27 October 2010

the Real Estate

we've been lax. I know. ignoring the blog just because there was a real business to run.

the last few weeks, months and years, it feels like we've learned so much about Real Estate. i dont know the origins of the term, but i'm sure there is a very good reason its called the Real Estate.

foodie brands that have managed to grow, grow fast and grow well, have all figured out the real estate game. which is a real minefield. and there are some great brands with great products who are still stuttering along because they dont get it. Real Estate that is.

did you know that 20 metres is sometimes 20 metres too far? so lots of people think we have the most amazing location - 50 Frith Street. 20 metres from Old Compton, which is the most bustling steet in Soho. but it is possibly 20 metres too far. that said, despite the limited seating, the foil wrapping and our reluctance to hand out cutlery, Mooli's has become a destination now, and Frith Street is a destination street, not a drop-in street.

it gets even more bizarre. ever thought you could be on the wrong side of the street? you may have found a fab location on the best street, but if the passing trade walks on the other side because.....maybe because that is where the tube spills out, or that is where the pavement is broader....then you dont have such a good location. Can you really be on the wrong side of Fleet Street, Upper Street or Regent Street?

on a related, but unrelated point, make sure you know your product well. what is commonly a dinner product in the US, Vietnam or India, may be a better lunch product in the UK. and vice versa. burritos are far more popular here at lunch than dinner. Dim Sum seems to be becoming a dinner product in London, when it was traditionally a brunch thingy. which way will it swing for Mooli's? We're doing a roaring lunch trade from a Soho location that has never had a good lunch trade.....

and then there is the whole game of A1 v. A3 locations. and Premiums. and Extraction. Sam identified this way back when we were still writing the second draft of our business plan. I wont go into the details of the joys of A1 locations, but i suspect industry peers and hopefuls are smiling quietly to themselves.