Top 3 Tips for Developing a One-of-a-Kind Restaurant Concept in Canada
Are you looking to start designing a restaurant concept in Canada this year? Before you do, be sure to read our top tips for developing new restaurant concepts to get you and your business on the road to success as quickly as possible
Choosing a restaurant concept is one of the most important steps to opening a restaurant.
Your concept is your overall idea. It’s what defines your brand and the unique experience you’ll offer your customers. There’s a lot to think about when starting a food business, but a well-developed concept plan will provide you with a complete vision of your establishment, and can help guide you as you make decisions along the way.
Here are 3 things to consider as you develop your future restaurant concept:
1 - Select a restaurant idea that is a good fit for your personality.
First and foremost, you should create an idea that you are excited about and that you want to commit your time, effort, and resources in.
Start by exploring why you want to start a restaurant.
Are you, for example, good with people? Do you enjoy interacting with people and engaging with them? Consider an idea that allows you to engage directly with consumers on a daily basis. Do you prefer creating new recipes and concentrating on food preparation and delivery? If this is the case, you could be a good fit for a more operational idea, such as a catering business, patisserie, or cafe.
2 - Promote the restaurant experience rather than just the cuisine.
Your menu is a critical component of your entire idea, but it is not the only one. Your idea reflects the theme and personality of your restaurant. You’re not only offering amazing food to guests; you’re also giving them a one-of-a-kind experience, and every detail counts. While the taste of your food is crucial, you should also consider the other senses in order to offer your customers with a complete sensory experience.
Consider the following while developing a concept:
The name of your restaurant
Dish descriptions and menu design
Service manner (e.g. fine dining, cafe, casual sit-down, buffet, food truck, etc.)
The general ambience and decor
Background music or ambiance
Table count, floor plan
Location of a restaurant
How to Market Your Idea
Restaurants, by definition, centre on food, so it’s essential to review how these other features will compliment your menu. You want every element to contribute to your broader goal. Traditional Italian food, for example, pairs well with family-style eating and a laid-back atmosphere. If you want to offer many meals and fine-quality wines to your customers, you should consider fine dining service, fewer tables, and high-end restaurant design to suit your menu.
3 - Develop a solid team to compliment your abilities
Once you’ve decided on an idea, it’s time to turn your dream into a reality. Analyze what all you offer and what you don’t.Understanding your shortcomings, or where you have holes in your knowledge, experience, and skill set, may assist you in filling these gaps with partners and employees with whom you can collaborate effectively.
For example, if you’re a cook with years of expertise inventing creative dishes and coordinating restaurant personnel, but you’ve never owned or managed a business before, picking a business partner with financial and marketing skills may be advantageous. If you’re a business smart individual who understands how to build buzz but have never worked in a restaurant, you’ll most likely need to employ individuals who understand the intricacies of operating a kitchen and designing a menu.
When it comes to starting a restaurant, there is a lot to consider. Taking the time to thoroughly analyse your overall idea and create a complete vision for your menu, venue, and ambience may help you stay on track while you work on the smaller aspects.Your idea may become a reality by selecting a concept that suits your personality, delivers a full experience for consumers, and allows your wonderful cuisine to shine.
Many people believe that opening a new or first restaurant is a difficult undertaking. However, as the Canadian restaurant industry expands and grows, there will be more opportunity for another one-of-a-kind, amazing restaurant. The most essential thing to remember is that restaurant ownership is all about preparing ahead of time; with careful preparation and execution, you can create a profitable, growing restaurant enterprise.
Looking for more restaurant design ideas? Our team is here to help!
We’re here to help our people, our clients, and our communities achieve their ambitions. Let us know how we can help, or what you’re looking for, and one of our experts will be contact you promptly
How Do You Successfully Build a Restaurant in Canada?
Restaurants have their own set of rules and regulations that shift from property to property depending on the zoning. Restaurant Construction development requires a profound knowledge of every single relevant code, including building, accessibility, and egress.
Who will your restaurant construction team be?
What is your restaurant construction timeline?
Where will you build your restaurant?
How will you pay for your new restaurant construction project?
Will you rent or purchase your new restaurant space?
Are there any permits you need to open your restaurant?
What are the local guidelines or construction standards for restaurants in your area?
Restaurant Construction Cautions + Advice
At the point when you set off to build a restaurant in Canada, you’ll contribute the entirety of your time and energy, (and hard work) into the project. Here are some significant difficulties that can be avoided from with the right planning and construction team.
Get a couple of quotes and/or high-level budget pricing for construction or development organizations, it might save you money and it will give you a sense for industry standards and costs. It will also allow you to find a proper construction company who specializes in restaurant builds.
Follow all health, building, or any regulations — we feel compelled to pressure this as much as possible — compromising won’t pay off (think: fines, claims, etc.)
Think ahead: how might your choices in restaurant development and construction work during various seasons? Consider the possibility that you become truly famous and have much larger crowds. Experienced restaurant construction companies know about these difficulties and contemplations and can assist you with relieving future issues
Restaurant Development overall is anything but an ideal science, and building a restaurant requires a wide range of groups and partners, so give yourself a pad for your dispatch date and be ready to make changes.
