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Why so many local restaurants are having a facelift on the menu

CHARLOTTE — Survival has been a priority for many restaurant owners over the past two years. Now the operators are switching. They face a future in Charlotte’s increasingly competitive restaurant scene that calls for takeaway, to-go and outdoor spaces.

Renovations are just one way to assert yourself. This is critical as staffing remains a challenge, supply chain bottlenecks persist and costs continue to rise.

According to Gais Construction, restaurant owners are looking for solutions for renovations, with efficiency high on the list of desired outcomes, says Michael Gais, Vice President.

“They were all about to close. It gave them a much closer look at everything,” he says. “When you start doing business again, I think your mindset is how do I maximize what I have.”

Kevin Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of Cluck Design Collaborative says the scope of projects has changed due to the pandemic. “It accelerated an urge to be outside. I think Charlotte has an advantage for restaurants that can have an outdoor lifestyle.”

A recent project added a playground, splash guard and dog park. The integration of indoor/outdoor options such as roller shutters is also popular.

Restaurants are also trying to streamline to-go offerings to avoid disrupting diners and are exploring options when it comes to making ordering easier. Think kiosks or counter service versus full service restaurants.

CBJ spoke to the owners of four local restaurants about the renovation projects they are embarking on. Read more here.

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