So, you’re thinking of opening a new restaurant and you’ve planned all the details. Odds are that you’ve overlooked something on the list below. Sometimes, the big stuff right in front of our nose escapes us as we try to focus on all the moving pieces.
When budgeting for a new kitchen build, it’s important to understand the ventilation requirements. A mechanical engineer will have to do the calculations for CFMs (cubic feet per minute) removed and the required return air. Certain municipalities will require an ecologizing unit to be placed in line with the exhaust to remove any odours. You will also need to account for gas supply and fire suppression systems for the new build. It’s very important to understand these requirements in the early stages of budgeting for a new build.
With the renovation of an existing space, it is important to know how much hood space you have available and the removal capacity of the existing hood in relation to the line you want to build under it. Any existing gas lines and suppression system will also need to be checked and corrected to match your new setup.
The dish area is the often-overlooked backbone of every restaurant. While the kitchen pumps out tables of hot, delicious food and the service staff do their best to get it out to the customers as they ordered it, the back half of service is equally important. Having a sensible dish collection system in place and a capably size/equipped dish pit is paramount to a good service experience. Ensure that there is an easily accessible area for dirty dishes to be deposited and sorted. It should have a clear path to the dish area, to minimize breakage and to keep the dishwasher away from areas like the hot food line while carrying a load of dirty dishes. A properly sized machine and accompanying pot washing sink will ensure that there are always clean dishes and kitchen implements. This keeps the food moving and your customers happy.
Often forgotten in the dish area while planning is an appropriately sized and located grease interceptor. These are a mandatory part of your water treatment program in any municipality. They keep grease and other particulate matter from reaching the city sewers.
When planning for your ice needs, it is important to think outside the glass. Be sure to speak with your salesperson about your ice machine. The types of drinks you will be selling, the number of seats in your restaurant and if you’re using ice with takeout orders will all factor into the calculation. While your bar will use a lot of ice, especially in the summer, your kitchen is likely to be the biggest user of ice in your restaurant. Cooks use ice to cool food safely among other things. Overbudgeting ice production and capacity will mean you always have plenty of the cold stuff.
If you’re using ice machines, steamers, combi ovens, high-volume coffee brewers or espresso machines, YOU NEED FILTRATION. Not only will it extend the life of your equipment, but you’ll also save time on maintenance and cleaning. In the cases of ice and coffee/espresso, you will have a better-tasting product. Some people will overlook filtration as an “extraneous cost” in the early days, but it can save you thousands of dollars in your first year.
When budgeting for a new build, renovation, or takeover it’s important to remember the small pieces. It’s easy to focus on the big-ticket equipment, the menu and the staff and forget entirely about the china, flatware, glassware and kitchen smallwares. Depending on your menu and capacity, tableware can be a surprising part of your budget. Always be sure to have those numbers included in your early budgets. Smallwares are often left to last when outfitting a kitchen. Once the staff is hired and the menu is sorted, you can start to count spatulas, squeeze bottles, pans, and whisks. These items can add up quickly. Make sure you’ve talked to your Salesperson and budgeted an appropriate amount. After all, the kitchen needs these pieces in order to feed your customers and keep them coming back happy.
There are plenty more things to remember when opening a restaurant. Speak to your salesperson today and let them help you keep your lists in order and your budget under control.