Location is one of the biggest factors that determine your restaurants success.
But before you start searching for a location here are two other tasks you must do.
First-Choosing Your Cuisine Type
You must decide your cuisine type, and be sure there is enough of an audience/ customers base that desire the food you’ll be preparing and serving.
Second-Identifying Your Ideal Customers
This is the one of the most important question you can ask yourself when choosing the location of a restaurant. Who is your target market? You can’t possibly know where to locate your business unless you know who your customers are, and where they live.
Once you’ve identified your cuisine type and your customer profiles, you’ll want to put your restaurant in or around communities of your target market.
A rule of thumb, noted by Nerd Wallet is that your restaurant should be located in a community accessible to at least 50,000 people.
Do not worry if you have not made a final decision on either one, just keep them in mind. The information I’m sharing in this blog post can be used when you’re ready to start your location hunting.
Here Are Some Successful Tips On How to Pick the Right Location for Your Restaurant
Who Are Your Direct Competitors
A very important question to consider is whether the local area is saturated with your restaurant cuisine.
If there are already three Mexican restaurants on a street, you’ll want to think long and hard before opening a fourth. But if you believe that your Mexican restaurant could thrive without taking away a chunk of business from another good restaurant I’m not is saying you shouldn’t open a fourth. It’s defiantly not worth the risk hurting a competitor to survive!
Foot & Vehicle Traffic
You want to be sure that there’s enough traffic! You want to pick a location that has activity; it can only increasing your customer base.
The location you may like could be highly populated, but do people drive in that area?
Is the location walkable, with high foot traffic?
Foot traffic is important it represents the flow of people who could potentially walk by your restaurant. The most basic way to verify foot traffic is to park nearby at different meal times and count passersby with a tally counter.
Vehicle traffic is as important as foot traffic when choosing a restaurant location. It represents cars, buses and business vehicles that might drive by your restaurant. It can be residents, local workers and out-of-towners. All cities, counties, and states conduct traffic count on a specific roads intersection during periods of time. Some states have online traffic counts that are searchable by street name. The chamber of commerce may be able to give you this information as well.
Even if you choose the perfect location for your restaurant, based on population density and activity, you can ruin it with a location that makes it hard to find a place to park.
A good rule to follow is to have a parking spot for every three dining seats, plus one for each employee.
It’s important to clearly know the neighborhood that surrounds your potential restaurant locations.
Is it a safe community?
Does it have good walkability?
Is there a large enough employee pool of workers you can hire from?
Is there a college in the area?
Are there young families?
You want to be sure that the community is growing!
Is it a desirable place to relocate?
Are there other entertainment options, such as a sports venue, concert halls, or movie theaters that draw people into the neighborhood?
This will show you whether the neighborhoods you’re considering will benefit from future growth.
The most important thing when considering a restaurant location is your customer.
You need to figure out who they are, where they’re located, and what areas have a population that can support your restaurant.
But well before that, you’ll need to define your cuisine style and restaurant. Each restaurant has a very specific target market. This includes your concept category fast food, fast casual, casual or fine dining.
When starting out, you’ll need to eventually decide where you’ll locate your restaurant this will require buying or leasing a premises. Each restaurant concept has different requirements and it’s important to consider your needs and priorities when deciding on the type and location for your restaurant.
If you would like help with finding the right locations for your restaurant please check out our services.
We also offer a specialized online restaurant startup success plan that shows you how to find your TARGET CUSTOMER and much more. You can purchase individual steps in the plan or the entire plan.