It’s difficult to oversee all the aspects of any business. There’s customer service, financials, and more.

In food service, you must manage all these aspects while serving your customers their favorite food with great customer service. Some details can fall through the cracks.

One of these details is contractor management. Between managing multiple locations and many different types of equipment, it’s hard to keep track of contracts, equipment warranties, and invoices from your contractor.

Contractors can be great, but some can take advantage of the limited oversight that they receive. Contractors can put you in a bind quickly if they don’t have the proper permits to work on equipment or they charge for work on a machine that’s covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. These problems and oversights leave you with the bill each time.

Important things to keep in mind when selecting a contractor:

  • Check the contractor's credentials such as licenses and permits
  • Seek recommendations from other local business owner and check online reviews
  • Talk to the contractor's competitors and get multiple bids on a project
  • Make sure the contractor has no liens against them

Important things to keep in mind when working with a contractor:

  • Have a copy of the contract
  • Be detail oriented
    • Know the types of materials being used on the project
    • Understand the reimbursement process
    • Communicate any restrictions. For example, are contractors allowed to use your on-site resources (i.e. bathrooms, trash bins)?
    • Confirm the payment schedule
  • Know the timeline of the project
  • Allow for rebidding if a project isn't proceeding as expected
  • Make sure the permits are in the contractor's name to avoid penalties for bad work
  • Make final payment only when the work is finished

Keep these tips in mind so you can maintain relationships with your contractors and protect yourself from cost overages and legal troubles.