Wait, Where are You Opening A Restaurant?
Wednesday April 23, 2008
I have said it before and I will continue to say it again…and again…and again. Location, people! It is all about location. Yet I know that there are people who aren’t reading this blog (pity the fool, as MR. T would say) because I continue to see restaurants popping up in awful locations.
Case in point: A little burrito joint is getting ready to open in my small, rural Maine town. Now, I like the Mexican idea. It is new niche in our area (we do not count Taco Bell as Mexican food here) and has the potential to expand and grow. I know this because I have researched opening my own Mexican restaurant.
This particular burrito eatery is located on the west side of town, which was once a thriving neighborhood of its own, but is now a run down span of half filled buildings. Strike One. I am guessing the rent was cheap.
There is no parking except right in front of the building. Strike Two. Now, there is a public parking lot across the street, but it is just far enough away to be a nuisance to walk to and from your car in cold or inclement weather. Parking is an especially big issue in Maine. We like to walk in the woods, along our beaches and through our parks. But we don’t like to have to walk far to eat. Unfortunately parking is often overlooked when choosing for a location for a new restaurant.
I hear the place is only doing take-out. Strike Three. This is just a rumor. I am waiting for the place to open to confirm it. I hope they are planning to offer some sit down service. Otherwise, they will be missing the most obvious opportunity to expand their products to a wider market.
I speak from painful and costly experience when I talk about the importance of a restaurant’s location. Just because a building is beautiful and/or cheap, doesn’t mean it will be a successful restaurant. But I also understand you have to take a gamble in this business. If we all waited for the perfect place & time to open a new restaurant, there would be a lot of hungry people in the world.