Making the cut: Choosing the right location and neighborhood for your restaurant

Securing a business involves the mastery of the four P’s of marketing: Product; Price; Place; and Promotion.  Let’s talk about the third P of marketing, and that is looking for a suitable “Place” or location for your new restaurant business.  A badly located business may very well mean the death of the business; so it’s consideration in ensuring the success of the business is non-questionable.

Before choosing a location for your restaurant, it is essential that you are able to identify the following factors:

  • The type of restaurant
  • Target Market
  • Budget allocated for rent or purchase of space
  • Facilities needed in the set-up of the business
  • Proximity of business location to your place of residence
  • Amount of space needed to set-up the business
  • Local laws on property ownership, business permits, and other laws that are related to setting up your business
  • Desired characteristics of the space
  • Company objectives
  • Others

Assessing the needs of the restaurant will help you find a suitable location that will enable you to attend to those needs.  Without a clear picture of how the business is to function and gain profit; making wise and calculated decisions on matters such as choosing a location will be close to impossible.

Surveying the potential location of the business

A thorough examination of the neighborhood or community surrounding the location where you plan to set-up your restaurant is vital in knowing if it is indeed a match for your business.  Remember that your customers will be coming from the local community, and it is important that you have an adequate amount of people within the premises of your restaurant who will patronize your food services.

Finding out if the restaurant will thrive in a specific location is important in ensuring the success of your business. To do this, you must do the following steps in surveying the neighborhood:

1.  Do a physical survey of the location. Spend time to view the people in the area. Other factors such as safety, cleanliness, and the like may also be factored in.

2.  Check out the competition.  Are there similar businesses established in the area?  Find out the status of their business.

3.  Get feedback from the people in the community.  You may administer surveys in the place to be able to analyze the behavior of your target market. By doing so, you will have an idea of how your restaurant may be accepted if it is set-up in that location.

4.  Determine spending activity of target market.  It would be advisable to do a market study of the area where you intend to locate your restaurant.  See the previous chapter on Market Analysis.

5.  Foresee potential problems.  If you decide to set-up the business in the said location, will there be any problems in the future?

6.  Find out the limitations and restrictions of the given space.  Match your requirements from the space needed to put up your restaurant with what is available and accessible with the given space or location.  Are they a match?

7.  Do the math! Determine the projected costs of setting up the restaurant in the desired location.  Factor in the cost of rent, equipment, labor, and the like. 

8.  Analyze traffic flow and accessibility.  Is the space accessible by foot or by means of transportation? It is important to know how your market will be able to go to your location.

Depending on the nature of your restaurant, the factors involving the decision to locate your business will also vary.  Remember that what may work for one type of business may not work for another.  The reason being that not all businesses function alike and not all have the same target market.  Thus, these variations must be considered in making decisions regarding the restaurant business. 

It really is all about finding that perfect match between your business needs and with what a locating can offer your business.  Finding the right location may not be easy but it’s important to ensure your business’ success can’t be overemphasized. Be patient and you’ll soon find the most suitable area to house your business!