Not all available spaces are right for restaurants. Everyone knows that finding the right spot for a restaurant is never easy. Sometimes, even a location that seems right – high traffic, visibility and accessibility, may not be the best for you.
Other times, a spot that seems like a bad idea may turn out to be right. There are so many aspects to consider when opening a restaurant, but the location is one of the most important ones.
The Parking Problem
As Malaysians, we understand the parking predicament. There are never enough parking spots, be it our work places, hangout spots or shopping malls. When considering where to go makan, a common factor is always the parking.
Malaysians prioritize convenience when it comes to eating out. If parking is a major problem for them, regular customers will be a problem for you. Popular commercial hubs like USJ 9 and SS15 are full of restaurants, but they are known for their parking issues. Aside from college students, many wouldn’t go out of their way to have a meal there, solely because of the lack of parking spaces.
Can You See Me Now? [restrict]
More people in an area must mean more customers, right? Well, not exactly. Many of us go through our day-to-day routines without taking note of our surroundings. If your restaurant isn’t welcoming or visible, most people will skim past it.
Think about our mamak and hawker stalls. Anywhere we go, we notice them, even if they are not in prime locations. This is because they are visible. From a glance we know exactly what they’re about and what we can get from them. Likewise, your restaurant needs to be distinguished by your sign, colour and logo.
Sell Right, Buy Right
Understanding who your customers are will assist in choosing your location. You wouldn’t open a fine-dining restaurant in area with mostly college students. Likewise, you wouldn’t open a home-cook styled restaurant in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre.
The Uncle Don’s in Taipan has been thriving ever since they opened. However, the spot they chose has been known by locals as the cursed spot. For almost two decades, every restaurant or bar that has opened in that lot has failed miserably. Uncle Don’s succeeds because their prices are perfect for the residents. It is obvious that they understood who their customers would be, and then planned accordingly.
Know Thy Neighbour
Assessing your competition is one of the first things a person considers before choosing a restaurant location. Some considerations sound like this:
“Does Jalan Telawi really need another banana leaf restaurant? “
“Can my cakeshop match up with Artisan’s glorious cheesecake?”
Furthermore, justifying your restaurant’s position helps clarify what consumer demands you are meeting. Your future-neighbours will tell you a lot about the market and consumers in the area.
Slips, trips and falls could cost your restaurant more than any locations’ rent. Ensure that you take keep safety in mind for your staff and consumers when planning your restaurant. One of the best ways to ensure that your staff are safe is to implement strict safety guidelines when working.