Act now: Why Lockdown is the perfect time to refurbish your restaurant, café or pub

With Covid-19 restrictions easing in the coming weeks, the hospitality industry is set to boom. Is your restaurant, café or pub ready? Citi Contracts Director Robbie Weddell shares why now is the perfect time to prepare.

The last 12 months have been unprecedented to say the least, and one of the many consequences of Covid-19 has been that restaurants and food outlets across the country have been forced to close their doors, only being able to conduct business through takeaway and home delivery services.

As the British public, we’ve missed our local pubs and restaurants – we all miss grabbing a drink with our colleagues after work, joining our friends over the weekend for a much-needed catch up over a meal, and spending quality time with our family at the local pub.

Now, as the government has set out a roadmap for the easing of restrictions, we can rest assured that much of the UK will be flooding to restaurant and pub doors as soon as they re-open.

And if you’re the owner of one of these establishments, you probably want to make a bold statement when that day comes.

Shop fitters and joiners Citi Contracts recommends using what’s left of lockdown to restore and renew your business, ready for when the inevitable boom happens.

The Scottish company is a new major force within the construction industry, and have been receiving many refurbishment enquiries from all over the country – they recently installed new shop fronts for 25 branches of national coffee chain Gloria Jean’s Coffees.

“There’s been a huge demand for refurbishment projects in restaurants, cafés and pubs up and down the country, all wanting to prepare for when they’re allowed to re-open their doors,” comments Citi Contracts Director Robbie Weddell.

“Refurbishing a restaurant, café or pub can often take up to three months, depending on the scale of the job, and would typically require you to shut down your premises while contractors carry out the work.

“This can lead to a huge loss in revenue, which is why many establishments choose to undergo refurbishment during quieter business periods.

“While lockdown has been a devastating time for many business owners, it could also be seen as an opportunity – your restaurant or pub is currently not in use, so why not use this downtime for something that will benefit your business in the long run?”

New normal

Furthermore, while we expect all restrictions to be lifted by June, the ‘new normal’ will undoubtedly look a little different.

All public spaces will have to continue to comply with guidelines on how to keep their staff and customers safe, including social distancing measures and increased hygiene practices.

Many businesses will have to redesign their premises in order to meet these new safety standards – and for restaurants and pubs, this is likely to mean more space between tables, marked queuing and waiting areas, and one-way systems.

“Refurbishment doesn’t have to mean completely gutting out the property and starting from scratch – often times it just means making small and affordable changes to a building that needs a bit of attention,” says Robbie.

“If your restaurant, café or pub needs to undergo some form of redesign in order to comply with being Covid secure, then this is the perfect time to do it – your premises are closed anyway, so use the last of lockdown to your benefit.”

Citi Contracts provide shopfitting, interior design and refurbishment services to the catering, retail, leisure and corporate sectors. For a free quote on your next refurbishment project, call 0131 210 0287 or visit