Building a new restaurant in South Florida comes with many challenges and many moving parts. For these reasons, the construction of a new restaurant should be handled by an experienced general contractor who is familiar with issues including:
RCA Contractors can meet these challenges because Max Tripodi, our licensed general contractor, has built numerous South Florida restaurants, including coal-fire pizza houses, formal dining establishments, night clubs with table service and a 3-story beachfront restaurant.
Based on our experience, below are descriptions of the challenges that general contractors most often encounter with new restaurant construction.
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act protects the disabled against discrimination in accessing buildings, including restaurants.
According to the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities, restaurants and bars should provide the following accommodations:
Inadequate systems governing ventilation and air conditioning can severely impact the operation and success of a new restaurant, especially during the summertime.
Incorrect or inadequate HVAC equipment or installation may result in problems, including:
Restaurants have plumbing issues that most commercial premises do not.
For example, floor drains are necessary for all restaurant areas where water is in use, like by dishwashers and sinks. However, the water from these areas should not drain directly into sewer lines. That’s because a back-up can contaminate and foul the cooking process.
Most South Florida cities follow their own local fire safety requirements. This includes matters such as requiring fire safety exits which are properly located and easy to identify and access.
Restaurant fire-suppression rules also govern the selection of hood systems. Selecting a quality kitchen hood system which detects and extinguishing flames, including reflash, is critical.
A key piece of equipment for a restaurant is the walk-in cooler. Issues related to walk-in coolers include requirements for installation, power supply, energy usage, drainage and maintenance.
Common trades involved in new restaurant construction in South Florida include:
Before it is time to begin construction of a new restaurant, an experienced restaurant contractor should (1) meet with the owner and architect to review the plans and set expectations relating to the cost of construction and the construction schedule (2) get the permit and inspection processes beginning (and possibly apply for an early start permit) and (3) talk with vendors and/or order construction materials with long lead times, including HVAC components, lighting and flooring, and framing and drywall and (4) meet with sub-contractors at the job site to discuss issues including the construction schedule and safety requirements.
Overcoming scheduling problems, jumping through supply chain hoops, calling inspections, and dealing with municipal red tape are part of a general contractor’s job. Having excellent organizational skills, an attention to detail and experience of constructing a new restaurant are the ingredients needed to avoid delays and to get the job substantially completed on-time and within budget.
If you are considering constructing a new restaurant in South Florida and have any questions, then please feel free to contact RCA Contractors today. Max is more than happy to answer your questions.
To learn more about Max Tripodi or to learn about some of his past restaurant renovation projects, see Florida General Contractor.
Related: Restaurant Remodeling Services