How to Choose a Location for Your Restaurant

Location, location, location…. You always hear how important location is when it comes time to buy, and the restaurant industry is no different.

When it comes to opening your restaurant, location is one of the keys to your success for many reasons. There are many questions to answer before opening a restaurant, but deciding upon a location for your business is possibly one of the most important decisions because so many details rely upon a sound location.

  1. Customers - Your location will provide your customer base. Questions to ask are: will the people in this area benefit from my type of restaurant? Would they be able to easily afford my menu? Does my restaurant provide the type of food and atmosphere that would blend well in this area and cause patrons to want to frequent my restaurant?
  2. Employees – Will you have plenty of employees available to work in your chosen area? Will you be able to easily find employees willing to keep typical restaurant hours? If not, where will employees have to commute in from? What will their commute be like? What are the going rates for employment in this area?
  3. Competition - Is your concept unique for the area? Are there other potential restaurants that could open in the area, such as former restaurants for sale nearby? If there are other restaurants in the area do demographics allow for multiple restaurants? If the neighboring restaurants are successful is their customer base what you had in mind for your own business?
  4. Retail - Besides other restaurants in the area what types of businesses are nearby? Retail stores help increase foot traffic and provide you with customers. Do the surrounding businesses have the type of customers that would want to eat in your restaurant? Talk with existing business owners in the area you are considering. Do they belong to any organizations that collaborate and drive potential customers to the area?
  5. Parking - After you look at who your neighbors are, decide if your location provides enough parking and easy access to your restaurant. Will customers have to deal with parking meters or will they be able to easily find parking for several hours allowing them to stroll and stop to eat at your restaurant? Will your employees also have ample parking without having to worry about time constraints?
  6. Room to Expand - Will you have room to expand your indoor area or kitchen? Will you have an outdoor area or room to add one? Outdoor eating areas can provide you with an edge against competition when the weather is nice and patrons want to remain outdoors.
  7. Leasing or Owning – Will you plan to lease or own your building? What are the advantages to either choice such as taxes, zoning, or can you lease for multiple years at a time? If you are planning to lease find out which buildings your potential land lord owns and talk to the business owners about the landlord and their experiences.

With so many things to consider it can certainly seem overwhelming. But with careful consideration and research you are sure to help give your new restaurant an edge in the location you have carefully selected.

Jackie White is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including NYC restaurants. She writes for, a leading directory of top restaurants.

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