Where to Find Restaurants for Lease

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Opening your own restaurant can be a great way to make a living and secure the money you need to retire. The convenience of eating out mixed with its social aspect has led to an increase in the number of people opting to eat at a restaurant rather than cook for themselves at home. If you have decided to open your own restaurant you are probably wondering where to find restaurants for lease.

  • Contact commercial real estate agents. To have a restaurant in your city you are going to need to lease property that is zoned for a commercial business. There are realtors that specialize in assisting business owners in finding the right commercial property to make their business a success. You can start by finding out what commercial real estate agents are in your local area and contacting them.

  • Connect with your local chamber of commerce. Although the chamber of commerce in your city or neighborhood can't provide you with a restaurant space to lease, they have the connections to get you in touch with the appropriate people. Their focus is on adding more businesses to their area, which is why they will be more than willing to answer questions and act as a resource as you find a restaurant to lease and work towards opening it.

  • Drive around your city searching for vacant commercial buildings. If you already have a place in mind where you would like to put a restaurant, drive or walk around the area to see if a commercial space is open. Many times realtors will put leasing information in the windows of these vacant businesses, making it easy for you to find out who to contact if you want to look at the space and potentially rent it.

  • Perform an Internet search for commercial properties in your area. Real estate listings are becoming more popular online, even for commercial properties. Loopnet is one of the most prominent websites listing commercial properties, and you can search by your zip code or city (see Resources below). In addition, you may also find listings through other sites such as Craigslist or eBay.

Tips & Warnings

  • Not all commercial properties will be right for your restaurant. Ideally you should find a property to lease with a kitchen already established, as this cuts down on your startup costs.
  • Make sure there are provisions in your lease that allow you to change the décor of the restaurant when leasing in order to fit your menu and atmosphere.
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