Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 2015

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

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2 2 • 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 • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 5 ROB MESCOLOTTO Hospitality Construction Services Consultant's Take Process-Based Value Engineering Pays Off H ospitality spaces often present a specifc set of engineering chal- lenges for contractors, requiring you to create cost savings while still delivering the client's original design vision. As founder and owner of a D.C.- based general contractor specializing in hospitality construction, I navigate these challenges by utilizing value engineering for all projects. It's a critical part of the process of being able to achieve the de- sign that clients have imagined at what can be a fraction of the cost of what the project would have been without smart value engineering. The process starts with making sure the project team has all of the nec- essary information to make educated decisions that will maximize the cli- ent's project requirements and budget constraints. Then, we apply the art and science of value engineering — while making no perceivable changes — to reduce the overall cost of construction by selectively modifying materials and methods. That, after all, is the essence of value engineering. Over the years, we've developed an approach that characterizes potential sav- ings on projects in three ways, depending on how fexible the client is willing to be during the value-engineering process: • Up to 10 percent savings: Clients earn 10 percent savings on a proj- ect through making smart up-front design choices and decisions. • Up to 20 percent savings: To achieve this level of savings, clients need to be aggressive and creative with the design concept and construction of the project, thoughtfully taking material selec- tion and construction methods into consideration and being willing to make substitutions. • 20-plus percent savings: If clients aim for more than 20 percent sav- ings on estimated costs, they may want to reevaluate their vision for the project. Because many material and method choices will have to be scrapped to meet budget con- straints, the project will not look like the original design. I have a process I like to use to maintain the design concept, respect the architect's vision and save the client money. Below, I share some of the tips and tricks that help me, restaurant clients and key players throughout the entire process of value engineering restaurants. Identify What Is Off Limits As owners and clients you should provide the contractor with a list of the products and materials you absolutely want to keep in the project. This en- sures if there is something you're really attached to, it doesn't get involved in the value-engineering process. In this step, it's important to remember that it's not always the big items that help save money, but rather saving money on a number of different products and materials that can make a real impact. What to consider when evaluating what is off limits: • Will the product be visible within the space? Hidden products and materials are often the easiest to substitute because they don't have a direct effect on the guest's expe- rience. For example, in the case of

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