Full Buildout...

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Have any of you ever been involved in the buildout of a new kitchen? I have stumbled into an opportunity and will be requiring info as to whether or not to pursue it, and guidance should I embark upon the journey.

This is crazy...
 
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What will your involvement be and who and what is the kitchen for?
 
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Alright.

Building with multiple business in the planning stages by landowner, dealing with city codes, currently.

The blueprints include two spaces for kitchens, one on top floor, and another below. The space in question 1,156ft2. The owner knows nothing of kitchen builds and will be depending on prospective tenant to oversee that portion of the construction, it seems? Grease traps, exhaust routing, etc. Not alot of info on that part of it yet.

The monthly rent and NNN terms are good, and the owner is allowing $30k structural buildout allowance for the first tenant to complete the buildout.

I imagine that I would hire a contractor as a consultant to ensure that the space is being outfitted correctly? This is where I need help...
 
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You would work with a kitchen design company as a chef to see that the equipment and design is the best possible for whatever the kitchen is to produce. Then you hire a general contractor that has experience in commercial kitchen buildouts to make it happen. Often the design company will have recommendations for GCs that they have worked with in the past. The GC will handle all electrical, plumbing, HVAC and mechanical subs. If there is more than the kitchen itself involved, like renovations to some parts of the space like for storage, restrooms or offices, you would hire an architect to design that.
 
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I'm imagining not. The realtor iterated several times that the allowance was for construction.

From the looks of it, I may find myself in a situation wherein I'm the consultant and would be responsible for any cost associated with planning the buildout. I havent spoken to the owners regarding the construction and the breadth of any responsibilities I would have in the endeavor, should I choose to pursue it. I will be very cautious before discussing LOE. I will have full info when I speak to the owners.
 
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I may find myself in a situation wherein I'm the consultant and would be responsible for any cost associated with planning the buildout
I would well imagine that will be the case. Hiring consultants can quickly exponentially increase costs.

I did a build-out when I opened my place. I found the local building department and health department to be extremely helpful in the planning stage and they were more than willing to steer me in the right direction in order to insure compliance with codes. With their help I was able to keep my budget doable.

I also have been involved in other build-outs where various different consultants (restaurant, kitchen, architects, etc) were used. My humble opinion is that many times consultants know what looks good on paper, but noting beats hands on experience when planning work spaces. Just my opinion.

FWIW, I was an architecture major in college and have worked as a restaurant consultant.

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. Albert Einstein
The only source of knowledge is experience. Albert Einstein
 
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So far, this all sounds much like a "deal" I was approached with some years ago. Because of that I will wait to hear what you learn from the owners regarding your actual responsibilities and pay.
At this point, I'll offer only that you need concrete, specific answers about your responsibilities, not vague general directives and clearly defined, up front compensation, not promises of future earnings based on sales or completion or whatever or unlimited use of a company car or any other nonsense.
Cold hard pay for clearly defined work..
PS. In writing. Not promised.
 
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I have been involved with a music venue in a role of a consultant working together with the kitchen designers company outfit. I had to make a calculation for what was needed for a 500 capacity venue( not all seated). Although the owner have worked with the kitchen design outfit before he wanted an experienced Head Chef on board as what works on paper might not always work in reality...My job was identifying what equipment was needed and where to place it to follow a natural flow of floor and kitchen staff working together, forming different sections, where to place kitchen staff hand washing facilities, fire equipment etc.
I also had to make a list of everything needed for the chefs, all the plates, hotel pans, pots, pans, moulds, rings ....which as you can imagine took ages. As well I had to cost it all out.
I had a written agreement in place which outlined my duties, as well as dates on which I would be paid as this was a 3 month job. It was not something I have done before and although nerve racking it turned out to be a good new experience. The owner being a nice man and having the written agreement in place did help though as the whole job was enormous. Things did creep up, hiring the staff for example I got paid extra for that as it was not in the agreement. I actually stayed there for 3 months after it opened as executive chef to sort out any teething problems, got suppliers on board, developed the menu and so on.
In my opinion it is crucial to have an agreement of some sort in place to which you can come back to in case you get snowed in. The way it works is the budget is always lower than what is needed and towards the end it starts to show. You want to be protected. Good luck
 
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In my opinion it is crucial to have an agreement of some sort in place to which you can come back to in case you get snowed in... You want to be protected.
^^^THIS^^^ We've heard it here before. Owners want someone like you to handle the build-out and startup and promise a high paying position as head chef. After a few months they can you and hire someone for much less.
 
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I had the opportunity to do a massive renovation in one of my kitchens, and a complete buildout in another of my kitchens, but I had the luxury/responsibility of owning both properties.

