How Large Should Your Restaurant Be?

When you walk into a large restaurant that’s well decorated and filled with people, it can be a thing of beauty. But this is the exception, not the rule. When you start planning the opening of a new restaurant it’s incredibly exciting. Mistakes made in the early period of planning can quickly lead to a failed restaurant.

Saddleback takes an atypical approach to opening new restaurants. We try to keep our emotions out of decision making. This isn’t a house. This is a business. We try to bootstrap EVERYTHING. We try to NEVER take on debt. We pick small spaces over large spaces. We would rather have a line at the door, than have the restaurant feel empty.

Anytime you are making a decision about the future of the restaurant keep in mind 60% of restaurants fail in their first year, 80% fail in their first five years. This is largely because restaurants take on too much debt, have too large of floor plan, don’t accurately calculate food costs, and aren’t paying attention to labor.

For more on picking the right restaurant location, we go into much more detail here!