Renovating your restaurant can be an effective way to transform its image and to increase sales. However, before making a major investment in restaurant renovations, it’s important to take several factors into account that could impact whether or not the project would yield an attractive return on investment (ROI).
- Timing. Avoid waiting until the last minute. In other words, when it already looks like it’s time for a remodeling project, it’s probably too late. The project includes tasks like obtaining the necessary permits, finding the right partners, deciding on project details, which can take a significant amount of time. And rushing through the project will defeat its purpose. Experts recommend restaurateurs schedule and budget for renovations every five to seven years.
- Target demographic. The best, most effective restaurant renovations are designed with the target audience in mind. When deciding on the details of the project, it’s critical to identify the audience you want your establishment to attract. Determine the details by examining demographic trends in your local area, as these may have changed since your restaurant first opened. Look at the average age of the population as well as employment status or disposable income, then formulate or refine your ideas accordingly. For instance, if your neighborhood has begun to attract more young professionals, a more modern, edgy design may be in order.
At this stage of restaurant renovations, don’t forget to request feedback from customers about what would make your establishment more appealing to them. For instance, if you serve ethnic cuisine, patrons may suggest opting for more authentic ethnic décor. If your clientele is mostly older, they might mention more comfortable seating and space around tables.
- Goals. The project should support your business goals. Are you simply trying to freshen up your restaurant’s décor a bit, or do you have rebranding in mind? Will the dining area remain the same, or are you attempting to add more revenue-generating space, such as a private dining or party room, more seats, or a separate counter to more efficiently handle takeout orders? Make these objectives a priority when planning your project.
- Industry trends. Look closely at what’s happening in the industry from a design and operational standpoint and how your restaurant compares. It may turn out that the restaurant renovations you need to remain competitive are more extensive than you had initially imagined. Keep in mind, however, what differentiates your establishment from the pack. For instance, if modern décor is in order and other restaurants in your area feature the same color pallets, consider selecting a different color scheme that is equally modern, but makes your brand stand apart from the rest.
- Partners. Successful restaurant renovations require the right partners —architects, designers, consultants, and contractors — so choose carefully. These partners should have extensive experience in the restaurant industry. They should also provide you with examples of their work and references so you can properly vet them. You should also be able to work with them to bring your ideas to life — they need to demonstrate an understanding of your vision and your goals for your renovated restaurant. Avoid any individual or company that attempts to impose its own vision and ideas on you with no regard to yours.
Properly executed, restaurant renovations can breathe new life into a tired business. Consider the timing of your project, your target market, and industry trends to make the most of your investment, and find partners who will help you reach your goals. A strategic approach and careful planning will ensure your renovation project will support the goals you have for your business.