Enterprise Insight: Restaurant Expansion Checklist

Are you currently running a successful fast casual concept? Do you believe you are primed for multiunit rollout and increased revenue? Even if you’re knocking it out of the park currently, there are certain concerns that demand your particular attention as you look to expand your business enterprise. We have listed below some items that you should consider when beginning this process.

1. Guest analysis

Who are your guests? What do they like about your currently operating business location? What are their demographics? How can you make them even happier? These are just a few of the things you should consider as you look to expand. Without understanding your core customer base, it will be very difficult to draw guests into your new location.


2. Business analysis

Perhaps you feel your business has a broad appeal and getting customers in the door will be a breeze. Despite this, you need to understand the core of your business. What are the most important aspects of your business? What is really driving customer retention and satisfaction? What are the strong and weak aspects of your business currently?


3. Site Improvements

Are there any improvements you can make on your existing model? Are there things you can implement that will increase your scalability as you look to open new locations? Maybe after opening your first location you realized that some things were not implemented optimally. This is your chance to improve upon your concept and test alterations to your model before expanding further.


4. Site Location

What are the positives about your current location? What could be improved? In what ways will your potential new locations differ from the original? All of these things will affect the profitability of your business and can determine its success or failure. Perhaps the biggest thing to consider is your rent. Are you able to find a location with comparable rent and comparable demographics and foot traffic? Changing any of these factors could drastically affect your chances for success.


5. Business Plan

Yes, a business plan. Of course you created a business plan when opening the first location, so why would this time be any different? It is imperative that you create another business plan for your newly planned location. If you did not create a business plan the first time around, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. It is very unlikely that your new location will be exactly similar to the already operating location. Besides, it will be nearly impossible to fundraise based solely on the success of an existing business. Investors will want to know exactly what is going to stay the same, what is going to change, and the potential new challenges you will face.


6. Standards

Scalability is one of the largest hurdles to successfully expanding your business. How were you able to operate successfully at your first location? Consistency most likely played a role in your success thus far, so you will want to maintain this principle moving forward. If you are unable to maintain this consistency at your new location, it could even damage your existing, successful location. You should evaluate what is in place at your existing location and how it can be replicated. Consider what standard operating procedures you have and which you might need. How is food ordered and handled? How is the guest experience managed? Do you have cash handling procedures in place? Standardizing as many operational items as possible will go a long way in ensuring a successful multiunit enterprise.


These items are, of course, only some of the considerations you must factor in when analyzing the potential for a new business location, but they are some of the most important. By going through and understanding these items you will be much more likely to open a successful new location and create the framework for continued success and more locations in the future.

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