Restaurant Development & Design

MAY-JUN 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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5 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 7 How To Determine the Right Remodel Timeline T here's a rule of thumb in the restaurant industry that remod- els should happen every seven years, but that's not always best. This rasies the question, when is the right time for a remodel? For chef-owner Gerry Klaskala, it was a no-brainer. Last June, he remod- eled his Atlanta restaurant, Aria, in just seven days. With such a short timeline, Klaskala planned his remodel down to a T, beginning with the timing. "We looked for a flat spot in our calendar before schools let out," he says. He closed at the end of May and took reservations for a week later. Because of this, there was no room for delays. The contractor drew up a schedule, timed to what would happen every 30 minutes, every single day. "It was very orchestrated, and we had to select the right team that could work with that and spoke the language already," Klaskala explains. The contractor, he says, "had people and materials lined up. Once you've made the commitment to shut down, you've turned off your cash flow, so you've got to get back to it quickly." Klaskala didn't take closing his restaurant down lightly. He began planning the remodel 12 months out, starting with finding the design firm. "Planning is the most important part of doing this on time and on budget," he says. "You can't over-plan, and you must have a clear vision of what you're trying to accomplish." What's important is giving the architect, designer and contractor time to do their jobs to the best of their ability, Klaskala says, "so there are no surprises at the end. Nobody works well under pressure." Start Planning Early Chuck Taylor is a believer in thoroughly planning a major remodel the way Klaskala did. Saladworks sometimes employs a food truck during remodeling. Photo courtesy of Dominic Episcopo Photography BY AMANDA BALTAZAR, Contributing Editor

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