After a two year search for the perfect location, the owner of Sukho Thai restaurant finally found a permanent home, with some help from commercial real estate broker Louisiana Commercial Realty who researched potential locations and provided data on which neighborhoods spent the most money dining out. Broker Robert Hand with Louisiana Commercial Realty explains how they got started, “We helped Sukho Thai in the past when they wanted to expand to the French Quarter and we negotiated the acquisition of the 2200 Elysian Fields location which has been very successful, so they asked us to help them purchase a building rather than continue to rent space at their Magazine location.”
While many restaurants closed due to Covid and everyone struggled with finding employees, Sukho Thai pivoted and focused on take-out and delivery. During Covid, their revenues actually increased, with take-out and delivery increasing more than in-house dining decreased. They even adapted delivery to in-house since Uber Eats, DoorDash and Waitr costs were shared by the restaurant and almost eliminated any profit.
The search for a permanent home initially included every building listed for sale on Magazine Street and even a few unlisted buildings that Louisiana Commercial Realty knew could be a good fit. After flushing out those possibilities, which took about a year, the search expanded to the Lakeview area with a few possibilities on Harrison Avenue. Negotiations with property owners hit a dead end, so Louisiana Commercial Realty widened the search to Harahan and then to the Kenner area, which showed as having a population that spends less money on dining out annually per family but offers a larger population, so the total spending numbers are attractive for a restaurant. The table below is one example of the research, showing the Williams Boulevard target site as having the lowest household income but has the highest total spending at dinner and lunch due to the higher total population.
Louisiana Commercial Realty also provides a "Restaurant Market Potential Report" that includes what restaurant brand residents visit most often, how much they spend, and how that compares to a national average. The table below shows an analysis of Sukho Thai's current Magazine Street location. Broker Hand says, "The data available to restaurants today is spectacular. We can not only tell the total spending on dining out, we can discover how many adults visit a restaurant, how much the average family spends per visit, how often they visit, and the brand of restaurant they visit most often, and we can zero in on any 1, 3, 5 and 10 mile radius or drive times for any location."
The data show that at this location, 2,111 adults, which are only 11 percent of the population with one mile, spent $101 to $200 per visit, which was the highest spent at a family restaurant. Also, within the last 6 months, we know that the most popular type of restaurant served pizza. This is measured by the Market Potential Index (MPI) which tells the relative likelihood of the adults in the specified trade area to exhibit certain purchasing patterns compared to the United States. An MPI of 100 represents the U.S. average, so a score of 154 tells us that a pizza type restaurant in this location is visited 54 percent more than average.