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Restaurant Renovation Costs

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Restaurant renovation costs can be difficult to define.  Depending on the size of your space, materials being used, the scope of the renovations, and the labour involved, renovations can cost upwards of $100,000.  So, while we may not be able to tell you exactly what your renovation will cost, we can give you some information about what impacts renovation costs, some considerations you should make, and even some tips for budget renovations.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Renovation

First and foremost, your renovation costs will depend on the existing conditions of the restaurant.  If you just want to upgrade a few elements or put up a new layer of paint, the total cost will be low.   However, if you need to purchase new equipment, especially in the kitchen, you are likely looking at an extra $30,000 or more.  For example, exhaust fans run from $15,000 to $50,000, a walk-in refrigeration unit around $20,000, and installing new gas lines may run upwards of $10,000.  Finally, if you are hiring contractors, plumbers, electricians, painters or other trades-people, you’ll need to factor in several thousands of dollars for labour.

Factors to Consider

Before you begin a renovation, you should spend some time crunching all the numbers first to make sure you have an adequate budget for the changes you’d like made.  Also, always give yourself a bit of wiggle room as there are always unforeseen expenses throughout the course of a renovation.  You should also consider the timing of your renovation. If you’ve waited until you’re desperate to renovate, the costs will be significant, but regular upgrades every 5 to 7 years help to make renovation costs manageable while keeping your restaurant trendy.

Another factor to consider is your target demographic.  If you are operating a greasy spoon with a lunch time crowd, you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on upgraded interior design and mood lighting.  Regardless, always consider your clientele when you are planning renovations.  Even go so far as to frequent some of the more popular restaurants in your neighbourhood to get some ideas about the styles and designs that are most likely to attract patrons.

Tips for Budget Renovation

If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few tips for upgrading your restaurant without breaking the bank:

  • Replace tables, chairs, and table settings for a relatively inexpensive upgrade.
  • Give the restaurant a facelift with a new paint job.
  • Install new upholstery in booths and on chairs.
  • Update fixtures such as light fixtures, door handles, and other decorative elements.
  • Change dining table sizes to allow for more seatings and increased revenue.

Ultimately, the cost of your renovation depends on your vision.  Some renovations are relatively inexpensive, and some are a major investment, it’s up to you.


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