Give me a tip please.

I’m looking at a small, 1,000 sq ft corner location in an older, down town setting. Will probably open doing sit down, carryout and catering only (I haven’t made up my mind completely on delivery). The location used to be an ice cream shop (no hoods) across the street from a busy bar/grill. The city isn’t too excited about any ventilation on the side of the building (it’s a three story) and I am still looking at my oven options. What did you do right or wish you had done differently, if you could over? This could be regarding equipment (cold tables, choice of oven, mixer, new vs. used etc…), menu selection (to big or not enough choices), signage, whatever. Did you go cheap on ventilation and wish you hadn’t, not pleased with your mixer size or hp, walk in or lack of? I’d just like a few gold nuggets of wisdom or 20/20 hindsight.

I would like to start by saying you had better decide first what you really want to offer as far as menu and go from there. If you are going to have to vent a type 1 hood up 3 floors in an older building…or a new one for that… I recommend a few drinks and make sure you are sitting down when you hear the numbers. On a restaurant venture I was doing back in 2003 I had a great local…brand new… attached 1000 car parking garage… downtown… college town… lots of pluses. Buying not leasing… 3200 sqft. Everything looked great. Brought in designers for kitchen…bar…dining. City guys came in and approved it all…except that one little thing. NO SIDE VENTS! They wanted a brick fireproof lined chase up 4 stories with suppression system in the chase and a separate fan for exhausting smoke from the chase incase of a fire. That one got me…I thought adding air to a fire was always bad. Anyway… after also requiring automatic fire shutters on 6 windows and 4 doorways and the need to relocate an emergency exit from another unit that I would be next too… the cost added $147K to the $600k budget. Yes this was an extreme case but vents can add up fast. The other thing I would think about is 1000 sqft. You are talking dining room…restrooms… entry way… walk-in… ok that just ate 1000… where is the kitchen? Utility room? Dishwash station? Oh…Don’t forget to vent that dishwasher too! Not trying to scare ya…just make sure you really think out the space and answer the hard questions before you invest a lot of time and money into designs and ideas that the space just wasn’t meant to support. Best of luck. :!:

Good thoughts on the ventilation, I’m still working with the city on it. Menu will be pretty simple, will only bake pizza in the oven. A very nice shared restroom with a next door upscale photo studio, so not included in the sq footage, also there is a 11X12’ separate storage space and a small 3 compartment sink is located in the rear of the restaurant. And rent is very cheap. I’m planning on attending the expo in V.

Hi John:

We have designed and equipped thousands of pizza shops nationwide. Our opinion is that 1000 sq ft is the bare minimum for a DELCO type pizza.

We would recommend that if you intend to have seating you find a much larger facility.

No side wall ventilation is a common code nationally. That situation can be resolved but its costly.

George Mills