How much does a fitout cost per square metre?

Ahhhh. It’s that age-old question.

How much does a fitout cost per square metre?

It seems like a simple enough question. I mean, surely there must be an average?

But, there are 4 very good reasons that you should never compare your square metre fitout cost against another project’s.

1. The blank canvas

Tenancy ‘A’ has all the appropriate walls, ducted aircon, a prepped floor. Sweet deal.
Tenancy ‘B’ is a square box, no aircon, no ceilings.
Far more work is required in Tenancy B, before the fun stuff even starts to happen! When there is more preliminary work required, the cost is greater. When the overall cost is greater, the square metre rate is greater.

2. Material world

There is a seemingly endless world of materials out there! You can go from cheap as chips to costing an arm and a leg, all in a matter of mouse clicks. The quality and type of materials used is largely determined by the business owners’ desired style and budget. Tenancy ‘C’ has gone for dearer, high-end finishes. Tenancy ‘D’ is rolling with effective, budget-friendly specs. Interesting, but not comparable.

3. Apples for apples

Generally, the expenses related to a commercial food business, are greater than those of a retail fitout. Back of house (BOH), in a food business, is where a large chunk of the fitout expenses go. A retail fitout doesn’t have a commercial kitchen to contend with. You gotta compare apples with apples.

Apple v apple

4. Same same, but different

Tenancy ‘E’ is a 70m2 coffee shop.
Tenancy ‘F’ is a 100m2 coffee shop.
Each fitout costs $100,000.

Both coffee shops output the same volume of food and drink per day. Therefore, their BOH commercial kitchen size and needs are very similar. The extra 30m2 in Tenancy F, can be found in the front of house (FOH) dining area.
With the BOH fitout generally being more costly than front of house, it’s logical that fitout costs for these 2 shops will be similar. Despite the size difference. A complex concept, but size doesn’t always matter…


By the way, we love a punchy little espresso….


just as much as a giant latte. Equally as lovable!








So, if not a square metre rate, what should you expect when approaching a shopfitter for a fitout price?

A detailed quote, that leaves no room for vagueness. A fair representation of the costs expected, according to your plans and specifications. A clear understanding of what has been allowed for, and what has been excluded. A shopfitter who is willing to walk you through the details.

Ask us, we’ll show you the best way forward.