The Benefits to Refurbishing Your Restaurant Post-Pandemic

table set on wooden dinning table

The Benefits to Refurbishing Your Restaurant Post-Pandemic

The Benefits to Refurbishing Your Restaurant Post-Pandemic

The Benefits to Refurbishing Your Restaurant Post-Pandemic

table set on wooden dinning table

The restaurant industry is definitely on the rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic, with 2023 predicted to return the industry to its pre-pandemic operational levels. While the past three years have called into question whether the state of restaurants would ever recover, the industry has adapted and persevered in the face of extreme hardship. 

 Now that the industry is on an upswing, you may be asking whether refurbishing your restaurant is a necessary step to move forward. While it may feel counterintuitive to spend the time and money to renovate your establishment when things are just starting to amp up again, recent studies have shown that it might just be the best time to do so for the longevity of your business.

 A recent 2023 survey, has shown that customers are more than willing to spend their money on dining post-pandemic, but only if the dining experience and/or the convenience lives up to the value of what they’re paying. 

 Consumer spending patterns show that customers highly value dining experiences that allow them to slow down while having a safe, pleasant socialising opportunity or something that is convenient and efficient that doesn’t get in the way of their busy lifestyles. With an increased emphasis on safety, many restaurants have made significant changes to their buildings and operations to accommodate their customers’ needs. With more new restaurants having opened within the past three years than in any comparable time frame within the past quarter of a century, existing establishments are under more pressure than ever to keep up with changing standards.

 It can be intimidating to know what to do and where to start when faced with a big project like a restaurant refurbishment. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at some of the major considerations to take into account as you start planning your upcoming renovation.


As one of the top considerations for customers post-pandemic, improving the safety features of your restaurant can increase the trust and comfort of those looking to dine in. 

    • Consider decreasing the number of high traffic touchpoints by implementing commercial home automation systems for things like entrances and exits, switches and handles, and even the hand dryers in your bathrooms. This will limit the spread of germs for everyone, as well as make cleaning easier for staff.
    • Look into installing or upgrading your HVAC fan or air filtration system. This will improve the indoor air quality, as well as help to prevent the airborne spread of disease. If you want to enhance an existing system, consider adding particle filtration and air disinfection as a part of your renovation.
    • There have been many developments in the creation of materials that have built-in antimicrobial properties. One such material is a vinyl with non-migrating nanotechnology, which neutralises microbes on contact. Consider integrating new/reupholstering old furniture with these types of materials to decrease the spread of germs.


While some studies have confirmed that there has been a sustained decrease in the amount of dine-in restaurant guests, that decrease has been shown to equal the increase in takeout customers. Making sure that your restaurant is capable of handling this hybrid customer base is essential for its long-term growth.

    • Re-imagine your space to accommodate a greater influx of takeout customers. This could mean redesigning your floorplan to create separate areas for dine-in and takeout customers. This separation creates a more efficient process for those looking to grab and go, while minimising the disruption for folks that are looking to have a more traditional dining experience.
    • Consider establishing multiple entrances to  make the flow of traffic through your restaurant the most efficient and organised. 
    • As most restaurants experienced changes in capacity limits during the pandemic, it quickly became clear how valuable it is to have flexible seating arrangements. Take decisions being made about built-in furniture and seating very seriously, as they could be make-or-break in the event of another capacity-limiting event.

Open Space

Perhaps the most obvious change that many restaurants made during the pandemic was the shift towards maximising open spaces. Limited indoor seating naturally led to expansions in outdoor seating options, and the development of more creative seating for establishments that had limited outdoor space.

    • Wherever possible, consider maximising outdoor dining spaces such as patios. Remember that outdoor seating can come with exposure to unfavourable weather, so keep in mind that you’ll likely need to implement solutions for heating, cooling, and protection from the elements, bugs, and birds.
    • If outdoor space is limited for your restaurant, an alternative option could be the installation of large windows and functional walls. Styles that incorporate garage doors, floor-to-ceiling bifold sliders or swinging doors can drastically open up a space that was previously closed off from the outdoors.
    • It’s also a great time to rethink your bar areas. While bars are traditionally very intimate, crowded spaces, there are many ways to maintain this feel while modifying the area to address customer needs. Try including more cosy nooks and unique booths into the space that allow for both intimacy and separation without compromising on the ambiance.

While there are countless ways to reimagine your space, above all else aim for solutions that will contribute to the resilience and adaptability of your business. In a fast-changing and unforgiving field, taking the time and effort to invest in your restaurant now will be the key to its longevity and success.