Finding The Perfect Restaurant Space—What To Discuss With Your Broker

In today’s world of retail commercial real estate, few things get more buzz than a new and exciting restaurant concept. When we ask what people would like to see in a particular property or development, the vast majority of requests and comments are for restaurants. So this got us thinking, what do restaurateurs need to look for and consider when deciding on the best property to lease or purchase for their new concept?

At Crunkleton, we’ve helped a number of clients reach their goals of opening a successful restaurant. Here are a few things your broker needs to discuss with you before beginning the search for the perfect piece of property:

Concept & Clientele

The first thing we need to examine is your concept, who your customers are, and when they will be coming to visit. Is your concept open for all three meals of the day or just dinner? What will your busiest time of day be? Knowing your projected peak hours will help you determine if you need to be situated near a large daytime/work population or an area with a more active evening population.

You may also need to consider how commuter traffic affects your desired location. Do you need to capture the crowd heading to work during the morning hours? Or will you get more business after work hours? Determining these factors first will narrow down the areas that need to be considered, making your search more efficient while eliminating areas that wouldn’t be suitable.

We also need to consider local zoning laws. If you serve alcohol, then we need to make sure we search in the correct zoning district and may need to be a certain distance from protected uses, such as schools and churches.

Size & Special Features

Next, let’s determine what size space you need and if you require any special features such as a drive-thru or outdoor patio. One of the biggest factors in the success of a restaurant will be occupancy costs. Essentially, this is how much it costs you to occupy the space in relation to your sales volume. A space too large will drive up your occupancy costs by leaving you to pay rent on empty tables that aren’t producing sales. A space too small may limit the number of customers you can serve, therefore driving up occupancy costs by not producing enough sales to cover your expenses. Finding the appropriate size space is critical to long-term success.

These added features (like the patio or drive-thru) may be beneficial to your business and drive more customer traffic. Properties with these features generally cost more to lease or purchase, but the increased costs may be worth it in the long run.

Parking & Accessibility

Another important factor to consider is parking and accessibility. Like we mentioned previously, these factors will largely be determined by your concept. A lunch-focused restaurant may need to be more concerned with parking and convenience than a sit-down dinner concept. If your patrons will be pressed for time, having an abundance of parking close to the front door may be important.

Are you a quick-serve breakfast concept? Then you may want to be located on the “going-to-work” side of the road so customers can easily swing in and out during their morning commute and don’t have to waste time crossing traffic or waiting on a light to change.

Condition

Lastly, let’s talk about the condition of the space we need to be looking for during our search. Can you handle the initial build-out of the restaurant or do we need to find a space that has previously been a restaurant? Restaurant spaces have requirements that may not be in place in some of the properties we find, such as grease traps, vent hoods, adequate HVAC, etc.

Finding spaces that already have these features installed can certainly save time and money when it comes to build-out and getting open, but may be difficult to find and costlier to lease or purchase. Part of a broker’s job is knowing the market well enough to expedite your search and introduce you to spaces that fit your needs when it come to these necessities.

Obviously saving that time and money on build-out would be nice, but don’t let your decision on the final location be driven by the fact that the space is a second-generation restaurant space. We’ve put this last on the list because we believe from our experience that the other factors are more important to the long-term success of a restaurant than saving some money during the build-out.

Are you searching for the perfect restaurant space? Be sure to check out our full list of available restaurant spaces here.

And give us a call at 256-536-8809, or email us at info@crunkletonassociates.com. Our retail brokers would be happy to help you with your search and answer any questions you have.

SplitLine

Zac Buckley
VP of Leasing
Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group
ZAC@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

 

Originally from Tennessee, Zac studied business management at Samford University. After moving to Huntsville in 2001, Zac started out his career in banking, wealth management, and financial planning. In 2010 he joined Crunkleton and has since become the VP of Leasing for the commercial real estate group where he focuses on retail leasing and development.

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The Cuban Café Is Coming To Promenade Point Shopping Center!

A brand-new local eatery will soon bring the sights, sounds, and flavors of Cuba to the Madison/Huntsville area! Join us in welcoming The Cuban Café to the Promenade Point shopping center at 5510 Promenade Point Parkway.

Utilizing the culinary savvy of Jesenia (Jessi) Ysalgue and the entrepreneurial spirit of her husband Andy Ysalgue, The Cuban Café will be a vibrant spot where guests can experience authentic Cuban culture and cuisine.

Photo Credit: Katie Shelton; Jesenia (Jessi) Ysalgue: Co-owner & Operating Manager; Andy Ysalgue: Co-owner

“We are happy to announce that lovers of traditional Cuban dishes in the Madison/Huntsville area will soon have a great option to enjoy close by,” said Andy, co-owner of The Cuban Café. “There’s going to be something to satisfy every one of your senses, and we can’t wait to open our doors and deliver a memorable experience.”

