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Step by Step Guide to Your Restaurant’s Opening Date

I think we would all agree when I say that time is money, and money is time in a restaurant opening project. Without a dependable opening date, your entire project can become a total failure – all that hard work for nothing. This is why it is important to consider potential opening dates and list down all the work that has to be done during the restaurant design process. If you fall behind the timeline even by a day, it will have a negative impact on your potential patrons and cost you extra bucks that can bust your budget.

To convey the importance of meeting your restaurant’s opening date, let me share a few experiences of my own. It was midnight when I got a call from a client. He asked us about replacing the counter bar cladding with a new one because they couldn’t find the one they wanted. Nothing in the market came in the color scheme used in the restaurant, so it was starting to seem like a total logistics disaster.

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The restaurant in question was an Eco-friendly establishment in Southington, USA. We’d been working with the client from the moment he’d rented the place, till it was completed 16 months later. The restaurant design process for this project included the interior design, tendering and execution. However, the problem arose because the client failed to discuss their budget constraints with the fit-out company he had hired. As a result, most of the design had to be changed drastically, which led to a 2-month delay of the opening date.

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This is why it is extremely important to consider each and every tiny detail during the initial stages of your design.
It is extremely important to open a restaurant at the time you have announced. It is even more important to consider the marketing methods you’re using to promote the opening date. Take the example of this Student Café in Riyadh, KSA. The client, Mr. Yousef, announced the inauguration through neighborhood meeting points and university notice boards to get maximum clients on opening day. This helped him get a quicker return on investment through strategic marketing techniques that were decided during the initial restaurant design process.

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It’s very important to know that good project management and early completion can have a positive effect on the overall outcome of a client’s investment. I’ve got another example. It was almost midnight again when everyone raised a toast to the successful completion of the Crepe Bechamel Restaurant project in the Pearl of Doha, Qatar.
The celebrations were in full swing because the project had been completed ahead of the scheduled date. This gave Mr. Waleed – the General Manager – an additional two months’ worth of opportunity to welcome the guests. In this way, the successful management of the restaurant design process allowed the client to open the establishment ahead of time. This resulted in additional profits, savings on the project staff’s payroll and more manpower for other projects. This is how you run a successful restaurant opening!

I hope you can see how meticulous planning at every stage of a project can result in better cost controls and efficiency. You can never underestimate the power of extensive pre-planning, especially while designing or renovating a restaurant. Each day counts for revenue generation and a single hour’s delay can cost you.

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So today, we’ll be sharing 15 ways you can detail your restaurant design process in order to get the best results:

1- Consider Value Engineering & Logistics:

Value engineering is a method of improving the value of goods or services and needs to be especially considered while renovating or designing restaurants. It basically means the modification of designs and systems according to a value analysis. It entails giving a proper brief to your architect or interior designer at the very beginning of your project. Changing the details at the last moment can cause a logistics disaster, which can delay the opening of your establishment.

2- Avoid Constant Design Changes:

Once the design has been locked down, you should avoid making constant changes in it. Constant adjustments in the design can end up derailing the entire restaurant design process. It may also end up demoralizing the entire project execution team. You must understand that even changing the location of a single wall means drafting major changes in all relevant drawings; architectural, structural, electrical and more. So it’s better to satisfy all your aesthetic and functional demands before locking down the final design.

Keeping this point in mind, I’d like to emphasize that there are ways to make sure the client can easily visualize the final space. So if you’re wondering what might happen if the client may feel unsatisfied and vocalize his opinion during the later stages of the project, then it’s important to note there are ways to completely avoid this situation.
At CAS we make sure that the client receives a realistic 3D render of their design before the final drawings are drafted. We make sure clients see the final result in a realistic view, before moving forward.
This process ensures that they can perfectly visualize the design from all angles, request changes during the initial changes, and avoid all manner of adjustments during the final stages of their project.

