So you’re ready to open up a restaurant. You’ve thought about your team and your concept and your menu. But what about the restaurant space? How do you plan on putting up the decoration, the tables? If you are going for a theme for your restaurant, what props are you going to use and what will be the placement of it?
These are a few questions which will come to your mind while imagining what your restaurant space will look like, space-wise, customer-wise. So, this time we will help you out in doing so:
1. Keep an open mind
You may be able to envision the neighborhood (or even street!) where you want to locate your restaurant, but keep an open mind; a spot may appear that’s nothing like you pictured, but perfectly suited to your project. It could be a spot with huge windows, on a corner, with plants right outside the view. It could be a pirate-themed bar with customized cutlery. Just keep an open mind to new ideas and suggestions.
2. Know your city traffic patterns
“Location, location, location” is what’s often said, but go a little deeper than that; think beyond cities and neighborhoods, down to corners and addresses. One side of a city street might get foot traffic, while another doesn’t; one block may have hundreds of cars pass an hour, while the next block doesn’t have the same flow. The accessibility of your restaurant will play a major role in deciding the restaurant space.
3. Do your due diligence
Keep an eye out for major customer sources, it might be that subway stop or that hospital; in yours, it might be an office park, an apartment complex, a school or a sports field. And if you’re planning delivery, say? Take an even closer look at the streets surrounding your restaurant, getting a sense of where your customers might come from, and how best to reach them and then plan accordingly.
4. Take lessons from other restaurants
If you’re looking at a space that has been a restaurant in the past, take the time to learn about that establishment—and how it did or didn’t succeed. It’s important to analyze the reasons behind the both both of the situations.
One more step: consider how your restaurant will interact with other establishments in your immediate neighborhood; they should be a major consideration in where you locate. They’re competition, yes; but they’re also potentially beneficial. It will help your place to overflow with customers as well but it is also important to consider the need for your services; if there are three pizzerias in two blocks, does the area need a fourth?
5. Know what you can afford
It’s critical to understand how much your restaurant will realistically bring in the door before you commit to a space. That’s absolutely key to surviving. If the rent is ridiculous, then walk. You might be tempted to reach for that awesome space. But keeping rent reasonable is key to your restaurant actually working. Rent and space, that’s what matters in the end.
So, here’s how you can completely utilize your restaurant space.