How to Hire an Experienced and Trusted Restaurant Contractor
Restaurant renovations are far from a prix fixe situation. Costs can dramatically vary according to the project. Things that will impact the final cost of the renovation include quality of the finishes, design requirements, and the professionals you hire to perform the work.
Choosing the right contractor can be a fairly extensive process. You will want to do your due diligence to be sure your selected contractor can do the proposed work and deliver on your desired timeline. The right contractors can make or break your project.
It may be a daunting task, but hiring the right restaurant fit out contractors ensures that you receive exceptional design services. An informed restaurant owner makes for a successful one.
To ensure your restaurant renovation needs are met, here are four things to look for when hiring a restaurant contractor.
1. Go with experience and reputation
As this business venture may be your first or your livelihood, you do not want to go with a contractor company simply looking to get their feet wet. When it comes to a restaurant remodel project, experience matters.
A restaurant renovation is a considerable investment, so you’ll want to work with a company with experience and an established reputation. Their knowledge of the industry will help you stand out from the competition.
Their portfolio will be a good indicator that they have specific knowledge of the industry. This will help you verify that the contractor has the ability to back their promises, saving you from any potential headaches down the road.
2. Communication is key
Excellent communication is vital for a successful project. The right contractor for your renovation project will be one that can adjust to your communication needs. They should be able to follow the desired specifics of communication, from method to frequency.
Regular communication means you are constantly kept in the loop on project happenings and the project remains productive.
When sourcing the right contractors for your project, communicate with several companies. This will not only help you do a more comprehensive background check on your shortlisted contractors, but will also help you find one you’ll be comfortable working with.
The ability to communicate is one of the most important attributes of a solid contractor as this creates a clear path to open communication.
3. Compare estimates
When you’ve created a shortlist of contractors, make appointments and meet with each contractor one at a time. Make appointments to meet them on site and allow them to see the existing condition of your project. This will help them inform and produce an estimate for your project.
Once you’ve compiled the estimates, pore through each one.
This will allow you to further observe their experience and level of professionalism. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about pricing or cheaper alternatives for the particular materials selected. The answers they provide will allow you to further filter contractors from your list.
Also ask about the margins of the quoted price and the possibility of lowering them.
4. Don’t pick the lowest bid
At the same time, be mindful of wanting too good a deal. Finding a bargain now may become a costly mistake later on. Low bids may seem enticing, but that can be an indicator of poor quality work.
Ask yourself how they can provide such a low cost when their competitors can’t compete. You may find later that they’ve cut corners, used undesirable materials, or employed shady laborers.
There are levels of complexity that must be met in both building code regulations and health department standards. The lowest priced company may neglect these requirements which can result in a financial headache later.
5. Understand the importance of design
The design process should never be overlooked or underestimated. Different restaurants will have different build philosophies to ensure success. The right contractor for your business is one that understands this and is aware of current restaurant design trends.
An intimate sit-down restaurant may have a different traffic flow from that of a fast-casual restaurant. Other things that will need to be factored in the design process include kitchen congestion, size of the waiting area, and traffic flow of servers, bussers, and of course, customers.
Lighting will also play an important factor in the remodeling process. Today’s lighting trends, like new LED lighting technology, do more than serve a utilitarian purpose. The right lighting will have a significant impact on the customer dining experience.
The ideal contractor will be able to handle all your lighting requirements and tailor lighting solutions to properly meet your needs.
Be sure to take your time when looking to hire a contractor for your renovation project.
When you’ve established the right contractor for your project, you will want to verify every step of the build process. Be sure to confirm drawings, and check that the proper forms are prepared and references are verified. Get everything in writing so you can refer back to it if necessary.
You may be embarking on uncharted waters, but if you’ve done your research and performed the necessary due diligence, you’ve chosen the right contractor that will meet your individual project needs.