4 Questions Restaurant Owners Should Ask When Hiring an Electrician

commercial electriciansWhether remodeling or opening for the first time, hiring the right commercial electricians is a big part of your business’s success. But for those in the restaurant and bar industry, it is even more important that the electrical contractor services that you hire be familiar with the specific needs of a restaurant.

This guide is designed to help you decide which of the commercial electricians you are considering is up to the challenge of working on a restaurant with nothing more than four questions and a five-minute interview.

  • Question One: How familiar are you with the current code?
    Anyone who has worked in a bar or restaurant understands the importance of complying with safety requirements. These codes are the best tool to prevent any sort of electrical problem and can also prevent any accidental electrocution.
  • Question Two: Have you worked on a restaurant before?
    Many contractors believe that a restaurant kitchen and a home kitchen are the same thing, but that can’t be further from the truth. A properly arranged kitchen needs to be able to power dozens of appliances all at once and must be very carefully protected against accidental water (or marinara sauce) spills. That requires a layout and electrical design that will allow you to spread the burden across many circuits, as well as ground fault circuit interrupters, not just on outlets within six feet of a sink as in a conventional kitchen, but throughout.
  • Question Three: What’s the biggest difference in the way you wire the kitchen vs. the dining room?
    While the kitchen may be the area most prone to electrical hazards, the dining room comes with its own unique requirements. The dining room will have to be able to support a myriad of different light fixtures, preferably with as many independent light controls as possible — that flexibility is what will allow you to dim the lights of the private dining room without affecting the main room or the bar. GFCI outlets must also be placed in a way that is conducive to building your POS stations.
  • Question Four: Do you offer flexible service hours?
    You could be talking to the best electrician in the world, but if they only offer their services during normal business hours, they will not be of much use to you or your business. That’s because the vast majority of restaurants operate outside of business hours, some going well into the night. If a problem arises in the middle of a busy shift, you want to know that someone will be there to help you get back on your feet as fast as possible.

Restaurant and bar owners face a wide range of concerns when building or renovating a restaurant. Working with qualified commercial electricians who understand your needs can greatly reduce some of that stress.