With so many restaurants in every city on the planet, finding new and exciting ways to make yours stand above the competition is essential. Arguably one of the most popular business models on the planet, it should surprise nobody that new restaurants have an incredibly high failure rate. Even for those that do make it past the first few years, challenges await.

As restaurants age, their architecture, décor, service and even food can suffer. What was once new and exciting may sooner or later become old and dated. As such, it becomes imperative to implement the occasional renovation if you want to continue drawing in new customers and impressing the loyal ones.

Today, let’s look at how you should go about planning any restaurant renovation.

Secure Finances for Renovations

Before you can truly begin making concrete plans, you must first secure the necessary capital for such a renovation. While some restaurant owners may have the liquid assets to immediately pursue a renovation, others may have to look into restaurant financing. Use a site like Lending Express to simplify the process. Whether you need a startup loan or a merchant cash advance, you will find it all on their site. If financing is needed to pursue the renovations, then your renovation plans must be articulated and defined from the beginning. Whichever method is required, securing finances up-front for these renovations is the first step.

Determine Your Schedule

Perhaps the first question that must be considered when planning a renovation is how this will impact your restaurant’s operations. Will the restaurant need to be closed to the public for a period of time? Can the renovations be handled during off-hours without disrupting day-to-day business? Once you have an understanding of the scale of the renovations and how they must be handled, you can then plan a schedule that disrupts business as little as possible.

Get Customer Feedback

Sometimes, loyal customers can provide excellent insights that restaurant owners might overlook. Before committing to any particular renovation project, consult with your regulars. Ask them which elements of the restaurant are least appealing, what could be pursued or implemented that would make the dining experience better, and what they like about the restaurant in its current iteration. With this information – along with professional remodeling advice – you can design a remodel that maximizes appeal with your target audience.

Opt for an Invigorating Remodel – Inside and Out

Particularly true for older restaurants, the exterior of the building can be just as important to business as its interior. While reliable and regular customers may know what to expect once inside, first-time diners and those passing through are probably judging your restaurant by its exterior. Any renovation should absolutely consider refreshing and invigorating both the interior and the exterior.

Improve Efficiency

Even if a restaurant renovation is aimed at improving aesthetics, it is generally wise to also use this as an opportunity to improve a restaurant’s efficiency. For example, could you reduce the number of tables and seats, and replace them with other elements that add interior appeal? Are bathrooms and the kitchen optimally placed with the restaurant? Can the register and payment areas be better optimized for more guests? These questions should always be considered within the confines of a renovation, as it should be about both looks and substance.

Any restaurant renovation requires a substantial amount of time, money and planning. When planning such, be sure to consider the above advice and factor these elements into any broader effort that transforms your restaurant.