Startup Restaurant Location Scouting and Landlord Tips

A huge credibility booster when you are working on raising money to start a restaurant business is being able to point to a specific location and say with confidence that is where my new restaurant or my new bar is going to be located.

Having a location as one of the most crucial aspects of being able to get started because obviously without location nothing else can happen. Therefore once you’ve gone through the initial phase of determining what type of restaurant you will start whether it’s a franchise or whether you are buying a restaurant or whether you are starting to scratch and you’ve gone through the requirements for the size and layout then you can immediately begin looking for locations that will fit your needs.

Be sure to write down the contact information typically posted in the window of any vacant space as you see that would fit the bill and immediately contact the representative for that space and ask them about the specifics. It doesn’t do any good to see an empty space and imagine that you could use it but not talk to the landlord because more often than not you will find out later that either the spaces are committed to someone else or for various reasons it won’t be available to you for use as a restaurant or bar.

The only way to get accurate information and find out about the availability and the suitability of the location you’re seeing is to call and ask. If in the initial phone call to get answers to your questions makes you think this location could possibly work for you the next step is to have a meeting at the location with the person representing the space and go through it inside and see what it has to offer and find out who else may be looking at it and how serious they are and how quickly you will have to move to secure the location if you decided in fact that it’s the one you want.

When you do your presentation to your potential funding sources being able to say that you have scouted and secured or at least scouted and had initial conversations with the landlord or property manager of the location that you have in mind is significantly more credible just simply saying you’d like to secure a space somewhere in a vague area.

By having an actual location not only can the investors visualize exactly where you plan to put your restaurant and what the general area will look like as well as a specific building but they can also see that the numbers you’ve used in your financial projections are based on actual lease rates and actual building costs and they can also see that again you’ve made the effort to take the next stop and be serious and determined in your efforts to actually launch a business which enhances your credibility and lowers the perception of risk in their minds in backing you in your venture.

Since the success of a restaurant venture is so heavily tied to its location and savvy restaurant investors know this trying to get funding to start without a location is really going to handicap your efforts. By the same token, having a good location locked up is going to make you search for funding significantly easier so why not give yourself a break and find that great location now.