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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on September 26th, 2019

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How Much Does it Cost to Renovate Your Restaurant Kitchen


Kitchen restaurant renovations boost productivity and improve the customer experience at your restaurant. Knowing the cost to renovate can help you decide if you can afford to make this kind of upgrade. If you need financing for your renovation, knowing about how much to expect the renovation to cost can help you with the loan application.

This article will go over costs associated with a typical restaurant kitchen renovation, will help you decide when a kitchen renovation is necessary, and will help you understand what happens during a typical renovation.

When Is it Time to Renovate Your Restaurant Kitchen?

The time to renovate is different for all restaurant owners. Usually restaurant kitchens are designed organically, starting small and becoming more complex as the restaurant becomes established.

Once business is good and productivity reaches a peak, restaurant owners often start to notice that their kitchen, which was probably assembled in patchwork-quilt fashion, is not well laid out for the type of work that needs to be done. This is when it's time to renovate. If you own your own restaurant, you may notice certain warning signs that a remodel is necessary. For example:

  • Kitchen staff must work slowly, because they run into one another or get into one another's way when cooking food.
  • Accidents in the kitchen are becoming more common.
  • You're unable to cook certain dishes that you would like to prepare, because your kitchen is poorly laid out, or the equipment is too old.
  • Your restaurant spends an increasing amount of money on utilities.
  • Your kitchen appliances need regular repairs.

The amount you must spend on your renovation will depend on the problems you're trying to solve. Talk to your contractor about the goals for your upcoming renovation. Your contractor can help you decide what fixtures and changes need to be made during your renovation, which can help you come up with an accurate bid.

How Much Does It Cost to Renovate Your Restaurant Kitchen?

This spans a range, depending on what kind of changes you'll be making, how many appliances you're buying, and so on. A typical renovation will start at around $250 per square foot and will go up from there.

What Happens During a Restaurant Remodel?

Restaurant remodels vary in scope depending on the needs of the business. Many restaurant kitchen remodels are extensive and dramatic, involving the removal of all the appliances, tables and work surfaces. Often, the entire space is redesigned, down to the exhaust system.

Old appliances are replaced with modern, energy-efficient models. Restaurant owners work with equipment specialists to determine the best layout for their kitchen to ensure that staff can work in a way that is productive and safe.

Flooring is another component that is often replaced during a kitchen remodel. Your contractor can help you choose a type of flooring that is non-slip and easy to clean. Restaurant quarry tile is a common option for commercial kitchens.

Most restaurant renovations involve pulling permits, primarily fire marshal and building permits. Your contractor should handle permits, but make sure it's in the contract, so you know how it's being handled.

What If You're On a Budget?

If you're on a tight budget, work with your contractor to prioritize your top items. If a remodel must be done and you're limited on how much you can spend, your contractor can help you pick and choose the most important tasks to be accomplished in your remodeling project. Future remodels can address other needs, if you save some of your remodeling tasks until later.

Planning ahead can also help you save money, as you'll be able to work with equipment suppliers to find the best deals possible on the equipment you need. Planning ahead also makes it possible to shop around for the best financing, if you need to get a business loan.

What Are the Most Expensive Changes?

Although costs vary, exhaust systems are usually the most expensive component of any kitchen remodel. The exhaust system must follow the stove and other components of the kitchen, no matter what the layout.

If the stove is moved during the remodel, and it often is, then the exhaust system must be redesigned. This may involve tearing out old the exhaust and installing new. To ensure the exhaust system is properly installed, an engineer must be involved in the project.

How Often Should You Plan to Renovate Your Restaurant Kitchen?

Many restaurant owners choose to renovate their restaurant kitchen every twenty years. A renovation may need to happen sooner if the business changes or grows beyond the capacity of the current kitchen.

Are you Ready to Remodel Your Restaurant Kitchen?

Restaurant kitchen renovations can be costly, but they're often worth the rewards. Renovating your kitchen can lead to an increase in productivity, fewer accidents and better customer experience.

Ultimately, a kitchen renovation can lead to bigger profits and greater success overall. Litchfield Builders has renovated restaurant kitchens all over Connecticut, and we can lead you through the process step-by-step. For more information about how to get started in your kitchen renovation, contact us for a consultation.

For more information about how to take on a commercial renovation in Connecticut, download our guide, Your Guide to Restaurant Renovation.

Guide to Restaurant Renovation

Does your restaurant kitchen meet your needs? What would you do to change your restaurant kitchen if, you could? Start a dialogue. Write your response in the box below.

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.