10 Tips on Negotiating a Restaurant Lease

It looks like you have found the perfect location for your restaurant. The area complements the concept of your creation and is full of your target customers. You are finally ready to negotiate a restaurant lease.

Unfortunately, that’s the part that a lot of businesspeople find incredibly challenging. There are just too many things that you have to bear in mind…

To make the whole process a bit easier for you, we have developed 10 helpful tips on negotiating a restaurant lease.

1. Fight for it

First things first, you have to come to the battlefield prepared. What is the building’s vacancy rate? For how long have the most recent tenants stayed? Use the information in your favor and be fierce.

Psychologically prepare yourself that a ‘fair deal’ is not enough for you. You are willing to settle for the best conditions possible.

2. Don’t be afraid to walk away

If you start the negotiating process with the feeling that this option is your only hope, the chances are high that you won’t close a successful deal. Forget about your emotions and walk away if you feel like you cannot get what you want.

Trust us, there is plenty of other fish in the sea, so value your time and nerves.

3. Don’t say too much

Just like in court, everything that you say can be used against you. Providing only the basic information about your restaurant is enough. Don’t go too much into your plans about replacing the furniture, making simple repairs, and so on.

4. Talk to tenants

You’ll get the most valuable information from the people that have already been in your place in the past. Ask about their relationship with the landlord, the rates, and how well the place is looked after.

Remember that you can use the information (especially the negative reviews) during the negotiation process.

5. Don’t accept the first offer

Just don’t do that. Even if the rate seems okay – don’t settle for the first offer. The absolute majority raise the numbers to have more room for negotiation.

6. Don’t pay for phantom space

Are you paying per square foot? Make sure that you get every inch of it. At times, you cannot utilize certain parts of the space, but you’re still paying for them.

7. Determine your rent

Let’s talk numbers. Your rent shouldn’t exceed 8% of your projecting sales.

8. Ask for more

Leave yourself room for negotiation. For example, if you’ll need the space for a year, ask for 16 months.

9. Always negotiate

It’s a process that is full of counter-offers. If you have managed to close the deal in only a few hours, it looks like you have lost the game. Give yourself at least six months to find the perfect location and negotiate the lease.

10. Get help

Feel like you’re not the right fit for the things that we have mentioned above? If you don’t have the knowledge and fierceness necessary, asking for professional help when getting a lease for a restaurant can be your best option.

The NYC real estate attorneys are ready to assist you by advising you on the terms of the deal and negotiating the lease for you. Moreover, they will review all the documents.


For people who value their peace of mind, getting professional help when negotiating a restaurant lease can be a real gamechanger. Real estate attorneys will make sure that you land the best deal, and that’s what you came here for, right?

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