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Finding the perfect new space for your restaurant can be a challenge. The space that you choose to lease could have a huge impact on the success of your restaurant business! Before you sign a contract, consider our guide on how to find restaurant space for lease.

Tips for Finding Restaurant Space

Prepare Your Budget

Before setting out on your restaurant space hunt, it’s a good idea to have a detailed budget prepared to help narrow your search. Be sure to include all costs associated with your restaurant business from your rent and utilities to equipment and insurance. You will also want to consider renovation costs when developing your budget. 

According to the Small Business Chronicle, your restaurant’s food and labor costs will typically consume about 60 to 70 percent of revenues. The other third of your revenue covers everything else, including taxes and rent. Industry averages show that your lease should account for no more than 5 to 8 percent of your restaurant’s total revenues.

Determine Your Restaurant Size

Your restaurant’s business plan should include a rough estimate of how much square footage you will need to operate your restaurant business. Calculate the amount of space you’ll need for your cooks to prepare the food, your servers’ mobility and your customers’ comfort.

Perform Market Research

Before you start looking for a space to lease, complete some market research. Look at the demographics and real estate market in different areas to understand the pros and cons of opening your restaurant in each area. Consider the competition in each neighborhood, and find out if similar restaurants to yours exist in the area already. Most cities have clusters of dining and entertainment establishments, so being closely situated to other restaurants might be good.

Will your restaurant stand out among neighbors in the area? Does the area have other businesses nearby that complement your unique restaurant? What is the income range for the area, and are there enough people with an adequate income to dine at your restaurant? These are some of the questions you’ll need to find answers for before choosing a location for your restaurant.

Account for Accessibility

When you’re searching for a space, it’s important to consider accessibility for all diners. Ensure that the space has accessible entrances, exits, seating and bathrooms for people of all abilities.

You’ll also want to consider accessibility to your restaurant in terms of parking. Ensure that your restaurant accommodates enough parking space for your patrons. Depending on where you’re located, parking may not be as much of a concern. For example, in highly populated cities with public transportation, parking is not essential for everyone. In a suburb, parking space for drivers is a must.

Look for Visibility

For most restaurants today, high visibility offers a huge advantage. If you’re tucked away where no one can see you, you may limit your customer base. Investing in a visible space with plenty of traffic makes it easier for passersby to find you!

Don’t Limit Yourself

You might have a good idea of what you want your restaurant to look like, with a unique concept in mind. Don’t limit yourself to a traditional restaurant space lease. Restaurant space is very versatile, and with a little bit of renovating, you can make just about any space work. Keep your options open, you might just find yourself converting an old warehouse into a really cool restaurant space!