FAQ: How to Open a New Restaurant in Lakeland

One Fat Frog gets a lot of questions from people who want to open a restaurant. Today we got a customer from Lakeland, Florida who wanted to know how to go about opening a restaurant in Lakeland. Since we would hate to tell one person all of our secrets and have the rest of you miss out, we decided to post these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Where is the best place to open a restaurant in Lakeland?

Unfortunately, this Frog can’t just show you that answer on a map. It will take research on your department. Lakeland is a moderately low-income area that is 53% female and 43% of the married population is married. The best place for your restaurant startup is in an area with a high density of customers fitting the demographics of your restaurant.

How do I determine my theme and menu?

If your dream is to start a restaurant, you probably have some theme ideas already, right? Would any of them work in a location like Lakeland? Again, look at the city’s economics, marital status, gender, racial makeup (Lakeland is 63% white so a soul food startup would fare better elsewhere). Picture the average person in Lakeland and imagine where they would want to eat. Now ask yourself if your restaurant would be a good place for them. Plan your restaurant accordingly.

Where can I get used restaurant equipment in Lakeland?

One Fat Frog has a new 100,000-square-foot showroom fully stocked with used restaurant equipment. We have free delivery to Lakeland. So if you need used restaurant equipment for your Lakeland restaurant, call us at 407-480-3409 and we’ll deliver it to your new restaurant’s doors for free.

How expensive should my new restaurant be?

Your restaurant’s menu prices should be determined by your demographics. Lakeland is not an affluent area, with a large portion of the population considered lower middle class or below. That means if you have an expensive gourmet menu, you are only catering to a small part of the population. That is fine if you want to be the lone expensive restaurant in the area – it will likely make your restaurant very popular on prom night and Valentine’s Day – but your business won’t be as consistent as if you offer cheap menu items for the working class.

How do I determine the right location in Lakeland for my new restaurant?

Here is where on-site reconnaissance is necessary. First find places in Lakeland that are available, either empty lots or buildings for lease or sale. Then go around the city scoping the areas. If they are near business or shopping hubs, people will already be in the area for other reasons and you’ll get peripheral visits based on that. Being located near a large housing community is also helpful. Also look at the competition. Would you be the only restaurant nearby or are there other options? If there are others, how similar to their restaurant would yours be? There’s a fine line about competition: If you are the only restaurant for miles, people won’t drive your way when they’re hungry, but if there are too many options near you, other places will get your business when they’re hungry.

Obviously, the Frog hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have any more questions about how to start a new restaurant in Lakeland, simply call One Fat Frog and we would love to discuss your business plan with you.

☛ 2416 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32809

☏ (407) 480-3409

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❂ Sat: 10AM – 3PM