Selecting the RIGHT site (location) is a process that takes considerable thought and research. There are a number of considerations to take into account. First, and foremost, the demographics of the location in relation to the restaurant concept must be considered. Is the concept more appropriate for a location that supports an “impulse” decision to patronize your restaurant, or is it more of a “destination” restaurant?
Consider the difference; most fast food restaurants are “impulse-driven” locations, which is to say that they are high-profile, easily seen and normally on high traffic routes. The consumer is driving by, sees your sign and turns in. “Destination” restaurants offer a product or service that consumers will seek out, so higher profile locations are less important. In either case, significant attention should be paid to the population profile within the 1, 3, and 5-mile radii. Who lives and works within those radii is extremely important. For example, you would not want to locate a sports bar in a demographic that is predominantly an age group of people over 40 years old. They may use your facility, but not with enough frequency. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to put a fine-dining, high-check restaurant within a demographic that has a low average household income.
A lot of information can be garnered by analyzing the competition close to the locations you’re looking at. If nearby restaurants that cater to the population that will support your concept seem to be doing well, that’s a good sign. But even in that case, ask the question: Is there enough population in the area to support my restaurant too?
There are a lot of other questions to ask: Is the parking adequate? Is the site reasonably accessible? Is all the traffic going by merely commuter traffic, or do those drivers live or work nearby? W&W Restaurant Consulting Group will help you answer these questions and help ensure that you don’t make a fatal mistake right out of the gate. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. It matters in a BIG way!