When opening a restaurant, you’re inevitably faced with a number of important decisions. These include decisions about the menu, about the décor, about the ambiance—but they also include decisions about your restaurant’s location. In fact, many restauranteurs will tell you that location is arguably the biggest factor in determining whether your new venture fails or succeeds.
So how do you go about making this critical decision? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Open-Mindedness is Key
Maybe you’ve always had in mind that you’d open a restaurant in a cozy little space on Main Street, right between a bakery and a clothing boutique.
That’s great, and it’s fine to dream—but spaces like that may not be available. They may not be affordable. And they may not represent the right space for your business.
By contrast, a really charming building on the other side of town may be open, accessible, and ideally situated for your clientele.
Be open-minded, then. The perfect location for your business may not be exactly what you’ve always dreamed of.
Foot Traffic Matters
In choosing your location, you obviously want to pick a location that gets a fair amount of foot traffic. More than that, though, you want a location that attracts a lot of diners.
There may be a street in town that has a ton of businesses—but what if all those businesses are banks or law offices? Does that make for a good location for your business? Not necessarily; if the location doesn’t fit within your city’s “eating pattern,” it’s probably not the best place to open a restaurant.
One way you can assess whether a potential location gets good foot traffic? Find a nearby picnic table or bench and camp out for a few hours. See how many people walk by, and take note of what kinds of people. For example, if there are a lot of moms with young kids passing by, and you’re looking to open a family-friendly pizza restaurant, that’s a good sign!
Finally, there’s the matter of money. Can you afford the restaurant space in question? Experts say you should be able to make rent on the basis of one day’s worth of sales, so look at your sales projections and see roughly where that puts you in terms of monthly payments.
This is a big decision, and one that will undoubtedly factor into the success of your restaurant—but the good news is, you don’t have to make this decision alone. Kuester CRE provides a full complement of commercial real estate services to companies throughout the Carolinas, and we’ve helped many restaurants find the ideal space to thrive.
We’d love to talk with you directly about your restaurant’s real estate needs. Reach out to Kuester CRE to learn more. Call our toll-free number, 855-723-2500, and let’s start a conversation!