Finding the Perfect Space for Your Restaurant
One of the most challenging parts of opening a restaurant is finding the right space. Here are three tips on how to handle the challenge.
One of the most challenging parts of opening a restaurant is finding the right space. Here are three important considerations to make as you search for the perfect space for your restaurant:
Demographics and neighborhoods
Figure out who your target audience is based on the type of restaurant you’re opening. Are you opening a taco spot that caters to an office lunch crowd? Is the perfect space for your restaurant near a waterfront because your menu will feature seafood? Think through these customer characteristics when finding the right space:
- Age range
- Income level
- Willingness to travel to the location
- Dietary restrictions or priorities
Once you know who your target audience is, look for a space in the neighborhoods where your ideal customer is likely to be. Another thing to keep in mind is how the location and zoning will affect your business legally. Be sure to consult an attorney once you think you’ve found the perfect space for your restaurant – the legal details can make or break the deal.
Foot traffic and transportation
Think about how much effort it will take for people to get to your restaurant. Is it easy to park? Is there public transportation that makes it easy to get to? Is there foot traffic that will drive walk-ins? Tie this back to your ideal customer – it only matters that the space offers tons of parking if your customers are actually likely to drive to your restaurants. Conversely, being right next to a public transportation stop will really help drive business, but only if your target customers are frequent public transport riders.
Value for your money
When you’re considering a space, think about how cost-effective it will be. Is it already outfitted to be a restaurant? Will you have to remodel? For example, if there are floors above your unit, you will have to install an exhaust system, which can be a costly renovation. A restaurant build-out process can take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a big commitment, but it could be worth it for the perfect space for your restaurant. Just make sure you know your budget, understand your cash flow situation, and are financially ready for whatever you decide.