Chelsea, AL (PressExposure) May 24, 2012 -- Look around. Fast-food joints populate the interstate and small coffee shops have sprung up inside bookstores. What about those sandwich shops and dessert kiosks inside department stores, and that fine-dining establishment at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle? Many stadiums have moved beyond the typical hot dog vendor to offer a great variety of restaurants. From a gas station that offers Chinese food to a fine-dining restaurant by a racetrack, the options for combining concept and location seem endless.
"Where is your restaurant? Are you invisible? Your answer to this question may be the single most important factor in your restaurant's success," says Howard Cannon, Restaurant Consultant, Restaurant Expert Witness, and CEO. When that restaurant dream comes clearly into focus, one must concentrate on the critical matter of site selection. He adds, "To be a success in the restaurant business, you need more than a great concept. Plenty of great concept ideas are failing miserably because of poor sites. The opposite is also true. Plenty of mediocre concepts with grade-A sites are making money hand over fist. Some locations are money machines, and others will never make money, no matter what kind of establishment you put up. Find the right site. It's gonna' be your new 'home away from home'."
Visibility is more than simply being seen. Cannon says, "Visibility is being seen by the right people at the right time. Visibility is therefore connected to traffic. You want your target market to see your establishment when you are most likely to be serving them. Owning an ice cream treat and dessert restaurant that is seen mainly by morning rush hour traffic doesn't help, does it?"
The greatest visibility happens when the restaurant owner chooses a site that is on a heavy traffic pattern at the right time of day by people who fit their target market. Cannon advises, "These sites, referred to as grade-A sites, can be expensive, but they are well worth the price. You can also improve your restaurant's visibility by using directional signage, marquee signage, neon lights, and DOT (Department of Transportation) highway signage. The last thing you want is lack of visibility. The main thing to remember is to pick the right place for your target market from the get-go."