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chefpi | Apr 8, 202009:04 PM    

Hi Fellow industry experts, hope you are all keeping your head above water and surviving this business turn down.

I am looking for opinions for you experts. I had taken over a restaurant location in Surrey before the Covid became a reality...so there is no going back. We have a large kitchen and seating space for maybe 70 (and had a pvt dining room planned for about 20). We are currently under renovations and our concept was to open a South Asian inspired Tapas restaurant with a nice bar. We have already done part demolitions for the FOH (which now have to be completed) and are now in a dilemma and both partners are not on the same page as to the direction we need to take under the current circumstances. The options on the table are whether to stick to the more modern tapas concept or go with a traditional Indian fare and:

1. Go forward with the renos as planned for the concept as planned (Cost approx 125K)
2. Go forward with renos as planned and scale back a pvt dining room (save construction cost). (Cost approx 90K)
3. Go forward with renos, not make a bar but use an existing small niche as a dispense bar with a few beers on tap, bottled and canned drinks and straight mixed drinks. Not enough space to have a decent cocktail program. (Cost about 60K)
4. Suspend renos, pause restaurant project and focus on cloud kitchen...(may not generate enough income to cover expenses).

In my opinion, not having a decent bar & beverage program will reduce the check average & compromise on ambience, would be difficult to pull in good servers as they would have lesser earning potential and so on. My partner is of the opinion that even though the check average will be lower, servers not the best and ambience compromised, we will still draw people, albeit the casual family diners.

Would love to hear some thoughts and rationals from industry insiders as there is a possibility that social distancing will go on longer than a few months though relaxed a bit. ROI on full build as planned questionable.

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