Parking & Traffic Consultants, a group of independent advisors, take a look at whether businesses’ perceptions of the importance of car parking to their trade are in line with reality?
Location is a crucial competitive aspect for retailers in general and restaurants in particular.
Once the location is chosen, there are limited options to improve access to their business. Therefore, they usually tend to advocate for increasing parking supply as a way of providing more convenience to their current and potential customers and as such, abundant parking is perceived as vital for their business success.
However, it is not always what clients want and not necessarily the right solution for increasing revenue.
As reported by The Conversation, research was conducted in three restaurant precincts in Brisbane, Australia focused on verifying if car parking is as important as restaurateurs believe.
To understand that, customers’ mode of transportation to travel to the restaurant and their spend were investigated as well as restaurateurs’ perception on both aspects.
The research showed there were significant differences between restaurateurs’ perceptions and the actual consumer behaviour.
The largest gap was related to car usage. While restaurateurs believed that 52 per cent of their customers used this mode of transport, the reality was that it only represented 18 per cent.
On the other hand, the mode share of public transportation was underestimated by restaurateurs; they thought that only 15 per cent of their clients travelled by public transport when in fact 41 per cent of them did.
In addition, restaurateurs also had a misperception of the revenue share of customers according to their mode of transport. The study indicated that consumers who walked, cycled or used public transport to travel to restaurants spent more than those who used cars.
A similar study in Toronto reinforced these results and showed that local businesses’ best clients were those arriving by active transportation (walking or cycling) as they spent more and visited the area more frequently than the others.