Why the Location of Your Restaurant is So Important
The location of your food service business will impact its success nearly as much as the menu. If your restaurant is in the wrong place, you won't attract the amount of customers you will need in order to stay in business. The same is true if your location is inundated with competitors, or has poor visibility, or is hard to find. To help you figure it all out, here are 5 things to consider when deciding upon the perfect location.
Know Your Target Market
In order to find the right location for your restaurant, you must know your target marget. If you plan on catering to families, you won’t want a downtown business location. If your target is foodies, then a small out of town location won't work either. When you know what your target market is, then you can study the demographics of your desired location to see if it will work for you.
Once you have an awareness of who populates your desired location, including things like age range, education level, income level, and even the crime rate, then you can determine if this location will attract your target market.
You will want to figure out the amount of traffic that either walks or drives by your desired location. The greater the amount of traffic, the better chance you will have of attracting people off the street. If you are looking at a location with lots of area traffic and few dining choices, even better. But if there are few dining choices because the location is not desirable, you will need to figure that out as well.
Ease of Access and Visibility
Is your location easily accessible? Is it easy to see while walking or driving by? Is it easy to drive to your location and find on the highway or on the street? When entering your location, are there obstacles to get there, such as one way streets, obstructions, on-going construction, and other things that could alienate potential customers.
How about you? Is it easy for you to get there? As the owner, you will be at your restaurant quite a lot. Can you get there easily; is it a long commute from home? The easier it is for you to get to your own restaurant, the better the location.
Is there parking available in your location? Will the offer of parking be a necessity or a perk? For example, if your location is in a busy area of the city with limited parking, you may want to offer valet parking services, or locate a lot nearby that you can utilize for your guests at a discounted rate. If your desired location is a rural one, then parking may not be an issue.
Evaluate the Competition
Competition can be a good thing as long as it doesn’t hurt your business. If there are too many establishments offering the exact same menu as yours then it will most surely detract from your business. Do some serious market research to determine the competition in your area. This can be done online;as well as by driving around the area to see the other food establishments that are in your desired location.
Competition can also include any other type of establishment that sells food. For example, if you plan on opening a deli that sells fresh sandwiches, the local grocer that also sells fresh deli sandwiches is a competitor. You will need to know all these things before you open so that you can plan accordingly.
A final word about competition, the more research you do before you choose a location the better your chances will be for success.
Finding the right location is crucial in ensuring a successful business. You want customers to find your restaurant, enjoy your food, and keep coming back. This can be done successfully if you do your homework before deciding upon a location.