6 Critical Considerations When Selecting a New Restaurant Location
Whether you’re a new restauranteur or a seasoned veteran, opening a restaurant is an incredibly complex undertaking. And, unfortunately, there’s no avoiding discussions about the high-risk nature of this business. However, by strategically choosing the new restaurant location and adapting to your new community, you can mitigate that risk and set yourself up for a much smoother ride ahead.
Here are the six most critical considerations you and your real estate expert should evaluate when weighing your options for your new restaurant location.
Visibility & Accessibility
Unless you have amazing marketing skills and/or a loyal base of customers ready to follow you to your new location, visibility and accessibility play a major role in your ability to attract guests. That quaint space that’s tucked away in a secret corner of the neighborhood may be charming, but the truth is that “off the beaten path” all-too-often translates into “hard to find” for restaurants.
When choosing a new restaurant location, a real estate professional with expertise in restaurant site selection can help you assess all aspects of visibility and accessibility, including foot traffic, vehicle traffic, and how easily the location can be found by customers who are specifically seeking you out.
In addition to assessing the amount of foot and vehicle traffic, you should also consider the type of people passing by. Busy professionals, trendy hipsters, and stroller-pushing parents all have different dining needs, so it’s important to ensure the site’s foot traffic is well-suited for your concept. By partnering with a real estate professional who specializes in a particular area, you’ll be better equipped to choose a site that’s centrally located for your ideal type of guest.
Aside from some urban locations, a new restaurant location must have simple solutions for parking. If your restaurant develops the dreaded “parking is a nightmare” reputation, then you’re putting a major barrier between your delicious food and your paying customers. Make sure your real estate professional is prioritizing parking – because your customers certainly will.
The most successful restaurants fill an overlooked or under-addressed need within the community. So, when evaluating each potential new restaurant location, take a look at the competition. Are they succeeding or struggling – and why? Will your concept fill a niche that’s not yet being filled? What would be your differentiator if you were competing with those restaurants for the same clientele? By working with a real estate expert who specializes in representing restaurant tenants, you can benefit from their wealth of knowledge about the community and the competition.
Unfortunately, if your restaurant is located in a high-crime (or even formerly high-crime) area, it can become a major barrier to overcome. You’ll not only need to get the word out about your delicious food and superior service – you’ll also need to convince your guests that they’ll be safe when parking and walking through your doors. This is one of the reasons it’s important to use a real estate professional who understands the history of the area and the mentality of the community.
It’s important that you have the ideal amount of space – but it’s also important that the cost of the site doesn’t result in unnecessarily high menu prices. Many restauranteurs are surprised to learn that leases for new restaurant locations can be negotiated – including monthly rental rates, cost allowances for site improvements, financial responsibility for certain utilities, etc. This is why you should be working with a real estate professional who’s experienced in tenant negotiations.
Looking for a New Restaurant Location? We Specialize in Site Selection & Tenant Negotiations for Restauranteurs.
Your Southern California real estate specialists. Allwest Properties, Inc. offers a full range of real estate services for commercial, industrial, and residential properties throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
With more than 25 years of industry experience, we offer a comprehensive suite of solutions, including sales, leasing, tenant representation, landlord representation, investments, site selection, and consulting services. Our goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations with each and every transaction.