What is the traffic count on that side of the road and is it on the way to work in the morning? Morning traffic? What is the demographic makeup of the town. Is this an area of town where someone would walk in for a drink or are you thinking mainly drive thru?
I believe the traffic count is close to 5000 cars a day around that location. For people that live near that location it would be on the way to work yes but it's not on the way for everyone in town. There may some walk up traffic during the day from surrounding businesses but in the small town south most people drive everywhere.
The median age of people living in Conway, AR was 27.3. We have 2 small liberal arts colleges and the 2nd largest University in Arkansas with between 13,000 and 14,000 students. Thirty-six percent of Conway residents hold a baccalaureate degree. The racial makeup of the city was 84.0% White, 12.1% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.98% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. 3.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Hope that gives you a good picture of the demographic makeup of our town.
comforteagle1965 said:What is the traffic count on that side of the road and is it on the way to work in the morning? Morning traffic? What is the demographic makeup of the town. Is this an area of town where someone would walk in for a drink or are you thinking mainly drive thru?
Depends on what you want to do with the space and what the budget is... If you have the money to drop into this place to renovate the outside (it needs serious renovation to have appeal as a cafe), do some landscaping, a patio, maybe an outdoor stage(?) get rid of those overhead doors and all of the lifts that are probably still present. Is all 3000 sq ft going to be devoted to seating? If this happens are you going to put in a restaurant and offer more than just beverages? Just sell coffee? What about roasting in shop? That's some killer storage and roasting space if you want to do both. How about a music venue? Would the demographic support it? What are you in walking distance of? Are the colleges within walking distance? How many other shops are in the area? What are those shops doing that you would do differently? What is going to make people want to come to your mammoth shop and not the one that they currently go to?
I manage a shop that has three floors that are each 3800 sq ft. The shop has been set up as a cafe/bar/restaurant with the entire theme surrounded by live music every night and some days. It's a ton of work, but when everyone is focused on their specific aspect of the place it runs well and makes money. One floor has storage, offices, our food prep room, our walk in, and our dish washing station. The main floor houses the cafe, the bar and the kitchen. The top floor is only about 1/3 used (small loft and the rest is attic we hope to expand into some day down the road).
In order to make this place function it takes a large staff of very hard workers, an extensive amount of advertising and the fact that we have over 40,000 students within walking distance. Even then, we really don't turn a huge profit (we are only just into our second year, though). We looked around and realized there wasn't anything like what we wanted to do in the area and decided to go for it, but at a huge risk and with a massive cost.
Large spaces are doable, but do you really want to do it?
For a coffee shop that did light food as well, with your 255 guess at daily tickets, 1000-1500 sf is a your usual recommended size. Your description of what you intend to do with the space seems to meet this definition.
I think if you look at the responses here, you'll see that they are telling you that you need to do something else too to make the excess space work for you. If you do not intend or have the means to do this, the space is too big. What happens if you run your numbers assuming you'll get to 200/day at the 6 month mark (given the existing owner's stated customer traffic)?
Please don't chalk this feedback up to the group not getting your concept - we have really good imaginations. You've heard from people that run and work successful shops in a variety of markets. I hope you seriously consider what they have to say.
What would "something else" be exactly?
Jon Mitchell said:Brady -
What would "something else" be exactly?
I think there were lots of neat ideas, especially in Bryan's email. Music venue, full-on restaurant, roastery.
Depending on how you structured your business and lease you might also consider subleasing to something like: a used bookstore, record store, bakery, bike shop, organic deli, etc. Something that would compliment your business without taking anything away or adding to your operational complexity. Something that actually gave you a business benefit would be nice - like having a standalone bakery attached.
If this wasn't appealing or possible, then at least take John's suggestion of trying to negotiate a lower rent for half of the space. If the commercial real estate market there is anything like it is in the rest of the country, incoming tenants are in a reasonably good negotiating position.
Lots of possibilities here.