Location is key for any business, but with a restaurant it can have a particularly important role to play. Diners might be willing to walk for miles to out of the way spots for establishments that are trending - but this kind of interest doesn’t last, and for most restaurants, location needs to be very carefully thought through. Some of the most important considerations are:
Who are your local customers?
Choose a location where you will have regular customers who might pop in spontaneously. Even the most in demand places start out with this kind of support. It’s local customers who will help to spread the word about your restaurant, as well as keeping you going during the quiet times.
Does the area suit your restaurant?
Key considerations include whether the demographic in the area fits your target customer and what the population numbers are nearby. Are you looking to open a pizza restaurant in an area that already has five? If so, make sure that there are enough local pizza lovers to support your business too. Understanding the competition is key – identify competing businesses and spend some time looking at whether they are doing well, as this will tell you a lot about your own chances of success.
Can people get to you?
A good rule of thumb, for your diners, is whether you’re more, or less, of a distance than a trip to the supermarket. Most people would see that as a distance they’re happy to travel to go out for dinner. Any further and you could become only somewhere for special occasions. Look at the public transport nearby and make sure your restaurant will be accessible. Is there parking? What are the local traffic systems like? Do diners face 30 minutes stuck in traffic before they can even get through the door?
Where’s up and coming?
Although there’s no guarantee that choosing a location in an up and coming area will be your ticket to success, it can help. If you move in next door to somewhere that’s generating a lot of interest then you can pick up interest from its diners, and potentially overflow if it’s booked up. Just bear in mind the element of competition – if you choose a location right next to the hottest table in town and you have a similar offering you could end up overshadowed.