No industry is quite as challenging as the restaurant industry — constantly changing and expanding, incorporating new tastes and styles at every turn. Whether it is a small, family owned eatery or a five-star gourmet establishment; restaurant owners need to be permanently ready for any curve balls. Within any one restaurant lies a maze of challenging tasks including maintenance, stock take, staffing, recipe development, efficient delivery, building customer relationships and so on. Of course, there is a creative side to it all too. Running a restaurant business, therefore, is something that can only be done by the most committed people.
So when the time comes to sell your restaurant, you definitely will not want all those years of hard work to go to waste. You want to make sure that your efforts are rewarded. While running a successful restaurant is a rewarding experience in itself, once that time is over you will want something more tangible to hold on to.
Important Things to Remember When Selling a Restaurant
When you want to sell your restaurant, you probably realize that it will not necessarily be an easy task. With the constantly fluctuating economy, people are often wary of buying businesses. Prospective buyers need to feel as though they are making an investment that is worth their while. For this reason, it may be a good idea to prepare a “Business Offer Package”. This should include two years’ worth of financial statements, copies of leases, seating availability, current menus and a full list of furnishings and fixtures. This will give your potential buyers an all-inclusive overview of what is on offer.
Be sure that, at the time of sale, all maintenance is up to date and that all licenses are renewed. Also make sure that leases and licenses are transferable. Potential buyers will only be interested in restaurants and other businesses that require minimal effort at the beginning of the transaction. No one wants to buy a dilapidated restaurant that will cost a fortune to refurbish; and no one wants to deal with stacks of paperwork when transfer issues crop up.
It may be Best to Hire a Broker
While it is possible to sell your restaurant yourself, it is generally a good idea to hire a broker to do all of the heavy lifting. Businesses tend to sell twice as fast when a professional is at the reins. Armed with years of experience, a professional broker will know exactly what potential buyers are looking for and how to make sure that they get it.
Perhaps the best aspect of hiring a broker is that you can continue to run the business and find ways to increase its value, while the broker takes care of the fiddly task of finding the right people to take the business off your hands. Make sure to choose a professional who has a proven track record of selling relevant businesses. Find a person who has the skills needed to sell your specific business instead of someone who has a long list of random sales in their repertoire.
Article written by Cecilia Philbrook