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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3

    Opinions on this location

    Hello everyone, newbie here looking for some advice.

    I looked at a place last night, it''s a 3200 sqft \"house\" that has been a restaurant for the past 30 years. It''s on 3 acres of property that backs up to a river. It was built in the 1920''s. The owners want to retire. WaWa was interested, but the city said no gas stations so close to the river. Since the place is a restaurant, we would save a ton of money on things like tables, chairs, kitchen, bar, rest rooms, etc. I would want to update the building with new floors, ceiling, windows, etc. The price is very affortable, and the taxes aren''t bad. The mortgage and taxes would be cheaper than a 1500 sqft spot in a strip center in town.

    Here is what I''m worried about. It''s on a state road that joins two towns. But it is sort of in the middle of nowhere, although very scenic, the road runs along a river and mountains. It is 5 miles from the first town (13,000 people), and 3 miles from the next town (33,000 people). The traffic count is 13,000/day, and it is on the morning commute side of the road, which is nice. Speed limit is 45mph. Building is highly visible, right on the road.

    I originally wanted to be in the town of 33,000 people (traffic count 22,0000). I wanted my place to be part of this community. I guess I''m worried that 3 miles out of town will be too far.

    Other than specialty coffee, I wanted to offer pasteries (Greek being our specialty, baked on premises), gelato, ice cream, milk shakes, etc. Didn''t really want to get too much into serving lunch or dinner foods. I want it to be more of a place to go for coffee, dessert, and conversation, and to cater to the morning commute of course.

    The proximity to town is really the only downside that I can see. It seems to have so much more to offer than a spot half the size in a strip center.

    I don''t know. What do you folks think about being in the outskirts like this? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cook Islands
    Posts
    31
    I suppose it comes down to the basic research that is involved with any future site. The problem (and benefit) of just selling coffee as opposed to a restaurant, is you must have high turnover because your average ticket price is going to be less than that of a restaurant: so make sure there's a high traffic count, easily accessable location, and your target market is actaully driving this route.

    The margin on specialty coffee drinks is quite nice, however it's low - just one thing to keep in mind.

    --
    Cheers,
    Frank

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    I don't think a few miles is too far.

    A coffee place CAN be a destination location, especially if you have a great product(s). The great thing about buying a place like that is that it can be a tool for part of your marketing... many times people seeing a large dumpster out front or new paint on the outside will pique their curiosity. Also, be sure to invest in a large banner to hang out on the building a couple of weeks before you open; much more than that and people will just grow numb to it. I would also start networking with local businesses, too and see what they say about the location. Take the good and bad, as it will give you priceless insight.

    Are you planning on roasting as well?
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17

    Location, Location, Location

    I've been lurking in these forums for a few weeks now and have gotten endless amounts of information; you guys rock! I'm in the planning stages of opening a coffee kiosk (drive-thru only). My preference is to buy an existing business, of which there are a couple for sale right now. Otherwise, I'd like to try to rent some space and have a kiosk built for me. How do I go about researching any particular space? What should I be looking for other than traffic flow? Should I be talking to surrounding businesses? Are there "consultants" available for hire who can evaluate a space that I'm looking at and give me their professional opinion? There probably isn't any "golden" rule to finding a space, but how did all of you select the spaces you're in? What was your thought process in doing so?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    There are some great consultants you can hire for site evaluation. A couple of them post on this forum. Since I am a huge research nut, I would recommend purchasing some coffee industry books and read up on what they suggest for locations. Some include checklists to use when evaluating a location. There are a number of ways to evaulate a location. You can also do a search on this site for "location" and it might help to answer your questions. You could also do an internet search for "location checklist", too. I have also included a quick list...

    Choosing a business location requires consideration of a broad range of factors, from local zoning and tax laws to the accessibility of your business to customers and employees. The following checklist includes several questions you should answer before making your ultimate decision on where to open your business. Be careful to factor in your own special circumstances, which do not necessarily appear on this list. Yes/No

    Is the area zoned for this type of business?
    Are qualified employees available in the area?
    Is the site close to the markets served by the business?
    Are any competitors in the area?
    Are the inventory and supplies the business needs available in the area?
    Can suppliers conveniently make deliveries to this area?
    Is public transportation accessible?
    Are the utilities needed to run the business available?
    Are there facilities nearby for transporting goods?
    Are the rates for transporting goods similar to or lower than in other areas?
    Does the cost of this facility in this location compare favorably with other areas?
    Do the taxes on this facility compare favorably with other areas?
    Do the taxes on the business compare favorably to those in other areas?
    Is the area suitable for expansion in the future?
    Are there adequate parking facilities for customers?
    Are there adequate parking facilities for employees?
    Is the traffic in the area compatible with this type of business?
    Are the wage scales in this area similar to or lower than other areas?
    Is this a safe area for employees, suppliers, and clients?
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17

    Location, Location, Location

    You brought up some questions that I hadn't even thought of yet! I will continue to browse this forum, as well as the internet. Right now time is on my side. I'm going to invest enough of it into planning this business rather than having regrets later on. Thank you for your response!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    You're welcome and good luck. Its quite a ride. I am by no means an expert, and still very much in the planning stages myself, but I at least hope I helped a little.
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

 

 

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