6 Tips To Successfully Renovate Your Bakery

April 7, 2015 / Reading: 7 minutes

Renovating a bakery is like updating old recipes: Some just need a dash of sugar, while others require entirely new ingredients. In the ever-changing food service industry, updating your establishment is crucial to its success. To make sure you get the best return on your investment, check out these renovation planning tips.

There are a plenty of reasons to renovate your bakery, but in general, giving a bakery a face-lift benefits both the owner and the customers for the following reasons:

  • Remodeling your establishment can spruce up its image.
  • An attractive and creative design can entice more clients to your storefront.
  • An efficient transformation for your space can maximize sales.

However, it is common knowledge that renovations can cost a pretty penny; which is why it is recommended to have a strategy in place that can guide you throughout the whole renovation process.

1. Find The Right Design for Your Bakery

When deciding on a final design, you have to know what type of clientele you want to attract. That way you will know the type of decor help set the mood, bring more traffic to your shop and ultimately influence the success of your shop.

Here are a few tips to put you on the right track:

  • Research trends : Analyze and examine the demographic trends in your local area, which might reveal a change in the population’s average age, employment status or disposable income; all of which will help you better target your customers. For example, you might opt for a more modern / casual design if you notice a growing number of trendy young professionals moving into your neighborhood.
  • Look for Feedback : Ask your current and potential customers for their comments on what would make your bakery more appealing to them. This feedback is a precious element that you can incorporate into your final design.
  • Study your competition : Examine other bakeries in your area and their interior designs. This will not only give you inspiration but also help you come up with a design and atmosphere to differentiate your store by creating a unique identity for your bakery.

These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg and while we hope they will spur your creativity, you shouldn’t be limited to the options listed above. Creativity plays a big role when it comes to remodeling your space; so make the most of your strengths and think outside the box.

2. Have a Schedule in Place from Start to Finish

Having a well-thought-out schedule is a very important step if you want your renovation to run on time and finish the project on budget while minimizing disruptions to ongoing operations.

The first thing you need to decide is whether you can maintain your Bakery open during while the renovation project is in motion or if you need to shut down for a period of time. Obviously, shutting down completely is likely to have a negative impact on your financial situation since your bakery will not be generating revenues during the remodeling period.

Also, in many cases renovation works require obtaining the appropriate permits, so you need to take that into consideration and be prepared for it, that way you can minimize the down-time and get your business back up and running as soon as possible.

3. Review Your Lease Terms

If you rent or lease the space where your bakery is located, you will most likely have to discuss your plans with your landlord before starting any renovation work. This is particularly important in determining who is responsible for which renovation costs as there are 2 scenarios in establishing who will foot the bill:

  • Many landlords might argue that you as the business owner, should be responsible for the renovation cost
  • Others might foot part or even the entire bill, since technically, it is their building you are renovating.

4. Secure Financing For Your Renovation

You need to ensure that you finance the remodeling project in the most cost-effective way. But as we mentioned earlier, renovations can cost a small fortune, which is why bakery operators often find themselves having to look for outside financing to complete the project.

Read more: Business Financing for Bakery Shops

Traditionally, bakery shop owners have turned to banks for a business loan. However, this can be a very lengthy and arduous process since banks want to make sure there is adequate cash flow to repay a loan. In addition, banks often reject these financing applications for a variety of reasons, be it due to the lack of collateral, or because the bakery has not been around long enough.

For bakery operators who are contemplating ways to differentiate themselves and increase revenue, renovating your space is key.

Fortunately, there are alternative sources of financing that are available to bakery owners and managers, even if they have been turned down by a bank. Free services like Fundivo offer dedicated bakery loan solutions and are often able to get them the low-rate financing they need by matching them with lenders that have less stringent qualification requirements. In addition, as opposed to a bank’s approval process that can take several months, by using alternative sources of financing, bakery shops can be approved in minutes and receive funding in as little as 24 hours.

5. Pick The Right Contractor

One of the hardest parts of any renovation project isn’t the work itself, it’s actually finding a reliable and capable contractor to do the job and help you execute your vision. So before you choose a contractor to carry out your renovation project, do your homework since you have to be convinced in their ability to deliver the project as you envisioned it:

  • Shop around: Interview at least 3 to 4 contractors and many questions. Make sure you get a written bid from each one so you can compare. However, ask for bids that include the same materials and tasks, since each contractor breaks down the bid in a different way.
  • Check references: The lowest bid doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best one. Request references from firms they have worked with in the past, especially clients that have the most recent experience working with the contractor.
  • Get a detailed contract: No matter what you think you agreed to verbally, you need to make sure to put it all in writing and that your contract spells out exactly what will be done. This includes the exact materials to be used, deadlines and progress payments.

Once you choose the contractor you feel most comfortable with, we recommend not paying more than 10 percent of the bill before the job starts and not making the final payment until it is 100 percent complete and you are completely satisfied with the work.

6. Promote Your Renovation

The whole point of renovating your bakery is to attract more clients. That’s why we highly recommend you run a promotional campaign that makes the new space its focal point and raves about how it stands to benefit your clients. One idea is to throw a big “Grand Re-opening” or food tasting event, which you can advertise both offline by handing out flyers, or online using social media.