Restaurant Equipment Moving Companies Near You
Relocating a restaurant is a complicated project, not to be undertaken lightly. You will need to prepare for the change and choose a great commercial moving company to assist you in the process. The effort will pay off once you settle in your new location and watch your business flourish. For restaurants, the right site can make a huge difference, and an upgrade in ambiance might make or break the business. So, go ahead and plan the move, but don’t overlook the move logistics’ importance.
There are all kinds of moving companies, and you want the best for your operation. Moving household goods is different than moving commercial equipment, just as moving office furniture is not the same as moving cars. You want to choose a moving company that understands your business’s needs and can help ensure that your move progresses safely, efficiently, and well
Most important, look for a company with experience in moving restaurant equipment like what you are using. Think about some of the essential pieces in your kitchen—you may have gas ranges, massive ovens, walk-in freezers, cold tables, complex conveyors, and more. This equipment is not just sensitive and critical to your success; it is expensive too. It may need to be disassembled and reassembled, but at a minimum, it needs to be carefully prepared for travel, protected during transport and placed precisely in the new location.
You probably want a moving company with a track record in moving restaurants like yours. Ask potential vendors for names of other customers they have moved or ask for referrals from people you know in the industry. Your real estate broker probably has other clients who have moved, and they may have suggestions for moving companies to consider (or avoid.)
When you interview the moving company, get a sense of how they will approach your move. They should have a detailed plan for taking the kitchen offline, shutting down, preparing for the move, completing it, and then bringing the equipment back to working order in the new location. Since your operation is subject to a local health department’s regulatory oversight, the observation of applicable ordinances is critical. The mover should demonstrate familiarity with relevant aspects of those regulations as they intersect with the move process.
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Moving companies are regulated by different entities, depending on the scope of their transport. For example, any moving company that engages in moves between states is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, which maintains strict requirements for movers. But your restaurant relocation is much more likely to be a local move, and thus not subject to the FMCSA rules. Your moving company could be part of a national chain that adheres to those standards. It might be an industry specialist that works primarily on short-distance projects moving restaurants and other commercial enterprises. Check with your state department of consumer affairs and also the department of motor vehicles, which will have other regulations for intrastate moving companies.
When you meet with the movers you are considering for the job, talk about your options. The answer to the question might depend on your plans for the new location. If you are keeping the same décor and theme at the new address, it makes sense to have the moving company pack and transport the furniture, dishes, and other accessories and kitchen equipment. The professionals will do a better job of packing, loading, and setting up than you and your employees can.
Also, consider how you can best spend your time. You have a long to-do list getting the new premises ready to open (utilities, employees, vendors, suppliers, insurance, permits, and other logistics.) It probably doesn’t make sense for you to try and supervise a move as well. But if you are starting over in the new space with brand-new furnishings, new dishes, and décor, then the job of moving will be smaller than you might think. Talk to the moving company about what needs to go with you—like your office, food, and perhaps bar items.
Moving a business should be planned as far in advance as possible. Think about the best time for your particular restaurant’s fans. Is it busier in the fall, and slow in the summer? Plan for the closure during your least-profitable time of year, and if possible, plan so that the closure is short. Take steps to ensure that the customers have plenty of time to learn of the upcoming change, so they are not surprised. Also, inform vendors, local authorities, mail, and banking contacts. Once you have the move date scheduled, you can plan deliveries of food items to coincide with the break, so you aren’t wasting ingredients that you won’t be able to use.
If you have to shut down for a time, or even if you can transfer operations seamlessly, plan a grand opening to celebrate and publicize the new location, and welcome back those happy customers.