There are many steps that an entrepreneur must go through before obtaining a new space for their restaurant. From feasibility studies to due diligence, it is vital that you consider every detail ahead of time before selecting a location.

There are also necessary steps to take once your decision has been made. Negotiating a restaurant lease in New Jersey can be a complicated process. If things do not go smoothly, you could end up with unreasonable terms or miss out on the ideal space for your business. Let an experienced restaurant and hospitality attorney help ensure that you get the most out of your negotiations.

Focus on Space and Seating Capacity

The amount of space and seating capacity a restaurant has will directly correlate to the income potential the business can earn. While it is necessary to have enough seating space to turn a profit, it is also possible to overpay rent by leasing into space that is too large.

The seating capacity should be a focal point of these negotiations. Patrons need enough room to sit, eat, and comfortably walk through the premises. There should also be ample space for storage and the kitchen.

Options and Lease Terms for New Jersey Businesses

Unfortunately, new restaurants often close within the first year, and most eateries go out of business before the five-year mark. A business owner stuck with a long lease could be on the hook for rent long after they have closed the doors to their restaurant for good. Therefore, it is helpful to negotiate short leases.

A lease option is a contract term that allows the restaurant owner to extend the lease term for a set amount of time without needing the agreement of the property owner. Options are a powerful tool that could allow restaurant owners to continue growing successfully.

Restaurant Leasing and COVID-19

COVID-19 led to havoc on several business sectors, but few were hit as hard as the restaurant industry. There were strings of closures and shutdowns in 2020 and 2021, and relationships between landlords and business owners became strained.

The pandemic also brought the need for language in leases addressing issues like public health crises into focus for restauranteurs. An experienced lawyer in the area could work to include terms in the lease that protect a business owner during the course of a government lockdown in the future. A well-planned and detailed lease could also include terms about freezing rent when a business is unable to open due to a health crisis.

Talk to an Attorney About Negotiating a Restaurant Lease in New Jersey

All new business owners should consider retaining the guidance of a practiced lawyer before negotiating a restaurant lease in New Jersey. Commercial leases are complex legal agreements, and the failure to comply with them could have detrimental effects on your business.

Fortunately, a member of our team could help you negotiate a lease with favorable terms that ensures you are treated fairly from beginning to end. Schedule a consultation today with a dedicated and understanding team.