Buying a Restaurant | 6 minute read

Restaurant Location Selection [Canada Guide]

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Joining the restaurant industry may seem overwhelming. You must consider many factors, such as the perfect location, the target customers, and the property size, before you open your new restaurant. There are plenty of examples of people buying well-established restaurants and having lots of success within a couple of years, but those are usually the investors who know what to look for.


Choosing an ideal location is one of the most important factors, but if you’re new to the industry, this step may be difficult, so we’re here to help. Read on for everything you need to consider when selecting a restaurant location.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Restaurant Location

Before you point your finger at the ideal restaurant and decide, you should thoroughly examine the space and consider what this location can bring you. There are numerous factors to consider when selecting a restaurant location, so we will present eleven tips to help you get the most out of your journey.


1. Find the Target Audience

Exploring the demographics and creating a business plan according to your target customers will help your new restaurant thrive. You will know who your new customers are and what you can do to satisfy their needs and preferences. Are they meat lovers, or are they mostly vegetarians or vegans?


After you create a business plan, consider who your potential customers will be. Then, you can look for locations where most of the population fits your description. Such places can bring the most to the table, and you will always have a full dining room.


Consider the approximate age and target group to determine the best location and start making your dream come true.


2. Explore Neighbourhood Foot Traffic

Finding the most profitable and successful neighbourhoods will depend on your business preferences and goals. For instance, if you want to open a fast-food restaurant in Toronto, consider a space in a busy area or street.


On the other hand, if you’re searching for fine diners and want to provide your potential customers with a premium experience, you should look for calm nearby environments. You can also consider tourist attractions nearby to get the most traffic.


The amount of foot traffic is another crucial component of a good location, so you should find an area compatible with your business needs and with enough parking space.


3. Analyze the Competition

The Canadian restaurant industry expands every day. Although the country offers some of the most welcoming environments for new owners, some new restaurants will fail. The industry can often have too much competition, so finding something that sets you apart from other business owners is best.


When choosing a restaurant location, you should consider the competition and search for areas with fewer competitors. This restaurant location strategy will help you gather more customers and thrive in the new environment.


It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so research your market and talk to other business owners to determine whether a certain area is good for your new restaurant.


4. Consider the Accessibility

Food should be easily accessible. If a customer spends some time searching for your restaurant, they might not get the best experience. Moreover, if you opt for an accessible place, you will increase the number of visits, which ultimately means your restaurant will be more successful.


You should also consider how your customers can get to your site. The restaurant should be accessible via public transportation, car, or by foot, and should offer parking options.


The best way to choose an accessible location is by acting as a customer. See how long it will take you to get to the site and calculate the proximity accordingly. Then, you can decide whether that location is the correct choice for your new business.


5. Choose a Visible Venue

A highly visible restaurant can easily market itself.


For example, when someone walks by your property and sees your delicious menu, they will likely be interested in trying it. You won’t have to lure hungry customers into your restaurant since your location will do most of your job.


Restaurants in visible locations often have more traffic and profits. This is especially true if you open one in a busy area, such as a big city center, or around some tourist attractions.


6. Opt for Locations with Parking Options

The number of Canadian citizens has surpassed the 38 million mark, and the number of registered vehicles keeps growing daily. There are over 26 million registered motor vehicles, meaning many Canadians use cars and require parking space.


If you want your customers to have the best experience, you should provide parking options with enough room on the site or in close proximity. Since so many vehicles are in operation daily, you’ll do yourself and your guests a favour by providing a safe space where they will leave their cars while enjoying your food.


7. Evaluate the Safety of the Potential Location

Let’s be honest: not all Canadian neighbourhoods are safe to live and work in. For example, some areas have higher crime rates and have bad reputations. There may be better choices for opening a restaurant than such locations.


Before jumping head-first into a potential location just because it looks good enough, talk to the locals about safety. See how many people live there and the quality of life in the area.


