How to Select the Best Site for Your Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is more than just ordering the food, making sure the lights work, and hiring the chefs and waitstaff. Before the doors open on a new restaurant there needs to be a strategy behind picking the right location. A new cafe may have a good cuisine in mind, but can see its doors shutter if it’s just not getting enough foot traffic or if it’s overshadowed by other more established restaurants.

Finding the right location is partly left up to chance as what may seem like a prime location may turn out to be a dud, and vice versa; but there still is a list of things to consider when looking to set up shop in a new location. From parking spaces to counter spaces, here’s an idea of what to look for when hoping to find the perfect location.

Research the Area

Before tables are set it’s important to look into business coverage, like a business owner’s policy (BOP), that helps to protect against unfortunate incidents inside a restaurant, because things can happen. As the business owner, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve covered all of your operation’s bases.

It always helps to do some reconnaissance work related to who else is offering food in the area. When looking for a location, consider the competition in the general area and look for things like what kinds of food and service are being offered. Look for how busy (or not busy) the area is and picture how a new concept could fit in. Also, if an area is empty it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s opportunity for a fresh new space to come in and take over.

Parking Options

Even though ride-sharing and public transit are on the rise, people still love their cars. With that in mind there needs to be ample and accessible parking available to customers coming in for a bite to eat. If there’s no parking or if parking is too far from the location, then they’ll just get back in their car and head to somewhere else.

If a new restaurant is going up in a more urban area where it has street accessibility, then this may not be that much of an issue. But new places in more suburban areas should consider having customer-friendly parking options. The ability to serve up convenience will go a long way.

Have Enough Room

From small coffee shops and corner cafes to spread-out steakhouses, size is always a factor related to a restaurant’s success. Small bistros still make it a point to have adequate space in their kitchen for storage, walk-in refrigerators, and an office for administrative duties. A dining room will need space to not only seat diners, but also incorporate a wait-station, a bar, and maybe a to-go area. Even big restaurants can fill up quickly, so having a blueprint for what will go where is key.

Think Through Things

A big mistake some restaurant owners make is falling in love with the first spot they see. Whether it’s the location, the brick backsplashes, or the feeling they get when they walk in, making a decision based on impulse can backfire. Make sure to visit the site multiple times and keep other locations in mind. Hunting down the right space will indeed take some time, so just keep that in mind.


About Walker & Associates

If you’re in the market for a new insurance partner, do your homework to ensure a lucrative venture and positive relationship. Contact us online at Walker & Associates Insurance or by phone at (800) 213-7126 for your insurance needs. We can explain your coverage options and how much coverage will cost.