Selecting the right construction company to work on your Restaurant project may seem daunting as it is one of the most important things that can make or break your project. You want to be sure that the company can do the proposed work, maintain a high level of attention to the project and be able to deliver at an acceptable timeline. It’s also another thing to verify that they have done restaurant work previously as constructing a restaurant is very different from residential and other commercial constructions.
We believe that an informed restaurant owner makes a successful restaurant owner. This is why we created this article to serve as a guide through the process of selecting the contractor that’s right for you and your restaurant.
Search for a contractor either by referral, yellow pages, or online. List all the possible contractors you can find. Most restaurant owners feel that referrals are always a good pick. It’s true that referrals are good but they’re not always the best. What worked well for a friend/colleague, may not work the same for you. Always remember – no matter how you get the contractor information you still have to do your own research. Check each contractor’s website. Make sure they have experience working on restaurants. Look at their previous projects, and see if you are happy with how their end results look like. Some commercial or residential contractors are not that good at restaurant constructions and you have to look out for these ones. If they do not have a website, talk to them and ask them openly about this. Business longevity is also a good point to check. If they have been in the business for years, then that says a lot about their service, stability and permanence. From these information, you can trim-down and fast filter your initial list.
Prepare all materials for an estimate and make appointments with them on site.
Materials needed would be the Interior Design including the material list and Kitchen Design (layout) including Equipment list – these are the main materials to prepare but your contractor may need more information. Just make sure that you have everything ready. You can use dropbox, google docs or email to communicate and share documents – this makes it easier to organize and communicate as dealing with multiple contractors can get a bit too much to handle. This will make it easier for you to compile data and make it available for each contractor.
Now that you have some names, meet with them. Make appointments, one contractor at a time, as respect to each contractor. Let them see the existing condition of the site and produce an estimate for you. Look for “chemistry” or rapport between you and them. Ask them for suggestions or ideas. Courtesy, respect, punctuality and the ability to communicate are some of the most important attributes a contractor can and this paves way to open, clear, communication. This is also a good time to filter out those whom you are not comfortable communicating and interacting with.
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Compare estimate from contractors
From each estimate, you would see the difference between contractors and observe their level of professionalism. Ask them questions about the estimate. How it reached this amount and if it is possible to lower the price, or if there are any alternatives for a particular material they selected. By this time, you would be able to gauge which ones you are likely to work with and filter out some more contractors from the list.
Do more background check on your short-listed contractors
Talk to each contractor and ask them for references so you can go and check the actual projects they’ve completed. Ask them if you could speak with those restaurant owners briefly. As a restaurant owner yourself, you know that you wouldn’t want to be called all the time too after your restaurant is built. Apply the same courtesy to others.
Check against online reviews such as Yelp, Google plus, etc. If you find some negative comment, do not let this rule your decision right away. Ask them about it and if their explanation makes sense to you, you can let it go. If not, then you can filter them out and come up with your final list. Around 3-4 contractors is a good number for your final list.
When permit is ready…
Once you’ve made it this far, it means you’ve covered the most important bases and you’re ready to pick a contractor to work with.Send the final list of contractors everything they would need in order to create a formal proposal for the final bid. Compare the proposals and ask relevant questions. Try to re-negotiate for better terms if it is appropriate and possible. Please take note – you may need your selected contractor to pull the permit for you from the city. These information should be enough to make a choice. You should now be ready to cook the best proposal with the best contractor and start the project.
Now, you can sit back and let your top pick take care of your restaurant project but do remember to keep logging and photographing the development of the work and always stay in communication with your contractor throughout the whole project.