Choosing a Location for a New Restaurant

By: Jamie Hooker


Choosing a location is arguably one of the most important steps in opening your new restaurant. After looking at what you can afford, there are other aspects of location that will affect your business. Different from an office building, a restaurant is a place where customers frequently visit, so these location tips cater to restaurants specifically.

Check out the demographics

If you have a location in mind for your restaurant, don’t forget to research the demographics of the area. Things like age groups, population and crime rates are important to take into account. For example, if you’re opening a hip and modern restaurant but senior citizens are abundant in the area, it may not be the best location. Make sure to research the population of an area, too, so you know how big or small your potential customer base will be.

Who’s the competition?

In any market, you want to know who your main competitors are. If you’re opening a new burger joint, you might not want to put it near an already established burger joint (unless you feel like your new joint has something better to offer!). You’ll also want to look at competitor’s prices and menus to see what you’re up against. You can’t be too prepared, so dig up as much information as you can.

Visibility and Accessibility

Obviously when opening a new restaurant you want to make it easy for your customers to check it out. In order to bring people in, they have to know you exist! Consider choosing a location near an intersection or off a busy street. Unless you hire a great PR firm (like Snackbox, wink wink), you should make it as easy as possible for people to learn and hear about you when you’re first coming up. Drive-bys and word of mouth are two huge ways to spread the word on your new business.

What are you buying into?

It will help to know what the real estate value of the location you choose will do in the future. Research the surrounding area and see what the trend is. Keep in mind that a high real estate cost might also mean a customer base in the area with higher income, which in turn could generate more money for your restaurant.