Restaurants are always looking to set themselves apart from competitors. Finding the right contractor to most effectively handle a restaurant remodel isn’t without its challenges. There’s no room for error. Your restaurant renovation needs to be done right – from concept and design to materials and construction. Here are four things to keep in mind as you embark on your search for the right restaurant remodeling contractor.
Always Go With Experience & Reputation
General contractors and builders are always looking for ways to add to their portfolio. They want to expand the industries and clients they serve. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s admirable. Every commercial contractor starts somewhere. At some point or another, someone gave them a shot at their first restaurant construction or remodel project.
However, do you really want YOUR project to be the one where a contractor gets their feet wet? Especially if you yourself need guidance.You aren’t going to get expert advice from a newbie
Only an experienced restaurant builder can truly help you stand out from competitors. They’ll know what’s trending in restaurant design. They likely have the numbers of restaurant design consultants or commercial kitchen equipment providers on speed dial.
When you go with experience and reputation, you’re potentially saving yourself some headaches down the road. You’ll be serving customers in no time while lessening your chances of costly project delays or errors.
It’s just as important to check the references and reviews of established commercial construction companies. Just because a commercial contracting company has been in business awhile – or is heavily advertised – doesn’t mean they have a stellar reputation.
Never Underestimate the Importance of Design
This is another area a newbie to restaurant construction won’t be well-versed in. Different types of restaurants have different needs necessitating different approaches.
For instance, the contractor needs to understand there are different build philosophies for a fast-casual restaurant vs. an intimate sit-down restaurant. They should also be aware of current restaurant design trends like open kitchens.
Things like the traffic flow of customers, servers, and bussers – not to mention kitchen congestion – cannot be overlooked in restaurant design. If the restaurant has tables, the size of the waiting area needs to be factored into the design. Having customers piled on top of each other as they wait for an available table won’t make for a good experience or YELP! review.
Be Mindful if Going with the Lowest Bid
Budget constraints are a reality and everyone wants a good deal. However, keep in mind that a bargain now can often turn into a regret later. While a contractor with a low bid may seem enticing, it could also mean they cut corners, have shady laborers, use less than desirable materials, and do poor quality work.
Try your best to zero in on competitive pricing. Get several bids, see what the range is, and choose the price and contractor you’re most comfortable with rather than the lowest bid.
Remember the Importance of Lighting
An ideal restaurant remodeling contractor will also be able to handle all aspects of lighting. At the very least, they’ll have a “lighting guy.” They’ll understand the responsibility and value of an energy-efficient setup. They’ll also fully comprehend how important lighting is for setting mood and ambiance, differentiating a space, boosting kitchen performance, and safety/security.