The old adage goes, “If one fails to plan, one plans to fail.” The restaurant business is as simple as that. When you want to open a restaurant in Dubai, what’s the first question that pops up – what do I sell and where? JLT? JBR? Or one of the malls? Let’s explore the best options.
Once you have decided on the type of food you want to sell, the next logical step is to find out where it would sell best. Finding the ideal location for your restaurant is a science – a bad spot will kill the business even before you open doors. Dubai isn’t like other cities. It comprises primarily of an expatriate community which is very transient.
It’s hardly surprising to see brand new restaurants that are completely empty. Customers want more than just food, they want an experience.
Most people in Dubai frequent malls very regularly. The best restaurants aren’t necessarily selling the best food, but one of the factors playing an important role in their success is that they are located in areas of high footfall. It’s not always about how many good reviews you get or how unique your dishes are – people will not come to you if you are out of the way. Driving around Dubai can be challenging at times, given the constantly changing roads, on-going construction, unexpected traffic, parking issues and let’s not forget – the heat. It is important to find where people like to spend time and optimize on that; however, such locations come at a price. This is where owners need to decide if they have a well-planned concept, which would justify the high cost of rent.
However, those with smaller budgets, should consider other community areas; for example, Barsha or JLT. They will need to setup a strong delivery infrastructure to be able to cater to a larger audience, outside of the communities. Sometimes, it’s easier to get a sense of the location by observing a nearby supermarket, or merely speaking to existing restaurant personnel to understand how many transactions they do on a daily / monthly basis.