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Opening a restaurant? Why an architect is more valuable to you than you may think.

You are going to open a new restaurant? That’s awesome! There has never been a better time. Online shopping is only increasing and shopping centers need more restaurants to attract shoppers.  You have your idea for the restaurant, now you need to establish your team of consultants that focus on the items that aren’t your specialty;

  • Accountant/financial adviser: check. 
  • Lawyer: check
  • Real Estate Broker: check.
  • Architect…???

When starting a new restaurant, you hire these advisers because they have specific knowledge in aspects of the restaurant industry that you don’t have. They know the ins and outs of their profession as it relates to restaurants. Restaurant Architects should be on your list of consultants to engage with from the beginning. Why?

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As a broad-ranged profession, architecture encompasses a full spectrum of services that can help make your vision a reality. Of course, we create the drawings that are used for permitting and construction, but the role of an architect is much more. A restaurateur’s focus will always be on the food; but having a space that not only looks good, but helps to pull together the whole, enhances a Patron’s experience. No one understands this more than an architect.

We are trained to think both technically and aesthetically. This puts us in a unique position to coordinate across multiple consultants to ensure the Brand Experience is thoroughly integrated throughout the physical space of the restaurant. And like chef’s, architects also have different specialties, training, and experience.

Things to talk about with your architect:

  1. Design Trends – Polished concrete, reclaimed wood planks, exposed filament lights…sound like any restaurants you’ve been to recently?  The Industrial look with natural materials is in, but what’s next? We can show you the latest trend or we inspire our clients to become trendsetters.
  2. Function & Flow – We look at how customers and employees can efficiently move throughout the space while making sure it is comfortable yet code compliant.
  3. Site & Building – We can draw “test fits” to show what your program could look like in a particular space before you lease it and can examine the building’s condition, existing utilities, and the site to help evaluate if it is the right site for your restaurant.
  4. Graphics & Signage; Furniture & Mill-work -  Restaurants have a lot of independent consultants and subcontractors. An architect will ensure that they all pull together to be consistent with your brand.
  5. Utilities & Construction – For the different trades who are coming on and off of the job site, the construction  documents serve as their guidelines. During constructions, architects are available to answer design questions to ensure all systems work together as they were envisioned.
  6. Kitchen Equipment - There is a lot of coordination required before the equipment gets delivered. Understanding the equipment will be installed and what is needed for them to operate is crucial.
  7. Construction Coordination – It is important to have an architect that will work closely with your general contractor.