January 14, 2022

Considering a DIY Cafe Fitout? Here's What You Need to Know.

Opening a new cafe can be a massive undertaking. What initially feels like a small, weekend DIY job can quickly grow out of proportion.  When running your business on a strict budget, it can be tempting to do everything on your own. While you may even have building or design experience, café fitouts  can quickly grow out of control without professional direction and guidance. If you’re about to renovate your space and are still on the fence about hiring a cafe fitout contractor, here are 5 reasons why you should consider i

1. An End-to-End Solution

A professional café fitout contractor is more than a builder or designer. They are a complete end-to-end solution for your new café's needs. From the start of your relationship, they get a feel for the aesthetic of your business and use your own ideas to bring the space to life. They handle any red tape that you need to deal with, such as sorting out building and planning permits, and ensuring the space meets the regulatory requirements of whatever industry you’re in. 

Café fitout contractors will timeline your project from start to finish, so you have a clear view of progress at every stage. They will also pre-assemble sections and furniture where possible, reducing overall on-site build time. Less time on site ensures your business gets back up and running in no time. 

2. Permits, Rules, & Regulations Sorted

Whenever you alter a space, you may be changing its use—and therefore—the permits required for operation. In most cases, business owners will require both a building permit and a building surveyor towards the latter stages of the shop fitout. At Canopy Fitouts, we handle this entire process from beginning to end, so you can direct your attention to running your business. 

Not sure if your HVAC needs to be replaced during your shop’s fitout? 

Have old plumbing or electrical?

Leave it to a shop fitter. They can accurately assess your current services and ensure they meet the regulatory standards required to keep your business in operation.  

Outside of this, shop fitters ensure that your premises meet all other standard building requirements such as:

  • Entry/Exit signs
  • Sprinkler compliance
  • Fire services (smoke detectors, extinguishers, etc.)
  • Mechanical
  • Any special requirements for heritage-listed buildings
  • Airflow
  • Accessibility

3. Upfront Costs & Timeline

Rather than guesstimating your total fitout costs through quotes from various contractors, work with just one point of contact. Cafe fitting services that have full oversight on a project can offer accurate quotes on the total cost of your fitout.  

If you want to adhere to a strict budget without compromising on style and customer experience, a fitting service can source lower price materials that match your design aesthetic.  

Working directly with suppliers, café fitout contractors have a clearer understanding of material lead times, and will factor these lead times into the overall timeline of your build. At Canopy Fitouts, we only start on-site work once all materials have arrived, and all possible items pre-built, so your business doesn’t remain closed any longer than necessary. 

Café fitout contractors has a sixth sense for blowouts. They have enough experience to know what parts of your project could become expensive over time. So there are no surprises, you’ll be informed of this at the start of the project. Café fitout contractor also have much better relationships with contractors and suppliers which means you’ll be able to reap the benefits of discounted prices on materials. 

4. Smart Design Choices That Improve Customer Experience & Employee Workflow

With build experience across many industries, and projects of various scopes and sizes, professionals have a good eye for what works and what doesn’t in a cafe fitout. They can design a space that invites customers inside and takes them on a journey unique to your brand and business type. Your café fitout partner would work with your employees to design spaces that optimise work, helping workers ward off exhaustion while handling higher customer volume. They will also implement design choices that adhere to health and safety standards, ensuring your café fitout design is compliant, as well as aesthetically pleasing.  

These small tweaks don’t always equate to more costs on your end. If a café fitout contractor creates a design that uses less material and also improves the customer experience, everyone wins! 

5. Bring Your Vision to Life With Custom Design

You started your business with an idea. That you could provide a service better than what was currently on the market. You may have an amazing offering, but how will people continue to discover your business in the years down the road? This is where your unique vision comes into play. A fitting service can help you breathe life back into your brand, using your vision to design a space that is completely customised. While you can always source your furniture, stands, equipment, etc. from an industry supplier, it will be difficult to differentiate yourself from the competition. Why not put a little bit of your own unique flavour into your business? Café fitout contractors can help you make this happen. 

2 Things To Consider When Choosing a Shop Fitter

When sending inquiries out to cafe fitout companies there are a few things to consider before signing a contract:

Customer Service

You may be working with a contractor for six weeks, a few months, or more depending on the scope of your fitout. It’s important to get a good first impression, as you will be entering a relationship with the company for some time. You’ll want to work with someone who sets clear expectations early on and sticks with them. Transparency is equally as important.

Previous Work

Does the company have a healthy body of work, particularly within your industry? This portfolio is a good indicator of how your fitout might look in the future. While you may be drawn to the quality of a company’s larger-scale projects, it helps to look at the work they also produce within your budget range.


Speak With a Cafe Fitout Expert

At Canopy Fitouts we believe in transparency at every stage of the fitout process, which is why we put together this guide to help you decide. With experience across various industries, we understand that every cafe in Melbourne is unique, and will work with you to bring your vision to life and within budget. If you have any specific questions or are ready to get started on your fitout, speak with our knowledgeable team today.

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