Things to Consider When Moving Your Restaurant to a New Location
Is it time to move your restaurant? Perhaps your expenses at the current location cut into your profit. Maybe the majority of your primary demographic is elsewhere, so you need to follow to stay in business. It’s possible that your restaurant has overgrown its current area, and you wish to expand to a bigger market. You might believe that you can gain higher visibility in a different, high-traffic location. Regardless of the reason, a decision to relocate your restaurant should come after careful deliberation. Here are the most important things to consider when moving your restaurant to a new location.
Moving Your Restaurant: A Guide
Not even the pandemic has managed to hinder the growth of some restaurants that have adapted quickly to the newly imposed measures. The food delivery option remains a lifeboat to many and keeps them well above water. If you are confident that the time has come to expand, you need to develop an expansion strategy before moving your restaurant. On the other hand, if you’re among those who wonder how to cut corners most efficiently, a relocation could help.
Things to consider in moving your restaurant:
- The new location for your restaurant
- Setting a budget for your move
- When to move
- Securing help in moving
- Whether you should buy or rent the space
- Informing your old and new customers
Finding the Right Location
In a highly competitive industry, your location is critical for your long-term success. You may consider performing a location analysis to determine the ideal spot for higher exposure to your target guests. Keep foot traffic and parking in mind as a potential obstacle in moving your restaurant. Downtown locations where people can leisurely explore the dining provide an excellent opportunity for restaurateurs.
In other words, a genuinely successful restaurant satisfies the requirements of its potential guests. The closer you are to your primary demographic, the better for your establishment. When your original location doesn’t fit your business plans anymore, it is time to look for another.
Even if you have found a place with great access to customers, it is wise to consider all the other things that go hand in hand. Make sure that, at the new location, you also have easy access to suppliers, parking, and public transport options for your guests and staff, as well as room to grow unhindered by zoning and other local regulations.
Start your preparations as soon as you decide to relocate. First, plan the budget for moving your restaurant. If your restaurant is on a tight budget, determine how much you can afford to spend on the move and all the set-up services in the new location. The more detailed the moving budget you develop, the smoother your transition.
Timing Moving Your Restaurant
Plan your move for times of the year when you historically have the least visitors. If possible, you can utilize data analytics to help determine the ideal window for your move by reviewing historical data. Keep in mind that the date and time of relocation greatly impact the moving price. Moving your restaurant during the holidays is always more expensive. Do the math and see if a working day or two spent on relocation makes it more affordable than moving during the holiday season without any disruption to your operations.
Either way, make sure to contact professionals that can simplify the process of moving your restaurant as soon as possible. It is essential to schedule your move when it suits you financially and allows enough time to inform your patrons. Most importantly, with professional packing and moving assistance/insurance, you don’t have to worry about the relocation itself. Focus on your old and new customers instead.
Buying or Leasing a Restaurant Space?
Whether you should buy or lease the space for your restaurant depends on the chosen location and your working capital.
Sometimes it pays off to invest more initially as rents in busy downtown areas are getting higher. For example, you can make the most of the relocation by buying an affordable space in the suburbs and then set up a sustainable restaurant away from the high traffic areas. This will attract a growing number of environmentally conscious guests as well as those who tend to leave the big hubs due to high living costs.
While renting may prove more expensive in the long-term, it is an excellent short-term option for those who have just started building their restaurant brand. It takes some time, at least a year, to assess the growth rate in a specific location. This is why buying the space for your restaurant at the very beginning may prove a detrimental factor for a young business.
Inform Your Guests About Your Move
Once your move is scheduled, start informing your visitors about the relocation. Notify them through your marketing efforts, including your social media resources, website, and in the restaurant. Hold off on updating your address information until the move to prevent confusion.
In all likelihood, you have a lot of signs up right now, keeping in mind the current health and safety measures. Make sure to place signs notifying your guests about your upcoming relocation in a visible place, both outward-facing in your windows, and internally. Do the same at the new location. When the time comes to open your restaurant doors in the new neighborhood, ensure you have shared the news about the grand opening and the following event. Nothing else attracts attention to a newly-opened restaurant as an event where your future guests can get a taste of what you’re offering – for free.
Now that you have a plan for your overall move, have you thought about how to move all of your equipment? Don’t worry, we have you covered on the details there too.
About the Author
Christina Jackson turned her passion for writing into a full-time position at Professional Moving & Storage. She enjoys exploring various topics, such as home improvement, commercial and residential real estate, and relocation. On her days off, Christina enjoys meditating and going for long runs.