6 (More) Things To Consider When Choosing Your New Restaurant Site

Our first part article on 5 Things To Consider When Choosing Your New Restaurant Site, we discussed about the fundamental factors to look out for when selecting a site for your new restaurant. In this article, we dwell a little further into deeper aspects of what makes a site selection exercise effective for your F&B location.

6. Location

What’s around the vicinity of this location?

Most business owners may look at a street name or building name and quickly identify a location as “prime” or not. We commonly have a fixed impression of an area with a generalised view, or based on our personal knowledge of a part of the area.

However, understanding a location is more than that. To truly identify a great location for your restaurant, it is important to understand its surrounding places, businesses, and also competition – of course this is assuming you already figured out what is your target audience group. Some questions you can explore:

  • I am selling low-priced bubbletea to teenagers, how many secondary schools and polytechnics around the area and how many students can I expect to come by?
  • I run a bakery that caters for the working crowd, is there a large group of young married couples around the area who will come by to pick up a quick bite?

7. Location Within A Location

More considerations for locations in a mall.

When the location is situated in a mall, it brings another layer of requirements for analysis. Truth is, not all parts of a mall is ideal for your business, and some parts not ideal for most businesses. To identify a great spot in a mall, a business owner has to understand the type of traffic in the mall, dwelling time of its traffic (or there could be huge traffic simply passing through), is the location situated at a hotspot like an escalator or mall entrance or amenities like toilet and service counters.

And the other rules apply, like visibility angles and neighbour tenants define whether the location is one that suits your business.

8. Competitor Analysis & Tenant Mix

Does my business complement the area or is there too much competition?

Understanding competition in the area requires a business owner to strike a balance between “too much competition” and a healthy competitive environment. Competitions that have been through the test of time at a location could mean that your business is suitable for the demographics of patrons in this location, it could also mean that people around here generally identified the area as a place to look out for such products or services.

Business owners should also be aware of the tenant mix in the area, is it already a healthy compliment of different types of businesses or is there a gap for your business to fill?

9. Customer Mix & Traffic Concentration

Understand who comes to the location and are they potential customers.

The demographics of potential patrons lies largely on the traffic that the area produces, and this is depending on multiple factors.

If the location is a pass-through point for public transport especially MRT station, and the vicinity has industrial, offices, or residential area, it is likely that in mornings and evenings you will attract working adults. If the area is surrounded by old residential flats, there is a likelihood that traffic comprises mostly of seniors. Pay close attention to the types of landmarks in the area and that will lead you to a good sense of what the expected traffic and customer mix would be.

10. Anchor Tenants

Who are the most important tenants here? Are they responsible for most of the traffic?

Often missed out but could pose a potential risk when selecting a site in a mall, are anchor tenants. It is advisable to learn about who the anchor tenants are to understand who their business attracts. Anchor tenants are usually the biggest draw of traffic to the mall and should not be ignored, typically they are cinemas, supermarkets, and departmental stores.

The risk that anchor tenants pose is a situation where, if this anchor tenants leave, what changes will it bring to the mall’s traffic? Learn about whether these anchor tenants have been around for a good amount of time, and whether they are still doing well in the mall. This also provides you with good insights about the performance and positioning of the mall, whether if it suits your business.

11. Speaking To An Agent

Know who the agent represents.

Going through a lease with a real estate agent is a great start, as the professional understands the process of leasing and site selection, and will definitely save you time on figuring out the leasing side of things.

However it is important to know who the agent is representing, are they speaking in the interest of the landlord because they have been appointed by the landlord to market the units? Or are they acting on your behalf and in your interest and carry the responsibility to bring you the best deal for your budget?

Hope these provides you good insights as a starting point on your journey to finding the perfect spot for your restaurant!

If you are thinking about, or in the midst of searching and F&B space, it is best to engage a real estate professional who can represent your interests instead of one appointed along with the lease deal. Get in touch with us to learn more about how Hedge Real Estate can assist.

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