Restaurant Site Selection-7 Things to Consider While Deciding the Location for Your Restaurant

It has been said quite a lot, and we’ll say it again: the location of the restaurant is crucial to its success. Much thought and planning need to go into deciding the location, and a number of factors need to be considered before selecting the site. Therefore, we have compiled a complete restaurant site selection checklist that you must refer to before finalizing the site for your restaurant.

1. Market Research

Before you do anything else, you must do a market research of the location where you wish to open your restaurant. The area where you are going to open a restaurant must be scrutinized on all levels: right from the existing competition to your potential customers.

You must also do a demographic survey to understand and identify the potential customer base, and their eating preferences. For example, an expensive fine dining restaurant at an area majorly populated by students and youngsters is not going to do well.

It is also a good idea to identify your existing competition in the vicinity; if a competitor is doing well in that area, it means there is an established customer base in that area. You would now only have to figure out to funnel the customers from your competitor’s to your restaurant.

2. Front Location

A front location can do wonders for your restaurant. A restaurant right at the front of the building has maximum visibility and generates the highest footfalls compared to the other locations. Customers usually choose the restaurant that is right in front of the. Therefore, if your restaurant is not easily visible or requires customers to take a detour, chances are the customer would not go to your restaurant at all.

3. Upper floor or Rooftop Location

Upper floor locations should ideally be avoided. They have less visibility, and it is also difficult for customers to reach upper floor restaurant. If you must set up your restaurant at an upper floor, at least ensure that the building has an elevator.

Rooftop restaurants are popular among customers, but there are a number of hassles involved in them. To get a trade license, the rooftop restaurant cannot have a kitchen on the top floor. Therefore, you need at to have another floor to set up the kitchen. This can turn out to be a little troublesome as you need enough staff members to send food on the rooftop.

4. Size

The size of the restaurant does not just imply the dining space. The site should be big enough to accommodate all the kitchen equipment. Walk-in freezer, cooking stations, etc all require large spaces. Depending on your concept you can decide the size of the seating area, bar etc. A cramped up space to accommodate more customers often works the opposite and drives customers away because of the small and cramped dining space.

5. Access and Parking

Easy accessibility of the restaurant and the parking space around it is an important aspect of location that must not be ignored. If the customers are not able to reach the restaurant easily, they are more likely to choose a different restaurant to dine altogether. Parking is also an essential part of the location. If your restaurant does not have a designated space for parking, then customers would merely go to another restaurant where they can park easily.

6. Building Amenities

You need to check whether the building that you have chosen for your restaurant has the desired amenities or not. Complete power backups must always be present in the restaurant building. Having a bathroom is also a must in the restaurant.

7. Budget

All the factors mentioned above decide the price of the property. Prime locations with better facilities cost more. A good location is important, however, it does not make sense to spend a fortune on the restaurant site. The cost of the site must never exceed more than 10% of your revenues. Choosing a restaurant site that fulfills all your requirements, and yet is cheap can be a daunting task, and is, therefore, one of the biggest challenges of setting up a restaurant.

Site selection of a restaurant is one of the first steps of setting up a restaurant. The success of a restaurant is heavily dependent on the location, and must be chosen carefully.

Originally published at on April 19, 2016.