Looking for more insights? Our team is here to help!
We’re here to help our people, our clients, and our communities achieve their ambitions. Let us know how we can help, or what you’re looking for, and one of our experts will be contact you promptly
How long does it take to build restaurant or QSR franchise location in Canada
Track down a specific restaurant design-build company or developer
Pick the right area with a mix of commercial space, pedestrian foot traffic, actual area and accessibility, and utilities.
Review accessible services and utilities like electrical power,waste, water, etc.
Review the rent and audit it with your restaurant contractor team and a real estate lawyer
Follow building and health regulation codes
Pick the commercial restaurant equipment format for productivity and talk with restaurant plan and development specialists
Make a plan that suits your restaurant type and factor in your particular client needs.
Opening a new or first restaurant can seem like an impossible task to many. However, as the Canadian Restaurant Industry continues to grow and expand there will be more room for another unique, extraordinary restaurant. The most important thing to remember is business ownership is all about thinking ahead, with detailed planning and execution, you can build a successful, flourishing restaurant establishment.
Looking to speak with a GTA Team Member about your Project?
Whether you have a project in mind and you’re looking for a reliable restaurant construction partner or you need some help getting started, we want to hear from you!
Are you in the market to build or plan a new Restaurant venture in Canada this year? Before you do, be sure to read this article on the top things to know before you move forward, spending your hard-earned money.
Starting a restaurant in Canada is one of the most common entrepreneurial ideas today. Why not! Everyone loves food and needs to eat… right? Well, opening a restaurant in Canada actually requires alot of planning, research and is not for the faint of heart. To truly excel in the hospitality industry you need to have a passion for food and hospitality businesses in general. The first question people have when they are considering is how much it will cost to open.
The answer to this question is very tricky depending on what type of restaurant you want to build. You could start your own restaurant from scratch or buy a franchise such as Tim Hortons or Mary Brown’s Chicken. Also, what type of food you want to serve like Coffee, Pizza or Burgers is another major question to consider.
These types of questions should be taken seriously before embarking on your new hospitality adventure. Here’s some more information to help you get started.
Looking for more insights? Our team is here to help!
We’re here to help our people, our clients, and our communities achieve their ambitions. Let us know how we can help, or what you’re looking for, and one of our experts will be contact you promptly
Our research suggests that people eat out at restaurants almost, if not, more than they do at their own homes. In fact, the millennial generation is said to dine out up to 2 times more frequently than their parents ever did and they are also choosing to spend more when they do.
With so much traffic to restaurants from such a large demographic, there are considerable opportunities for the aspiring restaurant entrepreneurs to succeed. New restaurants and food concepts enter the market every year, so it pays to stand out and make yourself known. One of the fastest growing segments and food options is plant-based and vegan food options and vegan options are fast-becoming the preferred choice of many restaurant patrons. While that doesn’t mean that your local fast food burger joint is going the way of the “dodo bird”, it does show a dramatic shift in the fast-changing tastes of one of the world’s largest markets.
On top of the plant-based options – restaurant patrons have also stated that convenience, local and ethically sourced ingredients are all factors that are becoming increasingly important to today’s consumers. If you’re interested in starting a restaurant in Canada, below are some key aspects to keep in mind before you invest in your dream.
Restaurant Startup Costs
Business startup fees range the most dramatically in the hospitality industry. Big determining factors include location, how much restaurant renovation is necessary, design and other factors. If you’re opening a small local diner in your hometown versus a luxury five-star restaurant in the heart of Downtown Toronto, your restaurant startup costs can fluctuate based on location and amount of foot-traffic expected.
For example, say you have selected a building in a key location, and your restaurant is an average size, approximating 1,200-2,000 square feet.
Restaurant Construction is one of the most important and more expensive aspects of hospitality ownership with restaurant interior design, equipment and restaurant millwork and can range from $50,000+ depending on the overall design, size and type of restaurant. If you’re looking to be more cost-conscious, most restaurant equipment suppliers sell used or clearance equipment, which can help you save a considerable amount of money for your first location.
Employees, Management and Staffing Costs
This is one of the most critical aspects of restaurant ownership and management as your people can make or break your chance of profitability. The main waiting and host staff, is the first thing customers see when they walk through your door. In the hospitality industry – customer service is your business. If your customers begin to have bad experiences, they can ruin your reputation with online reviews on Yelp, Google Reviews, Yellowpages, which is typically what most patrons look up before visiting a restaurant.
Marketing, Branding and Public Relations
With Social media being a large determining factor for reaching your target demographic, branding and marketing have never been more important. Poor reviews can quickly diminish a brand’s reputation, and once it’s gone – it is very difficult to get it back. Similarly, a low Google SEO ranking can prevent your business from even being found. Today, there are lots of independent influencers who are willing to promote you to their followers in exchange for either money or free food. Foodies take their influencer lifestyle seriously and plenty of food bloggers would love to collaborate with you. Reach out to some local Instagram influencers and offer them a chance to review your restaurant, perhaps during the soft launch before your grand opening.
