Monday, October 21, 2019

How to Renovate a Building into a Restaurant or Café

~ This is a featured post. ~

Many investors dream of opening a restaurant or café, and if you’ve bought a property that’s a fixer-upper, you may be considering turning it into a dining establishment. While you will no doubt have some ideas about what you want the finished product to look like, it can be a challenge to put these ideas into practice and create a space that’s both practical and stylish. Here are some tips to get you started:
Come up with a concept
It’s not enough to say “I want to open a restaurant” or “I’m going to open a café”; you need to ensure you stand out from the other places in your town or city, without alienating your core customers. While the statistic about 90% of restaurants failing in their first year is false, the failure rate is about 17%, which is still a gamble for investors. A lot of the time it’s because not enough research has been done, so they’ve either opened in an overcrowded local market, opened something inappropriate for the local area, or simply not offered good value for money.
Think about the space available
Restaurant space really needs to have a flow, the foyer needs to be open and welcoming, the dining room should be easy for servers to get around, and there needs to be easy access between the kitchen and the dining area. Take a look at how the building is laid out and think about the practicalities of turning it into a restaurant. Look at some examples of restaurant floor plans to see what other people have done and whether this might work for you. 
Think about the décor
Once you have the concept for your restaurant and an idea about how you’ll use the space, ideas for the décor should come naturally. You want something that’ll be appropriate for the sort of restaurant in terms of style, so think about your cuisine, average customer, and how formal or casual your restaurant will be. You might want to start looking for restaurant tables and other furniture and pick these out first, then from there, start planning colors, decoration and the finishing touches. It’s worth working with an interior designer, as although this can be expensive, they can help you achieve an up-to-date look and a unique style.
Consult with your chef and staff
When you’re renovating the kitchen area, it’s worth working closely with your chef, especially in the lead up to opening. An experienced chef will have worked in many different kitchens over the years, so will no doubt have lots of thoughts about what works and what doesn’t. If this is your first restaurant or café opening, it’s important to take feedback on board from those who’ve done it before. 
Many people think they can open a restaurant, but it is a tough renovation project and requires a lot of vision. It’s important to have a realistic budget in mind and to hire professionals to take you through the project, so you have the best possible chance of getting it right first time.
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