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Commercial Construction Restaurants

restaurant construction with Army of BuildersIn the industry of construction, the type of construction project refers to the actual facility being constructed for most of the people. Their different construction types, which are the followings:

  • Residential building construction
  • Industrial construction
  • Heavy civil construction
  • Commercial construction (restaurants, grocery stores, skyscrapers and etc).

Sizes of Commercial Buildings

Except for the types and the categories, we also differ three sizes of commercial buildings - Small-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale commercial buildings.

Small-Scale Buildings

Commercial construction, on a smaller scale, usually involves buildings that center around changing or rebranding the look of it. Many small-scale buildings can be seen as projects that focus on updating the interior design of them. This means taking an older or outdated space and giving it a fresh appearance, new floors, and maybe even new technology. This type of commercial construction can also be referred to as light commercial construction.

Medium-scale Buildings

To keep buildings in their prime condition takes a lot of work and time. Just because a building has already been built doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. Buildings grow old, companies hire more employees, and extra facilities need to be made. A business that wants to renovate its building will try to maximize the space as much space as possible. Medium-scale projects are when clients want to remodel, expand, or restructure their building. Medium-scale projects take more time, work, and effort than small-scale projects.

Large-Scale Buildings

Unlike other commercial construction projects, large-scale projects have no previous structure to work with. High-scale jobs need to be done extremely carefully to be successful. Large-scale projects are structures such as high-rise buildings, dams, and warehouses. Large-scale projects take the words “from the ground up” literally. Only experts in the commercial construction business should really take on a project like this.

Categories of Commercial Construction

Commercial construction is the construction of any buildings or similar structures for commercial purposes. As it is already stated there are different categories of commercial construction, which can include restaurants, grocery stores, skyscrapers, shopping centers, sports facilities, hospitals, private schools, and universities, and so on. Today we are focused on restaurants as commercial construction, read on if you are interested.

categories of commercial constructions

Restaurant construction

Restaurant constructions are often design-build projects that require a commercial contractor to oversee the project from preconstruction to completion. These projects can range from renovating an older building, refurbishing an existing space, or designing a completely new location for both national franchises and single-location restaurants.

Restaurant jobs are a higher risk than other commercial construction projects because they require specialized mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) work in order to ensure the kitchen is operational and meets all of the necessary safety and health codes. All restaurant designs and plans must be in compliance with the county health departments, the department of building and safety, and the fire marshall.
In addition, restaurants should meet the guidelines set out by the ADA which primarily pertain to accessibility. 
These requirements may include the following and even more:

  • parking with appropriate accessibility signage
  • routes to building entrance free of steps
  • entranceways with approved door hardware
  • wheelchair-accessible seating

Restaurant construction differs in two areas: “back of house” and “front of house”.

Front of House

“Front of house” construction encompasses all of the design work the customer sees, including the exterior, entry, dining rooms, bars, eating counters, and public restrooms. 

Back of House

“Back of house” covers the construction of the kitchen and is the primary differentiator between restaurant construction and commercial projects. Kitchen construction typically includes the installation of a cook line, dishwasher, refrigerator, and three-compartment sink.
See below for more information:

Restaurant Infrastructure Intricacies

Restaurants require a tremendous amount of mechanical infrastructure, specifically for their back-of-house space. A commercial kitchen, no matter the size, will have more water, waste, and gas lines installed than many other construction projects. Plus, this mechanicals often are installed underground, before concrete goes in and walls are laid out – so the construction team is essentially laying the grid for the entire mechanical system without any landmarks to guide them.

That means the team has to be incredibly precise and pay more attention to the mechanical roughs than they would with other construction jobs. Here in Army of Builders, our professional team ensures the “stub ups” and “stub outs” (points where mechanicals can be accessed through the floor and walls) which are placed in exactly the right position for the planned commercial kitchen equipment and fixtures, then walls and flooring may have to be torn up when those items are eventually installed and hooked up.

Restaurant Construction Inspection

Because of the foodservice element, there are more steps in restaurant construction inspection than during other project inspections. Typically a higher level of municipality oversight. With any of the MEP inspections, the whole process will be more involved from start to finish, no matter whether the restaurant project is a ground-up new build or an interior build-out. There will be an underground inspection, a pre-pour inspection, a water device back-flow inspection, a final inspection of all mechanical lines before walls are closed up, inspections after owner-vendors such as fountain soda providers install their equipment and many others.

barman table set of a restaurant

A good restaurant contractor will know what inspections are required when, plan for them in the overall construction timeline, manage the logistics of the inspections themselves, and be ready to quickly address any issues that arise. But what makes a good restaurant constructor great is the experience to anticipate items that could be a problem and take care of them before the inspector even arrives. And when there are questions at inspection, the best contractors will have the flexibility and creativity to resolve any concerns and make up any lost time in the construction schedule.


When it comes to restaurant chains, conforming to the guidelines set out by the corporation is paramount to successful construction. For individual establishments, coming up with a unique or innovative approach can make a huge difference when it comes to customer comfort and employee versatility. One important difference in this type of project is understanding the local regulations that pertain to safety matters and other matters related to the kitchen area.