Restaurant Site Selection: Do you know all you need to know?

Finding the right location for a restaurant can be a significant factor in its success. It is essential to consider various factors such as target audience, competition, visibility, accessibility, and cost before choosing a location.

Target audience: A restaurant’s location should be in an area where the target audience is easily accessible. If the restaurant caters to business executives, then it should be in a business district or near offices. If it caters to families, then the location should be in a residential area with easy access and ample parking.

Competition: The location of the restaurant can determine its competition. Located in an area with several similar restaurants, it may be difficult to attract customers. However, if located in an area with few or no similar restaurants, it may attract more customers.

Visibility: A restaurant should be easily visible from the street or from a busy area. This increases the chances of attracting customers who may not be familiar with the restaurant.

Accessibility: The location should be easily accessible by public transport, car, or foot. Customers should be able to reach the restaurant without difficulty, regardless of their mode of transport.

Cost: The cost of the location should be taken into consideration. The rent or lease should be reasonable and within the budget of the restaurant.

As announced over the past few days, Acceler8Success has partnered with RESOLUT RE to connect its clients to RESOLUT RE’s exceptional market analytics and commercial real estate services teams. Also, the RESOLUT RE team will be providing valuable insight and perspective on real estate related items at Acceler8Success Café, especially as may be related to small business and the franchising, restaurants, and retail industries and industry segments.

So, for today’s topic of site selection for restaurants, I’ve asked David Simmonds, RESOLUT RE president and principal for a list of points to be discussed and questions to be asked of restaurant developers as the search for a location begins. Here is what David had to share:

  • Most important questions: What is the budget for Rent/Triple-net? Are client expectations realistic about what can be achieved in the market?
  • How much space is [really] needed? How has this been calculated? Is outdoor seating a preference or requirement? Storage space?
  • Is the preference for a 2nd generation restaurant space or would new construction or retrofit of retail space be considered?  Is there an understanding of the cost for new construction or to retrofit a space?
  • Are referrals needed for a general contractor/architect/etc.? Has a prototype been developed for a basic layout of the restaurant?
  • Have equipment specifications been secured, especially to initially understand requirements for electrical and gas services? Vent hood requirements? Grease trap requirements?
  • Have estimated costs been compiled for furniture, fixtures, and equipment? What about for unique build-out requirements?
  • Is end-cap space required or will an in-line space suffice? Has a free-standing location been considered? Will a drive-thru be required? What about pick-up accessibility for customers and third-party delivery drivers? Is natural light or direct sunlight a consideration? Are there specific signage requirements?
  • Will alcohol be offered at the restaurant? If so, have zoning requirements been considered?
  • What kind of tenant mix is preferred? How much parking will be required during peak restaurant hours and especially in relation to closest tenants with similar hours of operation and peak periods? Will parking options such as valet service or parking nearby be needed?
  • Have competitors been identified? Is there a preferred distance from competitors? Is there a preferred side of the street for optimum customer access?
  • Is data available detailing preferred customer demographics? Will the local customer base support the restaurant? Has an ideal drive-time to the restaurant been determined for customers? How about for staff?
  • As rent is always a function of sales, have sales projections been calculated to ensure rent and associated costs are at acceptable percentage levels?
  • Has a menu been developed specifically for the location to be shared with property management firm and landlord?
  • What kind of credit will be provided to secure the lease? Are principals willing to personally guarantee the lease? If so, for how long?
  • Has a source of funding been secured for the new restaurant? If so, from what source? If not, what is the plan?
  • Are other restaurants currently being operated by the principals? If so, for how long? For how long have principals been personally involved in the restaurant business?

For more information or real estate assistance, please visit the RESOLUT RE website or reach out directly to David Simmonds at

If you’d like to learn how a strategic partnership with Acceler8Success Group would benefit your organization and the clients it serves, please reach out to us on LinkedIn, by email to, or, by phone or text at (832) 797-9851.

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