8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Franchise Location


Starting a franchise is an exciting venture, and at the core of this opportunity is a decision that can make or break your future success: Location.

It’s not just about finding a spot on the map, it’s uncovering a destination that will allow your restaurant to reach its full potential. The old saying “location, location, location” rings true.

To set your franchise up for success, there are eight critical factors to consider before you settle on the perfect spot.

1. Demographics

Selecting a location begins with understanding the demographics of an area. Evaluating the population’s age, income levels, lifestyle, and preferences gives insight into whether the location is a good fit for your franchise. The US Census Data on your location is a great place to start. Successful franchises position themselves in areas where the demographic makeup mirrors the target market and there’s a much higher likelihood of developing a loyal fanbase.

When determining locations for new Twin Peaks franchises, we consider several factors as a benchmark, including: 150,000+ population within five miles, 100,000+ daytime working individuals within five miles, and a $60,000 average household income.

2. Accessibility & Visibility

Even when surrounded by its target market, a successful franchise must be accessible. If people can’t find the restaurant—or don’t know that it exists, attracting customers will be difficult. When selecting a location, keep in mind proximity to main roads and highways, as well as public transportation.

Drive time must also be considered since most people will drive to the location from their jobs or homes, and a midday road trip is far from ideal. At Twin Peaks, we look for a daily traffic count of 30,000 cars minimum per day with direct access to the lodge.

Easy access directly around the location is another factor to consider. Is there clear signage? If you put the location into a GPS, will it take you directly to the restaurant, or will you get stuck outside the parking lot with no obvious entrance? The precise location should have easy access without taking a U-turn or crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Convenience is key.

3. Foot Traffic

In the restaurant industry, foot traffic means business. High foot traffic not only ensures a constant influx of potential customers but also contributes to brand awareness. A bustling location offers more opportunities to capture the attention of others, potentially turning them into loyal fans too.

4. Local Competition

We love a little competition at the lodge, but not the kind that’s bad for business. Successful locations strategically position themselves where there is demand yet limited direct competition, ensuring a healthy market share.

You’ll also want to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. How do their prices, services, and customer loyalty compare? Accessible tools like Google Maps, Yelp, and even social media can help you research the competition in an area and identify opportunities in the market.

5. Ample Parking

One detail that’s often overlooked is parking. The search for a parking spot shouldn’t be the story your customers tell after they visit. If it is, it’s unlikely they’ll return. Ample parking offers both safety and convenience. For Twin Peaks franchise locations, we look for at least 150 parking spaces in the area directly surrounding the lodge.

6. Real Estate Costs

Just like choosing a location based on the market, finding the balance between cost and location is essential to the success of a franchise. Lower cost sites aren’t likely to be as accessible or desirable as more expensive sites. That being said, a successful location is visible and convenient without being too costly. Even with plenty of customers, high rent can offset revenue and make turning a profit a difficult task.

One thing to remember is that starting a franchise doesn’t have to mean starting construction from scratch. 90% of Twin Peaks lodges are conversions of existing casual dining restaurant locations. Expanding your search to vacant buildings with similar spaces can help open more affordable franchise opportunities.

7. Sports & Entertainment Proximity

For Twin Peaks franchises, proximity to sports and entertainment venues is a strategic game-changer. Being close to these hubs adds to the #1 Sports Bar atmosphere at the lodge. Fans often seek places to gather before and after games, creating a natural flow of customers.

Successful locations leverage the surrounding teams and occasions with themed events and partnerships that resonate with local fans. For example, a location that can advertise itself as the ultimate watch party destination for the local university can become a go-to destination for fans who want to tailgate every game.

8. Future City Growth & Development

One final factor to consider when selecting a franchise location is the future. How a location looks and feels today may not be the same way it looks and feels 10 years from now. Look for cities that not only have large populations, but also steady population growth in recent years. Again, the US Census Website is a great source to explore an area’s population trends.

Future development can give insight into a location’s future success as well. While you can’t see the future, most cities have long-range plans you can view online. Are there plans that could affect vehicle or foot traffic? Perhaps a location has average accessibility now but there are plans for a new development in the immediate area —this could be a good spot to invest in.

In Conclusion

Choosing a location is one of the first, and most critical, decisions you make when it comes to opening a new restaurant.

Understanding an area’s demographics, accessibility, foot traffic, competition, parking, real estate costs, sports & entertainment offerings, and future growth are the first steps to nailing down that perfect spot.

And the good news, we’ll work alongside you. If you’re interested in starting your own Twin Peaks lodge, fill out our Inquiry Form and our franchise team will reach out to discuss this exciting venture.