Location, location, location – it can make or break a restaurant. Finding the perfect location is a time consuming and tedious process, but it’s essential that you give it all the attention it deserves.

Do not rush this decision, it is one of the most important ones that you will make. Wait until you have several prospective properties and then weigh your options carefully. Remember, once you sign the lease and open your restaurant the one thing that is almost impossible to change is your location.

You need to consider the following factors when choosing a location:

– Visibility and passing traffic (foot and car)
– Parking
– Demographics
– Potential for outdoor seating
– Zoning
– Refurbishment required
– Freehold or leasehold
– Competition
– Complementary businesses located close by

Pound the pavement.
Don’t just get stats from the phone directories or the last census, check the pricing, service and style. Visit the location on a number of different days and take note of peak times in terms of foot traffic. Also see if there are enough potential customers in the specific segment you are targeting to ensure you get a viable market share.

Don’t be afraid to open right next door to your competitors.
In most businesses it is best to stay as far away from your competitors as possible. But in the restaurant business it is often best to stay as close as possible to your competitors, as your potential customers may have already decided that they are coming to this part of town to eat.