Wake Forest Renaissance Plan - September 2017


2017 R ena i s s anc e P l an U pdat e | T own of W ak e F or e s t

A restaurant’s concept and layout — plus how many diners show up — drive its profitability. Change a floor plan or add a feature, and you might lose money. “The layout is about what I can do with this space — how many seats with this concept in mind?” he says. “The concept is the variable. How much can I make from an individual in that seat? How much per square foot?” And believe it or not, scarcity of parking spaces can be an asset, not a liability, in developing a restaurant for a small town. The more people on the sidewalks, the better the business for all. “Plan on not

having (your own) parking — that’s part of the gig, because you have to walk and pass other businesses,” he says. “The key is to let people know where the parking is — you don’t want it to be a secret.” Now that the economy’s on the rebound, there’s more willingness to invest in restaurants by property owners and even groups of individuals in the community. “A thousand people giving $500 each — it can work,” he says. “Anything can work.”

But, the veteran chef says, 50 percent of a restaurant’s success still depends on luck. ■

Erin Sterling Lewis and Tina Govan reclaim a hidden stream.

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