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The Science Behind Choosing the Right Location for Your Restaurant


We have earned our reputation as the leading sandwich and wing franchise brands because of our dedication to providing the highest-quality of support for our franchise partners. When you decide to franchise, the site selection process is paramount, and our award-winning brands have all the tools to set you up for long-term success.

Recently, we sat down with Dennis Watts, VP of Real Estate for Capriotti’s and Wing Zone, an industry-leading veteran, to dive in deep about the advanced real estate tools we implement to spark record-breaking AUVs and phenomenal growth for our beloved restaurant brands. Our dedicated and experienced real estate team takes the time to understand key targeting trends which allows us to accurately select high producing areas for our franchise partners. Let’s take a look at how we support our franchise partners through their site selection process:

  1. Population analysis - Understanding the market size and makeup.
  2. Demographic analysis – Understanding the consumers in your market.
  3. Geographic Information Systems - Using advanced mapping tools and cellular tracking that allow us to visualize data.
  4. Site evaluation – Understanding traffic patterns, accessibility, visibility, parking, competition in the market and more.
  5. Sales forecasting - Determining the Sales potential and how it will impact long-term profitability.

Ready to learn more about opening a Capriotti’s or Wing Zone in your area? Click hereto take the first step toward somethingextraordinary.

Diving Into Demographics

Once you decide to franchise with Capriotti’s and Wing Zone, our real estate team will conduct in-depth demographic analysis to pin-point high-traffic areas within a desired trade area. In doing this, our real estate team will be able to decipher consumer trends based on the population, cellular data and traffic volume data. When tapping into new markets, we are also able to use that data to understand how the community will respond to the welcoming of a new location - based on competition, consumer behaviors and market trends.

Our brands are recognizable across the nation and we serve many different types of communities. Our family-oriented atmosphere appeals to families, as well as businesses and on-the-go professionals. Because of this wide range of customers, we not only offer a pleasant dine-in experience but we have implemented state-of-the-art industry-driven technology to ensure seamless take-out and delivery options. Driving sales to your bottom line is the focus in everything from location to restaurant design.

Explore Different Territories and Populations

Similarly, with takeout as one of today’s strong revenue streams, our convenient, versatile menus match up perfectly in areas near major intersections, retail, education, or business centers. Identifying areas with large catering opportunities is also key. Businesses such as hospitals, medical complexes, auto dealerships, warehouses and more expand revenue options well outside the walls of the restaurant.

According to Dennis, “Before you can choose a specific building, it’s important to explore the general communities a franchise partner is looking to break into.”

Over the past 30+ years in franchising, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a community a prime location for our brands - and because of our unique ingredients, flavors and flexible models, Capriotti’s and Wing Zone have found success in both small towns and big cities.

For example, our concepts have found great success in rural markets, such as Malvern, PA and bustling downtown locations, like Chicago, IL and Las Vegas, NV.

Technology driven population data also helps us to visualize how the area’s consumer base is distributed and how much a target audience is expected to grow in a given period.

Geographic Information Systems: The Smart Tool for Success

Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, are an integral component of our real estate team’s strategy. Our systems use cell phone data, traffic patterns and population density to track where customers are coming from, where they are going and how likely they are to visit certain locations.

GIS also helps us understand how often consumers buy certain products and their dining preferences - such as how likely they are to dine in or order out. And how the foot traffic of a location determines someone’s likelihood to dine in or order for delivery.

These systems are also integral for competitive analysis, as Dennis and his team can track how many similar concepts are within a certain radius, where they are located and zero in on the areas with the highest demand for our beloved brands.

Sales Forecasting: The Link Between Geography and AUV

At Capriotti’s and Wing Zone, our internal real estate system uses the GIS, existing store sales, and advanced machine learning to point Dennis and his team toward our most profitable locations. Studying our existing locations allows them to analyze our first-hand data and optimize all future restaurants for top performance.

Once you’ve zeroed in on a location, it’s time to decide on a storefront. Dennis and his team work with franchise partners to discuss factors like whether to open in a standalone building or a strip mall, to consider outdoor seating, competition and evaluate parking options.

They also highly consider accessibility and visibility to those passing by, whether the location is on a busy street or in a more discrete location, like a shopping center.

Finally, Dennis and his team compare leasing costs and square footage to ensure franchise partners are maximizing space and ROI.

Get the Best Deal

The last step to choosing the right location is negotiating the best deal. Capriotti’s or Wing Zone can refer you to a trustworthy real estate attorney to help solidify your contract.

Plus, with an all-inclusive support system to help with marketing, operations and more, you’ll have plenty of experts to lean on through your grand opening and the lifetime of your business!

Looking to franchise with a reliable, fan-favorite restaurant brand? Click hereto learn more about opening a Capriotti’s or Wing Zone in your area!

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