Opening a Hospitality Venue: Urban vs Rural

We all know that location is a key factor when you’re making decisions on your new hospitality venue. You want to make sure that you are situated in a viable location, making it convenient, accessible and pleasant for your customers.

Some automatically think that an urban location is the way to go since you’ll be in the thick of things. But many people chase the rural dream, choosing a more relaxed pace by opening a restaurant or cafe in the country.

Not sure which way you want to go? Find out about the two different worlds of hospitality in the city and in the country!

Opening a Hospitality Venue in the City

cafe venue in city

Starting a hospitality venue in the city comes with plenty of benefits. To begin with, you’ll generally have much more foot traffic, so you won’t have to work hard to get people in front of your venue.

The downside to this is that you’re facing plenty of competition from other venues in the area, so it’s important to establish a unique selling point to draw visitors to your venue. Perhaps you can offer the best coffee in town, or specialise in unusual cocktails or local, organic cuisine.

If you’re considering opening a restaurant or a takeaway shop in the inner city, you might experience a much higher turnover of traffic. Many of your patrons will be local employees taking a quick coffee break. So it’s important for you to keep delays to a minimum.

It’s essential you have good quality, well-trained staff and a highly efficient hospitality POS system to keep up with the fast-paced environment of urban hospitality.

Don’t underestimate a suburban location around the city fringes. You’ll generally enjoy lower rent and less competition, while the concentrated community loyalties will see plenty of patrons coming through your doors – just make sure you’re near high foot traffic so you’re not expending all your efforts on getting the word out about your business!

Opening a Rural Hospitality Venue

food truck in rural location

Now we’re on the other end of the spectrum away from all the buzz, cars, horns, traffic, noise … you name it!

Of course, this also means you’re going to have less foot traffic. And while you’re probably going to face less competition than in an urban location, you may still have to work harder on marketing – in the beginning at least – to attract new customers to your door.

It’s important your venue covers a niche to distinguish it from any other local restaurants or fast food chains. Small towns are generally close-knit communities – so a good idea is to play into their hometown pride by focusing on local cuisines or sourcing all your ingredients locally.

While you’ll probably enjoy cheaper rent, you’ll face other challenges with operating a rural hospitality venue. Chief among these is the ability to recruit good quality employees as you have a limited talent pool to choose from.

In addition, poor weather can have a negative impact on your patronage; since rural locations generally require greater commutes to and from your venue, poor weather can discourage your patrons from venturing out.

Weeknight traffic can be a particular challenge, so offering daily specials is a great way to lure people to your venue at night.

Other handy tips include:

  • Open near office buildings and offer a happy hour for those looking for a quick post-work drink.
  • Ensure there’s ample parking for your customers.
  • Try to be close to major roads.
  • Consider that some small town communities may be more budget-conscious.
  • Don’t discount shopping centre locations – they’ll be some of the most trafficked spots in town.

Opening a food truck might be a great hospitality venue idea for a rural location. If you’re in an area where the towns have vibrant communities with plenty of events, a food truck business might prove a great investment.

Many small town communities in Australia host any number of events, including sporting events, market days and festivals. Instead of being restricted to one quiet location, you can drive your business to the people, generating some impressive profits.

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Work Smarter Not Harder

At the end of the day, the location of your venue is just one piece of your business plan. Be sure to do your research, know your community, and offer a unique selling proposition that will make your business one of the best in town!

Find out more about opening a restaurant or another hospitality venue on the Impos blog today!