Opening a new restaurant is an exciting venture, but its success heavily relies on choosing the right location. The site selection process is crucial as it can significantly impact the profitability and sustainability of your establishment. To help you make informed decisions, we've compiled a list of the top 10 site-selection considerations when opening up a new restaurant.

1. Demographics:

Understanding the local demographics is vital in determining if your restaurant concept aligns with the target audience in the area. Analyze factors such as age, income levels, lifestyle preferences, and dining habits of the community to ensure your restaurant can cater to their needs and preferences.

2. Foot Traffic:

Choosing a location with high foot traffic ensures a steady stream of potential customers. Look for areas near shopping centers, tourist attractions, business districts, or college campuses. Assess pedestrian flow during different times of the day and week to gauge the potential customer base.

3. Competitor Analysis:

Conduct a thorough analysis of existing restaurants in the area. Determine the type of cuisine they offer, their pricing strategies, and overall popularity. A healthy mix of competition can attract a diverse customer base, but beware of oversaturation, which may lead to fierce competition for market share.

4. Accessibility and Parking:

Easy accessibility is key to attracting customers. Ensure that your restaurant is easily reachable by car, public transportation, or on foot. Ample parking space, either on-site or nearby, is also crucial to accommodate guests and facilitate a convenient dining experience.

5. Rent and Operational Costs:

Analyze the cost of rent and other operational expenses in different areas. Balance your budget while considering the potential revenue and profit margins. Remember that high-rent areas might offer increased visibility, but they can also pose financial challenges, especially for new establishments.

6. Zoning and Permits:

Check local zoning regulations and ensure that the location is zoned for restaurant use. Research permits and licenses required to operate a restaurant in the chosen area. Understanding and complying with these legal requirements is vital to avoid any unforeseen issues that may hinder your restaurant's operations.

7. Infrastructure and Utilities:

Assess the infrastructure and utility services available in the area. Adequate water, electricity, and gas supply are essential for a smooth operation. Consider the costs and feasibility of installing necessary infrastructure upgrades if required.

8. Safety and Security:

Prioritize the safety and security of your customers and employees. Research the crime rate in the area and assess the availability of security measures such as well-lit parking areas and surveillance systems. A safe and secure environment fosters a positive dining experience and builds trust with your clientele.

9. Size and Layout:

Evaluate the size and layout of potential restaurant spaces. Consider the seating capacity, kitchen size, storage space, and the potential for expansion. A well-designed layout ensures efficient workflow, optimizes customer flow, and allows for future growth.

10. Local Support and Community:

Building relationships with the local community is invaluable for long-term success. Research the community's attitude towards new businesses and assess their support for local establishments. Consider joining local business associations or participating in community events to foster goodwill and attract loyal patrons.


Choosing the right location for your new restaurant is a critical decision that requires careful consideration. By evaluating demographics, foot traffic, competition, accessibility, costs, permits, infrastructure, safety, and community support, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to conduct thorough research and analysis, weigh the pros and cons of each location, and align your decision with your restaurant concept and target audience. With a well-selected site, you can lay a strong foundation for your restaurant's growth, profitability, and long-term success. Good luck with your new venture!

KJ Callahan photo

KJ Callahan

Kevin James has over 20 years of combined experience in commercial real estate, retail, software, and machine learning. He is a data nerd -- He is passionate about turning data into actionable insights so that customers are empowered to make better decisions.