hospitalityRestaurant DesignRestaurant Trends

What Is the Best Season to Open a Restaurant?

A common question among restaurateurs looking to break into the industry or those considering expansion is timing. Is there a better season to open a restaurant? One train of thought comes from Fran Tarkenton, “If you wait for the right time or the good times to start a business, you wait all your life.” And another from Mel Robbins, “There will never be a right time. Stop waiting and start doing.”

But does this “take action now” attitude apply to opening a restaurant? Yes, and no. Is there a better season for the grand opening and all that lies after? Maybe. Let’s explore the factors that go into the magic of timing.

Selecting the Best Month to Open Your Restaurant

Some, particularly those with type A personalities, may look at their preferred location, determine the busiest season, and go for it! In resort beach towns or places that cater to summer travelers, that would be June or July. If you’re near a ski resort, the opposite calendar months apply. 

Ok. That was easy! But wait. If you’ve opened a restaurant before, you know opening day and the few weeks beyond rarely go without a hitch. A chef leaves, a break in the supply chain occurs, or a few of your servers need more training than anticipated. It happens, almost without fail.

In light of that trajectory, it’s often best to open before the mad rush begins. Give yourself a month or two to get your feet wet. Of course, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. So, ideally, you’ve “cut your teeth” on friends and family during soft openings before your all-important local customers appear. The bottom line: give yourself time to get it right.

The Most Popular Season to Open a Restaurant

By far, the most popular season for new restaurants is fall. This could be because restaurants are preparing for the upcoming holiday madness or because operators wanted to get one last vacation in before their lives inexorably change.

Of course, just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s the best. Just look at the New England Patriots. Please, don’t stone me via social media.

The answer really lies in your location. Are you opening in a suburb that new restaurateurs are flocking to almost daily? That may portend a lot of competition in the fall.

So, what about springtime? Ah, the bloom of flowers, winter’s chill giving way to warmer and longer days, and, for those lucky ones with outdoor patios, a chance to get it right before the craziness of summer. But what if spring showers are common in your area? Maybe wait until May. 

As you can see, there is no perfect time, as the wise ones previously shared. There is, however, a better time for your particular location. And that’s what we help you determine at Emerging Concepts. Through today’s AI technology, data analytics, and our years of real estate experience, we help leading restaurants and entertainment concepts make their next big move, ensuring the ideal location at the right time.

The Best in Outdoor Dining

So, in celebration of the “right time,” let’s explore a few of the restaurants making the newsworthy best outdoor dining restaurants in 2023. These lists come around every year, from GAYOT’s guide to Food Network, OpenTable, and more. Let’s see if there are any common elements. 

It appears nearly everyone has a different idea regarding the best outdoor eateries. There was, however, one common element—Pier 6. The only catch is that the Pier 6 restaurants are in different towns, actually, different states.

One offers a roof deck and an outdoor bar and patio on Pier 6 at the edge of the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. The other Pier 6 is in San Leon, TX, a small coastal town outside of Houston. This tide-to-table restaurant provides a large, covered patio facing the calm Gulf waters.  

Almost 100 restaurants made OpenTable’s 2023 most popular restaurants for outdoor dining in America list. Hawaii hit the jackpot, with nine restaurants, followed closely by Los Angeles (8), San Francisco (7), and San Diego (6). Do we see a common theme?

Are you ready to explore the best location for your next restaurant? To learn more about Emerging Concepts’ process or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Emerging Concepts today. 


What are the best months for restaurants to sell? 

The busiest seasons in the restaurant industry are often the summer and the holiday season. However, the location of your restaurant plays a critical factor in determining your peak period.

Is it good to open a restaurant in 2023?

While the challenges are many, 2023 offers the first “New Normal.” According to Zippia, there are 749,404 restaurants in the U.S. in 2023. So, you’ll be joining a popular crowd. About 9 out of 10 restaurants are considered small businesses, and 7 out of 10 are single units. Additionally, the restaurant industry made $898 billion in 2022, up $166.5 billion from the previous year.


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