Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $63 billion in damages across the East Coast. Restaurants contributed their share to the bill. And as operators cleaned up and surveyed the destruction, many learned some hard lessons about their insurance coverage. Lessons that can benefit anybody, not just those hit by a 100-year storm.
Location: Coney Island, NY
Lesson: Evaluate the possible economic advantage of carrying catastrophic coverage while self-insuring against other/smaller claims.
Every business person knows you can’t fight City Hall. But what if you no longer needed to? What if city officials, instead of piling up obstacles between a restaurant and its opening day, tried to bulldoze them out of the way?
That’s a tantalizing experiment underway in two of America’s biggest cities. In New York and Chicago, the mayor’s offices are serving up a new paradigm for licensing restaurants: treating them like customers instead of combatants.
So you’ve found a great location at a good price. You’ve still got one hump to get over: signing the lease.
“Every day, I see tenants signing leases they shouldn’t,” says Kudan. “They can never get out of them. When you have a poor lease, your chances of failure are greater, and it’s more difficult to sell them.”
Every city’s got a Motor Row. On Chicago’s Near South Side, it’s block after block of boarded-up car dealerships. Now, it’s blossoming into an entertainment district, and some of the city’s top restaurateurs are eyeing its empty buildings.
But for every Motor Row, there are a dozen run-down neighborhoods that aren’t likely to redevelop any time soon. How does a restaurateur with a taste for first-wave gentrification tell the difference?
Steven Josovitz shakes his head as he looks at a map of downtown Atlanta. “I have hundreds of people calling me every week, looking for locations to lease or businesses to buy in those core markets,” says Josovitz, vice president of restaurant-real-estate broker The Schumacher Group. “I have to tell them there’s almost nothing available for lease.