A successful foodservice renovation project comes down to the details, both large and small. Eric Norman, vice president of MVP Services Group, a Dubuque, Iowa-based foodservice consulting firm, shares five of his top considerations to keep in mind when remodeling a foodservice operation.

  • If you’re doing an extensive remodel and are really concerned about sustainability and energy efficiency, look at exhaust hoods, walk-in refrigeration and dish machines. Those three items probably make up the biggest part of your energy usage and with advancing technology, you can pick up a lot of efficiencies in those three items alone.
  • For smaller equipment, look at Energy Star-rated items. Energy Star has taken a lot of steps to put equipment into new categories, and they continually make their requirements stricter. Along with that, municipalities and utility companies all over the country offer rebates on that equipment. You can often go to their websites and get a listing of all the equipment that has rebate possibilities.
  • There’s a lot of new technology in terms of POS, remote ordering and mobile ordering. One thing that gets overlooked on that side of things is the actual physical space you need for the electronics. Some of these remote-ordering platforms requires a separate tablet computer for each point of sale. And a lot of restaurants have gone to server-based ordering on tablet computers. Think about where you’re going to store and charge these in terms of physical space and security. You don’t want them just laying around. 
  • Take a step back and try to maximize your efficiency through design. Look at each workstation as an individual piece of all the components. Does the person in that station have all their tools and utensils available? Can you put refrigeration in that workspace?  Is the workstation ergonomically correct for them to be working in for eight hours? 
  • Check the general flow and function of the kitchen. If you have a kitchen that you’ve been working in for 10 or 15 years, don’t get stuck in thinking that’s the only way you can produce food. Take a general look at the space before you start your renovation. Is there a better flow of food going out and traffic coming in so you can maximize your efficiencies in terms of the amount of food you can produce and the dollar revenue that comes in?