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 4 • 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 Consultant's Take plumbing, using PVC pipes instead of copper or cast iron versions may provide substantial savings. • If it will be seen, what are you will- ing to substitute? Evaluate every project for ways to substitute one product for another so as to pro- vide something that's similar in ap- pearance yet more budget friendly. For example, at Kapnos Taverna, a Mediterranean restaurant in Arlington, Va., the client wanted to use subway tiles in the display kitchen area. Since the area in question was somewhat concealed, however, we saw the opportunity to lower cost and instead sourced fber-reinforced plastic tiles that achieved the desired look at a frac- tion of the cost. • Are you getting the best price possible on your must-have items? A good general contractor will be able to tell you and will know which vendors have the best prices on many items. Rely on them to help you fnd the materials you've specifed for signifcantly less than you might otherwise get them. Assemble the Right Team For general contractors, it's important to get to know the architects, owners and subcontractors you are working with. Involving key team members throughout the development and construction process for every project creates an open dialogue and helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page throughout the design and value- engineering process. Prior to these meetings, the contractor should: • Interview subcontractors to fnd the best ft for the project and get their ideas for coming in under budget. • Take the time to identify the architect's intent and involve them in the process. The architect works with the client from the beginning of the design process and develops a design concept that relates inti- mately to the owner's objectives. By understanding the architect's intent, a general contractor can better work within the design pa- rameters, delivering a fnal product that meets the design objectives, while staying on budget. • Identify potential material substitutions before team meet- ings. During these meetings, the owner and architect should be able to see and discuss a variety of examples of potential savings through material substitutions. Present a Value-Engineering Menu Taking that last point a step further, create a value-engineering menu, which in this instance translates into a formal- ized list of potential substitutions com- pared to the original materials or meth- ods specifed, and detail the savings that could be realized. This enables the client to make clear and cost-effective decisions regarding the construction of the project. Architects can also use this list to tailor the project and regularly offer compromises to the client. When discussing the menu with the client and architect, the con- tractor should be prepared to bring samples and make a case for the substitutions that they recommend. Seeing is believing: being able to look at and touch potential substitutions, as well as review fact-based pricing comparisons, greatly increases a cli- ent's comfort level and can speed the decision-making process. On the operator side, go into the value-engineering process with an open mind and take the time to consider the menu of options. Why? You may be in love with a particular product, but something as simple as using a different type of wood can make a major difference in the budget. For example, we had a client who specified heart pine wood for their restaurant. After going through our value-engineering process, we were able to make the case that by staining Douglas fir wood in- stead they could achieve the same look at a cost savings of more than $50,000. Every restaurant project offers similar opportunities for sav- ings through strategic value engi- neering. Consider the original design and specifications as a starting point and then put the process to work. Ultimately, you can create a design that is both aesthetically pleasing and budget friendly. At Kapnos Taverna, value engineering led to replacing the subway tile initially specifed for the interior walls of the open kitchen with fber-reinforced plastic tiles, which created the same look at a fraction of the cost. Photo by Jim Cuddy & Mathew Lynch

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