Restaurant renovations or redesigns make old establishments fresh and new again…

Restaurant renovations are good for bringing new life to a tired establishment. When done right, a restaurant remodel or redesign will generate publicity and word of mouth. This can reinvigorate a restaurant’s image and completely transform the space into something people feel compelled to see and experience themselves. This means new customers and increased business.

That said the success of such a makeover is largely dependent on how well thought out it is, what contractors or construction companies you partner with, and whether or not a true return on your investment is achieved.

If you think a restaurant you own is in need of a facelift, consider the following 6 tips for successful restaurant renovations and redesigns.

Don’t Wait Too Long for a Restaurant Makeover

The general consensus with restaurant renovations or redesigns is to stay ahead of the curve. Don’t wait until the place becomes so run down that it’s crying for help. By that point, you’ve waited too long for a remodel. You see this a lot whenever family restaurants are passed down from one generation to the next. The new owner is afraid to tinker with tradition and hesitant to consider any bold changes to paint color or interior design and decor.

The best recommendation is to reevaluate the restaurant’s appearance and ambiance every five to seven years and then decide if some light updating or heavy renovations are needed. Even if something isn’t necessarily “broken”, there’s nothing wrong with doing a little updating every year whether it’s throwing on some fresh paint, introducing an outdoor dining area, adding new lighting fixtures, or hanging new art on the walls.

Establish What You’re Trying to Accomplish

Before a contractor or construction company enters the picture, you must first decide what you’d like the restaurant renovation to accomplish. For instance, there’s a difference between freshening up the decor and a complete restaurant rebranding. You must also establish whether you want to serve the same number of people or if there’s a need for more revenue-generating space like additional seating, bar space, or private dining/banquet/party areas.

Define Your Restaurant’s Personality

Your space should define your establishment’s personality. Do you want your restaurant to be a place for family, fun, sports, or a refined sophisticated dining experience? Is it paying homage to a specific time period or a traditional ethnic heritage? Knowing your restaurant’s personality is the key to a successful rebranding or redesign that still maintains the character and mood you want to capture.

Stay Current With Restaurant Industry Trends

Restaurant owners are busy people. They’re managing day-to-day business and staff. Some are even the chefs and cooks themselves. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for some owners to be completely behind on current industry trends. Keep up with current restaurant trends to see where you fit and how you can differentiate yourself. By not doing this, those recommended yearly minor remodel projects become urgent reboots.

Survey & Poll Restaurant Guests

Customer surveys are an excellent way to find out what current and former guests feel about not just your food or service, but the restaurant itself. If customers suggest they feel the restaurant is dated or in need of some cosmetic upgrades, perhaps a sleeker more contemporary redesign is in order.

Know Your Neighborhood & Target Demographic

We live in a time where demographic shifts within specific neighborhoods are the norm. Once older blue-collar communities become hipster havens ripe with young people and nightlife. There are instances where a high-end restaurant that’s traditionally attracted an older demographic may suddenly want to transform itself into a more casual lounge-like establishment to attract an emerging young crowd. Know what’s going on within your neighborhood and region and decide what demographic you’d like your restaurant to target.

Find the Right Collaborative Partners

Find general contractors, construction companies, and designing consultants that understand the unique challenges of restaurant renovations, remodels, and redesigns to better position your project for success.