Jason Coursey, a franchise owner of The Catch, opted to refurbish his dining room seating to help cut costs and boost the eatery’s bottom line as food prices continue to climb.
The Catch is a fast-casual seafood chain with 19 locations in Texas and four units in Oklahoma. The chain’s menu includes Cajun-inspired coastal seafood dishes, like gumbo, gator, grilled shrimp, hand-breaded catfish, crawfish, and oysters. For customers with a sweet tooth, each restaurant offers key lime pie, banana pudding, chocolate chip cookies, and beignets.
Coursey’s franchise restaurant, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, needed an upgrade. The dining room booths starting to show their age. In an effort to make his restaurant shine without putting a dent in profits, Coursey opted to refurbish his booth seating, which saved him from having to invest in new seating.
“We had the damaged surfaces on our seating booths repaired instead of replaced, and it was great for us in several ways,” Coursey says. “The process was very convenient and didn’t disturb our service in any way. Choosing to repair the booths saved us about half the cost of purchasing new ones.”
Refurbishing Helps Weather Hard Times
Restaurant operators are relying on restoration services to help weather this difficult season. When a dining room begins to show signs of wear and tear, it can damage a restaurant’s image and decrease sales. Over time, booth seating may start to rip, tear or crack. Exposure to sunlight can also cause leather and vinyl to lose its luster and begin to fade.
Buying replacement booths is no longer an affordable option for many restaurant operators like Coursey. Similar to other materials, the price of vinyl has increased, and the global supply chain is slowing down the delivery of replacement parts.
Restaurateurs are turning to companies to repair and restore their booths and give their vinyl floors a cost-effective refresh. The service technicians are trained to fix rips, tears, scratches, burns, and fading in vinyl restaurant booths. If the seating is too damaged and can’t be repaired, recovering and replacement options are also available, enabling restaurateurs to get the right solution for their eatery.
On-site restoration allows operators to continue serving customers while their booths get an upgrade. Mobile service technicians make it a priority to make repairs for restaurants during down times to minimize any disruption to service.
Current Events Put Damper on Restaurant Profits
Even after dining rooms opened back up, additional waves of the variant caused customers to steer clear. Additionally, restaurant operators struggled with rising product costs and labor shortages. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts food prices will continue to rise between 5 and 6 percent in 2022. High food costs can be attributed to supply chain issues, high labor costs, and disrupted harvests.
As the price of food rises impacts their bottom line, restaurants are feeling the crunch from the labor shortage. According to a recent survey from the International Franchise Association, more than 60 percent of franchise brands and local owners cannot find the labor to meet current demand despite offering increased wages and hiring incentives.
In an effort to attract valuable talent, restaurants are raising wages, offering signing bonuses, and finding solutions to mitigate the shortage. Some restaurants are turning to technology, including online ordering and bill pay, to allow them to operate efficiently with fewer employees.
There are more than 200,000 quick-service restaurants in the U.S., and first impressions are key. Keeping dining rooms in tip-top shape by making repairs to seats and flooring will not go unnoticed. Repairing and restoring leather and vinyl seating can give any dining room an upgrade and save up to 90 percent in replacement costs.
Mark J. Bollman is the president of Creative Colors International, the nation’s leading on-site repair and restoration franchise.