How Restaurants Can Save Costs by Repairing, Not Replacing

April 16, 2018

How Restaurants Can Save Costs by Repairing, Not Replacing


By Mark Bollman | April 2018 | Expert Insights


We’ve all been to restaurants where we sit down at a table or booth and notice there is something in dire need of a repair. It could be a ripped or cracked vinyl seat. Perhaps tables and counters showing damage with chipping or scratches. Even upholstery near windows that faces daily exposure to sunlight can suffer from premature fading. It can all be unsightly and uncomfortable for the customers.

This all goes with the territory in owning a restaurant, as certain areas in the dining room suffer from the wear and tear of high customer traffic. Unfortunately, the cost of replacing many of these items can be very expensive, especially considering just how many booths, tables, and chairs sustain damage throughout a restaurant’s lifetime.

As a solution to this problem, many restaurants are now partnering with companies that repair and restore damage to leather, vinyl and plastic surfaces, thereby saving their businesses hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars over replacement costs.

Restaurants leather repair at Creative ColorsOne specific example comes from a recent project with TV’s Diner and Deli in Trenton, Michigan. The location had seven booths with rips and worn areas in vinyl upholstery in need of immediate repair. “People come here for the food, sure, but they also want a comfortable and appealing environment,” restaurant owner Tracey Stroia says. “There’s no charm in ripped and torn upholstery. It just sends the wrong message.”

Stroia didn’t have time to tackle these repairs. She needed to serve customers and run the business. So, she took the repair route. A team, led by Mary-Shea Rozsypal, came out and took measurements, made templates, and matched the color of the vinyl for reupholstery and were able to repair some of the booths. Most of these repairs were completed on-site within a day.

“The price we paid was far less than what we would have had to pay to replace the booths and cushions with new,” Stroia says.

One critical misconception we see with many restaurant operators is they believe they must automatically replace damaged booths, tables and other worn surfaces. Full-service professionals can repair even the deepest rips, cracks and tears to leather and vinyl surfaces, leaving them looking like new. The repair and restoration work makes these surfaces look just as good as a full replacement at a cheaper cost and eliminates the time spent ordering, waiting for, and installing new equipment.

If you could have a damaged area fully repaired at a fraction of the cost of replacing it, why wouldn’t you consider that option?

David Wright of Extreme Pizza in Walnut Creek, California, had worked hard to earn the title of “Best Pizza” as voted on by readers in a local magazine poll. He wanted to make sure the entire experience in his restaurant continued to live up to customer expectations.

Wright had several restaurant booths that were damaged, and he wanted to get them fixed right away. So, he hired Ava Kelly and her team.

“I have a busy restaurant to run and don’t have the time or expertise to fix booths or to install new ones,” Wright says.

“By repairing seats when tears are smaller we help our restaurant customers keep their dining rooms looking their best and we can also save them money,” Kelly says. “We were able to save Extreme Pizza more than 25 percent on replacement costs by repairing some of the booths versus having to replace all of them.”

“We also knew that getting the work done in non-peak hours was important so that there was no impact on Extreme Pizza’s daily operations.”

The money saved by repairing and restoring damaged dining room surfaces is important for larger chains with multiple units throughout their system, too. When more individual operators utilize repair and restoration services it benefits the entire system as all operators can take advantage of minimized costs and consistent service.

Quality repair and restoration service professionals build strong relationships with restaurant managers and become valued partners in maintaining a restaurant’s comfort and appearance. They can provide recommendations on the best repair options for their establishment and serve as a one-stop shop in handling a wide range of dining room repairs.

Keeping an attractive, comfortable and well-maintained dining room is of utmost importance to restaurant operators. It is key to establishing a good reputation with customers and fostering long term loyalty. As the costs of maintaining a restaurant continue to skyrocket, many savvy managers and operators are turning to repair and restoration services, instead of replacing damaged items. They receive quality, convenient and timely service while saving on the bottom line.

So—if the chairs, booths, and other vinyl/leather surfaces in your restaurant need a refresh, consider calling a repair and restoration professional.

Mark Bollman

Mark Bollman is President of Creative Colors International, the nation’s leading on-site repair and restoration franchise with 82 locations in 28 states with over 160-plus mobile units in service. Bollman joined the company in 2000 and has helped the company grow from a family brand into a thriving franchise system specializing in providing a niche service—the repair and restoration of vinyl, leather and plastic surfaces—to a wide variety of industries.

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