Finding the right location, as we’ve noted, is extremely important for small restaurants and cafés. There are many potential pitfalls and benefits to keep in mind when you’re on the lookout for your next place.
Whether you’re about to open your very first café or expanding your successful restaurant concept, here’s a simple checklist to use as a starting point when you’re evaluating your location options.
1. Dig into the demographics
Who are the people living in the area, and are they part of your desired target group? Gather as much statistics as you can on age, education, income and occupation.
You can benefit from your competitor’s marketing efforts, demographic research and location strategy – and if you’re lucky, maybe even their lease negotiations.
2. Research the traffic flow
Is this an area with a natural, constant flow of people or would your customers have to specifically travel to get to your new place? Remember that even if you find a cheaper location you’ll probably need to pay some extra marketing costs in order for people to find it.
3. Make yourself noticed
Would people notice you when they walk by? Your window or signage might be the best marketing channel. Do something different and be creative!
4. Be easily accessible
Is the location close to public transportation? For classier or suburban restaurants, parking might be a big issue. Also remember that you’ll probably need easy access for deliveries.
5. Ride on the competition
Analyse your competition, but don’t steer away just because there are similar businesses in the area. This might actually be a good thing. You can benefit from your competitors’ marketing efforts, demographic research and location strategy – and if you’re lucky, maybe even their lease negotiations.
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6. Know your neighbours
It’s tempting to consider the office of a large company nearby as a guaranteed influx of lunch guests. But is this an area with further potential? What happens if said company decides to move elsewhere? Would you be a local lunch shack for the nearby office workers or a dinner restaurant for shopping hipsters? Or even better – is there a movie theatre or concert venue in the area? Also consider the other businesses, maybe you can be the perfect complement.
Did you miss our first part in our Location series? Find it here!