How much off-street parking should a restaurant have?
This of course, is a pretty important question for the owner of the restaurant, since he or she will need to make sure that people can easily access the building in order to eat there.
Any entrepreneur who wants to run a profitable restaurant will need to guess how many parking spots are needed, based on a variety of factors – such as proximity of housing, public transportation, and the personal preferences and demographics of the clientele.
If the owner supplies too little parking, then motorists will simply drive on by, opting to dine somewhere that offers an easily-accessible parking space.
On the other hand, the owner doesn’t want to provide too much parking because parking spaces use up square footage that could be used for other purposes such as a larger outdoor patio on a restaurant.
Thus, in economic terms, parking spaces are no different than any other amenity that might be offered by a business, such as tables, bathroom stalls, air conditioning, and windows.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on December 21, 2017.