Are you ready to buy, sell or invest in a restaurant? Assembling a list of well-tested ingredients mixed with a little precaution and foresight will increase your chances for a rewarding experience. In this issue, we’ll look at choosing the right location. Next issue we’ll talk about the transaction itself and pitfalls to avoid.
Many of the important location decisions for your restaurant’s real estate will be based on a clear understanding of the restaurant’s concept.
Have you defined the right location for the concept? You don’t put a high end dining establishment in a warehouse district. (You may laugh…but it’s done.) Don’t discount the importance of using a professional restaurant broker in accessing and finding the site.
Your concept will also succeed on different levels based on the suitability of the type of space you choose. Will a tempting menu, appealing price points and up-to-the-minute decor help it succeed as a stand-alone destination location? Will it do well as an outparcel, or is your concept more suited for an endcap or inline space within a neighborhood center?
Matching your concept to the right target market will help put you in the right location. Are you offering an Asian-fusion happy hour for young upwardly mobile business people, or are you serving lunch to the ladies garden club?
Finding out where your target market lives, shops and works should help determine your location. Study the potential location and its traffic flows, and be sure it matches the habits of your ideal clientele.
Are the demographics around the site appropriate for your concept? Are the blue collar or white collar people that live or work around your establishment the ones that will frequent it for lunch or dinner? How old are they?
If the area does not embrace the restaurant concept, you will certainly wish you had planned better.
Finally, do your due diligence. “Live” in the area, day and night, to see what it is like. Use a broker that is familiar with the area in question.
Check the local zoning laws, liquor laws, closing times, restrictions, and parking regulations. Make sure you understand the area before you open or invest in a restaurant or hospitality venture.
Buying, selling or investing in a restaurant will be easier if you have a proven recipe for success.
Athan “Tom” Prakas is President! Broker of The Prakas Group, Inc., in Boca Raton and Orlando, the largest restaurantlhospitality brokerage firm in Florida.
Athan “Tom” Maims // FR&L Real Estate