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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J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 5 • 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 • 5 9 ing of ductwork, among other things," says Kelly. "When the planning defnes the big picture and establishes the must-have items, the process of design and construction is much easier for everyone. Focused planning also avoids a lot of the budget cutting and value engineering that so often are forced on a project in the late stages." In addition, he says, make sure all the necessary planning permits have been obtained prior to submitting con- struction documents. Assign decision sign-offs to one person. "We recommend choosing one go-to person who is empowered to make timely and informed decisions on behalf of the owner team," says Kelly. "One of the most frequent roadblocks to keeping on schedule is the need for decisions to be vetted by multiple par- ties. In construction, quick decisions are crucial to keep a project moving along towards the opening." Communication and keeping all players informed is critical. "We set a consistent time every week for a project meeting where all new information and updates are shared among key players, including the owner," Kelly says. "To supplement the weekly meeting, we use communication tools that allow real- time uploading and sharing of informa- tion, documents and budget changes." Cloud-based project manage- ment sites are ideal tools for real-time information sharing and communicating among architects, engineers, general contractors and owners. Chris Domanico Construction Manager Romulus Restaurant Group (74 IHOP restaurants across 8 states, with about 20 remodels and 3 to 4 new builds each year) Remodel projects can lead to the greatest number of change orders because of unforeseen problems once construction begins, according to Chris Domanico. While due diligence, informa- tion from the landlord and solid drawings can mitigate these challenges, often water-intrusion issues such as mold or plumbing problems can lead to sig- nifcant change-order costs. When and before those occur, Domanico has a few tricks up his sleeve. Isolate the change order. Don't give the contractor a blank check when the change occurs, he says. That might appear self-explanatory, but it's important to work through the details on a change-order log so the contractor doesn't add extra steps or work that's not neces- sary. For example, in the case of a plumbing or electrical work order requiring the removal of a wall, the contractor might build in costs to put the drywall back in and fnish by painting it. "But painting the walls might have already been in the original budget," says Domanico. "You don't want to double up on the costs." He cites another example. "In one project the city made a change to the pipe sizes from 6 inches to 8 inches, so we needed to replace it. But the change order isn't for the pipe itself; it's for the difference. You already had a pipe for $7,000 so the difference is $3,000, not $10,000 for a completely new pipe." Establish a contingency fund for change orders. Assume all projects will have a change-order log. "It's important to set up a slush fund or otherwise ac- commodate for this reality," says Domanico. In remodels, he might build in enough for four change orders, up to $100,000. In new projects, he might set aside a few thousand dollars for a couple of change orders. Make sure the archi- tect does project-specifc due diligence. "Architects get into trouble when they try to use the same prints from another project without do- ing the due diligence that's required for this particular project," says Domanico. Different municipalities have different requirements, so it's important that the architect help out by conducting plenty of research and planning with city of- fcials and inspectors. "It can never be a cookie-cutter ap- proach," he adds. Archie Andrews Vice President, Design and Construction Zoe's Kitchen (146 locations throughout the Southeast and the East Coast, with 30 new-build stores last year and 32 planned for this year) As a growth company, Zoe's Kitchen faces change orders frequently, but Archie Andrews has learned how to manage the costs and time associated with those unforeseen conditions during construction. With new builds, he says, it's important to have thorough building shell drawings laying out all the details regarding the underground plumbing and electrical. With conversions, problems are more likely and more costly. "You run into the most problems when building a second- generation store," he says. "It could have been an older business, and you don't have as much information about where the plumbing is located and what type of electricity is in the building." To keep change orders to a minimum in either scenario, Andrews advocates: Conduct thorough site investigations. Andrews always collaborates with architects, engineers and sometimes general contractors to conduct thor- ough investigations before the drawing stage. These investigations even include looking outside at the patio and other surrounding areas where there might be electrical systems and gas lines. "We'll know where certain interior columns lay

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