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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Frye

Time for a Restaurant Refresh?

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

The New Year is here, and it’s got me thinking about renewal - a new exercise routine, some spring cleaning, maybe a fresh coat of paint on the house.

If you’re in the restaurant business, you might be thinking about refreshing your space. Does the idea of spending money on upgrades give you heartburn?

Here are some tips to help you tackle it.

  • A good rule of thumb: refresh your restaurant when you renew your lease, every 7 years or so. A refresh doesn’t have to be drastic. It can be as simple as fresh paint and new carpet. Those changes can be done after hours, so you don’t lose seatings.

  • For a bigger impact that regulars will notice, think about refreshing colors and textures, too. Consider changing out wall coverings, seating upholstery, lighting and flooring. An experienced restaurant designer can help you make the most of your upgrade dollars.

  • Finally, don’t think too small. Consider how you’re using your space today and your goals for the future. Has your clientele changed? Do you want to ramp up your bar program? Are you missing opportunities for large parties or private functions? Changing seating styles or layout is a larger investment, but it pays off when it supports your business strategy. One key consideration if you go this route: you’ll typically need to close for 10-14 days for the entire process, from inspections to installation. So you’ll want a strong marketing plan in place to support the re-opening and get folks back in the door - regulars and newbies.

As Charlotte’s restaurant scene grows, diners have more choices than ever before. People are looking for an experience, not just a good meal out, and your decor and layout can have a major impact on that experience. Don’t wait until you see a downturn in revenue before you think about a refresh.

My three key takeaways:

  1. You can do a lot simply with color and materials if your budget is tight.

  2. If you can think bigger, consider layout and seating to support revenue growth.

  3. If you haven’t thought about this in 10 years or more, start today!


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