The Best Place in NYC to Open Up a Restaurant

This blog is simply a walkthrough of my Coursera Project, “Battle of the Neighborhoods”.

*Disclaimer:

This project was done in the midst of the pandemic so some of the data may be slightly outdated & it’s also not the best time to start a business up.

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INTRODUCTION

New York City will always be my favorite city in the world due to its melting pot of diverse cultures & ethnicities which brings various innovative ideas & technologies for the modern world. Exploring NYC data was entertaining to say the least. New York City is one of the most populous city in United States with a population of 8.39 million in 2020. It is a hub of diverse cultures as I stated earlier, combining all facets of the globe. NYC is a major industrial center & the financial capital of the world. There are five boroughs in the city; & with such a large geographical area, there is a huge competition between companies. Therefore, there is a big challenge in figuring out the most ideal spots to open up a new business & maximizing profits. In this project, we’ll be focusing on opening up a Chinese Restaurant since that has been found to be one of the most popular cuisines in America according to the analysis performed by Chefspencil using Google search data.

Business Problem

Where we can open a Chinese Food Restaurant in New York City with the final goal of maximizing customers & profit.

Target Audience

Investors & developers who might be interested in getting their way into the commercial food industry. We are assuming these people have already done some cost analysis & are willing to take the risk of a new business. All we’re here to do is to provide a suggestion of where the business should be opened.

Data

We used data from https://geo.nyu.edu/catalog/nyu_2451_34572 for a breakdown of all neighborhoods in NYC. The dataset includes the five boroughs, 306 neighborhoods and its latitude & longitude coordinates.

We also used FourSquare API calls to get information for restaurants in each of the neighborhoods. These calls consisted of the venue names, ratings, & the neighborhood of the restaurant.

Methodology

  1. Data will be collected from https://cocl.us/new_york_dataset, cleaned & processed into a data frame.
  2. FourSquare be used to locate all venues & then filtered by Chinese Restaurants. Ratings, tips, & likes by users will be counted & added to the data frame.
  3. Data will be sorted based on rankings.
  4. Finally, the data will be visually assessed using graphing from Python libraries.

Results

We can visually see that there are the highest amounts of chinese restaurants in Queens, followed by Manhattan, then Brooklyn. We can see here that on average Manhattan has more restaurants per neighborhood then Brooklyn which means there’s less competition in Brooklyn.

The results of our analysis showed below:

  1. We see that Queens has the highest number of Neighborhoods
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2. Queens also has the highest number of Chinese Restaurants

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3. Chinatown in Manhattan has the highest number of Chinese Restaurants

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Discussion

Based on the results of our analysis, I would state that Manhattan & Brooklyn are the best locations for Chinese cuisines in NYC. To have the best shot of success, I would open a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn. Brooklyn has multiple neighborhoods with average ratings exceeding 8.0 on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0 and has less amount of Chinese restaurants than Manhattan, making competition easier. In addition, we should keep in mind that real estate prices in Brooklyn are much cheaper than in Manhattan. Particularly, I would recommend considering opening a Chinese Restaurant either in Cobble Hill or in North Side, because both of these neighborhoods have the highest rating for Chinese restaurants.

Limitations & Suggestions for Future Research

All of the above analysis depends on the accuracy of the Four Square data. During this project, we used a free Sandbox Tier Account of Foursquare API that goes with limitations as to the number of API calls & results returned. To get better results, future research work & more comprehensive analysis could consider using a paid account to bypass these limitations as well as incorporating data from other external databases.

Conclusion

In the project we have gone through the process of identifying the business problem, specifying the data required, extracting & preparing the data, performing data analysis, and lastly providing recommendations to the investors/developers. During the project, we applied different data science methods & instruments to get the answer to our main question: “Where in the City of New York,should the investor open a Chinese Restaurant?” The findings of this project will help the relevant investor better understand the advantages & disadvantages of different New York neighborhoods/boroughs in terms of opening a Chinese restaurant.

Data Scientist & Machine Learning Engineer

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