As a restaurant owner, it is critical to think about all of the aspects of your business before you actually break ground on the project. From the design of the inside of your building to the ongoing restaurant concept, it pays to pay attention to the details, especially in regards to aspects that can't be changed easily, like your parking lot. Here are three things you should stop to think about before parking lot paving, and how they could help you in the long run.
1. Parking Needs for Your Clientele
Think about who will most likely come to your business, and what they are likely to drive. For instance, while a fast-food restaurant might attract all kinds of people, an eatery that specializes in down-home country food may bring in more than its fair share of trucks and SUVs. Think about how much space you may need for those kinds of vehicles to park, and don't forget to leave larger spots for campers if you suspect that people will be stopping by for things they need for a vacation.
If you aren't sure what you need, try to find the most similar restaurant to the one you are opening, and visit their parking lot. See which types of cars are parked there, so you can get an idea for what you might need.
2. Drive-Through Space
Anytime you are opening up a restaurant and offering drive-thru service, it is important to think about how the operation could change in the coming years. If you suspect that the drive-thru will be popular, consider creating enough space around the area to accommodate a second line and ordering window. On the other hand, if a drive-thru is a new concept for your particular restaurant, choosing something that is pared down could work, such as a simple designated to-go parking stall.
3. Weather Patterns
Think about where the restaurant will be built and the kinds of weather it receives throughout the year. If the area is known for heavy rain and snowfall, consider choosing concrete over asphalt, since it is easier to plow and allows rain to bead off the surface. On the other hand, if the area is incredibly hot and hard on paved surfaces, asphalt may be better, since it costs less and is easy to repair.
Anytime you are thinking about parking lot paving, hire a team of professionals who are committed to taking care of the job the right way the first time. Talk with them about their commitment to paving, any guarantees they have on the work, and how long the project will take to complete. Chat with them about when it will be safe to walk on and park on the new pavement or asphalt, so you can preserve the results.