3 ADA Upgrades to Enhance Your Restaurant

Budgeting for ADA upgrades can enhance the restaurant experience for ALL customers while allowing for new branding opportunities. Below are the 3 best ADA related upgrades to highlight brand in restaurants.

ADA Upgrades at Restaurants

ADA compliance is mandatory for all new and renovated buildings with public accommodations. Safe Harbor updates also suggest 20% of renovation budgets go to ADA upgrades. Restaurant design, particular ADA upgrades, enable private owners and corporations to avoid lawsuits. Why not take the opportunity to highlight the brand in restaurants with ADA centered renovations? 

To understand the importance of ADA compliance, we recommend Restaurant.org’s issued Brief on ADA Lawsuits for general guidelines and information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The number of ADA Title III lawsuits – which involve places of public accommodation – has surged in recent years. In many cases, plaintiffs will file dozens, even hundreds, of cases across a geographic area. Often lacking the resources to contest the lawsuits, thousands of businesses, including restaurants, are left paying significant legal fees.”

The American with Disabilities Act – ADA – was enacted in 1990 to improve access and equality for disabled persons. In our experience, ADA focused renovations can help your building meet design requirements and allow you to highlight your brand while upgrading. 

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Top ADA Upgrades with Construction Cost Percentage

Service Area – Up to 10% of Construction Cost

Restrooms – Over 20% of Construction Cost

Dining Area – 5%-15% of Construction Cost

**This is not an exhaustive list of all ADA requirements; rather, this is where we see our clients choose to invest in their buildings.

Brand Forward Design

Knowing accessibility related requirements can allow a restaurants brand to play into the construction budget. Whether you want prominent logo display, or logical space planning, your brand character and quality should not be an after thought.

ALWAYS improve customer experience. For this, restaurant experiences should be designed to be enjoyable WHILE highlighting the brand. Below is where we find restaurant owners can address ADA upgrades and get a little branding bang-for-your-buck.

  1. Service Area – This is the restaurants first impression on a customer. Order counters, host stands, menu display, point of sale, brand placement… the service area is where restaurants separate themselves from the competition. Ease of movement from the entry doors to service area should be accessible and intentional.
  2. Restrooms – ADA updates to the restroom requirements are always changing. If you are planning a major or minor renovation, you will likely have to update your restrooms. Though frequently visited, the restroom is a place that is often overlooked for branding; when in fact, many customers use their experience in the restroom to infer the cleanliness of the kitchen. Always be consistent in the presentation of your brand.
  3. Dining Area – From furniture layout to lighting, patrons want to have an enjoyable experience. Design consideration should always go into the dining layout, because being seated next the restrooms is never ideal. This is also the opportunity to address textures and colors that relate to the brand while removing accessibility barriers.
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CMArchitects PLLC offers expertise in ADA surveying, restaurant construction planning and code compliance. We have worked with owners, developers and franchisees to design renovations for restrooms, services areas, dining areas and kitchens in new and existing construction in over 100 projects throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Alabama and Illinois.

We believe all designs should highlight the brand and enhance the experience. Our services include:

  • Extensive ADA + Universal Design Consulting
  • Existing Conditions ADA Surveys and Barrier Reports
  • Post Construction ADA Surveys and Barrier Reports
  • New Build and Renovation Experience
  • Technology Upgrades at POS
  • Public Restroom Design
  • Highlight Brand in Restaurants

We recommend this article on Restaurant Branding by Foodable Industry Expert Donald Burns

Check out our Restaurant Projects here

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