Location one of the most important factors to consider when setting up a business. It takes more than a great business idea and some excellent customer service to run a successful business. First, ask yourself, is there a good parking space? Is it in a commercial neighborhood? Then the questions will keep rumbling in.
Without a good location, your new restaurant will likely have some problems pulling the right customer base. Nevertheless, all the points below will point you in the right direction of what makes a great restaurant location.
1. The Right Concept
Before you even settle on a target market, figuring out the concept of your restaurant is imperative. The crowd you’ll eventually attract, their preferences, and purchase behavior are dependent on this. All this and more will help you figure out what kind of food, decor, ambiance, and drinks to serve.
Speaking of drinks, this factor is entirely dependent on your customer demographics. Unlike the type of food to serve (which can be either “fine dining” or “fast food”), deciding on drinks and beverages can be tricky. You first need to clearly define what you’ll serve to understand if you need an alcoholic beverage distributor or not.
If yes, companies like Banko Beverage Co. can help. This is a distributor of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Their main focus is on beer; nevertheless, their beverage options range from malt to hard cider. They also partner with both world-renowned suppliers and locals on the lookout for the right beer distributor.
2. A Comfortable Space
Companies with more funding are usually able to obtain ample space to design the best restaurant. That said, even if you’re on a tight budget and just dipping your toe in the restaurant sector, it’ll do your business some good if you find a big enough space for a reasonable price.
For one, larger dining spaces make for less work-related accidents. Look at it this way. Every seat requires about five square feet of space. Also, your actual kitchen needs to have a minimum of 400 square feet of space. Altogether, you need to ensure that the building can fit all your furniture and equipment when picking a location.
Speaking of restaurant equipment, it might help to check out companies like Go!Foodservice. They offer restaurant supplies and equipment in different categories such as furniture, disposables, janitorial supplies, and so much more. Additionally, their online delivery service making it easier for big and small business owners all over the United States to get affordable equipment and furniture.
3. The Right Demographics
Your target market affects many things ranging from the kind of business you’ll run to the location and even the region. Is a food truck enough, or do you need a more permanent space? Are you going to set up shop in the rural area or swing for a big town restaurant? You see, running a successful business in a small town is a different ball game from doing it in the “big city.” Best believe that small town business can be as lucrative. It may even be easier to pick a great location in that setting.
Also, the idea of less competition makes a small-town location a great idea for every small business owner. With resources like No Glory, both small town and big city businesses can get a regular dose of the latest news in terms of technological trends in the business world. With a global view, this is just the platform for new business owners and seasoned ones alike.
4. Less Competition
Before you even settle on a given location, you need to sniff out the competition. First, size them up and perhaps, open shop closeby (but not too close). You see, finding new customers is hard, and when there’s already a similar lucrative business in the area, you’ll pull some foot traffic if you’re nearby. That being said, beware of areas that are too saturated. One competitor or five is good. However, let’s say you have ten on one street, it’s not looking good. Altogether, look for a sweet spot where you appeal to your niche market without blending into the background.
5. Good Visibility
If you want customers to see your gorgeous decor and hold your wholesome menus, they need to be able to find your restaurant. You may have a successful business idea, but your company might not last long if customers have no access to your business. For any restaurant to survive right now, visibility shouldn’t only end in terms of a physical location. Having good social media coverage and a well-designed website is also a great way to go.
6. Good Proximity to Home
Every business owner in the food industry will tell you that it’s brutal. There are long hours and lots of sacrifices to make before you turn it into a profitable business. For that reason, it’s a good idea to find a restaurant location that’s near your house. You need to be able to walk in and out of there at odd hours. Besides being close to your home, it should equally be close to your target market. No one wants to drive miles at no end to hunt down some fried rice, no matter how delicious it is. Even if they do, being conveniently closeby gives you the edge.
7. Available Parking
It’s one thing to be at full capacity when it comes to parking, it’s another to have no designated parking space in the first place. But then again, your need for parking space is widely dependent on the kind of restaurant you’re operating and the location.
Let’s say you’re running a restaurant in a busy location with lots of foot traffic. No one really expects to spend too much time there.
So, minimal parking and a little space are OK. But if you’re establishing a more intimate, familiar styled restaurant, the first point stated applies to you in more ways you can imagine. If you’re springing for a fast-food eatery, then you can bet that you’ll need lots of parking space, and in some cases, a drive-through.
8. Myths and Legends
There’s a superstitious side to every business, and when it comes to real estate you’ll hear a lot about ghosts or spirits of the undead haunting a given geographical area. In some cases, these tales give these locations some allure, but they could equally drive business away. With that in mind, take the time to learn about the neighborhood you’re setting up shop in. What’s the use of landing a dream location if everyone thinks it’s cursed?
9. Low Cost
It may be a bit low on the list, but this is a significant issue when searching for a location. It’s possible to land a great place, only to find out that it’s way out of your price range. Even more, the cost of renting or buying in a given location determines the kind of cuisine you’ll be shelling out. You can’t rent at a high price only to hand out street food (unless it’s with a twist).
Entrepreneurship is all about taking the initiative, so there has to be some sort of balance. For one, if you can’t afford a particular space, don’t go there. Second, if you pumped in a truckload of money into getting a trendy location, you better have a laid-out roadmap to plenty of opportunities that’ll gain you back your capital.