Selecting a restaurant location can be one of the most difficult, stressful and important decisions you will make as a restaurateur. Knowing what to look for in a space and how the space itself will impact the implementation of your concept are some of the key items to keep in mind when you begin your search.
To expand on this, one of our new clients interesting enough has contacted us from Russia to aid them in obtaining and developing a restaurant location for them in New York City. This is of course a blog about hotel and restaurant kitchen design, but more and more we are being approached by clients to provide services far outside the confines of the kitchen walls so I thought I may as well share them with you here.
As any chef will tell you, learning on the job or being “thrown to the wolves” is standard practice in a professional kitchen… And not to be underestimated, a firm specializing in commercial kitchen design layout development seems to follow that same model. That is, with much less screaming and shouting of course…
Acquiring a restaurant location is a far more in-depth process than one typically realizes until you actually go through the process, myself included. There are books and websites abound that specifically address the aspect of “Selecting a Location for a Restaurant” and as with cooking, everyone has their own opinion about what’s important in selecting a space, so I thought this would be as good a medium as any to share my thoughts on this aspect of business plan development based on my experience and operators perspective. As most of you know, I never claim to be an expert in any field, though I do like to think that I know more than many, I think what makes my firm different is not that we think we know everything, but like a chef in the kitchen developing a new recipe or technique, we have the ability to learn and adapt to the needs of our clients that is somewhat specific to the mind of a chef… Certainly there are many industries out there that require the skills to adapt to changing situations, but I think that these skills gifted specifically to a chef to adapt his or her art and science simultaneously is a very unique skill set that provides great benefits to not just run a kitchen, but also provides a platform for a design and development firm to offer services that far exceed their traditional role.
To this extent and to the address the very complex development process of selecting a site for a restaurant, I will be dedicating several posts to this topic over the coming weeks by offering you my thoughts and perspective on exactly how I would approach it with my money. In the end, I think that is really what every client wants to know… “If it was your money, how would you approach developing a restaurant concept?” Not to mention I think we owe it to our clients to treat their hard-earned money as if it were our own.
Selecting a restaurant location is a very challenging topic to discuss on a blog particularly since everyone in the industry believes different aspects of a property are most important in the selection process; so I invite anyone and everyone to comment on this and the upcoming posts. Site selection can be a very intimidating endeavor so I think the readers of this blog would greatly benefit from everyone’s experience and point of view on the topic so they can take away what is most important to them in achieving the success they search for.
We’ve helped develop dozens of business plans with clients over the years, and know how daunting of a task it can be when you are starting from scratch. We always recommend using a software platform to make things easier after you’ve completed your food cost analysis, using our Free Food Cost Calculator. Palo Alto Software has several programs to help entrepreneurs develop their business, sales and marketing plans. We encourage all of our clients to use since it makes life so much easier, theirs and ours! We’ve placed some links below to their software that you can view by clicking the banner.