What to Ask Yourself Before Renovating Your Restaurant





By Karalyn White, Restaurant Consultant.

Renovating your restaurant is an important part of keeping up with the needs of your business and your guests. Initially, you need to take a step back and analyze where you are positioned in the lifecycle. The lifecycle of a restaurant is much like any business and correlates to the revenue the business generates.

The life cycle is typically broken into four phases:

  • Introduction Phase: The grand opening of your restaurant
  • Growth Phase: When guests start to hear about the restaurant and come to try it out
  • Maturity Phase: The brand and sales stabilize and are predictable
  • Decline Phase: The brand is tired, standards often start to slip and in-turn sales and profitability begin to fall

Typically, a restaurant lifecycle is five to seven years. Restaurants that consistently execute better than the competition, or are situated in areas with less competition, can have much longer lifecycles. Restaurants created based on “fads” in highly competitive markets, or which are poorly executed, can also have shorter lifecycles.

Once you’ve determined your positioning, the following questions will help you get started.



The first question you should ask yourself is “why?” Are you renovating during the growth stage of your business to increase space & sales? Has your business matured, and are you thinking of the next steps in order to renew the brand? Is your business in the decline phase and you need to re-freshen the brand to bring more life to it? If the answer is yes, then it might be time to renovate.



The goal of your restaurant should be to extend the years in your lifecycle and to improve the restaurant for the convenience of your guests. Before embarking on the renovation journey, think of what you want the outcome to be.

You’ll need to consider other factors, such as what the new physical design will look like. Researching and choosing the appropriate designers and licensed contractors will ensure that your job is completed properly.



You won’t be able to make any changes to your restaurant before you know what your budget is. Take a look at your budget and do some research because it’s easy to get carried away. Ask yourself – what will the payback period be on the proposed renovation? Will the money I invest be enough to change the restaurant, and how will it affect the lifecycle? Will you make the initial investment back before needing to renovate again?



The importance of renovating is to treat the process like it is an opening. Food, service and marketing initiatives need to be flawless in order to encourage rapid sales growth.

The hardest question to ask is, when is an optimal time to shut down? Renovating requires a great amount of planning and time.

It’s ideal to close during a slower sales period, however, no time will ever feel right.


Are you thinking of renovating? At The Fifteen Group we are the experts.

Contact us on how we can help you get started with your renovation.


Below is a recent renovation project of Buka Maranga Café, planned and executed by The Fifteen Group. The neighborhood café is located in Mississauga and serves the local community and surrounding businesses.

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