Your Cuisine and Your Target Customer

Can Help You Find Your Best Location

Choosing Your Cuisine Should Be Your First Step In Starting Your Restaurant

No doubt finding a location is especially significant for restaurants because they rely a great deal on visibility and exposure to their customers.

However, before you spend any time and money on searching for the best location, you need to find find the right cuisine to align with your potential target customer!

Businesses can often fail because of poor management, lack of experience, and money, but many times choosing the wrong location is a significant factor.

While finding a location may be the most critical decision, it still can’t be decided until you know exactly who your most valuable customers will be and what they want to eat!

What Is Your Cuisine?

You may have a cuisine picked out, or you have a good idea of the kind of foods you want to serve. So if you have not found one yet, this post will give you a direction to go, and if you have one, it can make you think twice before finalizing your menu.

chef cooking in commercial kitchen

I’m always surprised at how many people think because they are good at cooking or they have been working in restaurants as a chef or cook, that if they open a restaurant, people will come.

Slow down and think about it, you might be good at what you do in the kitchen or have hired a fantastic chef, but it’s your customer that you have to satisfy and get approval.

If you want to be successful in the restaurant industry, you HAVE to align your cuisines with your customer.

Are you developing your menu on what you like to eat or your family and friends?

Whether you work in a restaurant, go out to eat, want to start a restaurant, or all of the above, what Americans are eating these days?

You need to know what people are eating besides your immediate circle!

What Is America Eating?

The pursuit of good food has the power to bring people into all kinds of restaurants in a shared mission to feed our faces with the good things we can find to eat!

Cheeseburgers, pizza, Southern food, or better known as “soul food” or “comfort food,” such as BBQ, fried chicken, cornbread, and hot apple pie, all are traditional and the most famous American food.

Beginning in the 1980s, New American was created by mixing traditional American food with exotic tastes to create a fusion dish. New American combines anywhere from French to Asian to Greek, and so on.

Check out the map below by HuffPost’s Alissa Scheller, using data provided by Yelp, to find out which cuisines are most popular in each state.

Below the map is a list of the top five cuisines in each state.

The Top 5 Foods In The U.S.


  1. Hamburgers: Americans eat 13 billion burgers each year.
  2. Hot dogs: the average American eats more than 50 hot dogs each year.
  3. Pizza: 3 billion pizzas are consumed by about 94 percent of Americans each year.
  4. Most Americans consume at least one glass of soda or one soft drink each day.
  5. Americans consume more than 2 million tons of French fries each year, with the average consumer eating about 30 pounds of fries each year.

Your Cuisine and Your Target Customer

Can Help You Find Your Location

The goal is to find customers that will want and love the food you are offering in your restaurant.

It’s that simple, but it does require doing startup research to attain the information and tools that make it possible to reach that goal.

Choosing the right cuisine and finding your target customer is one sure way to find a great location!

Did You Know

77% of those that go out to eat will at least visit an ethnic restaurant once a month?

50% of the population loves hot/spicy food!

Americans eat more chicken and less beef than they used to.

People drink less milk – especially whole milk – and eat less ice cream, but they consume way more cheese.

In a survey by Pew Research Center’s 54% of Americans said people in the U.S. pay more attention to eating healthy foods today compared with 20 years ago. Yet the same percentage who said Americans’ actual eating habits are less fit today than they were 20 years ago.

And while 73% of Americans said they were somewhat focused on healthy and nutritious eating, 58% said that most days, they probably should be eating healthier.

Americans’ eating habits, in short, are all over the place, at least according to our analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

We eat a lot more than we used to!

You must spend more time perfecting your cuisine and take a lot more consideration of what people are eating and aligning it with your menu selections. I can’t emphasize that enough!

Find Your Location