Do’s and don’ts that can help keep commercial kitchen remodeling costs under control
Once you’ve found the perfect location for your restaurant, the real work begins: remodeling. A 2017 Restaurant Owners survey says it costs an average of $80 per square foot, for a total of around $75,000, to equip a 1,000-square-foot bar and kitchen. This includes items like espresso machines and burners, and it can vary by market.
Staying on top of your numbers is critical — mistakes and changes can be costly. Keep in mind some critical do’s and don’ts to keep your remodeling budget on track.
Early in the process of looking for space, find a good general contractor (GC) by asking around and getting recommendations. Be sure to check references. “The current general contracting processes or solutions tend to take time,” says Peter Elliott, 3M global business development manager. Involving your GC early can help you spot issues that will take more time than you anticipate.
When the cost of a single tile can range from $2 to $100 — and you need 2,000 of them — you can easily make a decision that will run over budget in both time and money. Today, various finishes, like the architectural finishes 3M produces, can deliver the same look as expensive materials. They can be applied in days versus weeks and with minimal waste, which also saves money. Vinyl films can be used for walls, countertops and other areas like windows, where they control light and provide additional security, Elliott says.
To make the best decisions, be honest about what you can spend. Share your goals for the remodel, and clearly communicate your wants versus your needs so your general contractor knows what you have to work with. Your GC can assist with mapping out your costs, identifying where you can reduce them and getting permits approved through your city or county, says Tim Spiegelglass, owner of Spiegelglass Construction Company, a St. Louis-based commercial general contractor with expertise in restaurants.
Keep in mind that you’ll need furniture, fixtures and equipment in your remodel. If you have an existing restaurant, you may be able to do a refresh of the space surface covers and films, which can put off a big remodel. Or it may allow you to allocate more of your budget to replacing equipment — perhaps a new oven and hood or commercial electric griddle. Choosing more economical options like vinyl films can help you make smart decisions about where to invest.
Stay on top of your remodel — and stay in touch with your GC. If you find the renovation is exceeding your budget or the amount of downtime you planned, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your wants and needs. Talk with your GC and ask what you can do to save time and money.
“You might need to look at some design choices you’ve made — maybe you can cut back on some of the pricier options and utilize some low-cost options,” Spiegelglass says. Films, paint and other touches can help you get a fresh look with minimal time and cost.
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