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5 Tips on Evaluating Locations for Restaurants

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop

It’s tough in today's environment to find the right restaurant locations at the right price, say development executives for three franchisors. David Bloom, chief development officer of Las Vegas-based sandwich chain Capriotti’s, Chris Cheek, chief development officer of Jackson, Mississippi-based Newk’s Eatery, and Jena Henderson, vice president of growth of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Saladworks, joined together to form a panel that addressed the present real estate challenges for restaurants. The meeting took place this past Monday at the MUFSO (Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference), presented by Nation’s Restaurant News. The conference concluded on Tuesday.

The panel held forth that:

In a highly competitive environment with hundreds of chains looking to grow into roughly the same type of location, the real estate market is tough for restaurants today...

Add to that a rapidly changing industry, which is adding delivery, catering and to-go business as a significant source of revenue, and what makes for a good restaurant location is evolving. Negotiating leases and selecting sites has become more challenging than ever, too, they said. — Lisa Jennings, Nation’s Restaurant News

The panel gave five tips on evaluating locations:

  1. Use data analytics.
  2. Get smaller. Or get bigger. Or both.
  3. Work closely with the operations team.
  4. Maybe rethink malls. And outlet centers.
  5. Grow into new markets quickly.

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About Marilee Hayes

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