Opening a new or first restaurant can seem like an impossible task to many new hospitality entrepreneurs. However, as the Canadian Restaurant Industry continues to grow and expand there will be always be more room for another unique, extraordinary restaurant. The most important thing to remember is business ownership is all about thinking ahead, with detailed planning and execution, you can build a successful, flourishing restaurant establishment for many years to come.
GTA General Contractors
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Whether you are a new building owner or restaurant manager or you are in the midst of building a commercial project, the one thing that they all have in common is the hassle of building maintenance. While building maintenance can be very time consuming, it can reap massive rewards down the road as you avoid costly facility repairs. A major benefit of hiring a reliable maintenance partner is you increase the performance of your facilities equipment and systems like HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, etc.
The only downside to commercial facility maintenance is you cannot do it by yourself. One thing that is frequently mentioned is that building owners don’t have time to inspect maintenance systems for problems, which makes hiring a reliable, experienced maintenance team that much more beneficial – you save yourself time!
One facility maintenance company that we have frequently recommended to our clients is Sanitance. Sanitance is a leading provider of commercial facility maintenance & hygiene services in the Toronto / GTA. One major difference between Sanitance vs. other companies is that they aren’t just a commercial maintenance company. Sanitance also offers many other beneficial commercial services such as space sanitization, hygiene solutions, and hygiene products. This allows you to receive more services for less, without the hassle of dealing with a large number of different businesses and numerous invoices.
The only challenge about maintenance is you cannot do it by yourself. You might believe that hiring a commercial maintenance company will cost you too much money, however, monthly plans can be very affordable for the average business owner. Many companies also allow their customers to customize a maintenance plan that works best for them. Customizing your commercial maintenance plan makes sure you only pay for the services you require. Utilizing these options ensures all of the crucial areas are maintained and inspected regularly for possible breakdowns or malfunctions.
Boost the Value of Your Building
Once you find a reliable maintenance partner, you will notice a vast improvement in your buildings systems and property valuation. When your property is in good shape, buyers will be more eager to purchase as it shows the building has been well taken care of and maintained.
Reduce the Cost of Future Repairs
When you hire a Toronto maintenance service company, you will begin to learn more about your facility and the services involved in keeping your building performing at its best. Your certified commercial maintenance expert can regularly inspect trouble areas and spot a potential issue before it comes up. Failing to fix an issue in time can result in major damage to other aspects of the facility system.
Improves Health & Safety
Having your building or business properly maintained will also boost employee safety. Using equipment that has been lacking properly scheduled maintenance can have a major adverse effect on your employees health and well-being.
While maintaining and servicing facility equipment and systems can be a danger in itself, it is one of the most important preventative measures to implement, which can reduce your employees exposure to hazards. Commercial maintenance is a simple, smart, effective way to ensure the safety of your entire workplace, and most importantly the safety of your staff.
Facility Systems Last Longer
When your building is properly maintained, you can avoid frequent major repairs long-term. This means less cost to you. You’ll reduce or lessen the potential of business downtime which will ultimately tack even more expenses onto your existing repair costs.
Interested in saving more time and money in facility maintenance or operations?
Ontario is gradually opening up its opportunities for selling cannabis, which means the retail cannabis landscape will be getting much more competitive in the next few years. As customers get more choice in retail dispensaries, owners need a sharper focus on making their stores attractive and user-friendly to keep traffic flowing in their doors, while adhering to regulations that make certain design elements mandatory.
Rules that govern the storage and display of your wares, and rules about the location of your cannabis shop will be top consideration in its design, but that won’t keep you from having a bit of fun with the look and feel of your new cannabis facility.
Where to set up
Like any other business, cannabis dispensaries first have to consider where they’ll set up shop. You’ll want an area with easy access to foot traffic and parking, that currently doesn’t have enough access to your products. Thorough research should bear out the best spots and neighbourhoods to get started on your new cannabis dispensary construction in Ontario. Location will depend in part on whether there’s an existing building you’ll fit up, or if you’re going to build from scratch.
Also, remember some municipalities have opted out of having dispensaries, so make sure your new business will be welcome before you get too attached to any particular location. In the GTA, for instance, both Ajax and Brampton opted in for cannabis sales, while Caledon opted out. Check with AGCO for a complete list of Ontario municipalities that allow dispensaries.
If you already have a retail operation, its location should play a prime roll in your decision as to where you’ll build a new cannabis facility. You’ll want two locations close enough you can look after both spots and transfer stock easily from one to another, but far enough they won’t poach clients from one another.
The Physical Design: Cannabis Dispensaries in Ontario
As could be expected, setting up to sell cannabis is not going to be as simple as setting up a shoe store. Instead, you’ll have some extra regulatory hoops to move during your cannabis construction process, based on the government’s desire to control the product’s sale and use.
From outside, your name needs to be clearly visible. However, cannabis and its accessories can’t be visible from outside of your dispensary, so you’ll have to get creative to entice passing foot traffic. A welcoming separate entryway that puts a barrier between the outside door and your product inside is one way to attract customers in, while obstructing the view from the street. Attractive signage and clear branding might take the place of large display windows to give an idea of your business’ identity and personality. Your retail cannabis contractor can help you come up with a winning design for your store’s exterior.
