Our research would indicate that pubs are most consistently successful when situated in real estate that occupies between 2,500 square feet and 5,000 square feet. Generally, though not always, approximately one third of the space will be given over to kitchen, bar, storage, refrigeration and washrooms, while the remainder will be given over and used as customer space. So in a 2,500sf pub, you can expect to have approximately 1,700sf available for guests and in a 5,000sf pub you would expect to have approximatel4 3,400sf available for guests. These numbers will be important when estimating what your likely sales volume will be.
Depending on your location, you may have access to basements or additional floors which can greatly contribute to additional guest space. In other words, if you have a basement, you can use it for storage, food preparation and even washrooms, so saving plenty of guest space on the main floor. At all times, you should be trying to maximize the amount of guest space that you can create. Remember that you will be paying the same amount rent on every square foot, so it benefits you to have as much of that space available for guests to spend money.
If you are working on restricted capital budgets, it is usually best to look for an existing restaurant location which has closed and to carry out a conversion. With existing restaurants, you will usually inherit items such as HVAC, kitchen hood and possible even some refrigeration and cooking equipment. With new properties that have not been restaurants, there is considerable cost involved in installing HVAC unless the landlord offers to do it for you. However, in new properties, it is not unusual for landlords to incentivize their tenant by offering inducements such as contribution to your renovation, so don’t rule anything out until you’ve looked at it from every angle.