What is in this article?:
- Retrofit, remodel or complete renovation: Whatâ€™s the right fit?
- Three Rs of updating
A fresh look, whether it’s a minor update or a comprehensive overhaul, can help any restaurant.
Three Rs of updating
The terms retrofit, remodel and renovation may represent foreign concepts to restaurateurs. However, each plan consists of different aspects. Choosing the appropriate path is as important as the update itself.
A retrofit is the most noninvasive strategy. You can schedule it during off hours to avoid closing your restaurant or compromising the customer experience. This plan primarily includes redoing the graphics, finishes, décor elements and paint colors. It may also consist of minor changes to the millwork or furniture. In general, none of this work requires a permit, but you should consult your local jurisdiction.
A remodel builds upon the idea of a retrofit, while also addressing repair and maintenance issues. This brings about the need for a short restaurant closure to address small code violations. From booth fabrics and flooring to seating rearrangements and partitioning, the changes are more extensive in this approach.
Finally, a renovation includes all the procedures in a remodel, but it is the most complete and drastic process. The invasive work will require closure for a minimum of three weeks to allow for demolition, rebuilding and possible new construction. While extensive finish changes are included, a renovation will also address all code violations in the establishment.
Advance planning and prioritizing will enhance positive results; the key is to develop an overall plan before beginning. If you have limited capital, you might consider completing the work in phases. Scheduling multiple retrofits over a span of time allows the updates to build on each other, and ultimately it can produce the cumulative effects of a remodel. Lost business is another consideration. The best time to do the work is during historically slow times. Additionally, establishing a strong relationship between the contractor, architect and restaurant owner will inevitably produce innovative solutions and reduce overall costs.
Whether it includes minor paint touch-ups or complete reconstruction, updating an existing restaurant can improve the brand identity, encourage new customers and prepare your business for the future — not to mention increase sales along the way!
Rachel Wasylyk is the marketing coordinator for Tobin Starr + Partners, which helps clients achieve creative, relevant and insightful architecture and design solutions. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.