Setting Up Displays: Balancing Form with Function
Cannabis retail regulations in Ontario require that stock should be accessible only to staff, not to your patrons. That means the inside of your retail outlet might look less like the LCBO, with products lining the shelves for customers to peruse, and more like the Beer Store where stock is out of reach for visitors.
Despite the stringent rules regarding stock at cannabis retail stores, you have a lot of creative license over the setup and overall look of your shop. Like any other retail location you want the store to look clean and inviting, and be user-friendly for your visitors.
While cannabis won’t be stacked all over the store for your customers to browse, you can take advantage of that fact to maintain an uncluttered cannabis facility design / build. Sensory bins that allow customers to see and smell the products are allowed, as long as they’re well-secured. Sleek design that shows off a few wares in closed boxes will encourage purchase while upping the elegance factor in your outlet.
One way you might achieve this is to use display cases that double as counter tops, the way you might have seen at jewellery stores. For a more simplistic look, stock can be kept out of the way in a storage room while sensory displays indicate available products, like you may see in a store with expensive electronics.
If you have a large variety of products but want to maintain a clean look to your store, consider using devices with digital catalogues to allowing customers to browse products. This also gives you the opportunity to share more information about all your products without overwhelming your patrons.
Other Things to Consider
When you’re designing your retail cannabis facility, top of mind should be how you’ll satisfy the security requirements for cannabis stores in Ontario. All outside doors need to be well secured, of course. The store will also need high-resolution cameras and sufficient lighting showing storage areas, all exterior doors, and the cash register. A simple layout may require fewer cameras. Cannabis retail contractors can help you get the practicality you need and the design you want.
Time to Make Your Dreams Come True With a Toronto Retail Cannabis Facility Builder
With these things in mind, it’s time to get imaginative and create the retail shop of your dreams! There are a number of cannabis retail designers and commercial builders that can help you decide on the best design for your new dispensary.
Entrepreneurs will tell you a good business idea is scalable. It makes sense: duplicating a success will create more success, right? Well, that depends on the business, and if your business is a restaurant? Great success requires great risk.
So, before you start calling your restaurant designers and commercial contractors, make sure you’ve covered all your angles. Mull over some of the most important questions you need to ask before you decide to get into restaurant expansion and construction.
How do you know it’s time to expand your restaurant to a new location?
Ah, the big question – after all, everything following will depend on the right decision here. A successful restauranteur is rightfully proud of the accomplishment, and that can lead to overexcitement and rash decisions. Growing too fast could cause problems for the whole project because of lack of funding or the right people to make everything work.
Where’s the money coming from?
First things first: the funding for a new location should not come off the first restaurant’s back. Outside investors or personal savings, should be funding the fledgling project through restaurant construction, design, and opening until it gets off its feet, not the currently-successful venture.
Why? Because any failure in the new location could put the original at risk if all the money is tied into one bundle.
Think about it: if you start to cut costs in staffing, supplies, or restaurant renovations and upgrade, your successful restaurant to help fund an unsuccessful one, the service or quality at your first restaurant could start to suffer, costing it customers and its hard-earned reputation.
Instead, you need to make sure your business is running like a top, financially and operationally, and then let it do it’s thing without interfering with its profits. Fund the second venture separately throughout, right from the moment your restaurant contractor gets involved.
The right team on your side
And speaking of running like a top: your current location needs loyal, trusted staff and an effective general manager so it can run well without much attention from you. A new location is bound to take the lion’s share of your time and effort as you work out kinks, decide on restaurant builders and commercial designers, and market your buns off to get it started well.
Your commitment to making both places work is undeniable, but unless you’ve discovered how to clone yourself you also have limits. Your best asset will be a team that’s loyal and motivated to produce the quality and service your clientele has come to expect.
Your new location will require a well designed and constructed interior, an efficient commercial kitchen flow, and a stellar restaurant contractor and interior designer to help you realize your dream.
But above all, to success beyond the grand opening day and the first week of launch, you’ll need a crack team, too, including the right staff, a chef who’s willing to collaborate. This could be achieved by partnering and hiring the right individuals, or by working with an experienced and creative restaurant consultation firm, that can assist you and introduce you to the right contacts in the industry.
How do you know you can replicate your restaurant’s success?
So your business has gone gangbusters. Congratulations! Why do you suppose that’s so?
Have you got a top-flight menu? Do you offer a unique dining experience? It’s time to analyse exactly what your secret sauce has been. Figuring out who your customers are and what keeps them flocking back will be crucial to deciding how to do it again.
If you’re appealing to young, wealthy, investment professionals in the heart of GTA and Toronto, your same formula for success may not work out in the ‘burbs. A close look and an in-depth business plan for your new spot will establish your target audience and how to reach it through appropriate restaurant design ideas, menu items, and more.
Even if you’re going for a new vibe the next time around, keeping your best management practices will help bolster chances of success in the new effort.
Figuring out the restaurant success formula
Do you have a set of systems and processes in place for how your restaurant runs? Do you use specific inventory management methods or payment software, like CLOVER or TOUCHBISTRO? Do you do payroll a certain way each time? Check for and order supplies on specific days? Cleaning and maintenance probably have their own schedules and set methods, too.
