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A forum for restaurant owners, managers, and other industry professionals.

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Forum Member Joined
Jun / 2016

To Ansul or not to ansul?

Hello everyone. I am literally 3-4 weeks away from opening my cafe. I have had my plumbing inspection, electrical will be done this week and signed off on, floors are ready to be laid down, all furniture ready, equipment is ready so of course you know that I have problems. My original estimate for the ansul system was budgeted and the other day when the company came out they did a walk thru and the cost shot up by more than 50%. The rational "oh we didnt know that we needed to do this, now you have to do that" familiar words to alot of you on the board. I am at the end of my budget and it will not a lot to squeeze out much more especially when the price goes up more than 50%. I am not going into my reserve money because we all knnow you need that . I want to scratch the ansul system and work with the electrical equipment we have (panini, soup warmers) and purchase instead a small pizzza conveyor oven so that I can do small pizza, buffalo wings, potatoe skins ect. 90% of the menu so far does not call for food that needs to be under a grill. We are mostly serving cold sandwiches, panini's, soup (ready made) a ton of desserts and espresso drinks. My partner feels that we need the ansul system to have a fully functional kitchen for two reasons- 1. we have done so much to the space that we mine as well keep going and 2. there are a number of bars and other restaurants building out on the main street (it is about 8 blocks) I feel that we need to stick to what we do which is dessert and coofee with other lite fare and not let these coming restaurants and bars dictate what we do. Putting in the ansul system at this price (and I have called around to other company's telling them exactly what this company said. Price has been pretty comparable) will cut us so close that it makes me sick to think about it. I dont understand why my partner thinks that we wont be successful without serving food food. I have worked the numbers on just the coffee and dessert and I am happy with what they are saying. Any thoughts?

Nitika

PS- Can I get some names of insurance companies that dont frown upon new ventures. I have an insurance company lined up but I have been holding off on them because they want to charge me $14,000 a year with liquor liability). I have the check waiting for them but of course i would like to get something cheaper. I am also in NY so that might be a big factor as well. Any help would be appreciated.

Forum MemberJoined
Jun / 2016
Forum Member

The only thing that comes to mind is that you gota do a whole lot more shopping for contractors. Don't tell them what price you are looking at. They will automatically price close to what you tell them. Instead consider two options: 1. Tell them that you are looking for quotes, this automatically let's them know that you will be going to their competitors if they want your business they better give you the best price. 2. I hate to say this - but lie to them. Tell them about the original price you got (the cheaper price) and ask them if they can beat it. As another suggestion - what about a phased approach. How about you go without the ansul system for now. Get your cafe up and running and then bring it in later. Kind of like a compromise between you and your partner. Mik --------------------------------------------------------------------- Sugartubes.net making North America a Sweeter Place

Forum MemberJoined
Jun / 2016
Forum Member

Nitika, it's not up to you if you want or don't want the anusl system....it will depend on the type of equipment you will be using and what your local fire codes say. You should have a buildings inspection department that will tell you the requirements for ansul and ventilation systems. I assume that your intial building plan was reviewed by them and they have been making inspections already. To answer your second question, try your state restaurant assocation, they may point you in a better direction for insurance coverage. Also call around to some other restaurants, they can be a good head-up for leads. Howard

Forum MemberJoined
Jun / 2016
Forum Member

Nitika- Howard ( Burgerman) is correct - your plans , equipment and menu will dictate whether or not the inspectors feel you need a fire suppression system or not. Do your homework and contact your local fire marshal to be sure of what you need before you attempt your final inspection. Remember that it always costs more to "redo" something than it does to do it right from the start. - H

Forum MemberJoined
Jun / 2016
Forum Member

NITIKA: If the others didn't get your attention your fire insurance rates will if you are cooking anything, and friers are the worst. Our state health & safety code will not allow an unhooded cook stove. If you are only re-heating on it that's probably different. Enjoy your new venture and good luck!!!

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