Starting up a new restaurant is not just about good cooking, customers attention and publicity. Taking strategic decisions to seize the opportunities around you is the key to success and restaurant placement.
However, not many people learn to think out of the box. A very useful skill nowadays, where being different and innovative is a huge boost for any kind of business.
This article won't teach you, instead, it will give you some basic tools to increase the chance to seize restaurant placement opportunities. But, where are those opportunities? That’s a common question when you are seeking to increase the profits of your restaurant.
Well, the answer is simple: They are around you, always around you. So today we are going to focus on how to analyze one of the most critical conditions of success: the placement of your restaurant and its immediate influence area.
The Ideal Restaurant Placement
Think for a moment which of your city's restaurants are the most famous or economically successful. Now think about their location or restaurant placement. In 99% of the cases, the locations will be one of these two:
- a) A very crowded place.
- b) Places frequented by wealthy people.
That’s not the case for most restaurants, especially not for those that started up recently. However, if you think about it, that wasn't the case for any of those famous restaurants either when they were starting up. Quite the opposite, they probably opened in a “not so ideal” location.
The first 3 years of almost every new restaurant are full off handicaps and trade-offs. Most people would think that sometimes a bad location is one of those problems, but it is not, since opportunities are all around you regardless of your location.
The real problem is how to adapt your business or restaurant placement to the surrounding areas. The secret of the success is to develop a perfect match with your environment to create a place that becomes necessary and irreplaceable, wherever its location may be.
The Basics of Location
To learn how to adapt your restaurant to its surrounding areas, it's necessary to know kind of things people do near your restaurant.
Find the location of your restaurant on Google Maps and consider a radius of 400 mts around it. That radio represents the maximum comfortably walkable distance for most people, including old people and children.
You must realize that people who live in or frequently visit that area must be your main target, since they represent your main growing opportunities.
Now, let's question what does that people do there? Do they live there, work there or go there to get fun? It is extremely important to know what kind of public do you have. The most effective way to do it is observing the kind of buildings that exist in your perimeter. The most important ones are the public facilities. Read our other articles if you want to lean more about Google Local Pack Services.
Becoming a facility's business support
Public facilities can be a great opportunity for your restaurant placement. Schools, hospitals, sports fields, etc are places that concentrate people, people who probably demand specific things. If you want new clients, you have to invite them somehow, and a perfect way to do this is giving them exactly what they need.
To play this game your restaurant will need to provide a special service, something that complements very well your client's lifestyle.
A school near your restaurant means that children and teenagers have a life near your business. Try to offer them something tasty and fast made so they can buy it at the end of their day. Ice Creams, cookies, cupcakes, milkshakes and smoothies are perfect for them.
Other facility opportunities
On the other hand, if you have a hospital near your business, you probably may need a delivery service or a takeaway food system. The doctors and the patients family who spend the night at the hospital will have an easy and fast way to take their meals. If you build a reputation out of it, you’ll generate a sizeable profit.
It isn't necessary to transform your whole menu. With just one or two special dishes for athletes is enough to start. It also will require an advertising effort so you can attract said customers.
You can also try to offer them vitaminic drinks and alternatives that compensate their electrolyte losses. Remember that both fitness people and athletes take their diet very seriously.
Many people spend a lot of money on proper food for their routines. Likewise, many of them do not have culinary gifts to venture cooking their own fitness dishes. Take advantage of it.
Why "zonification" is also important
Is your restaurant located in a residential area or an office area? This it's extremely important to define what kind of audience you wish to attend.
If you are located in a residential area, your restaurant must adopt a more family-oriented nature. Then, you could offer environments designed for parents to go with their children. Adapting furniture is a good way to do it.
Another way to do it is to offer activities or special events that invite the family to your restaurant. The advantage of this is that if you succeed, your restaurant will tend to receive large groups. (of more than three people)
If your restaurant is located in an office area, then you are interested in catching all those people who leave their work. You will have three peak hours: before 7 am, at noon, and from 4 to 5 in the afternoon.
What do they need? Speed. You will have to optimize your service to make it fast. You should also adopt a takeaway food system, especially breakfasts and coffee.
The commercial and office areas have another advantage: some of these areas develop nightlife. If you want to take advantage of it, serving alcohol is the best strategy for it. Nothing like a couple of beers after a long day of work. To get the attention of new customers, you can try to bid 2x1 on the weakest sale days.
Transportation: Learn how to attract new customers from the crowd
Check in your area of influence (400 mts radius) if you have any bus stop or subway nearby because you'll have a great advantage over those who do not. Check what type of people use these stops, what times are the largest flows of people and what things come to your area.
If you have ever been on transit you probably know its incredibly boring and tiersome. If you manage to catch the interest of people in transit, you will be attracting a good ammount of customers to your restaurant.
Not only that, but if you manage to do this in a route commonly used to go from a working area to a residential area, you may have large groups of workers going to your business together.
The rest is more attentive: how to adapt.
The new thing must be how to effectively divert those people from their routines to your restaurant since our ultimate goal is that your restaurant is also part of their routines.
If possible, you can try to relate your restaurant placement with the activities they are doing.
For example, if you have a large flow of lawyers passing by, you can put a small legal library in your restaurant. It isn't just useful for them, but they'll also feel comfortable in your environment.
If a lot of people go to the cinema, you could turn your restaurant into a restaurant set for cinephiles, if you are surrounded by sport loving people you can adopt a snack bar approach and broadcast the latest sport events, and so on.
Veni, vidi, vici
Remember that the new times require transformations in the way we do things. Restaurants are not just about food.
Taking advantage of the opportunities that your restaurant's location offers is a matter of great perception and creativity. It is an undeniable skill in modern times.
Keep your eyes and mind wide open in such a way that you can read your environment, adapt and succeed, just like the great Julius Cesar did: Veni, vidi, vici. (Came, Saw, Won)