ITEK Construction to built the Habit Burger Grill in Richmond, VA

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc has recently been awarded for new tenant finish within existing shell building with drive-thru service restaurant project for the Habit Burger Grill’s new location in Richmond, VA. The new restaurant will be built on 11309 Midlothian Turnpike in Midlothian, constructed between Wendy’s and Pier One Imports on a 1.7-acre parking lot outparcel owned by Target. The construction will be completed within 13 weeks. The approved project plan calls for a 5,652-square-foot restaurant with 86 seats — including an outdoor dining area — and a drive-thru.

The Richmond location would be the 3rd Habit Bruger Grill Restaurant that ITEK Construction has built and it will be first Habit Burger Grill in Richmond,VA.

Popeyes’ Columbia MD Restaurant Construction Progress

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc is currently building Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s Columbia Palace restaurant. Please see last couple weeks progress pictures below;

Columbia Junction Shopping Center Construction Progress

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc is currently building Columbia Junction Shopping Center in Jessup, MD. Please see last couple weeks progress pictures below;

ITEK Construction to built New Philz Coffee in Bethesda, MD

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc has recently been awarded for new tenant built-out project for Philz Coffee’s new location in Bethesda, MD. The new coffee shop will be built on Woodmont Avenue, between Fish Taco and Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda, MD.

Philz Coffee is here to better your day. They serve their coffee one cup at a time, personalized to your taste. It’s the true Philz way, started by Phil Jaber in 1978 when he began blending coffee in the back room of his grocery store. Crafting each cup with love, Phil followed his passion and converted his store to the first Philz Coffee in 2003. Today, Philz Coffee offer over 20 customized blends, tasty treats to eat, and an atmosphere that feels like home.

ITEK Construction to built New IHOP Restaurant in Baltimore, MD

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc has recently been awarded for new tenant built-out project for IHOPS’s new location in Baltimore, MD. The restaurant will be the city’s first IHOP and construction is expected to finish in the fall.  The 4,785 sq.ft restaurant will be located on 600 E. Pratt St. in Lockwood Place across from the Inner Harbor.

The IHOP brand is 60 years old and the chain has more than 1,750 locations in the U.S. and other countries including Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.

Popeyes opens in Toms River, NJ

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc is completed construction of  Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Route 37 in Toms River, NJ and restaurant is open.

The restaurant, the chain’s first location in Ocean County, had a grand opening in June 23, 2018.

Owned by brothers Ashish and Amish Parikh, The Parikh Network is an Edison-based franchisee that owns 125 Popeyes restaurants in several states, including about 30 in New Jersey.

As we have noted in previous reports, weather, especially this past winter, has slowed down construction. “The winter was rough,”  said Ed Baksh, construction manager for the The Parikh Network. “Spring was very unforgiving with rain.”

The Planning Board approved the project in February 2017.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant after KFC, is known from its Louisiana-spicy fried chicken, shrimp and seafood and sides, such as red beans and jambalaya. It is in the midst of a growth spurt as it seeks to expand and now has about 1,600 locations in the United States. It has 60 restaurants in New Jersey, including Eatontown, Howell and Neptune.

ITEK Construction to built New Panda Express in Vineland, NJ

ITEK Construction + Consulting, Inc has recently been awarded for new ground-up and site work project for Panda Express’s new location in Vineland, NJ. The new restaurant will be built on West Landis Avenue, between ShopRite and the newly opened Lidl grocery stores and construction will be completed within 13 weeks. The approved project plan calls for a 2,265-square-foot restaurant with 82 seats — including an outdoor dining area — and a drive-thru.

The Vineland location would be the 13th Panda Express Restaurant that ITEK Construction has built. Panda Express currently have 10 locations in New Jersey, with the closest one to Vineland is in Jackson, Ocean County, according to the company’s website. There are also four Panda Express restaurants in Philadelphia.

Five Reasons Why Restaurant Construction Business Is Like No Other

You may ask, “How different can building restaurants be from any other type of construction project?”

The short answer is – a lot.

During my 20-year career in the construction business, I’ve successfully completed residential re-modeling, new home, retail and government construction projects in addition to our primary business; restaurant construction.

Each has its own challenges and each demands a different kind of expertise and skill set. But building a restaurant is a different challenge altogether. Many contractors underestimate the complexities of restaurant construction because it looks easy … from afar. Not really.

There are many reasons why that is so. Let’s look at five of them.

Number One

It requires sticking to a tight time schedule.

We build fast-food restaurants from groundup with all the site work, utility work and the actual construction, all within only 70-to-90 days. A full-service restaurant on the average takes 93 working days to build. Of course these numbers may go up or down depending on the size of the restaurant.

Restaurant owners are small business owners. They spend a lot of cash upfront to open a restaurant and train new employees. For them, each day spent for construction is yet another day of lost revenue. That all adds up to a lot of money in a hurry. Thus new restaurants have to be built quickly to minimize that loss. And that requires sticking to a tight building schedule.

Number Two

You have to find the right qualified subcontractors.

Finding a good, reliable subcontractor for a construction project is a difficult challenge for every general contractor. But finding a good subcontractor who is specialized in restaurant construction is even more difficult.

Since timing is an important factor in restaurant construction, the subcontractor must be willing to work long hours, even over the weekends without increasing the cost. They must be familiar with kitchen equipment, the ansul system and exhaust system construction. They must be able to work in a tight crowded environment without causing any delays. It’s not easy to find subcontractors like that unless you’ve already formed your own crew through the years, working together closely on restaurant construction projects.

Number Three

It’s difficult to find the right job superintendents and project managers who know restaurant construction inside out.

Since this is a fast track project which requires a lot of advanced scheduling, day to day updates, very clear, frequent and one-on-one communication, the superintendent and the project manager must know how to handle this speed. To keep up with the sub-contractors working long hours, these individuals must also be able to work the same hours and turn the project around quickly.

Number Four

The kitchen equipment and the HVAC system require a different and careful approach when building a restaurant.

Unlike any other commercial construction, restaurant construction needs to accommodate the kitchen and cooking equipment which require a special exhaust system and the related electrical work that goes with the ansul system.
This work can be tricky and difficult sometimes for those who are not familiar with how these systems work. Air balance might be a challenging task to achieve, based on the size of the restaurant and the construction style. The kitchen equipment must be installed on time by the right installers to be able to provide the final electrical and plumbing connections on-time, ready for the startup of the equipment.

Number Five

Training and getting ready before the opening is easier said than done.

This is a very expensive and difficult process to pull off without a hitch. New employees arrive and start to get trained in the kitchen, front service desk and the dining room. Managers, cooks, floor employees all get paid but there is no revenue yet for the restaurant owner. The owner keeps the show rolling out of his own pocket while the contractor is trying to complete the final items including those on the punch list, and complete the final inspections.

If you can overcome the first four obstacles discussed earlier, this fifth challenge gets a little easier to handle and the owner’s initial out-of-pocket expenses are minimized.

Overall, finishing a restaurant building on time and within budget requires the kind of expertise and proven track record that you’ll find only in a contractor specializing in restaurant construction and who’s been doing it for decades. Buyer beware.

Osman YAZGAN, President
ITEK Construction