The Cuban Café will serve guests six days a week and is tentatively scheduled to open in early August of this year. The hours will be:

Monday – Closed

Tuesday – Thursday: 11am-10pm

Friday – Saturday: 11am-11pm

Sunday – 11am-9pm

Bold, Fresh Flavors in Every Bite

What makes The Cuban Café unique? According to Jessi, operating manager and co-owner, it’s the years of training in the restaurant industry, authenticity, and soul that goes into every dish.

“This is the way I was taught to cook as a child, so I have been making these dishes all my life,” explained Jessi. “There’s something so special about Cuban food and the way it makes you feel. Cilantro, garlic, peppers—you can taste every ingredient and appreciate what it brings to the meal.”

For years, Jessi and Andy had the dream of opening a café that served the fresh and bold flavors they grew up with. And now, Jessi is inviting others to discover the delight of Cuban cuisine.

“We will, of course, have a traditional Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork, sweet ham, pickles, and swiss,” assured Jessi. “It’s one of our favorites and we are thrilled to serve it alongside other types of sandwiches and many other menu items including ropa vieja, picadillo, and much more.”

Ropa vieja is Jessi’s favorite dish to eat when visiting family in Miami. She explained that the name of the dish translates to “old clothes” in Spanish, a term that describes the look of the meat once it’s prepared.

“It’s a beef stew that includes meat shredded like old clothes,” she laughed. “It has meat, veggies, red sauce, and spices. When it’s homemade, the flavor will almost smack you in the face. It’s delicious.”

There will also be plenty of desserts to choose from on The Cuban Café menu, like Jessi’s famous flan.

“It’s the best flan I’ve ever had in my life,” complimented Andy. “We beg her to make it for every family event—they are never complete without it. I know guests are going to love it.”

The future home of The Cuban Cafe!

 Enjoy the Sights, Sounds, and Flavors of Cuba

Homemade fare isn’t the only reason to visit The Cuban Café—there’s much more to experience. For instance, there will be a decorated patio where patrons can smoke cigars and sip a craft cocktail while listening to the smooth sounds of drums, guitars, bongos, and trumpets playing in the background. Latin music will play an important role in the overall atmosphere.

“We want The Cuban Café to be more than a place you drop by for a good meal, although it will be that,” clarified Andy. “Our patio will be one of the most comfortable spots in the café. We want people to be able to close their eyes and feel like they are in Cuba or Miami. We keep using the word ‘authentic’, but that’s really what we are going for. Sharing these parts of the Cuban culture is something that’s special to us.”

Andy also shared that live music may be at the café during special occasions and events.

“Grab a mojito or a Cuban sandwich and hang with us for awhile,” invited Jessi. “We are a place that everyone in the family can enjoy. And we are just around the corner for all of our Madison customers.”

In the End, It’s About the People

For Jessi, nothing excites her more than opening the doors and getting to know her guests.

“We’ve wanted to bring this café to life for years,” shared Jessi. “So we have put a lot of planning and hard work into making sure it’s exactly what we envisioned. You can find Cuban sandwiches in many places—and they are all delicious. But we wanted to share them with traditional ingredients, prepared in a way that stood the test of time in our own family. We love Madison and Huntsville, and we are eager to open so they can try our recipes.”

Jessi and Andy have been part of the Madison/Huntsville community for 10 years. After one visit, the couple immediately fell in love with the area and decided it was the perfect place to raise a family.

“The first time we visited ten years ago, we had 70-degree weather, a tornado, and snow flurries all within four days,” joked Andy. “We love the colors and the seasons here, but more than anything we love the people and the family atmosphere.”

The duo also mentioned the growth of the area and said they hope the new café will be a player in the continuing progress of the city.

“We wanted to create a place that brings the community together to enjoy great food and fun,” said Jessi. “Madison and Huntsville have some amazing restaurants—we eat at them frequently. We are honored to soon be a part of such a diverse, quality group of restaurateurs.”

“Our roots are in Miami, but we have made Madison our home,” said Jessi. “This is a way for us to invite our friends to experience something they may not have had the chance to experience before. Whether you’re coming to grab a bite, hang out at the bar, or relax on our patio, we want you to leave feeling refreshed, happy, and—of course—full of comforting Cuban cooking.”

To learn more about The Cuban Café and to get updates on its opening, be sure to like them on Facebook!

Photo Credit: Katie Shelton; “There’s something so comforting about traditional Cuban cooking…” – Jessi Ysalgue

Have you tried Cuban food before? What’s your favorite dish? Let us know in the comments!

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haley_squareHALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM