How to make your design and budget plan for a Shipping Container Restaurant?
As many of us have realized, there is an ever expanding interest and enthusiasm in shipping container restaurant concept among entrepreneurs and F&B owners mainly. But it’s obvious that many are still in the awareness stage, though they show curiosity and pay special attention to the posts uploaded on the Social Media. They are mainly looking into this idea to understand the budget, the lead time and what it requires from them. They are looking at it in hopes to find a more affordable solution for their business, easy and fast to run.
Why use shipping container restaurant concept?
There are many advantages in the shipping container restaurant concept throughout the US and California in specific. Portable, quickly deployed, outstanding, versatile and can be designed to specific requirements, internally fit-out and you can begin trading immediately. It gives you the flexibility to choose the right spot to be at the heart of the spot. The bitter truth which is usually overlooked is that every week your restaurant isn’t open, you’re losing 2.3% gross revenue. The good thing is that shipping container restaurants is manufactured in half the time of stick or brick construction. So, you will save at least 3 months, that’s a loss of approximately 28% of annual gross profit if you go with brick-and-mortar store.
However, no doubt on that will be more affordable for entrepreneurs, traders, startups, and even those restaurant owners looking to expand their business and want to test the market in a spot, or set up temporary sites on events, festivals, beaches and more.
Now, how do you find out what fits you best and what budget you should consider for the new restaurant?
There are few items listed below that each buyer should address while looking for shipping container restaurant.
First off, the property is the main issue to be secured. The property outlines help us to determine what the size and configuration of the container restaurant should be.
Once we are sure of that, you need to run a site survey of that property to make sure of the utility establishment, slope, setbacks and more. At this point, while you do have a better insight of the space constraints, you can choose to either use closed or fold down concept, where the windows, customer interaction points, and other design elements should be.
There are some aspects to consider when dealing with container restaurants. These are the main reason related to building codes that makes the shipping container restaurants are a bit costly in compare with container housings:
1- Materials: the surfaces/screens must be made of washable/cleanable materials according to Health Department Standards. As instance, fiberglass reinforced plywood must be used rather than regular plywood.
2- Electrical and Plumbing system: shipping container restaurant goes under commercial category and have separate building codes than residential. The electrical systems must comply with applicable codes and must make sure it can handle the power load. The water supply and wastewater is another concern. The good thing with containers is that it can be connected to the local grid. But if the unit is set for an event, then a water and waste water storage tank must be added on top or side of the unit. That would require specific reinforcement on the roof.
3- Make up air unit design is another item that usually raises the costs. According to Building codes, commercial kitchens are required to have vent hood with fire suppression over the equipment.
4- ADA code compliant: requires to add ramp.
To this point, the buyers are still keen to go with this idea. But they must make sure the shipping container restaurant concept fits within their budget and they have considered all aspects and haven’t missed anything.
Here is where they reach out to different companies to find out the prices. Once they have found a ballpark figure, they enter the consideration phase and try to think out the best way, whether go with container conversion concept or hire a place in a corner of a street or mall, renovate it and make it as per their own requirements.
Here is the point they should turn to a professional Container conversion company. Once the container conversion company has the site information, their design/engineering team will give you great recommendation on how the configuration should be and what design fits best. And from here starts everything. Usually the container conversion companies provide permit drawing package, manufacturing, delivery and installation. But the site work means the foundation and utilities are accomplished separately by a local contractor, especially when you’re going to install it as permanent structure.
Scope of Work
However, the items listed below help us to understand the aspects we should consider within our budget.
1- Scope of the Container Company
A- Design and Engineering fees
B- Permit fees
C- Production fees
D- Transport fees
E- Kitchen and Plumbing fixtures
G- Sales Tax
2- Scope of General Contractor
B- Utilities access and connections (trenching and connecting of Power, Water, Sewer and Gas if required.
C- Rigging and securing containers to foundation
D- HVAC installation
E- Landscape and parklet fees (if required)
3- Scope of the Client
A- Site Permit
B- Health Department submission for food units
C- Installation of Kitchen and food service equipment
In many cases, for a variety of reasons, the clients are not comfort with the prices or the coding requirements. There are always other options to avoid additional costs and overhead. By using commissary kitchen and eliminating the preparation area most of the high cost code items like vent hood system and water supply/wastewater are knocked off the list.
Once the client understands his/her objectives and now has full insight of the process, it’s time to make a decision on how to move forward. The client needs someone to rely on. Here is where we can enter and reverse engineer creating the design meeting the client’s requirements and the building codes. We can make anything happen. This is our expertise to guide you through and make sure you get what you are looking for to start your business timely and properly.