Design-Build Approach Speeds Up Start-up Timeline

Jun 11, 2012   //   by Tommy DiGiorgio, Jr   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

At DRC we apply the design-build Approach to bring savings to your restaurant construction timeline.

What is the design-build approach? Design – Build is a contracting procedure used to accelerate procurement of a contract. A single entity provides both the design and construction through the use of a single contract between the owner and the design-build contractor.

What does it mean to you?QUICK DELIVERY TIME
Our clients save time and trouble by dealing with a single source instead of independent contractors, architects, engineers, and subcontractors. Bidding periods and redesign time are significantly reduced. Overall time to design and build the project is substantially reduced because design and construction activities overlap.

Design-Build lends itself readily to “Fast Tracking” certain processes – construction begins while detail drawings are still in process, potentially reducing interim financing costs.

What is a typical restaurant construction timeline?

  • Design Process – 4-6 weeks
  • Permit Process – up to 3 months
  • Bidding Process – 2-4 weeks
  • Construction Process – Depends on size & type of restaurant
    • 8 weeks for carry-out storefront
    • 12 weeks for fast- casual space
    • 16 weeks for full-service restaurant

Our Advice: Don’t Rush the Process, give yourself a year from beginning to end


DiGiorgio Restaurant Constructors can help you with all your restaurant start-up needs from concept to completion. With DiGiorgio You Get a True Partner. Contact DiGiorgio Constructors for a professional consultation. phone: 954-941-3329

Planning Your Budget- How to Avoid the Major Pitfall of Restaurant Start-up Failure

Apr 30, 2012   //   by Tommy DiGiorgio, Jr   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

By: Tommy Digiorgio, Principal, Digiorgio Restaurant Design & Construction

The most common reason restaurant start-ups fail is because the business owner fails to adequately assess his capital needs. The inexperienced restaurant owner often assumes that the business will start making money right away.  This is not generally the case with new businesses. Be prepared to be in the red for the first six months of business.  Avoid the biggest pitfall of restaurant start-up failure by estimating and acquiring adequate capital funding.

How long will it take to launch your new restaurant business?  It’s safe to plan for a one year business launch process. Take your time to find a good site, get the professional design and build help you need and get a financing deal with good terms. Don’t Rush the process.

When planning your budget, keep in mind your access to capital. If your budget is $100,000 you should probably utilize a space that was previously used as a restaurant to save on design, building infrastructure & equipment costs.  If your budget is $1,000,000 plan to allocate 65% or $650,000 to design and building construction costs and kitchen equipment. The remaining 45% should be used for start-up costs such as training and pre-opening costs including food and beverage inventories. You should also have enough cash to keep you going through the first six months of planned business losses.

DiGiorgio Restaurant Constructors can help you with all your restaurant start-up needs from concept to completion. With DiGiorgio You Get a True Partner. Contact DiGiorgio Constructors for a professional consultation.   phone: 954-941-3329

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Is Your Restaurant Business Current on Technology?

Apr 19, 2012   //   by Tommy DiGiorgio, Jr   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

The success of your restaurant business depends on giving your customers what they want. That means keeping an eye on current trends. Technology is a trend that affects how your business is conducted. By now, you know the importance of having a website, but are you using Social Media for your business? Is your website mobile friendly? Is your restaurant registered on search engines? You must keep up with technology to stay competitive.

DiGiorgio Restaurant Constructors wants your business to thrive. Therefore, we recommend implementing the following mobile-marketing strategies to stay current, increase your customer base and your profit.

Make your content mobile friendly

To make your website mobile friendly, place the most important information, such as your menu, phone number and address at the top of the page in large text. Use images that can be easily viewed on a mobile device and take advantage of features created exclusively for mobile devices such as click-to-call and digital coupons.

Register on local search engines

Your restaurant’s presence on local search engines is crucial. The best place to start listing is Google Places.  Google is standard on any Apple of Android device and is the most popular search engine, with 80% of all search traffic.

