When it comes to restaurant construction in Toronto, the consensus among restaurateurs is that no matter how hard you to prepare for it, there’s always an unknown element—how customers will react.
To minimize this rather important detail, takes a combination of planning, as well as open and clear communication with the people tasked with building your restaurant. Once you have that down pat, all you have to worry about is how people will like your menu and how to keep them happy.
This, however, is easier said than done.
If you’re lucky enough to be constructing a restaurant from scratch in an unimproved space, you have more wiggle room to make mistakes,experiment, and really make reality match your dreams, something that most other restaurants can’t do.
Below are some common construction problems that drive many restaurant owners crazy.
· A lack of space at the entrance, exit, and waiting area, which can drive away customers
· Small space made worse by poor table positioning, making patrons feel uncomfortably close to their neighbors
· A non-intuitive kitchen setup that places line cooks and chefs in each others way
· An entrance and exit that puts servers, and the food they carry, in danger of crashing into patrons
If you’ve yet to begin building your restaurant, here are some simple but effective tips for restaurant construction in Toronto.
Talk to your Landlord
If you’re constructing a restaurant in a building not your own, it only makes sense to speak with your landlord and get him involved in the planning and building process. Your landlord will understandably want to know what will happen, should you suddenly decide to halt construction.
Measure your Available Space
And be sure to do it two more times, just to make sure you have an accurate measurement of your total available space.
Space will be the core factor to consider when determining the number of patrons your restaurant can accommodate. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 60 percent of the space for diners, while the other 40 percent goes to your kitchen and secondary areas (stockroom, managersoffice, etc.).
Now take your 60 percent of square footage and divide it by twelve—the result should be your recommended number of diners. Why, you might ask? Twelve square feet is a safe number that accounts for foot traffic, seating space, décor, tables etc.
Plan According to Building Codes and Regulations
The last thing you want is to spend days on a detailed seating plan, only to find out that you planned something against building codes and have to start from scratch. Always be aware of the city and province’s building codes and regulations, after which you can then put your effortsinto make seating as comfortable for couples and families.
Don’t Forget your Utilities
Be sure to check the existing plumbing, electricity, heating, and ventilation in your building. Can it accommodate air ducts in line with venting regulations? If you aren’t sure, be sure to get the services of a contractor who knows the local ordinance and building codes.
All your proposed kitchen and dining equipment should first be inventoried, while the locations for this equipment should be evaluated for the existence of the necessary utilities.
Never EVER Underestimate the Kitchen
First time restaurateurs often make the mistake of ignoring the chef and kitchen staff during the planning process of the kitchen. Considering how they’re the ones who’ll be spending the most time in the kitchen, it really pays to get their feedback to keep them happy and have a kitchen that actually works. Discuss food storage and food preparation areas, taking into account what works for them, and what doesn’t.
Don’t look at all of this as a new hassle you need to consider while preparing your dream restaurant, instead take this as an opportunity to look over your plans and really get the fine details working to ensure your dream is a success.