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Plant City Observer Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 2 months ago

A royal renovation

A massive remodel will update the more than 30-year-old building to modern design standards.
by: Daniel Figueroa IV Staff Writer

The king, it seems, is getting a new castle.

Renovations are nearing completion on what is a nearly 100% remodel of the Burger King at 2002 James L. Redman Parkway.

The remodel began three weeks ago and is expected to be completed by Aug.23, according to the site’s superintendent, Jeff Whitcock of Clearwater-based Southport Construction, the company overseeing the project.

The building on Redman is being upgraded to the corporate “Garden Grill” design. The design, first introduced in Singapore in 2011,

Interior of Burger King’s “Garden Grill” concept similar to the Redman Parkway location’s new design.

features softer colors in earthier tones, wood fixtures and accents, hanging lamps and an exposed-wood ceiling trellis with built-in lighting.

“Its a backyard grill kind of atmosphere,” Greg Kelly, construction manager with Southport, said. “It makes you feel more at home, more comfortable. Like you’re out on your patio on a warm summer day.”

Diners will notice a remarkable and immediate difference, Kelly said. The greenhouse was removed and the building’s entire exterior will be new. It’s a complete remodel, Whitcock said. About 80% of the restaurant is being completely remodeled. The dining area, counters and bathrooms are getting a complete overhaul. Only the kitchen, Whitcock said, is not being completely renovated. While safety and sanitation upgrades are being made, along with some new equipment, that area of the restaurant was the most up-to-date, he said.

The building’s interior structure is mostly wood, lending itself perfectly to the Garden Grill concept, according to Whitcock.

The Burger King on Redman has been open for more than 30 years and for the last 13 years has been owned by The Jan Companies, a Rhode Island-based firm that owns nearly 100 Burger Kings, as well as other restaurants. Vice-President of Administrative Operations, Janice Mathews, said the company owns 30 Burger Kings in Florida. The Jan Companies only owns Plant City’s Redman Burger King. The locations on Park Road and Thonotosassa Road have different owners.

The Redman location employs between 30 and 50 people, Mathews said. Workers displaced during the remodel are offered temporary work at other locations they own, she said, but the priority is bringing them back quickly.

“We try to transfer as many people as possible to our other stores,” Mathews said. “But we have people working night and day to get them back in their store.”

According to Kelly, complete remodels are common among corporate owned restaurants, but this is the first major overhaul for the Redman Burger King in more than 20 years, he said.

“It’s driven mostly by Burger King corporation and their modern standards requirements,” Kelly said. “Any restaurant deemed out of date to the image has to be updated to new brand standards. It also helps keep in line with development in the area.”

According to city documents, the renovation is expected to cost about $275,000, on par for a remodel so extensive, according to Whitcock. Restaurants can usually see a quick return on their investment, Kelly said.

“Other customers have seen anywhere from a 5 to 25% boost in sales between six months to a year,” he said. “As long as the operator keeps up with the image, the stores tend to do really well once they reimage.”

Daniel Figueroa IV is a Staff Writer at the Plant City Times & Observer. He has been covering Plant City since 2017. Previously, he was the politics and veteran affairs reporter at the Ledger of Lakeland. He probably wants to ride motorcycles and trade books with...

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