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restaurant renovation makeover signage by BUILD IT

Creating a renovation plan for your restaurant can be an incredibly expensive and overwhelming process. As the price tags vary depending on your restaurants location, the size of the space, the quality of the materials used, and the cost of professional labour. It can be very easy to fall in deep over your head without the proper planning and budgeting in place. To succeed with restaurant interior design, you need to know what it is costing you.

Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting exactly how much your renovation and interior design endeavour will cost until you break down the requirements for your specific needs. Instead, we have provided some professional tips to help you along the way:

1. The Planning Phase

Whether you own a small restaurant or a big one, you need a good game plan. A great place to start is by evaluating the existing conditions of your restaurant. Naturally, remodelling an existing restaurant layout will be much cheaper than starting from the ground up. Consider hiring a talented, well-educated designer to guide you through the process. Investing in a quality professional with industry experience will be a great resource to manifesting your desired aesthetic (and of course reduce the stress levels of navigating on your own).

Consider the brand and personality of your restaurant. Who is your target demographic? What kind of fare will you be offering? What style of dining experience do you wish to provide? Create a clear idea of the atmosphere you wish to manifest to streamline your renovation decisions.

Here are a few examples of some interior upgrades you may wish to consider:

  • Ceiling: paint, molding, tin ceiling, skylight
  • Décor: artwork, mirrors, sculptures, candles
  • Flooring: hardwood, ceramic tile, carpet, stained concrete slab, linoleum
  • Furniture: tables, chairs, booths, lounge, barstools
  • Kitchen: new or refurbished kitchen equipment
  • Lighting: chandeliers, lamps, pot lights, decorative
  • Wall Covering: wallpaper, paint, faux finish, wood panel
  • Window Treatments: blinds, curtains, shades

Need inspiration? Spend some time talking to your projected clientele. Get an idea of what they feel makes a memorable dining experience. Spend some time visiting other local restaurants to take note of what works, and what might not.

Predetermine a comfortable budget so that you know what resources you have available to you. Ensure that you leave some financial wiggle room to accommodate any unforeseen expenses that may arise.

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2. Budgeting Your Restaurant Interior Design

Like retail renovation, revamping the design of your restaurant costs a chunk of change. Restaurant interior design can cost anywhere between $85 to $500 per square foot (build out included). For a minimum of 600 square feet, that could be anywhere from $51,000 to $300,000! With that broad of a financial spectrum, it really comes down to the quality and quantity of your renovation and design. Budgeting for the needs of your industrial kitchen space and dining room will help keep your pocket book in order.

If you want to learn about the cost differences between renovation and construction, check out our article Cost of Renovation vs. New Construction Commercial.

3. The Kitchen

If installing brand new kitchen equipment is a part of your renovation plans, you can expect this to account for roughly 75% of your entire budget. With walk-in freezers going for anywhere between $10,000-$30,000, exhaust fans running anywhere between $15,000 and $50,000 – the total cost of equipment can reach anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000. That does not even take into account any installation fees, such as new gas lines which may run upwards of $10,000.

Of course, working with an existing kitchen space will dramatically reduce renovation costs. However, you will still be required to ensure all features are functioning to code.

Paramount Fine Food restaurant renovation project on going by BUILD IT
Paramount Fine Food restaurant renovation finished by BUILD IT

4. The Dining Room

Depending on the desired aesthetic for your restaurant, designing your dining room for optimal comfort and enjoyment does not necessarily have to break the bank. For example, repurposing or exposing existing features such as cement floors, rustic brickwork or ceiling beams can reduce your renovation costs. Additionally, it will offer a unique and authentic style personalized to your location.

For a tight budget, you can certainly opt for inexpensive upgrades such as a new paint job, dining hall layout, new upholstery for booths and/or chairs, modern table settings and/or fresh decorative elements such as new light fixtures or artwork.

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inside photo of Olea Restaurant bar section by BUILD IT

5. The Right People for Restaurant Interior Design

Finally, ensure that you are hiring the right people to handle trade-related tasks. Contractors, plumbers, electricians, painters, you name it. Having quality professionals with industry experience on your side will give you the best quality for your money. Moreover, it will get your restaurant open to enthusiastic patrons as efficiently as possible.

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get in touch with BUILD IT for a full service one-stop bar & restaurant construction contracting experience you can trust. Call (905) 696-0486 or [email protected] for more information.