Are You Ready for a Second Restaurant Location?
Are You Ready for a Second Restaurant Location?
Opening a restaurant can be a lot like having a newborn: sleepless nights, lots of confusion, unexpected costs, more sleepless nights. But just when you’re getting into the groove of things and those early days are a distant memory, you start to think about another one (restaurant, that is). If business is great and you feel as though a new location could be in the cards, check out these signs you’re ready to open a second spot.
Business is Booming
The very first thing to take into consideration when thinking of expansion is your flow of customers. If business wasn’t great you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, but it’s worth noting that a consistent flow of customers—both repeat and new—is key to your ability to support a second location. You’ll rely on not only effective marketing and social media strategies to get the word out about your new restaurant, but on your faithful customer base who can recommend you to friends and family living in the new area.
You’re Mentally—and Actually—Prepared
The steps involved in opening an additional location will be similar to when you opened your initial location. However, this time around, you have the benefit of experience. While you’re going to need a business plan, if you’ve seen success with the one you used initially, you should be able to make tweaks based on lessons learned and apply those to your new business plan.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles to making this move is literally making the move; as they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Before you get your heart set on setting up shop, make sure you put as much care and consideration into your new location as you would when purchasing your own home. The things people love about your restaurant’s current spot are likely what will draw crowds to your new place, so it’s critical that the area you’re headed have similar characteristics. You also don’t want to take business away from your first location, which is reason enough to keep both places as close in vibe as possible.
Your Support System is Second to None
Sure, having the support of your family and friends is paramount to the success of your business. But there’s a whole other group of people you need to have in your court, and that’s your staff. Your staff is the lifeblood of your restaurant and likely a huge part of why you’re successful enough to be considering opening a new place. As you’re getting things up and running, you’ll need the help and advice of those who have been by your side. They may need to pick up management tasks while you’re busy getting everything ready at the new place, or you may want your lead cooks and servers to help hire and train the incoming staff. Your staff also has the closest ear to your customers, so they’re great resources when trying to determine if expansion is a good idea.
You’ve Got Funding Lined Up
There’s no doubt you’ll need financing when opening a new location. There are permits, rent, utilities, staff, and equipment needs that will arise well before profits start rolling in. Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of dipping into their first restaurant’s revenues or business savings when making an investment like this. Truth be told, you need a lender on your side if you want to be as financially smart as possible during this time of risk.
ARF Financial has a range of loan products available, and we’ll work with you to personalize any one of them to fit your needs. If it’s just a sum of cash you’d like to draw on, our Line of Credit options only require you to pay interest on what you actually take, plus your interest rate is locked in for 6 months.
Have you heard of our Flex Pay Loan? This loan allows you to defer up to 50% of your principal into the future for the lowest possible payments now (and no disruption to your cash flow). And when it comes to repayment options, ARF is your most flexible choice. We let you pay back your deferred principal in a lump sum, refinance it, or extend your terms to keep your payments at the same low amount.
ARF Financial is also ideal if you need to act on an opportunity quickly, such as purchasing the perfect location that just went on the market. Since we can get you approved in just one day and funded in as little as three days, you’ll be able to seize on any chance that comes your way.
There’s a reason that for the past 18 years, we’ve helped over 6,500 businesses like yours get loans in excess of $800 million—and why we’re also the #1 lending source for restaurant loans. With ARF Financial, it’s personal. Get in touch today or apply online—we can’t wait to help you get the keys to your next location.