Restaurant Construction: 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid During Build-Outs

Know About Restaurant Construction

It’s thrilling to start a new restaurant. The right place for your business is a great motivator for getting things done quickly.

There are a slew of possible difficulties to bear in mind to avoid pricey hassles or, worse, litigation. These ten issues might lead to a lawsuit and postpone the grand opening.


1.     No Business Plan

A well-thought-out business strategy is critical to the success of any new enterprise, not just eateries. They can create future goals and devise plans of action to accomplish them.

The time it takes to write a business plan is time well spent if it prevents you from making costly mistakes in the long term, which many individuals avoid.


2.     Underestimating the Costs of the Building

Low-cost products and contractors can lead to substandard craftsmanship, lousy furnishings, and fragile equipment that will wear out more quickly than higher-quality products and materials.

In a rush to have the restaurant open as soon as possible, these cost-cutting measures might lead to unexpected expenditures on repairs or replacements that could have been avoided. A pricey lawsuit against the vendors or contractors may be your only option.


3.     Not Hiring Local Contractors

Do you require floor drains in your restaurant? Why do you need fireproofing? How long do people have to wait to have their homes inspected? If so, what kind of seats would you like to have on your patio?

The answers to these and other concerns are obvious to local construction experts familiar with local laws, rules, and regulations and who have successfully passed local inspections and avoided costly fines for code infractions.

Working with the right people and navigating the process are the strengths of a local construction expert, and they may mean the difference between a timely finish and costly delays.


4.     Bad Floor Plans

It’s difficult for servers and patrons to wait for station layouts, bar settings, and table combinations because of inefficient floor plans. Before building out the space, it is best to consult with an architect who has worked in the restaurant industry.

It doesn’t matter how much space you have for a restaurant if the tables and chairs are arranged incorrectly. The most prevalent issue is that there aren’t enough seats in many arrangements.

Both should be avoided at all costs. Throughout service, managers should sit at each table to evaluate which ones have too much noise, traffic, or otherwise fall short. Guests and servers alike will suffer if the setup isn’t properly set up.


5.     Outdated Decorations

Detracting from revenues are decorations that don’t reflect the brand’s narrative, such as clunky, unclean, dusty, or otherwise. The brand narrative and personality of the restaurant should guide every aspect of the establishment.

Starting with a clear idea of what you want the restaurant to be is smart. Then consider the furnishings, such as the decor, lighting, and, of course, the chairs and tables. Everything in a restaurant should contribute to the overall narrative.


6.     Lack of Proper Construction Permissions

There is a chance that your contractor advises you not to bother about obtaining all of the necessary licenses because it takes too long or is too expensive.

As enticing as it may be to speed up the building process by skipping the time and expense of completing permit paperwork, doing so would certainly result in penalties and delays from the Department of Buildings (if not a Stop Work order that takes many months and lots of money to cure).

You might be held liable if someone is damaged or wounded due to work that was not done according to code. It will save you a lot of hassle, time, and money in the long run if you strictly adhere to the local construction standards and regulations and obtain all necessary permissions.


7.     Your Contractor’s Lack of a Written and Signed Contract

There is no guarantee that your contractor will show up on time and complete the agreed-upon job until a comprehensive contract has been signed. It’s possible to put a variety of clauses in the contract. We could fill a whole book with information on the most critical aspects of contract preparation and negotiation.

The parties can agree that the contractor will pay a predetermined amount of money for each day that the project is delayed beyond the contract date, which is known as a liquidated damages clause.


8.     Violation of Immigration Laws

You might assume that if you employ a general contractor, you won’t have to be concerned about the people he hires for the job. However, recent years have seen an increase in immigration rules, such as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

If your contractor brings in undocumented employees for the duration of construction, you may be held liable for Form I-9 breaches. Form I-9 compliance and other immigration-related problems should be explicitly stated in your written contracts with contractors to avoid a situation like this.


9.     Purchasing Secondhand Equipment

The cost of new equipment is high, yet it is critical to your restaurant’s long-term success. You won’t get a warranty or a refund if you acquire old defective equipment. Repairing or replacing the old equipment might cost you additional money.

The cost of a new item with a long-term guarantee should be carefully considered for vital or heavy-use products. A comprehensive inspection for flaws should be performed before purchasing any old equipment.


10. Imaginary Timelines

Restaurant owners and their construction crews frequently argue over the issue of delays. You have promoted a scheduled grand opening date as the restaurant owner. For whatever reason, weeks or even days before your big opening, your construction team warns you that you won’t be able to open or function because they can’t fulfill the deadline.

In response to your threat of a lawsuit, the contractor threatens to quit. Build some “float” time between the conclusion of construction and your big opening to avoid this horrible scenario.

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