These daily tasks may be done haphazardly now, but establishing a set of guidelines for how and when things are done will solidify and, in time, simplify daily operations exponentially. Then everybody knows and how and when things will happen, no need for questions or guesses.
Outlining systems and processes for your successful business will give you a template on how to go forward, too. Things may differ at your new spot for any number of reasons, and you can tailor your checklists accordingly.
How will this be different from opening my first restaurant?
Having a successful restaurant means you’re an expert – at that first restaurant. While you’re no beginner, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll have all the answers going forward. Think of it as an entirely new venture, except now you have some experience.
By keeping a new location separate financially and mentally, you will be more prepared for what’s coming – a wild and exciting ride that ends in even more success for your business.
Location, location, location
When you’re deciding where to build your new successful restaurant, you’ve got an extra element to consider: where’s your old one?
Proximity between the two is a tricky balance: too far apart and you’ll spend tons of time trekking back and forth between the two. Too close and you could cause your new place to steal customers from your old one, especially if you’re targeting a similar clientele.
Establishing the kind of success you have is really incredible in such a competitive sphere. It’s a great idea to capitalize on that success and expand – when you’re ready. When that time comes, make sure you contact our expert Restaurant construction team at GTA General Contractors if your project is in GTA and Ontario, or contact the restaurant design/build team at Canada Retail Group who can help in the design and construction of your new restaurant venture in major cities across Canada.
The Ultimate Guide to Opening a Restaurant in Canada
With over 60% of Canadian adults eating out at least 1-2x per week, the restaurant / food service industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Canada today. While restaurant trends typically come and go, it is doubtful Canadians will stop visiting eating establishments anytime soon. If you are interested in starting your own restaurant or food service business- you’ve come to the right place. GTA General Contractors have been in the restaurant construction business for 29 years and have helped local and national brands build amazing well-known restaurant concepts. We compiled a list of our top things you should do before opening your restaurant to the public.
How to Start a Restaurant in Canada
With 2020 just around the corner, many first-time entrepreneurs are beginning to plan their restaurant businesses for the new year. Starting your own restaurant is not for the “faint of heart”, it takes alot of expert planning, dedication, and strong will to open a successful restaurant in Canada.
It requires the ability to juggle many moving parts to streamline operations and can sometimes feel like the most difficult undertaking. With that said, when you work with restaurant professionals the process can be a lot more manageable and under control. GTA General Contractors has created The Ultimate Guide to Opening your Own Restaurant in Canada for 2020.
1.Choose your Restaurant Idea, Concept or Brand
Before you start a restaurant construction project in Toronto, you should have a clear idea of your restaurants concept and brand. A restaurant concept includes your style of service, type of food available, and the look/feel of your restaurant. Your restaurants brand is one of the most important aspects of your business, and is the image you will portray to potential future customers.
Based on your chosen restaurant brand, the interior and exterior of your restaurant should be easily recognizable to customers and effectively communicate who you are. Designing your restaurant in a way that effectively showcases and matches your brand will leave a lasting memory with your customers, raising the likelihood of repeat business. Choosing a functional, memorable concept/design that targets a specific local demographic is a key factor to a successful restaurant in Canada.
Is your restaurant bright and energetic, or an upscale lounge with dimly lit – laidback style?
2. Type of Food Served / Menu Items
Before you open your doors to the public you’ll need to know what you will serve and be known for. Deciding what will be on you restaurant menu is another key aspect of restaurant ownership, this will also tell you what commercial food equipment you will need, what staff to hire and what customers you hope to attract.
Right now, your menu does not need to be 100% complete, however, you should have a good idea type of food you will serve in your establishment. Later on, in the restaurant process you should create and design your menu based off which food items sell well and which don’t.
3. Create a Restaurant Business Plan
Creating a solid business plan is essential to your restaurants success. In order to receive funding or external investments, financial advisors, lenders, and venture capitalists will want to see a well-thought out and strategic plan for the future. It will also help you develop your brand into a regional or national powerhouse which will attract a lot more customers and take out the guesswork.
Below are the main aspects to include when creating a restaurant business plan (in order):
Description and Overview of your Company
Management / Organization
4. Obtain Funding
You should then create a budget and financial projections in order to receive the commercial loans / financing needed to begin construction on your new restaurant. This is also a good point to add any additional costs you expect your business will need to stay in business until your business grows to profitability. Also, you should include the costs you expect to incur for any licenses/ certifications and permits such as building permits, liquor licenses, etc.
If you are still unsure what is needed consider contacting a commercial financing expert for more information. A Canadian financing expert can evaluate what type of funding that you need in order to fully build and open your restaurant. They can also find any government grants available which can help alleviate any additional financial burden off your business.
5. Buying a Location or Commercial Leasing
This aspect of business ownership is best left to the professionals. Call or meet with a commercial real estate expert who knows the specific area you’re interested in, they can help find the perfect location for you for maximum business exposure within your budget.
If you do choose to find a location yourself, or are picking out locations for your real estate professional, below is a list of things to keep in mind.
