Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Decoration work in the restaurant China

The decoration work in the restaurant come to an end!

In China when you decorate an appartement, a commercial local... you can either:

  • Supervize all the work
You should go to the markets buy the decoration material and hence save money. This of course requires a lot of energy and knowledge: where to find the different construction and decoration material? which material is needed (the construction team might be upset as they can not buy themselves and get some more margin... they will not eagerly make a list of the material they need)? what are the market price? (you will need strong bargaining skills)

  • Ask a decoration team 
But don’t expect any real decorator even from Chinese top decoration companies. The only exception is for huge project: shopping malls, offices. Decoration companies lack taste, creativity and know how... You need to have your own ideas and show photos, supervize so that the work can reach your expectations. 

What a decoration team can do is get important discount on decoration/ construction material needed /have different team members come together.

You should take care of the quality of the materials used for the decoration. Most of the time, decoration companies will select poor quality material for you. Thus they can offer a relatively low price, low initial quote and keep good margins.

Decoration companies can also add further cost once the work starts. You should anticipate in advance as much as you can: all the work that is needed. But of course you will always forget something.

We asked three different companies for quote and construction plan. We selected one: a famous Chinese company. I have heard one of the top decoration company in China... from "Beijing". Beijing is a guarantee for many Chinese: so many time I hear: this company has its headquater in Beijing. Even better they will tell you: this company operates abroad or has its headquater in the USA! 
The company told us they would provide a 3D construction plan. But we didn't have anything in the end...

Talking to the work supervisor 

The place we found is small but it allows to build on two floors even though it is low from ceiling.

For the front door, the store window is narrow. But in China this is often the case. It is hard to be on the first floor. We wanted to be on the first floor in order to be seen for our concept.

Building the second floor

Building the second floor proved harder than expected… at the beginning there was no problem « mei wenti mei wenti..., then it appeared that the wall could not hold the second floor. The construction company asked us to pay a lot more. And even though the decoration company signed with us a construction quote !
In China you can not trust anything and even a written agreement is no guarantee ! You can always threaten or go to court. But this would take years and uncertain decision. The best is then to renegociate and use your network in the balance.

Luckily for us, after negociation, there is another technical solution to build the second floor and respect the initial quote.

We also had the autorisation of the owner and he looked honest. It can happen that a owner comes back on his word once you rent from him. For instance it is not anymore possible to build a second floor, to open a window, to open a restaurant in the local. It is not always the owner responsability maybe he just didn’t inquire when he rent you the local.

The ideal is to obten a written agreement. But this is of course difficult: many people want to rent good local with fair rent price and good location, small superficie.
You must decide quickly!

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