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How to Keep Restaurant Renovations Cost-Efficient

Restaurant renovations can be a big driver of increased business, drawing in people curious about the new equipment or decor; but they can also be a seemingly-endless quagmire of unforeseen expenses and frustrations as plans run over and deadlines fall by the wayside. If you are planning on renovating your restaurant--whether to put in new equipment and other restaurant supplies in the back of house, to re-imagine the look in the dining room, or some of both--there are some ways that you can plan, and think ahead, to avoid the pitfalls that can make a renovation so expensive.

First, and perhaps most obviously: if something isn’t broken, or is working just fine in the flow of business, don’t “fix” it. When you’re planning and working with contractors or a restaurant supply company for renovations, focus on the things that actually need fixing first. Make a list, if you can, with separate categories for “need” and “want.” Things that are annoying, but functional--such as, for example, color scheme of appliances in back of house, or mis-matches--should be kept in the “want” list. Things that are structural issues, safety issues, or basic workflow problems should stay in the “need” list. You can always tackle the “wants” if you find yourself coming in under budget, starting with the least expensive items on that list.

Be careful as you do this, however, not to let yourself overlook things that actually need to be taken care of in the renovation; if there are fixes that need to be done, but aren’t visible to customers, those fixes still need to be done--even if they are pricier fixes. It will become more expensive by far to take care of them down the line than to address them while you’re already doing work on your eatery. For example, if there’s a problem with the cook-tops that isn’t necessarily making work impossible, but does make the workflow unpredictable, that should be addressed. If there are issues of minor structural problems now, those could become major problems later--and thost major problems are almost always more expensive to fix than the minor ones.

Consider buying some equipment second hand. While there are certain things that you should definitely buy brand-new, there are other items that last a long time, and can be used over and over again, by one restaurant after another; why not let the bad luck of one restaurant’s poorly-considered purchase or tough financial times benefit you? Restaurant supply stores often have well-maintained second hand appliances and other items, as well as brand new equipment, tools, and implements to take care of every need. Equipment that can be easily sanitized, made of durable and non-porous materials, along with certain kinds of appliances that are easy to maintain, are good candidates for second-hand purchase.

When you’re renovating your restaurant, it’s a good time to take stock of all the things that need fixing, and take care of them accordingly. Especially if you’re going to be shutting down for days or weeks in order to take care of large projects, take advantage of that time to get a few smaller jobs done, too--as long as they’re needed jobs. By going into the renovation with sufficient forethought and a clear concept of what needs to be done versus what you want to do, you can avoid the financial pitfalls that can happen. As a final thought: for decor, there are some DIY projects that you--or your staff--can undertake that not only will keep costs down, but also can give your restaurant a unique flair. By incorporating touches like these, and making sure that you have a solid plan before you even start, you can get through renovations without spending more money than you intend--or, at least, by not exceeding budget too much.

2018-04-17 19:30:37
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