The best restaurant in the world isn’t going to do much business if no-one can find it or no-one can travel to it. That’s why – as real estate salespeople are fond of saying – the three most important things to consider when setting up a restaurant are location, location and location!
When getting started, your choice of location will inform your ability to attract customers and the possibility of establishing regulars – people who prefer your restaurant and frequent it with repeat business. However, your customers aren’t the only thing you should take into account when considering a location. The primary concerns are:
Obviously, opening an Italian restaurant in Preston on a street that already has 2 Italian restaurants is a risky proposition for your business. When setting up anywhere, make sure to check the competition first – other restaurants of any description certainly fall under this umbrella, but restaurants in your particular niche will mean fiercer competition still. Unless the population you are serving is massive, two restaurants in the same niche in the same location is unsustainable; meaning a fight to the close. Either your restaurant will drive the other restaurant out of business, or you will be driven out of business yourself.
So choose carefully! An area with no restaurants may be missing them due to a lack of demand in the population, so you’ll want to strike a happy medium, finding a place where there is demand but not yet any supply for it. Make sure to get to know your area well, as it will be your stomping ground once the restaurant is in business – this local knowledge is completely invaluable in starting your business in the best way possible!
Shipping and Delivery Routes
Of course, other restaurants aren’t your only concern when establishing a restaurant. Make sure to adequately check the shipping routes and delivery/unloading options for your potential locations, to make sure that your fresh ingredients can be delivered as easily, quickly and inexpensively as possible. This is something which is often overlooked, but the ability to quickly and easily accept deliveries will make the running of your restaurant into a much smoother operation, while difficult, out-of-the-way delivery options or extra charges for additional delivery mileage will quickly pile up and cause stress.
While competition from other restaurants and shipping of your supplies and ingredients are extremely important factors in choosing a location, they can both be overruled by your customers. If there is sufficient demand for your restaurant, competition won’t damage you, and you’ll be able to work around delivery troubles. However, without customers, nothing else will work, so you’ll need to find a place that they can find easily and travel to with a minimum of effort.
One of the most elegant solutions to this trifecta is the one used by Mezzo Italian restaurant and other restaurants like it. By positioning itself between Preston and Blackburn on the A677 Preston New Road in Samlesbury, Mezzo demonstrates necessary knowledge of its competitors, delivery routes and customers. There is no intense competition between the cities, but customers from either place can easily meet there, and it is a perfect halfway house between the two where people can reunite and enjoy some great food. At the same time, its location makes it the perfect spot for the freshest local ingredients to reach it quickly.
By combining these 3 factors, as Mezzo and others like it have done, you’ll be setting yourself up with the maximum chance of restaurant success!