Set up social media pages and respond to comments

Set up social media pages so that customers can comment on your restaurant and spread the word virally.  Make sure you respond to comments. Doing so establishes credibility, shows gratitude for the positive and gives you a chance to address issues brought up by negative comments.

By keeping up with technology and giving customers easy access you can maintain your competitive edge. DiGiorgio Restaurant Constructors have experience in running successful restaurant businesses as well as designing and building.   Let us pass our expertise on to you.

Visit our website or call 954-941-3329


Restaurant Owners Have Tip Reporting Responsibilities

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Tommy DiGiorgio, Jr   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

It is the responsibility of the restaurant owner to come up with procedures to report tip income. If you do not take steps to do this, the IRS can step in and assess a Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tax on tips not reported. The IRS has determined that 8% of gross receipts is a fair percentage to allocate to tips.  If it can be shown that average tips are not eight percent of gross sales, the employer may apply to the IRS to have the allocation reduced.

You can enter into 2 types of agreements with your employees under the Tip Rate Determination/Education Program (TRD/EP):

  1. TRDA  - Tip Rate Determination Agreement
    1. Employees must have a tipped employee participation agreement (TEPA) with the employer.
    2. The IRS works with the establishment to arrive at a tip rate for various positions. At least 75% of employees must sign & report tips at or above agreed rate.  If they don’t comply, the employer will report them to the IRS.
  1.  TRAC -  Tip-Reporting Alternative Commitment
    1. Does not require the employer to establish tip rates, nor does it require employee participation agreements.
    2. Employer agrees to institute a quarterly education program for directly & indirectly tipped employees.
    3. Employer must establish tip reporting procedures as outlined by the IRS.
    4. Employers assume responsibility for employees reporting tips, and the IRS agrees not to assess the business employment taxes on unreported tips unless employees are audited first.

On the bright side, there is a tax credit restaurant owners can claim equal to an employer’s FICA tax obligation (7.65%) attributable to certain tips treated as paid by the employer for FICA tax purposes. Employers use Form 8846 to claim the Section 45B credit.  Because it is a general business credit it is claimed on the income tax return to offset any income tax liability, but not employment tax liability. The deduction for FICA taxes must be reduced by the amount of this credit.  You can also use the 45B tax credit to offset Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) liability.

DiGiorgio Restaurant Constructors have been in the business for years and are proud to pass our knowledge on to you so that you can achieve success with your restaurant start-up. If you are interested in working with a True Partner, contact and let us help you with all your restaurant design/build needs from concept to completion.

New Research on Menu Design Contradicts Idea of “Sweet Spot”

Apr 7, 2012   //   by Tommy DiGiorgio, Jr   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

A new study by SFSU Professor, Dr. Sybil Yang, suggests that the menu sweet spot does not exist.  Yang’s study “Eye Movements on Restaurant Menus” concludes that people read menus much the same way they read books. That is, they read from left to right and top to bottom.  And, they read slowly, taking in the information rather than scanning.  Although she didn’t find a sweet spot, she did discover a sour spot or a section that people tended to skip over, restaurant information (history) and the salad list!  The good news for restaurant owners is that people are actually reading the menu and that they appear to be choosing an entrée and building a meal around it, which should make sense to anyone who has worked in a restaurant.  Yang has performed other practical experiments concerning restaurant menus including menu price formatting and its relationship to sales.  She has even taught menu development to students at the Culinary Institute of America.

Traditional menu engineering techniques have proven valuable, but the latest research may help you better understand how your customers interact with your menu and give you some ideas on how to improve your bottom line.  It might be interesting to do your own experiment with the sweet spot concept and see if it makes a difference to your sales performance.

If you have questions about your menu design or would like a free assessment, contact DiGiorgio Restaurant Consultants today.

To see more about Dr. Yang’s experiments see


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