Location, location, location. You may have narrowed down your selection to an ideal neighborhood, city, or county, but you still have some important questions to ask yourself. Understanding the visibility, accessibility, and traffic of your selected unit are overwhelmingly important to the success of your business. Pizza Marketplace recently shared its secrets on selecting the right location for your business, offering the most important ideas to keep in mind.
Following are the 6 Factors of Restaurant Site Selection.
Location within the Location
You need to evaluate the type of commercial venue you selected for your business. Is it a shopping plaza or local mall? Is the location inside or outside? You’ll also want to ensure that you are in a part of the plaza/mall with high-foot traffic. If you’re at the end of the strip with little foot-traffic, it could mean minimal business.
Other tenants in your shopping center can be split into two categories- neighbors and anchors. Anchors pull in customer traffic. Neighbors are the ones physically closest to you.
Neighboring tenants consist of the tenants in the plaza closest to you. Before moving in, it is important to understand who can help and who can hurt business. A health-food store can easily complement the next-door gym, whereas a bakery might suffer with the same neighbor. Next-door neighbors that offer similar customers can help your business as well as theirs.
Competitors could potentially harm or hurt. Food courts can be potentially beneficial to all restaurants. They are all competing for the same hungry customer, but all gain the visibility of being in a food center. On the other hand, a pizza place moving in next door to another pizza place can hinder both.
Certain neighbors may cause some customers to avoid your business altogether. For instance, parents may be reluctant to bring children into a daycare next to a bar. Hidden issues can arise as well. Discovery of other red flags may be accomplished by briefly interviewing current tenants.
Major businesses, like department or grocery stores, are considered anchors because they draw traffic into the plaza. Make sure to do some interviews and research. Evaluate how effective these anchors are in bringing in traffic and find out if the business is staying-put. If the anchor goes out-of-business or is relocating, your business may suffer from the loss of traffic.
Ideal visibility happens when both drive-by and walk-by traffic can easily see your business. Make sure nothing is obstructing your business from these eye-sights.
Related to visibility, signage is another way to be seen. Find out what type of signage is available to you. If it is a common sign shared with other tenants, make sure your name is easily visible. Also find out if you have to pay an additional fee for signage.
Make sure the business is easily accessible. Drivers will have the easiest time turning in if the business is on the right side as they approach. If they are making a left-turn in, how difficult is it to turn? Is there a stoplight or stop sign? Do they have to turn around or further ahead? Stairs are another potential issue. If stairs lead to the business, ask yourself if there is a nearby elevator. Elders and the disabled may have difficulty accessing the business if they can’t be accommodated.
Parking also relates to accessibility. Areas heavily travelled by cars will need sufficient parking. Also, some parking spots are reserved only for certain businesses, so even if it appears that there is ample parking, your business may have no right to use it. Additionally, a nearby neighbor with a great deal of traffic may result in less parking availability for your customers.
Complexity of Site Selection
Location is everything, but it’s clear that location is far more complex than a choice of zip code. Do abundant research before choosing your business space.