Can refurbishing your venue improve your bottom line?

Refurbishments can prove to be costly exercises, but when well thought out with clear objectives, they can also provide a great opportunity for growth, change and an increase in profits. 

This week we interview local restaurateur and Hospitality NZ Board Member Kristy Phillips on the refurbishment she undertook at Zest Restaurant and what it meant for her business long term. Kristy and her husband Grant co-own Zest Restaurant in Timaru and undertook a refurbishment of the venue just over 18 months ago.

They had a clear vision, to redesign their counter service area to create better flow, access and maximise the use of space in the beautiful old church hall. This would also allow them to update plant and equipment and undertake some of the larger regular maintenance projects like re-painting the entire interior, and replacing

the flooring and furniture.

“New furniture had been on our wish list for a number of years, it was a matter of finding the right style, colours and timing. Harrows were very accommodating, letting us test the furniture design styles and colours in our space before we committed” Kristy says.

It was important that the refurbishment had “a classic look that reflected the history of the old church but still gave our guests a modern experience“.

Downtime was minimised to approximately 5 days on the project thanks to the suppliers and trades all working together on the tight timelines. The restaurant was able to swiftly reopen with a fresh new look and feel.

Of particular benefit for business at Zest was the reallocation of spaces, and in the inclusion of more social style zones using bar leaners and stools. “Our guests have loved the look and feel of the new style. And there has been a better use of some of our spaces.”

“There was definitely an increase in guest numbers coming through the door, excited to see the changes. There was also a noticeable positive change in the F&B splits straight away that has generally continued.”


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