If you're constructing a waterfront restaurant, putting in a dock for diners who wish to arrive by boat seems like a no-brainer. However, like any additional structure, you need to look at what having a dock can do for you and what problems it can cause you. If you do choose to add a dock, it doesn't have to be elaborate. However, even a small dock may be too much for you to deal with. Here's a look at what docks can do, both good and bad.
Add That Dock
The obvious benefit to adding a dock is that people on boats can still stop by your restaurant for a meal without having to leave the boat somewhere else and then travel over land to get to your establishment. People like convenience, and if you have a stream of boats passing by when you have no dock, you're not going to get a lot of those boaters to stop to eat at your restaurant because it's easier for them to go somewhere else that has a dock. It's kind of like setting up a restaurant in an area where there's no parking. It's more difficult to get customers if they have to take additional steps to reach your door.
Docks can also add to the property's value, getting you a better price if you eventually sell the place. A well-designed dock is both visually and practically pleasing, and that makes your property look better in turn.
Adding a dock also helps boaters that are in trouble. If someone needs to get emergency help, they can stop at your dock instead of sailing around, trying to find another place to stop the boat. The dock enables emergency responders to more easily reach the boat.
Avoid That Dock
Adding a dock usually means driving piles into the seabed, and that can disrupt aquatic life. For example, in 2015, the "Sun-Sentinel" reported that a waterfront restaurant had not added a regular dock because the dock could be detrimental to sea grass near the restaurant. (The restaurant said they were planning to look into floating docks.)
Docks also require more maintenance. You have to ensure the dock is steady, that the parts of the dock to which the boaters tie their boats are not weakening, and that the dock looks good overall. If there's a storm and waters in the docking area become rough, the dock could be damaged, further increasing your repair bill.
Talk to dock builders about what maintenance a dock would need in your area, and check out the number of boaters stopping at docks for other waterfront restaurants. You may find that the dock would be more or less lucrative than you thought.