What You Need to Know When Selecting a Restaurant Location in Phoenix AZ
Parking or transportation is a must.
People can be lazy. Some, may opt to go somewhere easier if they have to walk a bit. If you live in an urban area where everyone walks and there is public transportation, it’s not as important. If you are thinking of a restaurant location out of town, in a place that requires you to drive to get there, you’d better have parking available. If your restaurant location doesn’t come with a large parking lot, is there a municipal parking lot nearby they could use?
Visibility is important
Do your due diligence. Check out the traffic for a few hours. Look at the people and determine if they’d be customers or not. Setting up shop in a location with either high foot or car traffic is ideal but only if the right kind. Then making yourself visible to the public is like free advertising. It reminds them that your restaurant exists and they should stop by sometime. Another option is EASI Demographics. For around $20 you can see if a restaurant at the location is feasible.
Bigger IS Better, But Know What You Can Afford
No matter the size your restaurant will require adequate space for a kitchen, walk-in refrigerator, dry storage and an office for paperwork. Your dining room needs space for a wait-station and possibly a bar. What looks like a huge space for rent can quickly fill up quickly with the necessary equipment needed to operate a restaurant. It’s critical to understand how much your restaurant will realistically bring in before you commit. A good rule of thumb is to be able to pay your rent off one days worth of business. If the rent is too high look elsewhere.
Learn From Other Restaurants
Did it have a restaurant operating there for 20 years? That would show a community can support a place. Were there several owners in the last four- five years? How did it fail? Was it location? Management? Turnover? These things can tell you if this is the right location for you. A commercial real estate agent that specializes in restaurants may be the answer. CREArizona is a company that works in Phoenix. The Restaurant Brokers and Phoenix Commercial Advisors are others.
Put Safety First
One of the first steps in choosing a restaurant location is finding out if the building is up to code. Does it have proper wiring, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, handicap-accessible doors, restrooms, ramps? A walk through the building with your local code enforcement officer will help you determine what needs to be done to a space before you open a restaurant.
Know Your Neighbors
When looking for a restaurant location, consider who else is doing business nearby. Too many restaurants with the same concept as yours will factor into your restaurants traffic. Is the area busy or full of empty storefronts? Successful businesses attract other successful businesses.