The Average Square Foot Cost of Remodeling An Existing Building Into a Restaurant

Remodeling an existing building into a restaurant can be a bold and creative endeavor for you. If you are wondering what can be the average square foot cost of remodeling your building into a stunning and professional restaurant, here are some guides you can follow to estimate the total cost.

The cost varies greatly depending on the different factors. Such factors include the condition of the existing building, the contractor you are working with, and the types of materials you are using. Let us go deep into analyzing this.

According to Building Journal, a 5,000 square foot restaurant with mid-range finishings costs $160 on average for full remodeling.

Cost of Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Components

The general MEP for a restaurant ranges from $70,000 to $100,000 in the kitchen section. For the remaining restaurant space, the average square foot cost for MEP components is roughly $150.

General Construction Costs

Turning your existing building into a restaurant requires some additions for compliance with the law. For instance, the 1990 Disability Act requires the construction of wheelchair ramps, restrooms, and doorways to the building.

The average construction cost for this general construction will cost $50 per square foot.

Equipment Cost

The addition of kitchen space or bar are some of the major considerations during the remodeling process. Also, counters, burners, and ventilation systems, along with the espresso machines need to be factored in.

On average, the installation of such pieces of equipment in the restaurant will cost 480 per square foot on average.

If the cost is getting too high for you to purchase these pieces of equipment, consider looking for a second hand that is way cheaper and could help you stick within your budget.

Steps to remodel your building into a restaurant

1. Find the right contractor

Transforming your building into a restaurant is arguably the biggest remodeling project you will ever perform. So make sure you have looked for the most reputable contractor that will meet the standard you are looking for without compromising on anything. The best way is to search for online reviews, ask for their past projects, get some quotes to compare, and then make up your mind.

2. Have a clear flexible budget

Remodeling a building completely into a restaurant means complete transformation. So make sure you are financially prepared. The best way to be financially prepared and avoid unexpected expenses is to ask for quotations from the contractor.

3. Stay in control

The whole process will mean that you will have to close and relocate all the functions of the building to another place. With noise, dust, and smell, the best thing is to close and let the work be done.


Converting an existing building into a restaurant requires preparation and knowing the average costs that are required to complete the whole process. Having an idea of what you may incur in the end is the first step to setting up a budget to work with.

Benefits of Renovating a Restaurant

Whether you run a small or a large restaurant, it can be hard to find the right time to perform a renovation and give it even a better look. Renovation can be time-consuming and stressful, which can cost you money in the long run. However, performing restaurant renovation is more beneficial on a broader look. If you get the job done as quickly as possible, you will stand to enjoy several benefits. Here are some benefits of renovating a restaurant.

Better Client Experience

Customers are part of your business. An integral part that many businesses strive to maintain a good relationship with them. And it is not just about the sweet food you serve them. Customers also look at the environment in your restaurant. Renovations in your restaurant will improve this environment and make it more beautiful and appealing, matching your food. You will find that you do not just keep your customers, but you also attract new ones.

Optimum Space Usage

Having difficulties moving around your restaurants in the kitchen and storage spaces? Renovation can help you redesign your kitchen, restaurant space, and storage rooms, optimizing them for better use. This will also help you expand the space to accommodate more customers and employees.

Optimum Energy Usage

How about changing the old energy appliances and replacing them with energy-saving ones. Restaurant renovation can improve your lighting and electrical system and also help you conserve the environment.

Better Reputation

Your brand and business could massively gain from restaurant renovation. An improved look and feel of your restaurant can influence people’s perception of your brand and even convince them of better services and professionalism. Most people want to associate with good things. Associating themselves with a well-known brand brings them pride and feel like part of it. To make people have a good perception of your business, performing renovations can just solve this.

Improve Employee Productivity

When employees get enough space and better equipment to work with, one thing is certain; their morale will be boosted and therefore increasing their productivity. By creating a more conducive workspace for your employees and replacing broken equipment, you have boosted their working spirit. They will love to work in the environment, giving their maximum effort. This will ultimately increase your income.

Accident Prevention

Working in an unconducive environment is a recipe for accidents and disasters. When for instance, your restaurant space has become small, it can be hard for your employees to move around with hot plates and food. A slight knock by another person could cause accidents that can be prevented through renovation. The renovation will also help you repair damaged floors, furniture, and walls.

Avoid Constant Repair Costs

Conducting restaurant repairs is good also. But repairs only mean that just a damaged part is cared for. Repairs only take care of small issues that need to be addressed. With the renovation, the underlying issue is solved and constant repairs are avoided. As a result, you will have avoided the additional costs.

Stay Updated

Running an outdated restaurant building and equipment can send a wrong message to your potential customers. Using out-of-date equipment can make your customers think you are going out of business. The renovation will bring a new, modern look to give a great first impression to customers.