Visibility and Accessibility – Look for spots that have good street visibility and are easily accessible for patrons in wheelchairs. It’s easy to choose a busy main road in your hometown, however, with a busier road typically you will pay a little bit more for the prime location. Another thing to look at is available parking – your potential customers need somewhere to park, right?
Demographics – Another thing to consider is the local demographic. If your business caters to a younger population, you should look for trendier areas in town or areas frequented by younger people. This will have a higher likelihood your business will be frequented by your chosen demographic and be successful.
Staffing Costs and Minimum Wage – It’s important to take into consideration the cost of staffing your new restaurant. You need to figure out how many people you will need at certain times such as dinner or lunch. This includes kitchen staff, waiters/waitresses, hostesses, etc. If you know dinner will be your busiest time, you should alter your employees hours to fit that demand. You also need to think about the local minimum wage or what the typical restaurant in your area pays their employees.
Competition – A little competition can actually have its benefits, but you should be wise enough to have enough of a distance away that you can still attract a local following of customers who won’t be “stolen” away to your competition.
6. Permits, Licenses and Certifications
To open a restaurant in Canada you need to apply for specific Canadian licenses, and permits to be able to serve to the public. This can include food vendors license, liquor license, business license, building permits, certificate of occupancy, etc. It could be worthwhile to work with a legal counsel to make sure all applicable paperwork is filled out correctly.
7. Find a Local Commercial Equipment Supplier
Finding a reputable, reliable source of quality commercial equipment fixtures at a reasonable price can make the world of difference for your restaurants profitability. Working with a wholesale commercial equipment supplier, can help you find everything you need at good prices.
8. Design Your Restaurant and Layout
When starting a restaurant, you should put very careful thought into the design and layout of your commercial space. Using a commercial interior designer can help bridge any gaps in abilities. Finding an interior designer that specifically deals in restaurant construction and design is key, as they know what works and what doesn’t. Your restaurant should be designed in a way that encourages open spaces between tables for waiters/waitresses to move and serve customers.
Your main goal should be to create an effortless flow from the kitchen to the table to serve customers in the most efficient way to reduce wait times for your guests.
9. Hire the Proper Staff
The next major step of opening your own restaurant is hiring the correct staff to work there. Hiring experienced restaurant workers can help smooth any hiccups in daily operations and can provide great advice to business owners regarding service, branding, and efficiency. All employees should have a proven track record of teamwork and are able to stay calm under pressure. Front-of-house staff should provide warm, cheery, professional service to customers at all times.
Some examples of potential restaurant roles include the following:
Executive / Head Chef
Waiters / Waitresses
Food Runners / Bussers
10. Advertise / Marketing Plan
Advertising and Marketing your business is crucial for success. 20-30 years ago you could post an ad in your local newspaper and/or buy billboard space, however, these days you need to be a bit more creative. First, your customers should be easily able to locate your basic information online. Second, they should feel excited to visit your new restaurant.
Below, are some ideas to help you achieve both simultaneously.
Leverage the Power of Social Media – The first thing you should do is create social media pages for your business filled with bright pictures showcasing the most important aspects of your business. Common social media platforms for business include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. When posting pictures you should consider spending a little bit of money to have quality, professional pictures taken of the food, kitchen, dining area that effectively showcase your brand to the world.
Build a Yelp and Yellowpages Account – Allowing customers to leave you reviews can greatly boost your restaurants reputation. Since, the internet plays such a big role in our day-to-day lives, research has shown more than 85% of Canadians research your business before visiting. That means they will judge your business based off online reviews. Also, since Yelp and Yellowpages are such authoritative websites, it can actually help boost your website ranking on Google.
Build a Captivating Website– Your official website should be both; mobile friendly and easy to navigate. We suggest using WordPress. It should include basic information about your business including an About page, Menu, Contact Information, Good Quality Pictures, Other Locations (if applicable), etc.
Local Newspaper Ads – Believe it or not, the newspaper is still a strong way to reach a local audience. We recommend contacting a local newspaper and asking about having your restaurant featured as an article. Examples such as the Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette, etc. A journalist will come out, ask you some questions and do a quick walkthrough to build an article introducing people to your new restaurant. There are also other local and National digital blog sites such as Blog T.O, Narcity, Toronto Life, Taste Montreal, and Curiocity Vancouver which put a large emphasis on Local food hot spots. These types of websites have a large regional/national following and would be an excellent way to let the world know who you are and what you offer.
Loyalty / Reward Programs – Depending on the size of your restaurant, loyalty programs can be a great way to build a strong following. Pizza shops like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and other local Pizza shops typically offer deals or cards where you could buy “5 Large pizzas get a Medium Free” for example. These types of programs reward repeat customers with items that make it beneficial to be a customer and leaves them coming back time and time again.
11. Plan a Soft Opening Event
Another thing you should do is host a soft opening for a few key individuals such as journalists, bloggers, Instagram influencers, neighboring businesses etc. These people have extensive authority locally, regionally, and sometimes nationally which can give your restaurant a much needed boost in popularity. This strategy also allows you to hone in on which times are more popular and find potential issues before they become problems.
