If you have a rental company and specialize in restaurant space, you should know there are certain pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. You can also take specific steps to ensure you have the best success opportunity. There is an art to setting up a rental space and coming up with a contract that your tenant will love.
We’ll take a few moments to break down your best moves if you want to get tenants for each of your properties that will stay with you year after year.
Figure Out Which Restaurants Tenants Stay with You Longest
The first rule of restaurant property development is to figure out what works in a particular locale. For instance, you’ll want to think about:
- What other cuisines have worked in your city
- Whether there will be any call for that food type in the space you have available
This step will require research. Look at your neighborhood and see which cuisines and restaurant types have found prior success. If what the tenant is proposing to you sounds like too much of a departure from what has worked previously, you might give the space to a more promising candidate.
Offer a Lower Rate for the First 3-5 Years
When a restaurant first starts out will be the most challenging time for them. That’s because:
- No one knows about them yet
- They might not have the money for an aggressive marketing campaign
You should keep this in mind when you talk to a potential candidate. You might offer them a multiple-year contract, but you can tell them you’ll keep the rate lower for the first 3-5 years.
After that, if they catch on, they should have no problem paying more. After five years, a restaurant will either be a neighborhood fixture, or it will fold, and the owner will try their luck elsewhere.
Consider Whether the Property is Liquor License-Ready
Most restaurants want to serve alcohol because if people order it, it drives up their bills. Dining establishments can also mark up alcohol prices considerably, and people seldom have any problem paying for it.
However, getting a liquor license can sometimes be tricky. If you know for a fact that you have a rental property that is liquor license-ready, that will appeal to many potential restaurant candidates. They will be fighting with each other to get that space if they know there’s a license waiting for them.
Look into Laundry and Other Nearby Services
A restaurant owner or operator will also probably look favorably on a space that has additional amenities nearby or onsite. For instance, if laundry services are in the same building or right next door, they can wash their employee uniforms there.
The owner or operator might also look for things like on-site employee parking. They might look for public transportation that drops their employees off right in front of the property. They may like it if the space is right by an expressway for their employees who drive to work.
At the same time, if there are diverse properties nearby, that will work in their favor. For instance, if there are office buildings or similar establishments across the street, the workers will probably come over frequently for meals.
Provide Restaurant Exclusivity
You might also have a restaurant space that’s part of a larger property. If so, you’ll know your restaurant tenant will have to share the space with other entities.
They should have no problems with that, except if you let other restaurants move in. It’s not helpful if they have to compete with other food-preparing establishments in the same building.
You can promise them exclusivity. You can agree in writing that as long as they are in that space, you will not allow any other restaurants to move in. That should make the owner happy.
Consider Lease Flexibility Options
You can also make the tough financial market into account. With the pandemic wreaking havoc on the restaurant industry over the past year, you might have some potential tenants who are leery about moving in and committing to a multiple-year lease.
You can put language in the contract stipulating that you will not evict them if they can’t pay the rent for one month, or even two, provided they pay within a designated period after that. You can’t let it go forever, but a restaurant owner will like to know that if their sales tank for a few weeks, you will not immediately change the locks on them.