re-opening to help get guests in chairs. Marketing and advertising are worthwhile efforts because studies have shown that restaurant renovations increase restaurant sales by 15% to 40%!
Bring Your Vision to Life With APX
We know that restaurant remodels can feel intimidating and stressful. That’s why you should never have to attempt it alone! At APX Construction Group, we have numerous years of experience helping restaurant owners just like you renovate their businesses.
Our design-build team will work directly with you to come up with a concept and budget, and ultimately execute your vision to the highest standards. Contact our friendly and responsive team today to learn more about how we can help!