One of the most important steps in opening each new activity is to choose the right place to open a restaurant. The next step in the process is to decide whether to rent a space or purchase it.
Depending on where the commercial space is located, you can not have any other options besides renting or leasing. And if this is the first time, renting is not so bad in choosing the right place to open a restaurant – at least you will not find yourself with a huge mortgage to pay if things do not go well.
In any case, there are several factors to consider when choosing a space to rent open for a restaurant, including the physical location and space available, the duration of the lease, and the available funds.
What comes first, the restaurant or the space?
There are some catering concepts to keep in mind, and space is built around those concepts. This is the case, for example, of restaurant chains such as Ca’puccino or Rossopomodoro.
They are built from scratch, all with the same specific structures or graphics. In this way, there is consistency between multiple locations, and the strengthening of the company’s corporate brand. Other restaurants are created on existing spaces – their peculiar characteristics are optimized and tailored to have an enviable position. Think of your favorite restaurant in the center. Probably the building with its spaces was already there, even before the restaurant. The owners of the restaurant therefore had to work with the current dimensions, construction silos, etc … Since most people are not possessing enough money to build a new restaurant from scratch or to become part of a large chain, most part end with using option two – that is, restructuring an existing space.
How to rent a restaurant
So, once you find the perfect space, the temptation to sign on the dotted line is strong, to get going.
In reality it is not a good idea to accelerate events. First of all, you have to check if the space can be used as a restaurant, for example if you are allowed to sell liquor in it. In some cities, there are still prohibitionist laws in force that limit the portion of alcohol altogether or if a restaurant is located at some distance from a school or church. Once it is established that the space allows the opening of catering activities, it is necessary to evaluate whether it is able to host a real restaurant.
It’s big enough? Go to the historic center of any big city and you will see some small restaurants crammed into spaces just a little bigger than a corridor. Thus, having a larger space is not always better. However, if your project requires a minimum of 100 seats, and the space allows you to have only 25 seats, at that point you will have to try to speed up the service offered. And then there is the question of who will pay for the renovations. Will the landlord pay for the installation of a cold room? Or the new anti-slip flooring in the kitchen? Or will you be responsible for the full amount? Always consider all these concerns before signing a lease with confidence.
How can you afford it?
The most important factor for choosing the right place to open a restaurant is your budget. If you find a prime location in an old town, it is likely that the rent will be higher than a less desirable location, like a mall parking lot. Just like buying a home, you need to be aware of your money available. Consider also how long the lease will be in place. A five-year lease is quite common in the business world. However, if the restaurant closes after a year or two, you will still be responsible for paying the rent for the next three years. If a potential landlord is not willing to negotiate a shorter lease, act with the utmost caution, and move on to the next space