Opening a new or first restaurant can seem like an impossible task to many. However, as the Canadian Restaurant Industry continues to grow and expand there will be more room for another unique, extraordinary restaurant construction project. The most important thing to remember is business ownership is all about thinking ahead, with detailed planning and execution, you can build a successful, flourishing restaurant establishment. The important thing is to find a reputable commercial contractor in Toronto to assist you with design and restaurant construction so you put your best foot forward.
Building a restaurant is a big step for the average entrepreneur or franchise owner, keeping up with trends while maintaining your brand can be very challenging. While you often wonder about the appearance of your business, have you ever considered the condition of your floors?
It’s easy to take your floors for granted, I mean it’s just going to get dirty right? Why even pay any attention to its condition? “
I’ll tell you exactly why you should pay more attention to it. Your commercial flooring adds more aesthetic to your business than you realize. If you start to cut corners and use cheap flooring materials, it will certainly reflect on your businesses reputation with the public. Now, you may be asking, “Well, I don’t know the first thing about flooring, what should I do?”. Well the answer to that question depends on a number of factors including your design, budget, and amount of daily foot traffic. Read on to find out about the Four Top Commercial Flooring Materials and the benefits of each.
1. Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl Flooring is one of the most popular flooring options in restaurant construction in Toronto. This style of flooring is very versatile and adaptable to all types of businesses from retail, restaurants, nightclubs, fitness centres, and much more – the sky’s the limit! Vinyl is incredibly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic for even the busiest restaurants. It is comfortable to walk on and helps absorb restaurant noise, which can be important for businesses that cater to kids and younger families.
Vinyl flooring is also very affordable which is great for new restaurants expenses. In Toronto, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2 and up per sq.ft. (installation included). Vinyl flooring comes in a wide range of colours and finishes which means you should be able to find exactly the style you are looking for.
2. Hardwood Flooring
A great long-term flooring option in Toronto is natural hardwood flooring. The first advantage to hardwood commercial flooring is it provides a natural feel to your business. A classic hardwood floor can create a warm and welcoming environment to your customers. Hardwood flooring is an earthy, neutral finish which can make the process of matching it to your custom retail fixtures a lot easier than tile, carpet or vinyl. Another great aspect of natural hardwood flooring is the ability to change the finish. If you ever grow tired of the finish or you redesign your restaurant, you can just sand the floor down with specialized equipment and stain the floor to the colour you need – piece of cake!
There are companies who can come in and refinish your whole floor by lunch time, making the process a lot less stressful and saving you time and money. For natural hardwood in Toronto, you can expect to pay approximately $7-$9 per sq.ft. If you’re looking for more exotic, or unique hardwood styles you should expect to pay around $8 – $13 per sq.ft.
3. Eco Flooring
Another great option for commercial flooring is choosing eco-friendly flooring options. Examples of Eco-flooring include cork, bamboo, concrete, linoleum, glass tiles, and reclaimed hardwood. There are a number of eco-friendly flooring options available in Toronto and has risen drastically in popularity in recent years due in part to the growing trend of eco-friendly, organic lifestyle. Eco-friendly can refer to anything from natural fiber carpets, tiles made from recycled materials, and natural wood from sustainable sources.
Installing trendy, eco-friendly flooring can make you feel good about doing your part for the environment. Customers enjoy eating at natural, and sustainable businesses which can make the investment in eco-friendly building materials worthwhile for your business. Since eco-friendly flooring is such a large category, it is hard to pinpoint an average starting price. However, Cork flooring typically ranges in the area of $3 – $7 per sq.ft., whereas, bamboo flooring costs range between $8-$12 per sq.ft.
4. Laminate Flooring
Another great choice for commercial flooring is laminate as it offers a ton of colours and styles for you to match with your restaurant interior design. A great aspect of laminate flooring is its resistance to various damage. However, laminate flooring has five different levels of durability ranging from AC1 – AC5. These levels determine just how durable the flooring is. AC1 laminate flooring is for light or general home use. AC2 is for moderate residential use. AC3 is for heavy residential use which sees a lot of daily foot traffic. AC4 is for light commercial use and AC5 is for heavy commercial use.
Depending on how much traffic your business sees on a daily basis, you should look for commercial flooring in the AC4 – AC5 range.These are the most durable laminate flooring you can buy and are great for areas with frequent, everyday foot traffic. Laminate flooring costs in Toronto per square foot can start around $2 per sq.ft. and can go up to $12 per sq.ft. depending on the durability and style you choose.
Home additions can be a great home construction project, especially in a busy, cramped area like Toronto. Home additions can help breathe new life into older homes and transform the whole look of a neighborhood. While many families across Canada, look into home remodelling, some savvy homeowners are taking full advantage of the many benefits a home addition can provide in Toronto in 2019. When properly constructed home additions can provide many great benefits for you and your family, such as added living space, potential rental income, increased home value, and more.
1. Add More Living Space
One of the main reasons homeowners want a home addition is for more living space. A home addition can greatly change the look and feel of your home, and add many great amenities like extra bedrooms, bathrooms, family room, home gym, or a new, bigger custom kitchen. Sometimes, even the smallest home additions can make a world of difference. Adding an extra 2’- 6’ can turn your home into a dream living space. Whether you choose to add a family, dining room, or create a bigger space for your kitchen, a home addition can give you all of the space that you need.
