First move – Invest the time, energy, and expense needed to evaluate the site before you commit! Evaluate what will fit!
- Consider the Cost
- Examine Visibility, Signage, & Parking
- Analyze Your Competition
- Look at the Property at Different Times
- Research & Development
- Occupancy Costs
- Know Your Demographic
Consider the Cost
If you’re like most people, you are working with a limited budget. Your first step should be to consider what it will take to build out a new restaurant space or remodel an existing restaurant. Hiring a professional consultant can be a valuable way to get the most out of your initial investment.
Examine Visibility, Signage, & Parking
Have you heard about the usability in design in today’s world? There is nothing new about this concept. Since the brick‐and‐mortar days, a store’s location has been one of the most important factors in running a business. How easy will it be for your customers to find and gain access to the location? Will they have trouble parking? Is there enough lighting for them to see and identify your business? All of this can make a big difference in your profitability.
Analyze Your Competition
Who are your immediate competitors within a 1‐2 mile radius? What kind of marketing are they doing?
Look at the Property at Different Times
Most people know enough to visit a property before investing in it. However, if you only visit during the day, you won’t know what it looks like at night. Does the area become louder or more dangerous? Is parking more difficult to come by at key hours? Take a look at the area at different times of day to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Take a look at your rent, utilities, and other expenses associated with maintaining this property. These expenses should fit within your estimated range of sales. Further, if the area is undergoing significant growth, you may also want to factor in the possibility of rent increases in the near future.
Know Your Demographic
Does your concept fit the demographic for the specific district or neighborhood? If you’re opening a family restaurant, you want to make sure you’re in a family‐friendly area. If you’re opening a sports bar, you want to seek out places convenient to a collage crowd or similar groups. Even the best restaurant in the world is not going to do well if it doesn’t surround itself with its target customers.