Want to start an F&B business? Here’s what to look for in picking the right space:
The key to making it in F&B boils down to doing your homework. More often than not, you’ll find that the entrepreneurs who fail are the ones who decide to open cafes or restaurants on a whim, without putting in the time and effort to build a good foundation for their business.
So: instead of getting all excited about what #foodporn worthy dishes you want to serve, or which influencers you want to enlist in promoting your cafe, go back to the basics, and think about where you want to locate your restaurant.
As anyone in the F&B industry will tell you, your location can either make or break your business. Read on to learn about the five factors you should consider when buying or renting an F&B space:
We know this, you know this, everyone knows this. Location is crucial, and plays a huge role in affecting an F&B business.
Now, on top of simply looking at the amount of traffic that a stall or space gets, also pay attention to the type of clientele that frequent the area. If you’re intending to set up a bar that caters to a more sophisticated crowd, then it makes sense to locate it somewhere within the CBD, rather than in a suburban mall.
Running in the same vein, think about whether a certain location generates different amounts of traffic on weekdays vs weekends as well. For instance, if you set up a restaurant at Raffles Place, you’ll definitely experience slower business on Saturdays and Sundays.
Isn’t location and visibility the same thing? Well, not quite.
Say you want to start a bubble tea shop, for instance, and you’re thinking of locating your shop at Lucky Plaza, which is a popular mall that gets a ton of foot traffic.
Here, it’s important to realize that the exact location of your stall within Lucky Plaza also makes a world of difference. If you buy a stall that’s near the escalator, or better yet, facing the path directly in front of the mall, this means that you’ll get more visibility, which translates into more customers.
If you buy or rent a stall that’s tucked away at a quiet corner of the mall, on the other hand, this means less visibility and fewer customers.
You might think that F&B spaces that are easily accessible via public transport are automatically more desirable, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
Again, this all depends on your target audience. If you’re thinking of setting up a fancy restaurant that serves, say, European fine-dining cuisine, then you might be better off in an upmarket area like Dempsey (nevermind the fact that it isn’t accessible via public transport).
Different strokes for different folks — so think about your ideal customer, and what would appeal to them!
When buying or renting an F&B space, another important factor to consider is the size of the unit, and the layout of the space.
Be sure to strike a balance between your seating space, and your kitchen. If your kitchen takes up too much space, you won’t be able to accommodate enough diners to have your restaurant be financially viable. If your kitchen is too small, this impacts your menu size, and also affects the quantity and quality of food you can serve.
#5: Immediate competitors
Last but not least, be sure to check out your neighbouring businesses, because these will also affect the success of your F&B business.
For instance, this F&B unit is located next door to Greenwood Fish Market, a popular seafood restaurant in Singapore. If you intend to open an Italian restaurant or a pizzeria, that’s perfectly fine, but if you plan to feature seafood heavily in your menu, then it might make more sense to get a unit somewhere else, where your neighbours aren’t direct competition.
What are some of the other factors that are crucial when buying or renting an F&B space? Voice your thoughts in our comments section or on our Facebook community page.
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