Moving From Catering To A Sit-Down Restaurant Space? Buying Tips You Need To Know

For those who love to cook, the decision to open a home catering business is an easy one. While the opportunity to create great food for parties and events is satisfying, many successful caterers continue to dream of opening their own restaurant where patrons can sit and enjoy their delicious recipes. 

Caterers who are actively preparing to take the next step of becoming restaurant owners know that the industry is a competitive one where many new restaurants fail quickly. While food quality and service are key ingredients to success, new restaurants also need to be located in a space that can provide benefits, such as those discussed below.

Workable space

When comparing possible commercial properties for the purpose of starting a new restaurant, one of the first considerations should be whether the space is currently or can easily become workable for your needs. In order to make this decision, prospective buyers will need to have created a list of basic requirements that they will need to find before making a purchase offer. 

If possible, prospective buyers should strive to focus on properties where there is enough square footage for their kitchen, dining, and storage needs. Properties that have served as restaurants in the past should always be prioritized in your search, especially if they still contain commercial restaurant equipment, booths or tables, or other furnishings that would work for your needs. 

Physical location

Once you have narrowed your search to a few listings that offer the space and function qualities you will need, you will need to compare their locations and the general area to determine which commercial property listings to pursue. For a dine-in restaurant, the location must offer sufficient parking space for the number of diners you expect to serve. 

Since dedicated parking can be difficult to find in urban locations, prospective buyers can use existing planning and zoning records to determine if public parking lots, garages, and spaces on nearby streets could provide sufficient parking for their customers and staff. 

Locations with good potential to draw business into your restaurant should also be prioritized in your search, such as those that are near popular entertainment, shopping, or recreational venues. 

Financial considerations

Depending on the budget you working with, it can be helpful to consider properties where the property owner is offering lease, purchase, or other favorable terms. Working closely with a trusted commercial real estate agent will help provide you with detailed information about each property and the assistance you need to negotiate the best possible buying terms. 

To get started looking for commercial real estate, contact a local real estate agent.