Restaurant Location Considerations for Multi-Unit Operators

Multi-unit restaurant operators have many additional considerations that must be factored in to their menu engineering and design planning when expanding into new territory. We’ll discuss important restaurant location considerations for multi-unit operators.

Restaurant Location Considerations for Multi-Unit Operators
Restaurant Location Considerations for Multi-Unit Operators

Restaurant Location Considerations for Multi-Unit Operators

What should multi-unit operators consider when choosing a location? The list includes issues such as different languages and market-level pricing variations. Market-level availability/appeal considerations are important to consider. For instance, a hamburger doesn’t sell in India as well as a veggie burger sells, just as a veggie burger won’t sell as well in the USA as a hamburger. They should also think about fulfillment issues, such as getting the new menus to all of the locations around the world and implementing them on time. They need to program point of sale systems all over the world. Training needs to be culturally appropriate and indicative of brand standards across the board. Operational issues span the gap from their best performing units/managers to the poorest performers. Even issues such as mannerisms and cultural considerations require careful consideration, such as Ronald McDonald bowing in Asia instead of waving.

For chains with diversely located restaurants, additional complications arise due to political influences and governmental agencies. Some markets demand menu labeling and ban certain kids marketing and menu approaches. There are also concerns such as restrictions on ingredients – such as no use of pork products or proteins with animal by-products in certain parts of the Middle East.

Those who are already operating in wide and spanning territories know these issues (and many more) all too well. I mention them here primarily for those emerging brands who may be tempted into prematurely jumping great distances with new openings (cherry-picking markets rather than growing in concentric circles) as just a sampling of cautionary considerations to factor into the decision making process. For QSR’s and fast-casual operators who use menu boards predominantly, new digital menu board technologies solve a host of past headaches such as market-variations and fulfillment (see Digital Menu Boards).

Restaurant Consultant

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