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 Restaurant Space Lease Question

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  • Total Posts: 2
  • Joined: 12/14/2011
  • Location: Greenville, SC
Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 12:23 AM (permalink)
Hi everyone, this is my first post here.
I'm an aspiring restauranteur currently working on a business plan and my question has to do with at what point should I have a location secured.
If I understand correctly I should have a location listed for my restaurant in my business plan but have I already secured this location by means of a deposit or have I just spoken with the owner and verbally secured the location for a period of time while I complete the plan and obtain funding?
I would greatly appreciate any input.

    • Total Posts: 9543
    • Joined: 9/1/2006
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 1:48 AM (permalink)
    There are several sections to a Business Plan. Primary ones are Marketing and Financial.
    The Marketing section you can do without a specific location info. If you're going to need outside financing, the Financial section will require Sales projections, rent/lease or buy figures, utilities, payroll, food cost projections, etc. You'll need "The Numbers" before making any presentation to a financing source. You'll need a solid plan. Lenders are VERY leary of financing food startups right now. 

      • Total Posts: 3704
      • Joined: 6/24/2007
      • Location: McKinney, TX
      Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 9:53 AM (permalink)
      Begin with describing your "ideal" location: demographics, #rsf, facilities, traffic flow, signage, visibility, in-line or free-standing, etc.  Then put forward a few real-world candidates and analyze how each measures up to or falls short of your ideal.
      Focus on what makes your proposed enterprise different and how your demographic is aching to avail themselves of it.  "I've always dreamed of owning a restaurant" is the very worst thing you could ever admit to in a business plan.
      Two other hints:
      1)  NEVER open up in a location that had failed as a food establishment previously.  There was a reason that it failed; don't find out the hard way that it was the location!
      2)  NEVER buy new equipment and furnishings.  Get familiar with your local used business and restaurant equipment brokers.  Realize that they acquired their inventory mostly from the expense involved with removing and warehousing it; their margins therefore are HUGE and their prices are "negotiable" to the extreme.  Have a mechanic check the equipment and remember that reupholstering and refinishing are almost "free" when compared to replacing with new.
      Good luck!

        • Total Posts: 3704
        • Joined: 6/24/2007
        • Location: McKinney, TX
        Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 9:58 AM (permalink)
        Oh, ...
        And WELCOME to Roadfood!

          • Total Posts: 2230
          • Joined: 3/16/2011
          • Location: Kennewick, WA
          Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 12:06 PM (permalink)
          Welcome to RF, A business plan is a list of close estimates of what's needed to start your business. The Rent/location is one of these line items, you don't buy or lease anything until you have a loan secured...............

            • Total Posts: 2014
            • Joined: 1/1/2007
            • Location: Cairo, GA
            Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 3:22 PM (permalink)
            A bank or investors usually do not just hand you all the money up front.    So the business plan should include 'milestones' at which point when certain conditions have been met, additional monies are needed to continue.   Until you business starts acquiring real value, equity, most likely you will have to finance out of your pocket or with an investor before a Bank will loan against the business.    ... or personal guaranty & property.
            You question about location is a good example.   ... I don't believe a specific location is needed, but a short list of locations believed to be suitable can be proposed and dollars stated as needed to do feasibility study to determine which is most suitable.  Once this is determined as a milestone, X-amount of $$ is needed to secure by purchase or lease the location & to  make ready for use (repair & renovate).     .... Also, needed are monies for equipment & furnishing the location.  ... Start-up & operating capital. 
            When each of these have been achieved, real value (equity) has been added to the business for the Bank or investors to secure their investment.
            By detailing these milestones and when & where additional monies are needed and will be spent, you should (errr: might) be able to get approval and assurance the monies will be made available when needed and conditions have been met at that time. 
            <message edited by edwmax on Wed, 12/14/11 3:29 PM>

              • Total Posts: 2
              • Joined: 12/14/2011
              • Location: Greenville, SC
              Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Wed, 12/14/11 9:11 PM (permalink)
              Thanks everyone for your advice. I haven't thought of setting up my business plan with milestones, that's a great idea.
              I always thought that I had to have the location secure just so I could ensure it's availability while I secure financing so if by chance the financing got delayed I wouldn't have to keep looking for new spaces.

                • Total Posts: 9543
                • Joined: 9/1/2006
                • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                Re:Restaurant Space Lease Question Thu, 12/15/11 2:49 PM (permalink)
                A good ETHICAL Commercial Real Estate person should be able to provide you with valid cost per Square Foot estimates for the area where you want to go. That documentation should suffice for developing projections.
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