8. Research the Local Economy

Although the Canadian economy is among the strongest in the world, local economies may differ. You may get the best economic treatment in one town, but the situation can completely change in another site. Before starting your venture, you should see whether your potential location is solid ground for your restaurant’s financial goals.


You can calculate your financial success and profits once you see the economic situation in the area. This factor will also influence the old real estate adage: “Markets with unstable economic features often have chaotic prices.


9. Spend Time in the Area

Seeing things for yourself is a crucial part of your restaurant location analysis. You may think that a place is a wonder to live in, but after spending some time there, you might realize that isn’t the case.


Instead of making an impulsive decision, you should spend time in the potential location to truly feel its energy and style. Then, you can decide whether purchasing or renting a space is a good investment.


10. Don’t Forget Your Business Goals

Although a certain restaurant location may seem incredible, you should step back and reevaluate your decision. Ask yourself what you expect from your restaurant business and what your future should look like.


Do you want to, for example, expand your franchise and open even more restaurants? Do you need more space to give the chef creative freedom? What are your expectations from this location?


Don’t make sudden decisions, as they may harm your business. Instead, take your time to think this through and make the right choice.


11. Consult Professionals

If you’re new to the industry and need to learn about real estate, you can always consult professionals to get some top tips on buying a restaurant in Canada. Whether you need help choosing an ideal location, determining budget, legal considerations, target audience, or selecting the perfect opportunity, professionals are here to help.


All you need to do is set a goal to discuss it with the expert. They will follow you every step and advise you on the best restaurant choice. Moreover, they will help you create the best atmosphere and start your business off strong, ensuring success in the long run.


A Restaurant’s Location Is Essential for Its Success

The restaurant location can play a major role in industry success, especially for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Canadian market or foreign entrepreneurs. Navigating these challenges is essential, and resources like this guide on buying a business in Canada can be invaluable in making informed decisions. Choose a location in a safe area with a thriving local economy where many people dine out. One that’s easy to get to has enough parking space and very few competitors that can match the quality of service.



Why should I consider buying a restaurant in Canada?

The Canadian restaurant industry is expanding daily due to the country’s robust economy and numerous business benefits. You can receive incentives and financial help from the government to start your business and learn how to expand your franchise.

Moreover, the country has one of the most skilled workforces in the world, so you’ll work with great, well-educated teams that will help your new restaurant bloom.


What is the typical timeframe for completing a business purchase in Canada?

The typical timeframe for completing a purchase will depend on several factors, such as the location, the value, legal liabilities, and more. These factors contribute to the purchase’s complexity, thus affecting the purchase timeframe.

Since buying a restaurant may be one of the most complex processes, you can expect the timeframe to be anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, depending on the abovementioned factors.


Why is a business plan important for my restaurant?

A comprehensive business plan is essential for the success of your restaurant. It outlines your vision, goals, and strategies for running your business. A well-thought-out business plan attracts funding and investments and helps guide your decision-making process as your restaurant grows.


What should I consider when looking for the right location?

When looking for the right location for your restaurant, consider factors such as visibility, accessibility, demographics, and competition. Look for a spot with good street visibility and easy accessibility for patrons, including adequate parking options. Consider the local demographic and choose an area that aligns with your target customers.


Can you help me find restaurants for sale in specific cities within Canada?

Our website is designed to help you find your ideal property and start making your dreams come true. You can consult our support team for assistance or use our advanced location filters to discover the most fantastic restaurant opportunities. Contact us or register as a buyer for free if you have any questions or need help on your quest; we’re happy to help!




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Manoj Kukreja is a real estate expert and trusted guide in the pursuit of the perfect property. With a remarkable professional journey, Manoj began his career in major Canadian financial institutions, achieving the prestigious Certified Financial Planner designation in 2010. During this time, they earned recognition as one of Canada's top ten financial planners and also played a role in training industry peers. Manoj's extensive financial background now serves as a valuable asset in the real estate domain, ensuring clients make informed decisions during their property search.