People have always associated eating out with the overall ambiance and feeling they get at a restaurant. This is why it is essential for restaurant owners to choose a location that is not just convenient but also something that adds meaning to the dining experience. Location can make it or break it for a restaurant, which is why experts have given it three times more emphasis than any other element in the business. It is indeed, location, location, location! If you are a restaurant owner and are looking for a location to set up your business, then keep reading.
Why is a restaurant’s location so important?
A proper restaurant location analysis has to be done before a restaurant owner makes the humungous decision of where to place their means of income. The aptness of the location of your restaurant is directly proportional to the amount of profit you make from the business. If you need more reasons, then add ease of restaurant management and getting ahead of the competition to the list. One cannot stress enough the relevance of choosing the location of a restaurant carefully. It is not something you decide in a jiffy and then hopes to be right. You will have to do a thorough analysis, taking into consideration a lot of crucial factors. Let us look at each of them one by one.
10 Key Factors to Consider while Choosing Restaurant Location
If you are wondering how to choose the location for a restaurant in India, then you’ve struck gold! The following factors will give you an almost comprehensive set of guidelines that will help you navigate to your perfect location!
1. Is your location in a safe neighborhood?
Nobody wants to risk their life to have a tasty plate of food. This is why it is essential to make sure that the location that you choose for your restaurant has a very low to zero crime rate and that it is safe to traverse through the place. Apart from that, if the area is unsafe and has a high crime rate, the restaurant owners will have to spend even more money on setting up extra security measures like additional insurance and extra lighting on the outside. Make sure to give the area a visit, especially at night, to confirm that it is safe enough for the customers as well as the restaurant employees.
2. Factor in the demographics
Place your restaurant among the right set of people. Depending on what kind of restaurant you are planning to open, consider the kind of people who you think will visit the place the most. If your restaurant is more family-oriented, then choose a location with a lot of families who love to eat out. If it is a fast food restaurant that you are planning to open, then make sure to place it in a location where a lot of nightlife is going on. Choose the right set of people while choosing the restaurant so that you always get a heavy flow of customers.
3. Is the location convenient enough for the customers?
Even if every other element associated with the location of the restaurant is perfect, if the customers are not able to access it, then everything will be in vain. Accessibility is what decides the flow of customers to your restaurant. If there is ample parking and easy routes to reach your restaurant, customers won’t think twice before making your restaurant their choice. It can work the other way too. So make sure to look into all aspects of accessibility by making it easy for cars, bikes, and cycles to get parked. Do not forget to consider disabled individuals too while you are at it.
4. Make sure to keep the location visible to the target audience.
Another factor that goes hand in hand with accessibility is that of visibility. If the restaurant does not fall in the line of sight of the customers, then it might be a problem. But this doesn’t mean that you have to choose a location in a super crowded street. Make sure that the customers can see your restaurant so that they can try it out. If this is not possible, then try adding interesting signage that will lead the customers right into your store without making them confused. Put in efforts with online marketing and register your restaurant location with Google Maps. This will make your job that much easier.
5. Is there high traffic in the area?
Even though it might be a good idea to place your restaurant somewhere with a lot of people coming and going, you might want to consider the traffic situation of the place as well. No matter how many potential customers you might have in the area, if they cannot reach you due to constant heavy traffic, then it is of no use. Customers give traffic a lot of consideration when they choose a restaurant. They might go to a place with much less traffic, even if the food is moderate, rather than go to a restaurant that has excellent food but super heavy traffic.
6. It’s better to stay away from the high competition
If you feel like you have found the perfect location for your restaurant, chances are that other restaurants have too. It is not a good idea to open a restaurant next to your direct competitors. You might get customers, but a majority of them would be split among other high competitors as well. Also, the already existing restaurants might have a loyal customer base, which might be difficult to attract. But if the other restaurants focus on an entirely different demographic, then it might not be a problem as the target customers of your restaurant and the competitors do not intersect at any point.
7. Make it a priority to check the zoning laws
Depending on the area you have chosen, the regulatory laws that exist may also differ. You will have to do thorough research to know which laws are stringent here and make it a priority to follow them before opening the restaurant. If you plan on serving alcohol in your restaurant, make sure to check if the area is cleared for the same. Another important point to look into is whether the space you have chosen is zoned for commercial business or not. These points have to be cleared beforehand to avoid legal complications in the future.
8. Is the place spacious enough?
Let’s say your business has taken off well and you have quite a lot of customers coming in. But if your restaurant does not have enough space to incorporate all of them, you might end up losing a large chunk of customers to nearby restaurants. Nobody likes waiting in long lines with a hungry stomach. So take a calculated decision when it comes to choosing the right amount of space for your restaurant. Also, do not go overboard and select a place that is more spacious than necessary. You might end up paying a huge rent for nothing.
9. The rent is a critical factor
Monthly rent is something that you will have to keep aside from your revenue to pay the landlord. Even if a location seems perfect for you, make sure that the rent makes sense. If you have to pay a huge part of what you make every month as rent to the landlord, then it does not make much sense. Keep a budget in mind and do the needed calculations to arrive at a number. Think long-term. Will the rent be affordable for your restaurant in the long run? Again, there are other options apart from renting a location available. You can also try leasing. Do what suits your budget and your restaurant.
10. Visit a few places before making a final decision
As a final piece of advice, here is what we have to say to you. Do not settle for the first location you see. It is always beneficial to visit a few places and weigh the advantages and disadvantages before settling on a final one. This will ensure that you do not regret the decision that you have made.
Choosing a good location for a restaurant is no child’s play. A lot of things ride on this single decision, so take a lot of time to think things through and consider each of the factors listed above. Once it is done, it is done. So better make it the best decision you have ever made!