A restaurant poses different construction challenges, obstacles, and rewards than other types of projects a contractor might accept. If you’re interested in pursuing restaurant construction as part of your service list, you should know these four important facts.
1. Safety and Environmental Regulations Change Regularly
Contractors, lawmakers, consumer protection advocates, and environmentalists are constantly looking for ways to make restaurant construction safer and more environmentally-friendly. They want to create secure, healthy workplaces that consume as little power as possible and exert the smallest carbon footprint.
The proper organization in a commercial kitchen, for example, can reduce workplace injuries like burns. Those areas also require ventilation to protect guests, employees, and others from health risks associated with chemical exposure. A restaurant’s kitchen and its other areas must promote sanitation and pose as little risk of slip-and-fall accidents as possible.
Additionally, a restaurant consumes considerable power during normal operations. The kitchen uses electricity and natural gas, while the dining room needs proper lighting for the style and purpose of the venue. Computers and POS (point-of-sale) terminals also consume power, and restaurant owners need access to sufficient electrical outlets.
Each of these issues requires consideration. Contractors who oversee restaurant construction must stay current in their continuing education so they know when regulations are updated and rules change.
2. Contractors Must Coordinate Infrastructure to Minimize Visibility
Most patrons at a restaurant don’t want to look at HVAC ducts and plumbing pipes while they sip cold beverages and dine on fancy foods. Contractors involved in restaurant construction must not only make room for this infrastructure, but also hide it from view.
Since a restaurant’s infrastructure easily consumes 50 percent of a project’s budget, contractors have to devote more time to this aspect of construction than anything else.
3. Contractors Need to Communicate Closely With the Client
Restaurant owners typically have firm ideas about how they want their venues to look and function. If a contractor fails to communicate, from contract negotiation to materials selection, he or she could face serious conflict down the road.
Contractors also need to communicate well with architects, subcontractors, suppliers, designers, and other professionals working on the project. Each of those components contributes to the project’s success, so a communication breakdown can prove disastrous.
4. Many Restaurant Construction Projects Take Place in Existing Spaces
Some restaurant construction projects involve building an entirely new structure, but more often, they require the contractor to build the location into an existing building. It could be a mall, a strip center, or a floor in a high-rise.
Unless the former tenant also ran a restaurant, the contractor will have to find a way to route grease ducts for exterior ventilation and create industry-standard boiler flues. These facets of construction take time and, in many cases, creativity.
Contractors often take great joy and pride in their restaurant construction projects, but they also have to pursue those jobs as special, with distinct challenges and obstacles. If you’re interested in becoming a restaurant construction contractor or if you need to update your continuing education, start your course now.