Now that your training is complete it’s time to find the perfect location for your new restaurant. It’s a big world out there and you must be careful. Make one little slip here and you will be stuck for years to come.
Here are some things to consider while you’re shopping for the perfect location:
Know what size building you need and pay attention to the layout to make sure that it will meet your needs. Many times you can simply take down a wall or add a wall so the floor plan will work for you. Of course, you must have permission from your perspective landlord to make these types of changes.
Pay attention to electrical outlets and plumbing. Your kitchen will need electrical outlets, 110 and 220, in many areas and you will need to install sinks and drains in certain areas. Keep these thoughts in mind as you check out a building. These items could be a large expense later on.
Any place where you find people, you will find opportunity. Some very good areas to locate your new restaurant are near a large hospital with little to no competition. Next to a huge factory with little to no competition would also be a great find. Near a University or community college with no restaurant, similar to your style, may be good. The intersection of two major highways, with little to no competition, could be a good spot.
You must always ask the question: Is there a need for my restaurant in this particular area?
For instance, are there more customers in this area than restaurants? Check it out for a few days. Is every restaurant in this area completely full at lunch and at dinner? Do they have a waiting list? If so, they may need you to relieve the pressure from them, if not you will be up against some stiff competition and you may want to continue your search.
While the location of your restaurant is critical to your success, the amount of your monthly rental is also critical. For instance, I recommend that your monthly rental payment not exceed 5% of the monthly net sales of your restaurant. If it does you could be in big trouble.
Learn to negotiate a lower rental payment. For instance, a landlord may be flexible and willing to work with you. Maybe they will allow you to operate at a lower rate the first year if you will allow them a small increase the second year. That will help you during that first critical year. Many landlords want you to succeed and are willing to work with you, however, if you are dealing with a corporate piece of property or with a group of investors, negotiations may not go your way.
Don’t be in a rush while searching for the perfect location for your restaurant. You will have to live with this decision for years to come, so make it a great, location, decision!