If you are in the process of renovating your eatery, it is likely that one of your biggest concerns is staying within budget. However, as many restaurateurs quickly learn, there are a number of financial setbacks and unexpected costs that can cut into your pre-allocated funds for a renovation. It is incredibly common for a restaurant to find construction behind schedule and over budget, but that doesn’t have to be your experience.
There are steps every restaurant owner can take to ensure build-out, interior decor, and even kitchen supplies stay within budget for a renovation, just as when opening a new restaurant. Want to know the top eight ways to cut down your restaurant renovation costs? Keep reading!
#1: Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken
There are probably a number of aspects of your space that need extensive or serious renovation, and then there are other areas that are simply annoyances. When you are planning to renovate a restaurant, there is a tendency to tackle everything, even the annoyances. However, if you can overlook some of the minor matters in your space, it will be better on your budget. The only caveat here is to make sure any structural problems aren’t overlooked, as these could cause a bigger headache in the future.
#2: If It Is Broken, Don’t Overlook It
Our first point connects directly to the second point. Some items on your checklist fall into the category of “necessary, but unseen by customers.” Often, these are the repairs or replacements that leave restaurant owners dragging their feet. Don’t be that restaurant owner.
If part of your restaurant could later lead to significant issues in your space, move it to the top of your list. Thinking about essential repairs will help you prioritize which of the most costly renovations you need to do. Even if you need to take funds from other parts of your budget, don’t leave a potential problem for the future.
#3: Consider the Effect on Your Lease
Often, improvements and upgrades are considered under the terms of your lease agreement. This contract should delineate who pays for what and which renovations are the responsibility of a landlord versus those that fall to a tenant. You might be surprised to find that certain structural or utility improvements to your space should be paid by your landlord. If you are uncertain about the lease terms, speak with an attorney on the issue.
#4: Buy Your Equipment Second-Hand
Certain pieces of restaurant equipment need to be purchased brand new. These items might be the foundational tools for your kitchen or equipment required for a specialty dish, but there are other pieces of equipment that do not need to be brand new. A number of restaurant supply shops carry used or lightly used restaurant equipment. Going for used machines, devices, and other equipment over the newest version can actually save you a substantial amount of money.
To find an awesome restaurant equipment store, try Googling “restaurant supply near me.” That search should give you the best options for contacting an equipment retailer or wholesaler in your area. However, keep in mind that some restaurants supplies can also be found online.
#5: Cut Back on Technology
There are some nifty devices out there for restaurants in 2017. For example, there are machines and equipment that allow customers to fill their own beers while a counter keeps track of the liters poured. Additionally, iPads on tables and even smart tech for your lighting are all trends in the restaurant industry right now. However, many of these technologies aren’t needed to efficiently run a restaurant.
Consider the one or two pieces of technology that are most useful in your restaurant concept and invest in those during a renovation. An alternative is to set your technology budget before you even investigate the cost of equipment and devices, then choose technology that is within this limit. That technique will keep you distracted from the shiny toys you don’t need.
#6: Limit Your Decor
The exterior and interior decor of your restaurant goes a long way to set the tone and atmosphere for your guests. Therefore, spending on decor is important, and in the days of Instagram and social media content, a beautiful interior can increase the popularity of your restaurant. However, this is another area where new restaurant owners tend to overspend.
Instead of overdoing it on decor, look for a streamlined concept for your renovation. The most important point here is to create a strategy prior to starting the renovation, and only incorporate the design elements that further this strategy.
#7: Take on Some DIY Projects
Tired of writing checks to your contractor? There are probably certain aspects of the renovation you wanted to outsource that could be handled by you or skilled family members and friends. When you are renovating a restaurant, it is perfectly acceptable to call in reinforcements that you can later repay in food and beverages.
#8: Get Good Legal Advice
Some of the most costly mistakes in restaurant renovation are related to building codes, inspections, and other laws or ordinances. That is why having good legal advice upfront will cost you more at the time, but can save you boatloads later on. Find a real property lawyer that you trust and have confidence in, and then make sure they have time to see the space before you hire a single contractor or write any checks.
Finding Resources for Cost-Saving Mechanisms
Sticking to your renovation budget isn’t always easy, particularly when something unexpected occurs. However, the items within your control are a great place to start managing your expenses. This might mean doing some extra leg work to get the best prices. For instance, when you look up “restaurant supply near me” take the time to compare prices for various pieces of equipment and supplies between retailers.
On the other hand, you could just head to Gator Chef for your restaurant supply needs. Our equipment, supplies, and dishware are all competitively priced and ready to ship. Visit us online today!
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