Choosing an ideal F&B outlet location: PART 1
Ask yourself if you will and want to be visible
A more obscure location can promise exclusivity and uniqueness, which can give you leverage to charge at a higher price point. But somewhere “secretive” will no doubt also make it challenging to drive the crowd.
In most situations, it is ideal to be somewhere visible – somewhere with a higher footfall – especially if you’re just starting out. Determine the concept of your outlet and your marketing plans and if the concept is not to be “secretive”, find somewhere with higher pedestrian traffic.
Look for the parking and transport routes to your area
Think about the transport! Places relatively “off the beaten track”, or even just where public transport routes are inaccessible or limited, are likely to draw less crowd.
And if people are likely to need to drive to your outlet, it is probably a good idea to ensure there is cheap and easy parking somewhere near by. Going out for a meal is meant to be an enjoyable event, not a stressful thing, so keep that in mind when picking your location.
Check out the competition
On one hand, setting up in an area filled with restaurants could mean that you can save on advertising costs – people are bound to pop around to the area, walk past your outlet, and hopefully, also come in!
But on the other hand, you might not want to set-up directly next to a row of shops selling the same or similar thing you are. Doing so is a sure-fire way to annoy your neighbours, and if they have a stable base of customers, it is going to be more challenging to poach the crowd.
Instead, figure out if there’s something you can do differently from your competitors. In a row full of bars, perhaps serve food later at night so you can work together to meet the demand in the area, or even choose to target the lunchtime crowd so you are not directly in competition with them.
Determine if the area is suitable for your business
What are you serving? If you intend to serve alcohol late into the night, you might want to avoid residential areas where you may disturb others. If you specialise in brunch, setting up in an office area may not be ideal, but it would be perfect for you if you want to do set lunches!
Think about cuisine you intend to serve, and the timings that customers are likely to patronise your outlet, and when you’ve figured out your target market, narrow down your location choices based on where that market is likely to be.