Aside from the daunting task of getting the right spot, you have to meet the safety and health conditions required.

Finding the right space for your restaurant is not an insignificant task, and the right location can make or break your establishment. If you have a location in mind, don’t get attached too quickly, take your time to cross the basic requirements off your list before you decide.

These tips below just might guide you into the right direction.

1. Do your due diligence and carry out adequate research

Before you buy a restaurant space or sign the lease, make sure you have done the appropriate research for the building and the area it is located in. You don’t want to start your restaurant with unnecessary surprises.

You’ll need to do your research on the other businesses in the area and how they could affect your business, do a survey of the other restaurants in the area and how their proximity could affect your business. You’ll also want to carry out research on the people in the community, how receptive the community will be to your business and possibly the average income, age, and family size of the people in the area. And you may also want to know what the building was used for before you occupy it.

 2. Do not go overboard, know your limit

One rule of thumb you should never forget is, “do not use all your startup money in getting a space.” Bear in mind that you cannot make up all the money you used in getting your restaurant space in a day, it will take time. You also have to keep some money for other expenses like staffing, buying equipment, and marketing. There are times your business will make a loss, but you will still have to continue serving meals without compromising the quality of the food and service you are providing.

In picking a suitable space for your restaurant, work within a budget. You can start with a small space and expand later, but it is important to have an idea of how much your restaurant will make before you secure a space. If the procurement of the space is more than what you will be making in a month, this will make that particular location not viable at that time.

3. Safety and hygiene

Not every building can be turned into a restaurant. There are safety laws that guide a restaurant. You do not want a building that is constantly invaded by pests, or a building with bad pipes. Every eatery is subject to firm rules concerning sanitation, safety and hygiene, violating these rules can ruin the reputation of your restaurant, lead to fines and possible legal liability.

Before you settle in, ask a code enforcement officer or local building inspector to help you with the necessary requirements to ensure that you pass a building safety inspection. Safety compliant means, amongst other things, having the necessary wiring, bathroom requirements, fire alarms, sprinklers, ventilation and handicap accessibility. in your restaurant. Visit for more tips on food safety.

4. Visibility

If you are going to open your restaurant in an out of the way location, you might just as well run it from your home. Before you settle on a restaurant space, consider how accessible and visible it is for potential customers. Unless your restaurant is a household name, people might not want to go the extra mile to patronize you. Pick a space based on the assumption that most individuals are unwilling to accept inconvenience.

To determine visibility, your restaurant has to be at a strategic and noticeable place where you can easily entice your target customer. Take note of the foot and car circulation patterns, and take into consideration how often people are passing and who the people passing by are.

5. The Crime Rates in the Neighbourhood

This seems like an unlikely consideration but think about it. Will your target customers visit your restaurant if the area is crawling with criminals? If people do not feel safe and comfortable in your restaurant, they are unlikely to come back. If people are bothered about getting robbed before or after entering your eatery they will never visit.

Before you settle for that restaurant space, remember that a restaurant should be a relaxing place, so, ensure that it is a safe place and that patrons have only to concentrate on their enjoyment of their eating experience.

6. The size of the restaurant

Having the right amount of space in your restaurant helps the restaurant function well. The space needed for a restaurant varies according to the type of restaurant you want to open, however, the restaurant space should not be uncomfortably small for your customers.

There are general rules for each functional area. You need at least 4-5 feet after each chair, about 35% – 40% of your restaurant space should be given to the prep and kitchen area, 50% of the space should be allocated to the actual dining area and what is left could be used for other purposes like storage and office space.

Good space planning allows free and comfortable movement for the servers and customers, especially if there is an emergency.

7. Be open minded

Every restaurateur’s dream is to secure the perfect spot for their eatery. So, try to ignore some of the preconceived notions about certain areas, buildings and streets.  You may just find the perfect location for your restaurant in an unexpected place. With these tips, you are just a few steps away from that perfect restaurant space. Remember to read through the contract carefully though, before you fully commit to the terms.