Things to Consider When Deciding on Your Cafe’s Location
Finding the best places to open a cafe may be one of the most important factors in determining your future business success.
While no one can tell you how to choose the “right” location – as what’s right for your business will depend entirely on your unique proposition – but there are some tips you can follow to make sure you don’t choose the “wrong” location.
It’s important to remember that virtually everything about your cafe will be influenced by its immediate surroundings; including the amount of customers you get, your theme and how you put your unique selling proposition (USPs) into play.
There are a number of different elements to consider when it comes to selecting a place to open a cafe. The four most important are:
1. The Building
The actual building that your cafe is located in is important. The size of the building or the floorspace for the cafe within the building will dictate the volume of customers and number of covers that your cafe can handle.
Its shape will also influence the layout, flow and functionality of your day-to-day operations. What changes might be needed to make it work? How much would they cost? How easy would it be to get permissions and permits to do the work?
2. The Immediate Location
The immediate location and surroundings of your cafe will have an impact on the number of people that see your business, the volume of customers that you receive and type of customers you can anticipate.
For example, being located on a main road, or down a quiet side street can impact on things like noise which impacts customer comfort. Whether it it easy to get to and if there parking available? Are other tenants in the building likely to become regular customers? Will smells, dust or other irritants from neighbouring businesses be a problem?
3. The Local Area
It’s important to consider the wider area that your cafe will be based in as well, and how this could affect patronage.
Think of the differences between a busy city centre cafe supporting office workers, and a coffee shop in a quiet suburb servicing hip residents.
Ask yourself whether local people are able to afford to pay for the types of menu items you want to sell? How many people are likely to be in a 25m, 100m, 1km and 2km radius of your cafe during the hours you plan to be open?
4. Your Competition
This is possibly one of the most important factors. How many direct competitors will your cafe have in this location?
You need to ask this, because no matter how excellent your cafe’s proposition is, you may find it difficult to do business if the closest 50 businesses are also coffee shops.
It should be noted that there is a commercial benefit to having a small number of similar businesses to you within walking distance of each other. A small cluster will bring more potential customers to one location than a cafe all on its own (this is the reason shopping plazas, arcades and malls are popular destinations).
Finding a balance between the number of competitors and the number of potential customers can be tricky, especially when you factor in space and size requirements – as well as your USP and affordability.
My #1 Tip When Deciding on the Best Place to Open a Cafe
Be open and willing to compromise when deciding on the right location for your cafe.
It’s not often you’ll be able to find a location that is 100% perfect for all of these factors and you may have to make small compromises here and there.
The important thing to finding the best place to open a cafe is that you thoroughly consider how your location will affect your business, and bear that knowledge in mind when choosing a premises.