When it comes to restaurants, location is everything. You have to be where people can see you or you’ll find that there are simply no customers, but there is much more to choosing the right spot for your eatery than merely walk in traffic. In fact, it’s necessary to consider a number of factors before deciding on a locale.
People: The availability of clients is the biggest concern, of course. You’ll need to make sure that there are enough potential customers in the area to make it worthwhile to set up a restaurant. It’s a good idea to do a survey of the population in the area you wish to build your business. This will enable you to find out whether or not people will be interested in what you have to offer and whether or not they eat out often, among other factors. This can also help you decide which type of restaurant to start… a burger joint might not do well in a more affluent area, but it would be ideal for an area where people are looking for fast, cheap food.
Competition: Who is the competition? What are you offering that beats them? Whether you are offering lower prices, different cuisine or tastier food, you need to be better than the competition. There’s no point in starting a coffee shop if there are already five in the same neighborhood. Also important is to find out how the pricing works in the neighborhood. If all the restaurants are very low priced, you might be hard-pressed to compete with a fancier gourmet food place that needs to have higher prices. This is also where it pays to know your clients. If they don’t have money, don’t expect to make it with $100 plates of food.
Parking: Don’t underestimate the value of parking space. A new client isn’t going to spend a lot of time searching for a spot to park just to try your food. While it’s best to have your own parking lot, you should be good as long as there’s ample space near the restaurant location.
Visibility: Many restaurants find that a large amount of their traffic comes from those just passing by. These people decide at the last minute to eat at a particular place and this is why you want to make sure to have an easy to see locale. Another important factor is how easy it is to get to the place. Places that are just off the main road, but still visible, are ideal. You want people to be able to see your restaurant and pull in without battling traffic or having to find a map just to get there.
The location of your restaurant is very important. You need to take the time to check the area out, take a close look at the people who live and work in the area and know your competition before making a decision to place the restaurant. The research will pay off in the long run, since you can be sure to select the perfect spot.