I was hungry by about 11:30 yesterday morning so I set out to find something quick and relatively fresh.
As I pulled into the parking lot of my local psuedo-strip mall, the first place I noticed was Qdoba. I was on autopilot and didn’t give it a second thought. Qdoba is not as good as Chipotle, but its usually pretty consistent, so I pulled in. The lot was pretty full, but it was early so I thought I’d be okay.
The place was packed and every table was full. There are at least twenty people in line, and as people walked in and saw as much, like me they walked right back out.
My stomach growled angrily as I left the place, and I thought “now where am I going to eat?”
I scanned the parking lot and realized there was a Quizno’s tucked in the corner, probably 100 to 120 feet away. I’ve lived near here since 2001 and I’ve never seen it there. Seriously.
There was one car in front, so I ambled over and opened the door. There were no lines and every table was empty. The service was quick and friendly. I had a full four-top table to myself. And the food was fresh and tasted good.
Although I have no research to support it, I can’t believe Qdoba isn’t good enough to pull 20x the traffic as Quizno’s, especially in the same geography.
It had to be something else, and here’s what I believe it is:
You can see Qdoba from just about everywhere in the parking lot. The only way you can see Quiznos is if you pull into their small section of the parking lot and actually face their restaurant.
If Quizno’s was as visible as Qdoba, it surely would have taken a greater share of the business.
Consider these three things if you are getting ready to open a retail business that relies on foot traffic:
But location isn’t just geography. It’s more than that. Consider sight lines. Consider where the competition is situated. Consider how people both on foot and in cars will be able to see you. And remember, most people don’t think twice about where they are going, they just go.
Are your customers on autopilot when they buy?
What types of businesses do you frequent without thinking twice?
Comment below to weigh in.