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Top ingredients to opening a successful restaurant in Miami

By Andrea Vigil

It’s no secret why restaurateurs are pushing to open locations in Miami. Diners have helped make the city home to some of the highest grossing restaurants in the country, including Joe’s Stone Crab ($35M) and Prime 112 ($23M), and Miami-Dade County saw an eight percent increase in gross restaurant sales to nearly $5.6 billion from 2013 to 2014.

So what goes into opening Miami’s next great dining spot? We spoke with some local restaurant owners for their suggestions:

BUILD THE RIGHT TEAM

Hibachi Grill’s new Brickell location at 35 SE 6th Street.

Downtown lunch spot Hibachi Grill just opened a second unit in Brickell at 35 SE 6 Street, and owner Adel Nasser worked through each step of the process but not without some help.

“Being represented by an educated broker who will guide you through the ups and downs of finding the right location is the most important step,” Nasser said.

Once Cushman & Wakefield helped secure the real estate, Nasser shepherded the day-to-day decisions of the build-out process. “Overseeing the details and the progress of the construction gave me ideas on what to change to make the right opening,” Nasser said.

EVALUATE FEES

If the space was not formerly a restaurant, evaluate all the potential impact fees associated with the space, for example, water and sewer, road, fire, police and parks. Some municipalities have a different fee schedule if they have their own fire or police department, but this chartgives you a primer.

FIRST VS. SECOND GENERATION SPACES

“Doing it from scratch allows you to implement your vision. The disadvantage is that it’s more expensive and takes additional time. The most important thing is to have a knowledgeable contractor who specializes in restaurant build out,” Nasser said

CREATE THE RIGHT EXPERIENCE

With five existing locations and two more on the way, Misha’s Cupcakes, Miami’s favorite confectioner and long-time Cushman & Wakefield client, has built a sweet empire.

“At the end of the day, you have to have a really good product and not underestimate the importance of customer service.” CFO Gardo Gomez said.

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