There’s nothing worse than heading out for a restaurant dinner or drinks with friends at a local bar, only to find the venue is less than enjoyable.
For hospitality businesses, this means the environment patrons interact with is just as important as the food and drinks they’re served.
If a refresh is in order, it’s worth considering the purchase of a full hospitality fitout from a company well versed in tailoring designs from scratch. Think about the requirements of staff and their respective roles, as well as business operations, and any challenges created or exacerbated by the current building design. Set a budget and timeline, and you’ve got yourself a project brief to show prospective fitout companies.
There are a whole lot of decisions to make when it comes to meeting your brief, so it’s absolutely crucial that the provider you choose for the job is the right one. Otherwise, you could end up with a project that blows out your budget and timeline without delivering a high quality end result.
What makes a great hospitality fitout company?
A great hospitality fitout company should consider practicality, visual appeal and value for money in equal measure. They should be masterful with space, form and function, and know what it takes to set a smooth, efficient and inviting hospitality scene.
It’s also important to think about Canberra’s environment – freezing winters and sweltering summers, combined with high winds and rainfall in autumn and spring, makes for some pretty unique comfort requirements.
If nothing else, consider the following when choosing a company for your hospitality fitout:
- Qualifications and experience. Experience is a must. Fitouts should outline every area of your venue in detail, especially complex, essential or unique features. If the team you’re considering has never worked on a similar project, think carefully about their ability to deliver it. Always ensure every team member who will be on site is appropriately qualified to do the work.
- Pricing. Although your initial budget is likely to change somewhat as designing and planning progress, it’s important that your chosen office fitout company doesn’t blow it completely out of proportion. Setting expectations here is key. Do you require itemised invoices? Do they offer a fixed quote and is it transparent? Will you be briefed on how budget changes caused by project size, specifications or setting?
- Design. How skilled is the company in matching, or exceeding, the specifications of a brief in their designs? Make sure to ask a lot of questions and expect to answer many in return. A good design should cover all areas of the venue, factor in your specific needs and rely on the best construction practices – not the trendiest or cheapest ones – to get the job done.
- Portfolio range. While an eye-catching portfolio is always a plus, range is more important. Look at past projects, pay particular attention to customer reviews and examine their relevance to your project. If the fitout company offers to take you on a tour of their previous work, take the opportunity to do so.
- Service. Taking the time to sift through a few online reviews could save you hours of trouble in the long run. Before you commit to signing any paperwork, make sure you understand the details of customer care packages and services. How responsive is the team? Do they offer any care guarantees? Have their clients remained a priority from start to finish? This is a big investment that will likely disrupt your environment for some time – make sure your chosen company is ready to guide you through it.
The best hospitality fitout companies in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Despite being just a few years old, Moltus Construction is making waves in Canberra as one of the top recommendations for commercial fitouts in a variety of industries.
Founder Mayukah Senanayake has worked in commercial construction for 16 years, a history that has helped him attract staff who are highly qualified in both project and site management.
Entering the workforce in his late teens, Mayukah quickly realised he'd found the industry he belonged in. But his sights were set far higher where he currently stood, and he knew there was a gap in the local market that needed to be filled.
“There aren't many businesses of our calibre that cater to smaller shop and office fit outs, but also have the capability to deliver large scale projects over the $5 million mark,” Mayukah says.
High calibre indeed - Moltus offers complete packages for hospitality fitouts that have already been praised by clients such as Subway and Westfield.
Service starts by offering clients advise as they draw together a brief, budget and requirement guidelines. These are considered carefully and equally by designers, who work closely with clients to tailor a design that suits. Once construction starts, Moltus Construction manages all services involved from the outset through to completion.
Riotact member Peter Dearing says, "Fantastic team, built a store for us and repaired fire damage at another. We’ll certainly be using them for future work!"
Director Adam Giugni founded Colda Constructions in 2010, successfully evolving his career in commercial construction into his own business. Together with project managers Luke Blyton and Jason Sloan, and the rest of the dozen-strong team, Colda Constructions have established themselves as one of the most highly respected commercial fitout companies in Canberra.
Hospitality fitout projects include Ms Ba Co's Canberra City and Majura, as well as Wollemi Ethical Store and Cafe. Colda Constructions has completed a plethora of other specialist fitouts, available in their online gallery.
Total Fitouts Canberra North use designs "rooted in local context and executed with global finesse" to expertly bring concept to completion.
The team understands that creating an immersive hospitality experience is about more than just the way a venue looks - it's about how it feels, operates, and reflects a brand.
"Starting a new business is so terrifying and leaves you so vulnerable," Becky. K said on Google. "The end product was more than I could’ve hoped for and I’m so thrilled to have worked with them."
Mastro5Design has a decade-long history providing quality fitouts for offices, gyms, hospitality venues, retailers, and health and education facilities in Canberra.
Prompt service, good value and professionalism are effortlessly embodied by the team, who come highly recommended for both residential and commercial construction.
"Pietro and his team have been patient and acommodating throughout the design process, willing to work with our architect and think outside the square," David Moss said on Google.
Express Fitouts have provided working Canberrans with world class fitouts since 2014.
"Tell us what you need or what you feel is missing from the current arrangement, and we’ll help you fill in the rest," the team states.
An "uncompromising approach to quality" and unique design solutions allows Express Fitouts to promise project delivery on or ahead of schedule, complete with all furniture, equipment and decorations needed to bring offices, retail stores and hospitality venues of all kinds to life.
If you’re looking for more information on design or construction services in Canberra, you might like our articles on the best architects, the best builders and renovators, or the best landscapers Canberra has to offer. And, if you need some design inspiration check out our articles on the best furniture stores in the region.
Your experience with hospitality fitout companies in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the hospitality fitout companies listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are fitout costs tax deductable?
Generally speaking, most office fitout costs are tax deductible for businesses under the ATO's depreciation divisions 40 (building) and 43 (plant and equipment).
What does a fitout include?
Typically a fitout is tailored to include everything staff need to occupy and operate in a space - all necessary structures, electrical, furnishings, decorations and equipment.
What questions should I ask a fitout company before hiring them?
How long have you been in business? Which projects in your portfolio had requirements similar to mine? Do you employ qualified and experienced contractors? Do you offer project management?
How long does a hospitality fitout take?
A mid range hospitality fit out typically takes 6 to 14 weeks. Larger venues, external barriers and more complex requirements could mean construction takes up to 6 months to complete, especially if structural changes are made to the building.
How much does a hospitality fitout cost?
For most mid range venues, a total fitout costs between $1,800 and $2,200 per square metre.