Much is made over location, location, location when choosing a place to either open or re-open a restaurant, but traffic patterns are rarely mentioned.
Yes location is very important as is parking, but if you have the best location in the world and in the midst of rush hour traffic or high traffic periods throughout the day, your property is impossible to get in and out of, it defeats the purpose of having the great location to begin with.
When scoping out restaurant locations, visit it during high traffic periods and don’t just pull in and pull out, sit in the parking lot (if the restaurant is currently open) and observe the traffic patterns. Are people waiting for long time periods and having difficulty pulling in and out of traffic? If the property is closed, test it yourself, find a good turnaround location nearby and enter and leave multiple times.
This will also be key for getting deliveries. Large trucks such as the ones US Foodservice and Sysco have, will sometimes alter time delivery routes, if during high traffic periods, large trucks have a problem entering your property. The drivers have delivery schedules they need to keep within, and customers with access issues sometimes get bumped to later time periods, or have the delivery slots scheduled very early (so you need to have staff on beforehand to accommodate and check in a delivery properly.
Realtors and brokers will generally do showings (through no fault of their own) during off peak traffic periods and while a location may seem ideal, you as a potential future owner need to see what the realistic incoming and outgoing guests will have to deal with coming to eat at your location.