When you visit a construction company website—AMS Contractors' site included—you will likely see “Free Consultation” buttons on some of the pages. A free consultation is a great way to become acquainted with a contractor before you embark on your restaurant construction or fitup. It can help you decide whether the contractor you are considering is qualified and whether or not you feel you can work together as a team. So what can you expect from a free consultation?
What you will learn depends upon your point on the road to restaurant ownership. Do you have a franchise agreement or are you going to be an independent restaurateur? Do you have sealed architectural plans and engineering drawings? Have you begun the permitting process? What is the date you’d like to open? Are you ready to get hard costs for a new restaurant or are you looking for a company to help you get started with the planning, site acquisition, permitting and other preliminary details? The answers to these questions will shape the consultation and direct the conversation.
Are You Just Starting Out?
Contacting an experienced food service contractor is the best course of action no matter what stage of planning you are in. The earlier you make that contact, the more realistic your expectations will be. Having solid information early-on in the process can also save time by directing your energy through the planning phase. Just a few of the variables that need to be looked at are site location of new construction, zoning and permitting issues, the suitability of a building and landlord responsibilities when leasing, utility connections, parking and traffic.
If you are planning an independent restaurant and are in the early stages of planning, the free consultation should provide you with step-by-step guidance on the building process, contact information of architects and engineers with food service experience and information to help with planning and permitting. This is true whether you are building from the ground-up or are looking to fit up an existing space.
What If You Are Further Along?
“In our experience, most people who come to us are franchisees. They are likely to have the assistance of either an architect or a franchise company construction consultant to help with planning and permitting, as well as working with a landlord if they plan to lease a property,” notes Ben Hager, President of AMS Contractors. “They may also be working with a real estate professional.”
If this your situation, it is also likely that plans and engineered drawings will already be in-hand when you meet for a consultation. The consultation then can become a statement that you are ready to go with that company. This gives the contractor the confidence to commit the time to compile a preliminary budget for obtaining financing and, ultimately, a firm price for the project.
In any case, a consultation will likely take more than one office visit. The contractor’s expertise is invaluable in the discussions, offering guidance on how to nail down variables and where to check details no matter what the stage of your project.
Here Is How AMS Can Help
When you request a consultation with AMS Contractors, you can expect to be guided step-by-step through the process from experts in food service construction. We are licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee, and AMS can also help you navigate the state, county and local zoning and permitting processes. We will proudly provide our references, company history, and information about similar projects we have completed in your area.
If you are considering a restaurant upfit or ground-up construction, contact us to discuss how the experienced team at AMS can help you plan and build your next project.