Posted by Patrick Maness
If you’re in the restaurant business long enough, you come to understand the importance of providing a stylish setting and a comfortable atmosphere.
Like Thomas Edison said of invention — that it’s one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — it might be said that in the restaurant business, no matter how inspired the food you're serving, your success mainly has to do with the atmosphere it’s served in.
This goes beyond installing tables made of reclaimed wood or marble bar fixtures. Some of the places in a restaurant where design is most important, in fact, are behind the scenes, having more to do more with functionality than aesthetics. The use of space, mobility in the kitchen and flow of the dining area are all prime issues to consider when you decide to remodel a restaurant.
Before you begin, however, one big question looms over even the greatest designs: how will you pay for it?
The rise in restaurant prices
There has been a lot of talk and worry in the restaurant industry about losing sales to grocers. This is primarily due to the fact that while prices at restaurants have been increasing, grocers around the country have been able to sell goods for less, motivating more people to stay in and eat their meals at home.
In fact, there's strong correlation between higher restaurant prices and decreased traffic.
Many in the restaurant industry claim that increases in minimum wage and labor costs have forced them to raise prices. While it's certainly a factor, it’s worth noting that grocers face increasing labor costs as well.
In fact, one of the biggest contributors to increased costs, according to Jonathan Maze of Nation’s Restaurant News, is tied to remodeling expenses. Ideally, a remodeled restaurant ought to attract more customers and traffic, recouping and justifying the investment in remodeling. This doesn’t always happen, though, and when it does, it may take several years for an investment to pay off.
Restaurant owners are faced with a difficult choice: Should they remodel, and if so, how will they pay for it? Will increased traffic be enough to cover it?
However you answer this question, in order to remain competitive you need to have a fresh and distinct look. For many, this means you must remodel to survive.
In this blog series, we'll explore some ideas and insights on restaurant remodeling. These blogs can be used as a practical guide to help spur ideas and drive new life into your business. We’ll cover the following topics:
Achieve your kitchen renovation wish list on a budget
Whether it’s the latest cooling system or a more functional floor plan, most kitchens could use some renovation. Is this a wise investment, and how soon can you expect to see a return? We’ll take a look at these questions and delve into how TriMark can help you prioritize your renovation plans and budget to ensure success.
In this blog, we’ll examine some of the key considerations when it comes to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in your dining area. What is their impact from a design and remodel standpoint? We’ll look at recent changes to these regulations and how TriMark can help you meet all regulations.
Parking lot requirements
When it comes to planning a new restaurant, how do you understand the parking lot and land use requirements? How does the parking lot design and space impact business, and what are some typical questions or concerns of restaurant owners? We’ll consider these questions and touch on topics such as lighting, cameras and customer safety.
Closing your business for renovations
A big conundrum is whether you should remain open or close up shop during the renovation process. We’ll look at TriMark's recommendations for this and whether restaurants should consider closing part or all of their business. What lost revenue should you expect? Are there any best practices or ways to reduce setbacks?
Whether you’re about to embark on a renovation project or are thinking of doing so in a few years, these blogs will help you successfully re-imagine your restaurant, intrigue your customers and attract new guests.