Five Important Criteria for Site Selection

FEB. 25 – We’ve all experienced this at one point or another. You’re excited to try a new spot in town and you end up down a back alley, spending hours looking for parking, or worse – not finding it at all. Factors like location, zoning, and suitability often go overlooked, but can have a big impact on success and public satisfaction.

Choosing where a development will go is just as important as the building process itself. Site selection affects nearly every aspect of design and construction, so it is crucial to take various factors in to consideration and determine what is most important to your business.

For example, recent statistics on the restaurant industry show that 63% of consumers would rather spend on an experience than purchase an item. Be diligent about your selection process and give them a memorable experience. We’ve compiled five necessary criteria to think about when searching for a site.


We could probably all agree this one should be obvious, but unfortunately, it’s not. Are you going for busy metropolitan or quiet residential? Do people visit the area often? What is the current competition like? Learn about the surrounding area and consider any potential risks. Surveying public opinion is a great way to get a feel for the attitudes towards an area and gauge how people might interact with your business. Know your target market to study the demographics of your desired location.


Does the space allow for potential growth? Is the building structurally sound? What are the possible renovations? No matter how great the actual location of the site may be, if you run in to issues with infrastructure it can cause major delays in the building process and rack up costs.


Whether its your first brick-and-mortar shop or fifth coffee house, avoiding unnecessary costs are priority for all business owners. Will the land require costly renovations? Is the purchase price similar to others of the same size in the area? What are the estimated maintenance costs? Confirm with a project development team to avoid huge costs and stay within your budget.


“That trek across Narnia was worth it to get here” said no customer ever. A good location will be visible to nearby traffic and easy to access. Parking can depend based on the city, but the quicker people can get to your business, the better. Does the area draw a lot of foot traffic? Is the area suitable for your desired audience? Having a good understanding of your customer base will help resolve some of these potential problems.

Legal Regulations

Are there zoning restrictions for your desired project? What are the city regulations and rules? Will you have sufficient funds for financing? Are you permitted to display signage on the site? Being informed on all legal requirements for both state and city is imperative for obtaining permits and proceeding with your project.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach and project priorities will vary depending on the business, but generally avoid developing a site plan too quickly without surveying these criteria and other important factors. To cover all bases, it’s recommended to have one to three alternative concepts for site plans. You may find a less than ideal site, but with the help of a creative team meet your requirements and turn it in to something great.