U.S. Restaurant Market Analysis
Restaurant market analysis is a process utilizing various techniques to discover the feasibility of opening, expanding, or continuing a restaurant in a specific region. The market for restaurant operation in the United States is saturated, but a smart and economical approach to market analysis will allow a would-be entrepreneur or current restauranteur to achieve success.
There are several key components involved during a proper restaurant market analysis. These components include trend analysis, location and facility type differentials, specific area characteristics, competition in the area, knowledge of the customer base, and the final projected sales. These components should be utilized in a detailed way that includes cross-referencing and combination into a report. While any one of these types of information may be used to gain insight into the current restaurant market, it is only as a whole that the information is useful.
When you begin your restaurant market analysis it is wise to ask several definitive questions. These questions will be the basis of the analysis project. A few suggested questions include:
* What type of area would be best for my restaurant?
* What is the competition like in the area?
* What trends in the food service industry should I watch out for?
* Is my concept model unique in the restaurant industry?
* What is my likely projected customer count for the year?
The questions asked will need to be detailed specifically for the type of restaurant that will be opened, expanded, or maintained. One example is the classic fast food establishment that focuses on a burger and fries clientele. While the questions that have already been stated are important a few more useful lines of inquiry may include:
* Does my competition primarily come from franchise restaurants or local small business operations?
* Does my competition serve 100% real meat, organic source foods, or do they serve quick preparation but low nutrition value meals?
* Do I choose to purchase a franchise opportunity or do I create a new venue that does not exist in the area?
These questions may offer far greater insight. For instance, the last question concerning franchise opportunities may be useful when discerning the difference in the potential income of a business. If the local customer base mostly eats at quick-service franchise restaurants, despite numerous small family table-service restaurants then a fast food franchise may be a good possibility. However, if the unique family restaurants do very well when compared to franchise operations then it may be best to create something fresh, something new.
How Do I Acquire This Information?
There are numerous resources available for obtaining the desired information. A few of the more notable include the National Restaurant Association, industry publications, and local hospitality databases. The latter type of information can often be found at local colleges.
Further information can be collected during operation, by visiting local restaurants in person, or through online research and consumer interest surveys. A few notable items to check for include menu preferences in the area of operation and the state of the local economy.
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