Determining Potential Location Traffic

the business of coffee houses

Determining Potential Location Traffic

Postby onocoffee on Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:26 pm

Wondering if any of you know any sort of formula to figure out expected traffic in a new coffee shop, based on foot traffic count and/or vehicle traffic count?

I spent the morning hanging out in front of a potential space just counting cars and counting people and would like to know how to properly extrapolate potential volume based on these counts.

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Postby Matt Milletto on Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:32 am


There are really so many variables that a formula would not work across the board. I have heard of some figures more related to drive thrus, where you can expect .5 to 1.5% of driving traffic. Foot traffic I imagine would be a bit higher. Also, think about where customers will park if they want to come to your space specifically.

High traffic numbers are obviously important, as is high visibility, being in an area with a demographic that will support your concept, being near other businesses that draw a similar clientele, and then maximizing your store front, have a great appearance and great signage.

If I remember right you are looking at a small location? So, I'd look also for a space where you can have some outside seating of course. This will help draw attention of those passing by (in the warmer months).

Good luck on your search!

- Matt
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Postby Rich Westerfield on Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:49 am

You've been to our place - granted it was a Sunday - but you know we're on a main drag in a business dist. with exceptional car traffic.

So we'll go on record to say that foot traffic is paramount for us. Car traffic means little to us because of two things:

- people dislike metered parking
- people really dislike parallel parking (not to mention many just can't do it on a busy street)

About 3/4 mile from us is a much smaller biz dist - about a block long. However, the coffee joint there does more business. The parking is diagonal, not parallel. Every space is always filled it seems and the turnover is incredible.

So if you're considering car traffic, you have to consider parking - and what type of parking you can provide.
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