5 Restaurant Construction Pitfalls That You Shouldn’t Ignore

You finally said yes to your dreams of starting your restaurant.

It’s normal to get excited over finding the perfect spot to put up your restaurant and start building out right away. However, you should consider many potential construction issues to help you avoid excess costs, impediments, headaches, and even lawsuits while constructing your restaurant.

To prevent this, here are five restaurant construction practices that you should know and avoid ignoring, especially if you wish to succeed in your future business endeavours.

Securing All the Construction Permits

You may encounter contractors who would tell you to start with the construction immediately, even without getting all the necessary permits in your local area. They may end up persuading you because permits would take too much of your time and money.

While this may make the construction of your restaurant faster, it might cause you more fines and delays when your local Department of Buildings issues a Stop Work order. Another thing is when someone gets injured during the construction. You could get a lawsuit if you don’t start with following the local building codes and regulations and securing the permits you need.

Doing so can help save your time and money and, of course, protect you from all the hassle and stress you might encounter in the long run.

Ensuring a Well-Detailed, Written, and Signed Contract

Before you commit to a construction company, make sure that everyone understands the materials needed, the work required to be done, the timeline of the construction, and more.

While mutual understanding, exchanging emails, and actual conversations can assure you, a detailed and signed contract is more reliable. It can make your contractor show up and do the tasks based on the agreed-upon work and within a specific timeframe.

The contract also serves as a written agreement between you and your contractor, which contains provisions. It includes a liquidated damages clause, stating that a contractor would pay a certain amount of money for each day the construction project is delayed and goes past the deadline.

Purchasing Used Equipment

There’s a significant difference between buying new equipment and used equipment. While used equipment may be less expensive, the risk of getting faulty equipment is higher. Plus, most likely, you won’t get any refund or warranty.

As a result, you pay more for having it fixed or buying a new one for replacement. Consider purchasing new equipment with a long-term warranty instead so that it won’t cost you more expenses.

Ignoring Immigration Laws

Just because you hire your contractor and have a signed contract doesn’t mean you think about the workers employed for your project. You need to deal with claims around Form I-9 violations if you find out your contractor hired unauthorized immigrant workers during your restaurant build-out.

To avoid situations like this, you need to include specific clauses in your contract. It will specify that your contractor would be responsible for Form I-9 compliance and other unauthorized immigration issues. Seek professional help in drafting your contractor agreements, so you won’t miss any critical clauses that need to be included.

Setting Impractical Timelines and Goals

So you decided to build your restaurant in November, and you expect to have it launched in mid-December. When setting timelines and goals for your construction project, you have to make sure that you and your contractor set realistic expectations.

Experiencing delays can sometimes become a source of dispute and misunderstanding between the construction companies and restaurant owners. You may have started promoting your business offline and online during the construction and setting the grand opening date.

But then unexpected things happen, affecting the completion of the project. This classic scenario may result in a lawsuit, which you and your contractor wouldn’t want to experience.

To prevent this, you need to give a “float” time between the expected construction completion date and your grand restaurant opening. Giving extra time won’t stress you from publicly pushing back the opening day.


Building your new restaurant can be a fantastic experience for you as an owner. But like any new business, you may be at specific risk for liability and compliance issues. Knowing the various pitfalls in restaurant construction can help you become prepared to have a smooth experience in your project, and you’ll get to enjoy your new business.

Masterstrux is a quality-focused and one of the best restaurant construction companies in Toronto that provides turnkey business solutions for your new restaurant business venture. Get in touch with us today for a consultation!