2. Build More Space for Family
Living costs have skyrocketed in recent years, meaning millennials are waiting longer to move out. Which means that parents reaching retirement age are waiting longer to sell their home and downsize. In addition, seniors are finding that with housing costs drastically increasing year over year, they are unable to afford to live on their own. Home additions are a great solution to help out the ones you care about. If the space allows you could create a complete bedroom and bathroom, which your loved ones could use for affordable living. The extra bedroom and bathroom would be perfect for out of town guests as well. Home additions can be costly depending on the size of expansion to your home, however, you can’t put a price on family.
3. Rental / Additional Income
If you choose to build a home addition in Toronto, a great idea is to rent out the expanded space for extra income. While it may be hard to rent out space in your home when you have young kids, you can always rent to a relative who is a student or young professional looking for their first apartment. It is not the most common route to take for a recent home addition, however it is a great way to help out family while making extra income for family trips, retirement, or paying off your mortgage sooner.
4. It Might Increase the Value of your Home
Homeowners believe that by adding more space, it will automatically increase the value of your home, however, this isn’t always the case. While a home addition can add value to your home long-term, we recommend contacting a reputable general contractor in toronto to see what style of home addition is the best choice for your property.
5. Less Expensive Than Moving
It should go without saying that any home addition is almost always cheaper than moving. Moving comes with the hassles and expenses such as packing, hiring movers and organizing your belongings. Home additions typically range in duration from 4-6 weeks for smaller projects to 8 – 12 weeks for larger, more complex projects. When it comes to convenience, home additions win every time.
6. High, Quality Luxurious Feel
As stated earlier, everyone could use more space in their home. If your property allows it, home additions can add a luxurious feel to spaces like your kitchen, bathroom, and family room. With more space you can add many luxurious options to your home such as his and hers sinks in the master bathroom, a steam room or a larger den.
7. Include Larger Windows to Maximize Natural Sunlight
Large Bay windows can add alot of natural light which can help reduce your electricity bill every month. The more available space that you have, the larger the windows should be. Larger windows let in more natural light, and warm the room, reducing your need for heat and electricity, thus lowering your usage.
Home additions are one of the best solutions to more living space. You can transform your house into the home of your dreams and are more convenient, less expensive than moving and buying a new house. Whether you need more space or your living space needs an upgrade, a home addition is a great starting point. GTA General Contractors have completed hundreds of home additions and extensions in the Toronto Area and have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right.
If you are looking to get more information on the benefits of Home Additions in the Toronto / GTA Area, Send us a message and one of our construction experts will contact you to answer any questions you have.
Tell us about the overall project, Juicy Island Smoothie Bar?
Juicy Island Smoothie Bar was an interior fit up project where we were given an empty shell and basic layout. The owners had a vision of a beach-island themed design. It was really up to us to bring our creative design and touches to this project along with our extensive experience to bring this project to life.
What sort of specialty equipment was incorporated into this design?
For this project we implemented many cutting edge equipment products such as Specialty High-Efficiency HVAC systems, along with the most efficient equipment for food preparation. We also had custom porcelain tile imported from Italy which definitely gave the project a unique and quality feel overall.
What was involved in the construction and design process?
First, we had to perform a general walkthrough to get an idea of the available space and layout for the smoothie bar. Second, we used the site measurements to begin the design process based off of the owners vision which was to focus on a beach vacation design. We also had to scan the concrete walls to core holes, as well as, build and design custom restaurant millwork which fit in with the overall island design.
Once we had the official plans and final designs we got to work on the project and began construction at the future home of Juicy Island Smoothie Bar at 7777 Weston Rd.
What sort of design was used in this project?
The owners of Juicy Island informed us they wanted an uplifting Island-themed design, which would make customers feel as if they have walked right into a tropical beach vacation right here in Vaughan, ON.
In order to achieve the overall island-themed vibes, we had to find ways to design different sections of the space to blend seamlessly with each other. This included the design and installation of tropical themed flooring and wallpaper design with bamboo panelling and custom millwork fixtures. We had to take care to ensure the design flowed throughout the whole restaurant area including the back meal-prep areas and storage rooms.
Did you have any difficulties during or before construction? If so, how did you solve them?
Like any other construction project there are always obstacles that come our way however, we always make sure to find cost-effective solutions for our clients to reduce unexpected expenses and downtime. Every time a challenge is faced our team here at GTA General Contractors put our minds together and come up with fast and practical solutions allowing us to complete the project on time and within budget.
What was the response from the owner once the project was complete?
The owner of Juicy Island was absolutely thrilled with the amount of effort that our GTA team put into this project and the level of customer service experience that we brought throughout. They were also impressed with our level of professionalism and the amount of cleaning our team did at the end of every work day.
How long did this project take to complete?
The project, Juicy Island Smoothie Bar, took approximately 9-10 weeks to complete from the first phone call to project finish in mid-May 2019.
Looking to get these results for your next restaurant location?