The only thing you need to worry about equipment is the requirements it needs. For example if you have a circuit for 3ph 220. Power, you can install a crappy used convection oven, or a $20,000 Rational oven, swapping out one for the other is a matter of a few hours, but if you don’t have that circuit, it can become very expensive or impossible. Same for a dishwasher, or any other
piece of equipment.
The heart of any kitchen is the stove, and the stove requires a hood. The ducting for this hood is where things can get expensive, or creative planning can save you a lot. A lot depends on municipal codes, especially fire. Virtually every municipality will require a mech. engineer to sign off on any ductwork drawings. Basically the easiest route to the extraction fan will dictate where the hood will be. The further away you are from the extraction fan ( and the more walls you need to go through) , the more complicated and costly the install will be.

Grease pits are another major cost. Again, most municipalities have a basic formula that starts with a minimum 55gallon trap, and every appliance that feeds into it requires an additional X gallon increment, handsinks, floor drains, a/c and refrig. condensate, pot sinks, prep sinks, are all included in the formula..
Kitchen access dictates where the dish pit will be, and the dish pit dictates where the grease trap will be. The further you are from these target areas, the more complicated and costly the install will be.

If you know you’re municipal codes you can deal with contractors directly. If you don’t you need a general contractor. Either way it’s a learning experience.

Hope this helps
 
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I'm imagining not. The realtor iterated several times that the allowance was for construction.

From the looks of it, I may find myself in a situation wherein I'm the consultant and would be responsible for any cost associated with planning the buildout. I havent spoken to the owners regarding the construction and the breadth of any responsibilities I would have in the endeavor, should I choose to pursue it. I will be very cautious before discussing LOE. I will have full info when I speak to the owners.
Please don't take this as snark but how are you supposed to consult on something you appear to know very little about? If you don't have the foggiest about build outs you are likely to find yourself quickly in over your head.

Are you meant to be the chef after it's done? I'm confused.
 
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Please don't take this as snark but how are you supposed to consult on something you appear to know very little about? If you don't have the foggiest about build outs you are likely to find yourself quickly in over your head.

Are you meant to be the chef after it's done? I'm confused.
I am completely aware of where I stand regarding my pack of experience in this area.

I called a realtor to get help finding a commercial kitchen to lease/rent. This became the conversation.
 
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Realtors....hooboy....Ummmm,we’re halfway through a pandemic and in my city two of the largest caterers just went bust, as did numerous restaurants.

The point I’m trying to make is that currently there is no shortage of fully built out restaurants to lease, and currently landlords don’t have the advantage they did pre-covid.
Tell your realtor to do better.....
 
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Realtors....hooboy....Ummmm,we’re halfway through a pandemic and in my city two of the largest caterers just went bust, as did numerous restaurants.

The point I’m trying to make is that currently there is no shortage of fully built out restaurants to lease, and currently landlords don’t have the advantage they did pre-covid.
Tell your realtor to do better.....
Heard.
 
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I am completely aware of where I stand regarding my pack of experience in this area.

I called a realtor to get help finding a commercial kitchen to lease/rent. This became the conversation.
Apologies, I think I misunderstood, I thought you were being hired to consult on a new buildout for a business.

That all sounds exciting, what type of restaurant concept are you thinking of doing?
 
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Apologies, I think I misunderstood, I thought you were being hired to consult on a new buildout for a business.

That all sounds exciting, what type of restaurant concept are you thinking of doing?
That's the whole thing: I was looking into simply leasing/renting a commercial kitchen and randomly wound up potentially being involved with the buildout.
 
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That's the whole thing: I was looking into simply leasing/renting a commercial kitchen and randomly wound up potentially being involved with the buildout.
I know you can make some good networking connections through instances like this but overall it seems kind of weird. If I wasn't 100% confident in my skill set to take on a job I don't think I would entertain it, especially if it something I do not do on a regular basis. It would be one thing if say you were a caterer talking to someone about a service unrelated and they found out what you did and asked you do cater a gig for them, that seems like a reasonable connection. But even from the client's standpoint in your instance, I don't know if I would personally take on a consultant that was not an experienced professional in it.
 
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That's the whole thing: I was looking into simply leasing/renting a commercial kitchen and randomly wound up potentially being involved with the buildout.
It worked out for me but I felt my skill-set and stubbornness would play to my favor in the scenario. However one thing to keep in mind about a build-out is the time element involved.

I was anticipating a 3 month time frame, it took 6, and what I have learned since then is that 6 months was way quick and fortuitous. It was the exception and not the rule. Even so, it was 6 months of no income, because the build-out was a full time (and more) volunteer job. :~)

On the bright side, the restaurant when finished, fit exactly what I wanted to do. There was no adapt, improvise, overcome situations that many times work their way into taking over an already existing restaurant.
 

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