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Scouting The Right Location For Your Restaurant

September 20, 2020

Head of Hospitality

Head of Hospitality

Article Overview

10min read

Choosing the right location for a restaurant is much harder than most people anticipate. Not every street corner is the right place; a bustling street with plenty of foot traffic may seem like a great spot at first glance, but a deeper analysis may show that it is not the case. In the reverse scenario, a location you would never have dreamt of opening a restaurant in maybe just the right place for your concept. 

Most people may argue that food and service outweigh any negatives of a location. Still, the area of your choice is probably among the more crucial aspects to consider for a restaurant just starting out.

Safety First

With tight spaces, sharp equipment, and open flames, there is a constant risk of hazards. After all, the safety of the restaurant is crucial to your staff and customers’ health. 

This is the first aspect to look into when viewing prospective restaurants. 

Does the building meet council regulations? Does it have the required wiring systems, sprinkler systems and fire alarms in place? How many fire exits does the building have? Does it have the space to install health and safety equipment like grease tanks safely? 

These are but just a few questions you should be asking yourself as you view the property?


Ideally, you would set up shop in a location visible to either vehicular traffic or foot traffic. It’s almost free advertising if you think about it – it will constantly remind consumers that this is a place they can drop by for lunch or dinner.

Parking Space is Crucial

With vehicle ownership on the rise, parking is a consideration when consumers are weighing restaurants to dine in. If they have to walk some way to reach the restaurant, they will look elsewhere more convenient. Of course, in an area where walking and public transportation are more common, this may be less of an issue, but if you are thinking of somewhere more ‘out of town’ and away, you must have ample parking available or, at the very least, plenty of public parking.

Understand the Commitment

Before you jump into a long-term lease, think about your grand plan’s consequences if your business does not take off. Thinking about the failure of your business isn’t comforting but it is always better to plan for the worst-case scenario. Consider starting with a short term lease of about a year or so and once you have established yourself, go for something longer.

Don’t let your impulses guide you

Sometimes, you may come across a property that strikes your fancy, and you just feel this is the right one. But, before you settle down, visit plenty of prospective locations, especially at different days and times as some places tend to attract the working crowd and are dead at night or vice versa.
Patience is key, as always.

Negotiate the Lease

It may strike some as a surprise, but you can haggle with landlords on the advertised lease. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent or even take it further by negotiating extras like who pays for garden care, utilities, and the property’s general maintenance. 

Remember, if you don’t ask, you will never get it!

Who are your neighbors?

When visiting a property, take a glance at who else is adjacent to or around the property? Do you see a dozen more restaurants with a similar concept as you? Is the street busy or empty? 

Starting a restaurant is not an easy task – after all, 60% of restaurants fail in the first year. Therefore, careful attention must be paid to the basics to minimize the chances of failure. Finding the correct location for your venture is one such aspect that must be carefully analyzed. If it’s done right, it will ensure customers enjoy their experience and that they will return thus allowing your restaurant to turn a profit. Restaurant consulting provides the opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to receive expert advice with regards to scouting the location for their business.

Head of Hospitality

Angela Soudi is a visionary writer with 20+ years of experience in Sales and Marketing across Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. She is highly invested in actively contributing articles to pioneering hospitality platforms and websites.

Head of Hospitality
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