Location, location, location

Location is one the most important elements for a successful restaurant.

So far, we have invested four months on finding the right location for Arepa Café in the city of Toronto, and we agree with what we keep reading from experienced owners:

"The real statement is the right location, right location, right location. Naturally, food preparation, ambiance, service, price and convivial attitude of the staff are all important equal elements in the equation of success that should all be weighed equally, but the right location is more important and holds more weight in the future success of a profitable restaurant."

It is a long, and complex process to find the right location, and the right landlord. It also can be very quick and simple, it depends on luck and resources. In our case, there have been three potential locations on the desk with signed offers that has not materialized, but they have provided experience, and growth to our business.

The first offer was for a cute little place on Baldwin Street (location # 1), then we put a second offer on College Street (location # 2), and the third went for a beautiful place on Queen Street West (location # 3). While negotiating the lease on the first and third locations, other offers came to the game and win the places over ours, the second it was our decision to move on.

These are the three try-outs so far:

A new location is on the sight, again around College street, just west of Bathurst. Since the beginning, we imagine Arepa Café to be a relaxed and trendy place with healthy food for students and younger crowds. The closer to colleges, universities, offices on a high traffic street of pedestrians and cars would make our best location.

A solid business plan opens doors to be considered as a good tenant, the complexity of a restaurant project usually makes Landlords turn into simpler projects like offices, and retail stores. The better organized you present yourself the better location and landlord you will get. It has been challenging the understanding of commercial real state in Toronto.

It is difficult to find, but less difficult than creating a good idea, and putting together a business plan to find a loan for implementation. Our search continues...

Thanks for you support, and keep following our 'restaurant opening' process.