Choosing a Franchise Location: 6 Steps to Restaurant Site Selection

The well-known saying in real estate is “location, location, location,” and there is a good reason. In addition to exploring restaurant franchise opportunities that are a good potential business fit, choosing a suitable restaurant site location may be one of the most important decisions on the path to rewarding franchise ownership. The right location can help to increase brand awareness, according to a Forbes article written by Franchise re-seller Rick Bisio in June 2021. In the end, the right location may help to put more money in your pocket. Let us break down some simple steps you can take to help place your business in the perfect spot.

1. Research the Demographics and Target Market

Before you pick a potential franchise site location, it is a great idea to get to know more about profitable restaurant businesses operating in the area and the potential customers in the area first. Understanding the local demographics and target market can be one of the most important steps you take before opening a franchise. Thorough research of the area you are interested in can help to identify population density, income levels, age groups, and consumer preferences. Many real estate brokers and the local Chamber of Commerce can assist you with obtaining market and demographic information. An article from written in September of 2020, gives a few additional ideas on how you can gather market data, namely, using your own knowledge of the area, talking with local restaurant business owners, and asking local realtors to assist you in your due diligence.

2. Evaluate Foot Traffic and Accessibility

If you have a potential site that you are interested in, be sure to look at the foot and car traffic. A potential location with higher traffic might mean it is more accessible to customers and potentially frequented by your target audience. In April of 2023, Gravy Analytics looked into the foot traffic of some fast-food restaurants over 2022 and saw a year-over-year increase in foot traffic of more than 20%. The location intelligence firm contributes the rise in foot traffic to consumers seeking out affordable grocery options and wanting to visit fast-food restaurants more than any other dining option.

3. Assess Competition

While healthy competition can be a sign of a thriving market, it is important to strike a balance. Competition can also be one of the most important factors when looking at suitable franchise site locations. In fact, strip centers may have an exclusivity clause in their lease language that may prohibit you from leasing and operating in the same strip center as a competitor that is already doing business there. It is important to look at your competition and understand any potential exclusivity clause early in the site selection process.

4. Consider Operational Requirements and Space Layout

There is more to consider during site selection than just location. For instance, the inside layout of your business may cut down the number of appropriate locations. For example, if you are planning to open a sandwich franchise, you may need a building with the proper kitchen and utility connections and restrooms. It is smart to consider factors such as floorplan, kitchen setup, seating capacity, utilities, parking, and compliance with health and safety regulations early on in your site selection process. Keep in mind these will all be factored into the cost to open a sandwich shopfranchise.

5. Visibility from the street and ingress/egress of the site

When assessing potential sites, the visibility and accessibility from the main road or intersection plays an integral part in site selection. If you cannot easily see the site or circumnavigate the drive to get to and from the specific space, chances are your potential customers may experience the same issues.

6: Get Support by Franchising with Penn Station East Coast Subs

A Penn Station Franchise offers extensive support throughout the entire site selection and construction process. At Penn Station East Coast Subs, we also support our franchise owners with much more than choosing the right location. We also offer help and guidance with:

  • Restaurant design and construction support
  • IT and online ordering
  • Operations and training
  • Marketing
  • Financial reporting

Request information on Penn Station Franchise opportunities and begin your franchising journey today!

The offer of a franchise can only be made through the delivery of a Franchise Disclosure Document. Certain jurisdictions require registration prior to the offer or sale of a franchise. We only offer franchises in jurisdictions where we are registered or are exempt from registration. Penn Station, Inc. 1226 US Highway 50, Milford, OH 45150.



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