If your dream is about to become a reality of opening your very own restaurant, there are many things you must consider when choosing the right location. Things like council fees for alfresco dining options are important, as well as the amount of foot traffic in the area, future developments in the area and vicinity to other dining options.
Each of these considerations requires planning and research, and to get the dynamics right before you even choose the location is more important than the name of your restaurant or the type of food you are selling.
The most important factors, however, that are often not thoroughly researched are how locations and demographics are crucial to your restaurant’s success.
It’s amazing how many budding restaurateurs don’t put the time into digging into the depths of their chosen demographic and location.
Even if you think the location’s demographic is perfect for your new venture; research still needs to be done into whether the area is full of people who actually go out. Many times, a great restaurant (or a number of restaurants) open in a location that ‘needs it’ only to find out that the locals there don’t actually go out on weeknights. You need to know and understand the demographics’ disposable income, where people can park, and if the foot traffic is really as good as what you were told. The only way to find this out is by real research.
Although there are no real rules as to where a restaurant will work or won’t work, knowledgeable and observant are two things you certainly need to be.
One significant factor is also to know exactly who your landlord is. You will be in a partnership with them for at least 5-10 years, and if you don’t have the right connections, it can lead to a nasty break up.
Destination restaurants are far more difficult to make work. The restaurant in the hinterland on a little-known winery estate might seem like a great idea, but they can be difficult to get to, they can be seasonally reliant, or dependent on an amazing chef, and without a very enticing drawcard they can fail very quickly.
Small restaurants in village-like areas of a suburb with an already buzzing crowd are a great choice. However, property can often be hard to come by in these locations. Being a ground floor restaurant is a far better choice than a second-storey position. A great view can help but isn’t essential, and it will only drive rental process higher.
Small can work, large can work, remote can work and buzzing village locations can work. However, not everywhere can work and it's crucial you do the proper research into the area before you sign the next 10 years of your life away.