Finding the Perfect Restaurant Location: 10 Questions To Ask
Location is the number one concern for prospective restaurant owners, but establishing demographic information is not the only factor to consider. Like any part of business, there are legal and logistical factors to consider beyond just the foot traffic to drive sales, and a savvy restaurant owner will know to account for these factors. Prior to selecting a location to build a restaurant, there are some key questions that anyone must ask to make sure he or she makes the right decision.
The 10 Questions
- Is the building already zoned for use as a restaurant? If not, it’s important to consider how much money and time will be needed to re-zone the property.
- Does the building meet both space and layout requirements? If not, is there another location in the area that might better fit these requirements? Remember to also consider parking needs.
- Are all of the necessary lighting, cooling, heating, etc. elements in place, or is it necessary to perform repairs or additions? If not, how much will it cost to make these adjustments?
- Does the building meet the brand image requirements? If not, consider how much it would cost to implement the necessary design changes.
- How close are competitors to the restaurant location? Will it be difficult to establish this new restaurant due to nearby competition?
- Can customers easily find and enter the restaurant? Is it off of a main road, or on an obscure side street?
- Is it easy enough for suppliers to make deliveries at the location? If not, can the necessary changes be implemented easily?
- What sorts of employees are needed to operate the restaurant? Is the location in a neighborhood that would have these individuals?
- Does the area receive year-round traffic, or is it highly seasonal? If seasonal, will the restaurant be able to bring in customers during the off season?
- Lastly, are the lease and rent terms favorable? This often gets lost among other concerns, but needs to be considered to stick with a budget.
Don’t Neglect The Customer
Of course, it’s important for a business person to always remember the demographic factors as well. Just as it’s important to ask the questions above, it’s also of primary importance for any local business — especially a restaurant — to keep the population of the neighborhood in mind. When one can grasp the entire picture, he or she can enter into the restaurant business with confidence.
Anthony McGuinness is an attorney in Sassoon & Cymrot’s corporate and restaurant practice group. Sassoon & Cymrot is a Boston- based law firm that serves the legal needs of business and private clients in the New England region and beyond. We look forward to meeting you and providing solutions that help you compete, prosper and succeed.