There is nothing worse than arranging to go out for dinner with your partner, family or friends only to walk into a restaurant with décor unchanged since the 50s. If you own that establishment, you may well find that your customers will not only comment about it on social media, for all and sundry to hear, but they may not return. A recent report found that a restaurant that undergoes renovation can, more or less, increase its sales between 7% and 20%. Yet if they dislike your ambiance, they will never return. If this sounds like your eating establishment then perhaps it is time for some restaurant renovation.
Let’s get this straight: a renovation will not be cheap, but it will over time recoup itself. If you get it right. On average costs can be from anything between $100,000 to $1million. You will need to speak to an expert to make sure you are not using too much capital. On top of that, you will need to shut down your restaurant for an amount of time, so you should ensure that you can survive the shutdown period. Perhaps you close during the quietest part of the year, or merely partially open if you can. When it comes to the cash outlay, you should set a realistic budget. Of course, every owner wants the best tables, ambient lighting throughout that costs a bomb or even the best sound system on the market. But if the money is not there, you will need to bypass these ideas.
Talk To Your Regular Customers
Everyone has an opinion, and what better opinion to listen to than your regular paying customers? If they have been coming to your restaurant for a long time, they will have seen changes and will have an opinion on where you can improve. Perhaps they feel the colors are too dark, the lighting too bright, the floor too tacky, or even the bathrooms too outdated. Their opinion can count when it comes to renovations, and more than this, they will feel like valued customers.
Where Are Your Highest-Demand Areas?
Take a good look at where your high-demand areas are. In this, we mean do more customers want four seat tables, but you have a majority of two seat ones. Are you packed out on Friday night’s Happy Hour promotion, but people are turned away or turn around because they cannot gain access to it? Do you have two tables outside that customers are constantly fighting over? If this is the case, these high-demand areas are where you should be expanding, to increase the numbers of clients into your restaurant.
Is Your Kitchen Working Properly?
A restaurant renovation is not all about front of house, the kitchen is important too. You need to speak to your kitchen staff about areas of improvement, to maximize output. Perhaps the kitchen needs an overhaul as they appliances are out of date. It might be more cost effective and time efficient to purchase a steam oven to mass-cook vegetables, rather than relying on pots of boiling water that take up space and energy. Perhaps the pass is not large enough, or perhaps the kitchen is too small. Expansion in these areas may be the one area that increases profit. One change may change you into a cash-positive operation.