3- Client understanding:

One of the initial must-do’s during a restaurant design process includes creating a detailed mood board. If you do this in the early stages of the project, it can better help your architect/interior designer come up with a more specific and on-point theme that perfectly fits all your requirements. It also allows us to get the best and crystal clear picture of
What the client dreams and wants to achieve. To start this process, we first communicate with the clients about their wishes and requirements by creating a mood board. This helps us get a thorough concept of all material, color scheme, and styling, to make sure we are all in the same boat.

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4- Sequential Timeline of All Building Works:

A detailed outline of all the scheduled building works must be carefully crafted. These schedules may be compared and coordinated further via cloud computing solutions between the different teams. Only when you’ve got down all the timelines and figured out all the logistical details that must be carried out during building works can you figure out the exact opening date for your restaurant.

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5- Make Contingency Plans:

When you’re making a detailed timeline, you must always leave enough leeway for unexpected bumps you may face during the project. A fully-detailed restaurant design process always includes contingency plans that can make life easier for all parties involved. It also ensures that nothing is less than perfect on the opening date.

6- Thorough Functional Detailing:

The functional aspects – including the electrical and mechanical works – should be properly hashed out at the start of a restaurant design project. This includes budget management and other functional detailing. Doing this ensures that there are no pragmatic delays at the opening time.

7- Begin With Consultations:

You should get various consultations from different specialists in order get a holistic restaurant design. A wholesome restaurant design process always includes various opinions to ensure the best results. Make sure that these consultations happen during the initial stages of the project. This way, any changes suggested by one consultant can be properly implemented in the project as a whole.

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However, I personally recommend you to avoid bringing in consultants in the middle or at the end of the project. Starting off with expert opinions is more suitable. Bringing in specialists during the final stages can very well end up ruining the project – after all, it’s a well-known fact that too many cooks spoil the broth.

8- Leeway For Negotiations & Contract Finalization:

Fee negotiation and contract finalization are another two aspects that need to be considered while estimating the potential timeline of your restaurant opening. The management and logistics end of the process takes quite a long time – sometimes even months. This is because the legal technicalities take quite a long time to be fully hashed out. If you do not consider them, it may cause unexpected delays in the opening of your establishment later.

9- Arrange Adequate Workforce:

In order to maintain a fully fleshed-out restaurant design process, you must pay special attention to your resource management. The shortage of manpower in design and execution teams can definitely cause delays.

10- Prioritize MEPs:

All civil works – MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) – need to be finished before the physical building and renovation work. These works usually cause delays during the finishing stages, but your project is definitely on track if these works are completed within the set time-frame. A good firm is one whose MEP and interior designers work together as a team. They save time for you while also giving you an A to z package.

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11- Careful delegation of timeline:

One of the most important aspects to consider in your restaurant design process in the sequence. If you start all the physical works – including the MEPs – at the same time, chances are that it will ruin the result. Therefore, it is important to employ all of your resources in a sequential manner. This also helps you avoid common restaurant design mistakes in your project. So always complete one aspect before starting on the other.

12- Keep the Site Clean:

Another key element to keep the clutter off-site and still maintain excellent quality is to go for as many prefabricated elements as possible. Things like these include customized furniture, cabinets and other woodworks. This can also ensure better speed since no one will be getting in the workers’ way.

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13- Delegate Time for Material Curating & Negotiations:

An important aspect to consider while fleshing out the details of your restaurant design process is to give an extra few weeks to the purchase teams for quality negotiations. This helps them place purchase orders in advance and save a lot of money in the process.

14- Set A Feasible Timeline:

Architects and designers are busier than ever. Therefore, it is quite important to discuss your schedule in advance before signing any agreement. If you don’t, then the designer may take longer than you anticipate to complete the assigned tasks.

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15- Quality Assurance:

Lastly, you must never overlook or underestimate the importance of ‘quality’ while overseeing your restaurant design process. While it is quite necessary to meet all the standard deadlines and budgets, providing an excellent ambiance, atmosphere and overall design will ensure that your patrons visit over and over again after the opening day.

At CAS, we’re excellent at maintaining the triumvirate of cost, time-management, and awesome quality. This is especially relevant to restaurant projects, and we make sure our clients never have to compromise on any of these.

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