Building Your Restaurant – Step 1- Finding Your Vendor/Contractor

Building Your Restaurant – Step 1- Finding Your Vendor/Contractor

Choosing the best restaurant construction specialist for your project can seem like an overwhelming task, to say the least.  It is among the first and certainly the most important steps you will need to take before opening your doors.  It is defining and can make or break the success of your restaurant.

restaurant construction specialist blue print

Plans for a Philadelphia Restaurant

For this reason, you need to be certain that the vendor and subcontractors you choose will be capable of completing the work, that they will uphold a solid level of attention to your project and that they will be able to finish the work within an appropriate time frame.  While it is up to that company to do the work, it is up to you to do your due diligence to determine that they are capable of keeping their promises and are likely to do so.

Restaurant Construction Specialist vs General Contractor

It is for this reason that you will want to select a true restaurant construction specialist.  Choose a builder who is experienced within this restaurant construction industry.  Other types of commercial construction and residential building simply don’t have the same requirements as restaurant construction.

Rooster Soup Co in Philadlephia

Rooster Soup Co in Philadelphia

Ideally, you will – through your restaurant construction specialist – review and circulate bid documents among hundreds of different vendors as well as local pre-qualified subcontractors. This may sound excessive, but it is an important step to make certain you’re hiring the ideal professionals to complete your project.  This is, after all, a critical and complex investment.  You will need the ideal team to complete the job.


More Due Diligence

Once you’ve narrowed your list to a few potential candidates, it is worthwhile to visit some projects those vendors or subcontractors have already completed.  This will allow you to see the quality of the work, see how the conditions have worn over time, and determine whether the scope of the work they have done on other restaurants is comparable to what you will require. It may even afford you the opportunity to briefly speak with those owners.


Next comes the performance of take-offs and qualifying all vendor and subcontractor proposals.  This will help you to know that they are in full work compliance.

Construction Proposal Time

Once that is complete, the preparation and submission of a detailed competitive proposal to the shortlisted candidates is completed.  The proposal should be summarized by trade and clear about the details of the bid, including what is contained within it based on the bid documentation that has been provided to support it.

Any solutions for items that aren’t included within the bid documents, should be provided separately.  Communication is key to a successful project, so nothing should be left to assumptions that bringing the vision to reality has been perfectly understood.  Placing it in writing is important.

The same can be said for providing value engineering alternatives to reduce the cost of the project without placing performance at risk.  These components may be worthy of a discussion, potentially on-site, in order to work out the ideal design and strategy.

Contractor Expectations

Finally, is the creation of a list of the expectations from the perspective of both the restaurant owner and the contractor so they can be prepared as a part of the final contract.  This will ensure that these expectations will be fairly met on both sides of the agreement.

With that arranged, you will be ready to move on to the pre-construction step of the process, the second step in our 5 step Restaurant Construction Process.

Posts in the 5 Step Restaurant Construction Process Series