A question popped into my mind today. Keep in view that I am aiming for my own Pizza place (nothing overly fancy or expensive - just great fresh pizza as apposed to "Pizza Hut") and I am just wondering if anyone has had experience with this or can solve my puzzle for me:
For a place I described above, is it better to open up in the inner city? (possibly higher potential volume of customers but contending with other pizza places and the generic conglomerates) or outer suburbs? (potentially less customers but not in conglomerate range and only minor contenders that I know I could beat)
Any advice or comments welcome.
The location can be a very large part of your business. Dittos for what type of service you are going to offer (delivery, eat in, etc).
Cities are complex areas, often with more dynamics than suburban areas.
Instead of "inner-city", which city neighborhoods in specific would you target is a better question. In Baltimore, the median family household income is about $47k while the surrounding county's medan is just North of something like $65k I believe. However, when considering the large numbers of low income households in Baltimore (generally true in many cities), there are a large number of well above average households which bring the median to $48k in the city, and those higher earning households tend to cluster in certain neighborhoods at a density which cannot be matched in the suburbs. Some neighborhoods contain blocks upon blocks of professionals and vocational professionals making very good money.
Personally, I would identify specific neighborhoods in a city to find which ones have a good mixture of the "feel/vibe" you are looking for combined with good age and income demographics. Once identified, which of those neighborhoods have a pizza establishment similar to your concept? What are the rents/leases like in one hood versus the next? Is one hood a particularly transcient neighborhood or one where families tend to stay for several years at a time? Lots of questions to ponder.
My bent is towards cities in general. Nothing like being able to open a shop and have thousands of people, most within short walking distance, there to potentially visit your shop.
Of course the suburbs can work just as well!