How Much Should I Budget for My Restaurant Design and Construction?

August 30, 2018


As a general contractor specializing in restaurants, one of the most common questions asked of us is regarding the amount of total investment that will be necessary to take a restaurant from idea to reality. Construction costs vary across the different types of restaurants out there. Green Frog Construction has worked the entire spectrum – from simple mom-and-pop restaurants to the most recognizable brands in North America, such as Freshii and Tim Horton’s.

The answer, of course, is not entirely easy and could be foolish to guess, although an accurate range does lie when looking at the scope of the restaurant build, based on size and existing build. If plumbing, mechanical, and electrical are already in place for a simple café, the restaurant construction costs will be vastly less than a full, ground-up build-out for a large 100 table arena type sports bar that requires a foundation. This range can easily be from $80K to 5 million in these 2 very different examples of construction in a city such as Toronto, Ontario (different cities – different prices).

Estimating a Restaurant Build Cost

A very basic but often accurate rule of thumb is to look at your square footage and multiply it by the quality of build you desire. Numbers for a low-cost, fast-serve restaurant can be estimated at $150 per square foot (i.e. a 1,000 sq ft space will be in the 150K range). A higher quality restaurant which requires top of the line furniture, lighting, kitchen equipment and millworking, would demand a more aggressive cost per square foot such as $300-per (a 3,000 sq ft example could cost $900,000 in this case).

Of course, the exact numbers cannot be pinpointed until all of the specs are sorted out. Quality of flooring, signage, tables and chairs, kitchen equipment, HVAC, etc – all have to be chosen, including labour costs – in-house or contracted out – which leads to the estimate or quote. Always leave room for unplanned hiccups and always work with an expert such as Green Frog Construction to navigate these waters or you could be in for surprises down the road which will hurt your opening date and pocket-book.

A Design + Build Construction Company Is The Best Bet

Remember, these are only high-level estimates, Green Frog Construction Construction is a Design + Build General Contractor specializing in turn-key construction solutions. Our estimators and procurement specialists meticulously look at every inch of a design to produce a fair and accurate quote. This is why it’s important to start on the right foot. Green Frog Construction Construction can take the reins in the entire planning, design, pricing, and building portions of a new restaurant or renovationReach out to us today for a free consultation.

Credit goes to Green Frog Construction – Restaurant Design Contractors Toronto