The Process of Closing a Store or Restaurant

When a store or restaurant closes down, there is a lot to be done. Much of that is done by a construction company. Elements to consider include dealing with branding or signage, running water, what to do with the business equipment and more. So what is the process of closing a store or restaurant?

The process of closing a store or restaurantThe primary purpose of closing down a store or restaurant from a construction perspective is to return the location to the conditions required by the original lease. That means, for example, removing the signage and shipping it to the owner, or storing it, or disposing of it. If the lease is not yet up, the work means maintaining plumbing drains, humidity control and keeping pests out – all to prevent costly future potential repairs from obligations on the original lease.

Other work that needs to be done includes removing, disposing of or storing valuables. That includes extracting the occupant’s FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment). Removing servers and sensitive computer data from the building is also very important. In order to save on electrical costs, unneeded power circuits need to be cut off, and periodic maintenance visits to the building should be scheduled. That said, experienced contractors such as Buildrite Construction recommend maintaining overall electricity, heating and cooling for the property. Another recommendation is to replace toilet parts so the water doesn’t run, or else to cut off the water completely.

Sometimes the conditions of the lease require the business to return the space to a “white box” or “vanilla box.” A white or vanilla box is when an interior space is at its most basic, but transformable, state. It means that it has intact major walls to support the ceiling, concrete floors, intact plumbing and restrooms, HVAC and accessible elevators and stairs (for multiple stories). When an interior space is in a vanilla box state, it is ready for a new occupant to come in and design and finish to its own specifications for every day business.

If the company happens to own the property, all of this work still needs to be done – and should be done by a trustworthy construction company. In fact if the company owns the property, it may want to consider making improvements to make the property more leasable or sellable. For businesses with multiple stores, it is recommended to hire a national general contractor to handle all of this work – a GC that has proper insurance to minimize risks and meet landlord or owner requirements.

These are the major elements involved for a construction company in the process of closing a store or restaurant. Want to read more? See Buildrite Construction’s rollout construction services.