Pros and Cons of Moving into an Existing Restaurant Versus Building Your Own

Location is a driving factor when opening a new restaurant. So is the cost. You need a restaurant you can afford while also being optimally located to ensure sustainability for the long haul.


This is where many restaurant owners come to a crossroads when deciding whether to move into an existing restaurant space or build their own from the ground up.


Should you move into an existing restaurant?


There are several advantages to moving into an existing restaurant location. One is cost. It is cheaper to lease a space than it is to take on an entirely new construction loan for the build (which then would also come with property management responsibilities). There may also be cost-savings opportunities when it comes to equipment and accessories.


Restaurant renovations (that are closer to reconfigurations than a full renovation) are also generally quicker to turn over than a new build. This means you can open your doors to customers faster and begin generating revenue more quickly.


Conversely, leasing an existing space comes with challenges.


  • The building’s location has a history, which may be good or bad. If the previous restaurant failed, it’s important to understand why.
  • You may encounter structural limitations with the build due to its existing footprint. It may also require several updates to bring everything up to code.
  • You have less control over the building as a renter.
  • The location may not be optimal.


Should you build a new restaurant?


It’s hard to resist the allure of a brand-new building, but with it comes expense and upfront capital some restaurateurs aren’t willing to risk investing. For those who have the means, however, a new build offers opportunities to:


  • Completely customize the restaurant
  • Ensure up-to-date safety standards are met in both the building and equipment
  • Minimize maintenance for the first several years of operation since the building will be new and require less attention.


The challenges involve shouldering the expense as well as taking on the responsibilities of the building’s ongoing property management. New construction also typically brings with it a longer-term commitment that leasing a space does not.


As you consider opportunities to invest in your restaurant, we can help you understand the South Florida market and overall construction process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your goals.


  • test :