Restaurant renovations can bring a struggling restaurant back to life. Increase your profits!
New features generate interest that draws customers and boosts sales. Assess your current style to determine which of these renovation ideas is most likely to benefit your restaurant, and start creating a fresh space that entices diners to come in to experience the changes.
Remodeling a bar, café or restaurant can be a daunting task without the right plan or the right team. Couple that with a shoestring budget and a demand to “make it work” and anxiety goes through the roof. Let’s face it, these are challenging economic times at best and every restaurateur is trying to get the most bang for their buck.
Good restaurant design has and always can span the scope of its current economic climate. It just requires prioritizing the greatest return on your investments and focusing on the items that will have the greatest impact for your guests.
If you can’t do it right, don’t do it now.
If you don’t have the budget for decent dining chairs, don’t buy imitation ones that you know will not last.
Re-upholster old chairs and perhaps stretch yourself for a new coat of paint. Your guests will appreciate the fresh look and you can save up for next season’s renovation work!
Make a wish list of your priority items and phase them according to your budget allowances. Don’t be afraid to spend a decent amount of money to make these kinds of improvements. As long as you create a budget beforehand and know exactly what you want to do, a big investment can pay off in the form of a larger customer base, greater sales and a positive reputation that continues to draw people to your restaurant.
For example, one of our recent clients needed $75,000 for some renovations she was able to complete after business hours.
After renovations were complete this business owner was able to complete her renovations in less than a month and went on to increase her sales by over $900,000 in one year!
Although more meals are being eaten outside the home these days, people still want to feel comfortable and welcomed when they dine.
The type of comfort you provide at your restaurant depends on your primary focus. People may expect a rustic, cozy atmosphere at the local hometown grill, but plush elegance is more appropriate for upscale dining establishments.
Use every element of interior design from the carpeting to the lights to convey the proper sense of comfort for your target clientele.
Going green doesn’t necessarily mean having to spend more money.
If your restaurant needs new toilet fixtures, consider replacing them with higher efficiency models. If your air conditioning units are due for replacement, choose models with a higher energy rating for long-term savings.
Being green is not an all-or-nothing deal. Take responsible steps to become more energy-efficient as items need replacement. Replacing bulbs with LED, installing blockout curtains, reducing waste and implementing a valid recycling plan are a good places to start.
When reorganizing the layout of your restaurant/cafe, consider how the placement of fixtures and furniture will affect the movement of foot traffic.
Servers should be able to get from the kitchen to the tables as quickly as possible without worrying about running into customers or other staff.
At the bar, provide enough room for a reasonable number of people to be comfortable.
Create clear, logical paths between areas so that even the busiest times of day flow smoothly. The easier it is for everyone to move, the better the quality of service you’ll be able to offer.
Is your menu and/or logo dated? Are both selling for you?
In the restaurant business both menu and logo are equivalent to your identity.
Hire a graphic designer, not a student. Hiring the right person that knows proper menu placement for increased sales of high profit menu items and ways to increase sales of your branded items is invaluable.
Get rid of dated fonts, clip art styled logos and cluttered menus.
Living in our climate has many benefits.
One of them is the opportunity to dine outside comfortably during most months of the year.
With more and more restaurant owners taking smaller square-meterage spaces, outdoor dining areas have become even more important for guests.
Creating a comfortable dining environment is imperative. Defining spaces with landscaping and planters and adding torches or fire pits for ambience are certainly great “bang for the buck” design elements.
Good lighting, efficient ceiling fans and a simple sound system are also good investments.
Build A Bar
Adding a bar to your restaurant offers an opportunity to expand your menu and attract a fresh wave of customers. Whether you serve wine to patrons while they wait for their tables to be ready or have a dozen beers on tap for everyone to enjoy during the big game, a bar provides a space for customers to gather and relax.
Pair drinks with signature appetizers and dishes to create both daily and seasonal specials. Remember, however, that you’ll need to obtain a liquor license for your establishment before you can serve alcohol.
You may not be able to afford a complete remodel but updating a bathroom’s look can be as easy as getting new stylish mirrors, decorative lights and modern tapware. Don’t forget full-length mirrors for the ladies!
Artwork And Accessories
Focus on finishes that are at eye level. Get rid of dated artwork and update it with wall decor and accessories. Think wall sculptures and larger scaled dynamic artwork.
Product displays of fresh fruit, vegetables, wine, etc…are also great ways to promote items while updating the décor.
Clean Up Your Act
It is important to take the time to evaluate organization, display and cleanliness.
It’s easy for POS and service stations to develop a collection of messy condiments, menu covers, and supplies. Back bars are often another place for clutter.
Organize bottle displays and glasses to sell more product.
Consider wall mounted POS monitors when possible. Evaluate the flow of your service.
If more service stations are required for more efficient guest service, consider purchasing ready-made furniture pieces such as small credenzas that are functional and decorative.
Hit Me With Some Colour!
Don’t be afraid to go bold…it’s a restaurant, not your living room! Go for some dramatic pieces and make a statement.
Accent walls, re-upholstering existing furniture pieces or a fresh coat of paint with the right colours can completely transform a restaurant.
Lighting, Lighting … And Lighting
If there’s one design element that can make a great impact on a restaurant, it is lighting.
Introduce unique decorative lighting for a “wow factor”. Think big. Most restaurants can handle decent size fixtures. Stay away from residential models and invest in a few large-scale chandeliers that will become focal points and conversation pieces.
At the back bar, good lighting and illuminated liquor steps are a must. If you don’t have a dimming system, spend time evaluating your lighting levels at various times of the day and mark your dimmers accordingly.
Don’t be ‘one of those’ restaurants that kills the vibe with too much light. Your guests will thank you with their wallets.
We all know we don’t get a second chance for a first impression so make their first sense of arrival a good one.
Start in the parking lot and consider the path to the entrance and the point of arrival.
Simple landscaping and exterior lighting can make a huge difference. Dramatic planters outside the entrance can also help define the point of arrival.
Simplify cluttered hostess stands and add an accent piece for interest.