plans & permits

Whether you are building a new restaurant or reconfiguring an existing building you must understand the value of a detailed plan because the cost will have a significant impact on the payback timeframe on your investment. Once you have plans you then need to get the appropriate permits to do any construction that involves plumbing, electrical or other major work - like walls and counters. There are ADA considerations, safety factors now and other important items that will bring your project to a sudden halt if you are trying to fly under the radar without permits.


Contractors & costs

Restaurants and other retail businesses require a contractor with food service construction experience - period! Experience can be the difference between opening on-time with a beautiful start or huge cost overruns and delays. In this section, we discuss the values of restaurant contractors, what to look for, and what's the average cost per square foot to develop various types of restaurants and other retail space. 



You can save a lot of money by doing some work yourself. From our experiences, we suggest restaurant development work that you can do yourself based on your own capabilities and other work that you should leave to the professionals. We cover the pros and cons and the risks associated with do-it-yourself work.


Existing restaurants

Buying or leasing a building that was previously a restaurant can have huge advantages in cost and time. There are several important items that may work against you in the development and operation of your new business. In this section, we present the advantages of using an existing restaurant and cite numerous examples of construction and operational challenges faced when previous restaurants were selected for a new business. This is a critical section for potential new owners.  



The smaller your refrigerator and freezer are the less they hold. The less they hold, the better you need to be at inventory management. Those are statements to consider carefully. In this section, we discuss methods for reducing refrigeration and food costs through proper configuration of equipment prior to new construction and for existing businesses. 


grease traps

Most cities now require a grease trap to be installed in restaurants that use oils in the cooking process. There are many different types of grease traps and different ways to clean them, which in most cases has to be done every week or two. Fines can be big for not properly servicing a grease trap, In this section, we discuss options, cleaning, documentation and services for grease traps.


hoods & fire systems

If you cook food indoors, use oils, gas ranges and ovens, you are required to have a hood with a fire system. In this section, we discuss the different hood configurations, integrated and standalone fire systems, and insurance requirements. 



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