Location, location, location! In
business, you’ll hear this phrase every single day. A location can make or break any venture; it
can be the difference between success and barely getting by. For restaurateurs, it’s even more important
than for any other business model out there. Choosing where to locate your restaurant is usually one of the first
decisions that is made when deciding to pursue a career in the food
industry. But, how do you pick a
location that’s perfect for you and your budget?
First of all, are there many people in the area you are considering for
your new restaurant? Both automobile
traffic and foot traffic are extremely important when trying to decide if this
is the right location for you. If no one
ever drives or walks by your restaurant, then chances are that no one will
really know you’re there unless your marketing plan is excellent and
far-reaching. It’s best to choose a
location where you are seen frequently, and are easy for last minute diners to
turn in to. Your customers should be
stress free and happy when walking in and sitting down in one of your bistro
chairs, and eliminating traffic woes is one of the best things you could do for
How’s the Traffic?
You need to be seen, but having too much traffic surrounding your restaurant
can be a bad thing. If it takes patrons
10-15 minutes just to get into your parking lot because of a congested street
or traffic area, then they might decide not to come in at all. Scoping out the traffic patterns of a
potential location during each time of day is a must before purchasing
property. Many owners choose a heavily
populated area without thinking about the repercussions of customers not being
able to get to your establishment when they want to. Something as simple as
being on the wrong side of a busy street can be the difference between making
it big and going out of business.
What’s the Parking and Accessibility Situation?
Parking is an extremely important aspect of running any business, especially
one that people want to run in and out of as quickly and easily as
possible. Ample parking space to
accommodate a packed house is absolutely imperative to keep your restaurant
prospering. Customers can be turned off
or assume you have no space for them inside if your parking lot is full, so
make sure the space you choose has adequate parking area available.
Accessibility is another facet of parking that you need to be very aware
of. Handicapped parking spaces are a
must, and if you have stairs leading into your establishment, a ramp will need
to be installed so all patrons can access your restaurant without
hindrance. It’s a good idea to be
familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act and make sure you are in line
with all of their recommended and enforced guidelines.
As you can see, a lot of thought goes into choosing the right location for your
business. It can be a bit overwhelming,
but once you’ve gotten that choice nailed down, everything else should be
smooth sailing! A good location can make
all the difference!