Do customers keep asking when your restaurant will come to their town? Have wait times for a table during the dinner rush started to turn customers away? Are you having trouble meeting overall demand with just one location?
If the answer is “yes,” it’s time to think about expanding your restaurant. Starting a second location can be exciting, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. If you want to be successful, you need a solid foundation in place long before your new restaurant opens its doors.
Location is, of course, one of the most important factors to consider when expanding your business. Even if there’s a lot of customer demand for your restaurant to set up shop in a particular area, you don’t want to jump right in without doing some research comparing the regional demographic to your target audience. The availability of appropriate real estate can also make or break your decision, especially if you run a franchise with specific requirements for layout.
You’ll also need to review and update your business plan. The financial projections and operational logistics need to be adjusted to reflect the addition of a second restaurant, and your visions and goals have likely changed since you drafted the original plan. A new plan is also essential if you intend to seek financing to help establish and start running your second location.
After getting these basics in place, you’ll need to take care of more specific details, which differ depending on whether your restaurant is independent or part of a franchise.
As you proceed through these steps, your business insurance needs will change. Constructing or remodeling a building and bringing in more staff requires more coverage, and new equipment and technology should also be protected. Check the insurance and licensing laws for the city or town into which you’re expanding to ensure you’re in compliance before moving forward.
How do you get customers excited about your restaurant expansion?
It’s all in the marketing. If you want people lined up outside your door the day of your grand opening, you need to craft a strategic marketing plan to stir up interest in advance.
Reach more people with a mix of online and offline tactics, including:
Your website also plays a key role in promotion and should be updated to include the address and contact information for your second restaurant. Make these changes on your social media profiles and in online business directories, as well, so that customers in the area can find you through search. Adding location-based keywords to site content can help you rank higher, especially for mobile queries.
From purchasing property to spreading the word about your grand opening, getting a second restaurant up and running requires a reliable source of funding. You don’t want to take the leap without enough money to cover setup and a buffer to get you through the first few months, but since even successful restaurants tend to operate on slim margins, it’s often necessary to seek help from outside investors or take out a business loan.
National Business Capital and Services offers commercial mortgage financing to provide the capital you need to purchase property for your next restaurant location and franchise financing options if you’re looking to bring a well-known brand into a new area. Whether you need $10,000 or $10 million to establish another location, an advisor from National can connect you with flexible options suited to your expansion plans.
National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.
Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.
We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!
Megan is passionate about helping business owners along their journey - providing them with relevant content they can use in their day-to-day operations.