Renovating a restaurant while remaining open can be an exciting proposition, but it can also be very stressful. Maintaining a balance between getting the work done while still providing a satisfying dining experience can be the difference between preserving and growing a customer base or turning off customers altogether. But for many restaurateurs, closing for any length of time, even for a renovation, can be a death knell. In this post, we provide some tips on how to renovate your restaurant while remaining open.
Communicate With Your Guests
Preparing your customers’ expectations will ensure they understand and accept the conditions they are about to experience. At every chance of communication, you should be forewarning your customers that your business is undergoing renovations. This means posting about it on your website and socials, including the information in your advertising, explaining directly to customers who call or email to make reservations, posting signage at the restaurant entrance and reminding patrons about your upgrades as you seat them. By mentally preparing your customers beforehand, you can help manage their expectations. To keep people coming through the door even with the knowledge of ongoing work, you might want to offer a discount during the renovation period.
Communicate With Your Employees
Not only should you keep your customers apprised of the possibility of disruption, but you should also keep your employees informed about how their operations will be affected. It’s an even better idea to involve your employees in the renovation planning process as they’ll likely be the ones who will mostly deal with the impact of the changes. Knowledgeable employees can also help keep your regular customers informed about what’s going to happen and how it will affect their dining plans.
Isolate The Disruption
Renovations inherently mean there will be disruptions to the day-to-day workings of your restaurant. However, you should do everything in your power to isolate the disruption and keep it contained – away from customers and the kitchen. More than ever, if you renovate your restaurant while remaining open, you need to maintain food safety and cleanliness standards while keeping the room looking and running like a dining establishment, not a construction site. Whether this requires some innovative storage solutions, temporary enclosures or specialized air control systems, do whatever you can to isolate the consequences of the renovation from the food preparation and dining functions.