Post-COVID Restaurant Construction: Future Trends & Expectations

The global pandemic brought about by COVID-19 has changed everything for business owners. Perhaps some of these lifestyle changes were inevitable and the pandemic simply accelerated them or maybe not, but regardless, many are here to stay.

 

One industry that has had to make remarkable adaptations very quickly is the restaurant industry. They’ve had no choice. It’s sink or swim in this highly competitive business.

 

Those that are swimming have been able to take advantage of the changes brought about by the pandemic by being able to both scoop up expensive materials and spaces from closed restaurants and turn them around for much less than the cost of a new build, as well as redesign their existing restaurant footprint to accommodate changes in dining behavior.

 

As commercial contractors in South Florida, we’ve been part of this evolution in the restaurant industry. These are some of the restaurant trends we’re seeing with new and existing builds.

 

The Future of Restaurant Construction

Restaurant owners are reevaluating their footprint and their business needs. In doing so, we’re seeing things like:

Space renovations

  • Developing walk-up windows for to-go orders, or quick pick-up for outside diners
  • Creating separate take-out areas designated just for pick-up services like Uber Eats, Door Dash, etc.
  • Respacing their areas and redirecting foot traffic within the restaurant.
  • Improving signage, adding plexiglass screens, and enhancing other health and safety features.

 

Maximizing the outdoors

  • Turning parking and sidewalk space into cafe areas that includes canopies, outdoor seating with fans, and improved outdoor service and accessibility. For example, locals here in Miami will have noticed how Downtown Dadeland has morphed into an area akin to Giralda Avenue’s Restaurant Row.

 

Getting more for less

  • Business owners are buying up closed restaurants and developing new restaurant spaces for much less than the cost of building new. Some of the most expensive components of a restaurant budget are in the kitchen and equipment, namely a hood. Buying an existing restaurant space means there is more budget to spend on front-of-house improvements, such as lighting, flooring, and finishes.

 

While the changes brought about by the pandemic have been challenging for business owners, new trends and opportunities have taken root throughout South Florida, and we’re excited to be a part of turning these trends into realities.

 

If you have questions about a restaurant renovation in South Florida, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Seacoast Construction.

 

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