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Questions A Restaurant Owner Should Ask Every Commercial Contractor

by Harvie Simms

Do you own a restaurant and you're thinking about expanding your outdoor area? Maybe you need a larger kitchen than the one you currently have? In order to make sure that things are done properly, you're going to want to hire a contractor to oversee the whole project. If you've never hired a commercial contractor before, it can seem confusing when you try to choose between the ones that are available. But here are some questions you can ask to help make sure that you get the right contractor for the job:

Have you done any projects like this before? A good commercial contractor will be able to help you with all aspects of your expansion. If you are expanding your outdoor seating area, he or she can often find and install tables and chairs that match what you already have. Commercial kitchen appliances often have to be professionally installed and that's something that your contractor should be able to help you with. If the contractor you talk to has mainly done remodeling of empty businesses that haven't opened yet, he or she may not be aware of how best to help a restaurant that is already fully open and functional.

Can this project be done without shutting down the restaurant? Some remodeling projects can be carried out while you're still open, sometimes with very little inconvenience to your employees or your guests. For an outdoor seating area, the whole area can be blocked off with caution tape and rented fencing, to prevent people from accidentally wandering into the construction area. For kitchen remodeling, your commercial contractor may be able to seal off the part of the kitchen where the remodeling is taking place. They may use giant tarps or thick sheets of plastic, but the end result is that it will prevent construction dust from getting into your guests' food.

Do you have a list of references? References can be essential to making sure that a commercial contractor is who they say they are. A good one will be more than happy to provide you with at least a brief list of past clients. If you found the contractor on an online classifieds site and they're unwilling to show you any references, they might not actually be the licensed and bonded contractor that they claim to be. Anyone can put up a classified ad, but only real commercial contractors will be able to provide documentation that proves how long they've been in business.