Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Skip Cooking This Thanksgiving - The Restaurant Brokers Share Restaurant Chains Open for the Holiday!

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 22, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Our friends at Restaurant News did it again!  Here's the list of the restaurant chains open for Thanksgiving this year.  Making a home-cooked meal for Thanksgiving is how some families spend the day but a surprising number of people prefer to skip the preparation, cleanup, and house full of relatives.  Instead, they opt for a chef who works their magic and a server team to handle the legwork!  An added benefit to dining out, you can avoid all those pesky leftovers and seconds that are bound to sabotage your diet plans when a restaurants whisks in a meal and then clears it away in the same sitting. 

The Restaurant Brokers have been on both sides of the fence.  We've been the recipients of a fabulous home cooked meal, we've been the ones cooking the turkey and we've dine out.  What's the best experience?  It depends on your own unique situation.  More and more families are gathering together but opting for dining out.  We can't blame those who want to leave the cooking to specialists.  Especially not after reviewing this list of fantastic chain restaurants who are staying open to make your Thanksgiving meal an unforgettable one!

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According the research performed by the National Restaurant Association, this year nine percent of American’s will be eating their Thanksgiving dinner at a dining establishment instead of in the comfort of their own or someone else’s home. That’s a three percent increase from 2011.

If you’re one of the millions of American’s who are eating their Thanksgiving dinner out this year, check out the following list of chains who are staying open to roast your bird, bake your ham, and plate up your mashed potatoes and gravy so that you can be thankful you don’t have to lift a finger – except to pick up your fork and knife!.

Applebee’s – Not all Applebee’s restaurants will be open for Thanksgiving, but there will be many in select markets that are. Those that are staying open for the holiday will serve turkey, green beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Call your local Applebee’s to find out if they will be participating!

Boston Market – For $12.99 a person you can enjoy turkey breast or half of a chicken along with two side dishes, a roll and a slice of pie! For $34.99 enjoy the same items for three people!

Country Buffet – Country Buffet is where you go to get a meal just like what grandma made, and Thanksgiving dinner is no exception. From 11am-6pm guests can dine on numerous meats from the carving station, potatoes, juicy corn, and a selection of Thanksgiving pies.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store – head to Cracker Barrel for a turkey dinner complete with a small portion of sugar-cured ham, delicious sweet potato casserole, your choice of a side and beverage for just $12.99 per adult and $7.99 per child.

Denny’s – Head into your favorite Denny’s for carved turkey breast, stuffing and even cranberry sauce.

Houlihan’sWhat an interesting concept this bar and restaurant chain has come up with this year – ‘Drinksgiving!’ After you finish meal with the family, head over to Houlihan’s and indulge in $2 beers, $3 wines, and $5 pitchers of Long Islands!

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks – For an upscale dining experience this Thanksgiving, head to McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks for turkey dinner including butternut squash soup, cornbread stuffing, and apple squash casserole. This chain will also be featuring its regular menu all day long for anyone not wishing to have the traditional Thanksgiving turkey!

Romano’s Macaroni Grill – For $24.99 per person you can indulge in a three-course dinner including roast turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots with bacon, apple sausage stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House– Another upscale dining option for Thanksgiving is the famous Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The price is a bit steep, but it is well worth it! For $39.95 per adult and $12.95 per child, guests will enjoy gumbo or a house salad as a starter, and tender turkey with house-made gravy, stuffing, and more!

Ryan’s – If you’re looking for good old fashioned pecan pie this Thanksgiving, you’ll want to get to Ryan’s. Sure, you can get the traditional turkey dinner, but you can also get friend chicken, steak, shrimp, and meatloaf! Southern-inspired side dishes include collard greens, green beans and corn.

Shari’s – Head on into Shari’s for turkey or ham dinner for just $14.99. If you’d rather have something from the daily menu, all entrees are $5 off from 10:00PM Thanksgiving night until 10:00am Black Friday! Shari’s has 94 locations in the United States. For dessert, Shari’s is serving up its award-winning pumpkin pie!

Sizzler’s – From 11am through 10pm on Thanksgiving, guests will be treated to stuffed roasted turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. The price will vary at each location, so call ahead to the Sizzler’s closest to you for pricing and reservations!

The Dixie Cafe – Head on over to the Dixie Café for a traditional turkey for just $10.99 per person from 11am-5pm.

Waffle House – While they don’t have a special Thanksgiving menu, they will be open serving all of their signature items to the masses!

With all of these delicious options to choose from, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of us have a home-cooked meal for lunch, and head out for a second serving for dinner! Wherever you choose to dine this Thanksgiving, We Sell Restaurants wishes you a happy and healthy holiday with your friends and family. Enjoy!

Topics: buying a restaurant, restaurant brokers

Restaurants for Sale and Their Valuation are Simple Math Problems – Do you have the Right Answers?

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 20, 2017 9:39:41 AM

Researching restaurants for sale can be a challenge. Understanding that this is a math problem with a right and wrong answer can help. If your broker can’t answer these questions about how much to pay when analyzing restaurants for sale, find another one.

There are three methods of establishing valuation of restaurants for sale used in the industry. An expert restaurant broker should be familiar with all three though the Income Valuation Method is the most favorable and trusted method used in the industry.

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In today’s robust environment for SBA lending, the Income Valuation Method is the one used to secure financing on a business. If a restaurant has solid profits and a two to three year history, it’s easily financeable in most circumstances, with 25% to 30% down. This is the most acceptable method of valuation for banks, lenders and individuals in assessing how much to pay for a restaurant. In a situation where a restaurant buyer is paying cash, this helps to reduce fear of the transaction as the business has a proven track record.

Restaurants for sale with strong books and records, assessed under the Income Valuation Method has the highest number of potential buyers and hence commands the highest possible price. An expert restaurant broker can go through the Profit and Loss statement along with tax returns to find the Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE) or owner benefit that is customarily accepted by lenders to value the business. This includes net income PLUS reasonable and customary add-backs.

What is not allowable for “add-back” purposes are efficiencies a new owner could potentially achieve that the current operator hasn’t. It should factor in your decision to buy but should not be calculated in the pricing of any restaurants for sale you are considering. The entire purpose of the add backs is to calculate owner benefit and ultimately pricing of the business. If you can identify strategies to be more successful in the future than the current owner, that benefit belongs to you as a buyer, not to the seller in the pricing of the business.

Once the Seller’s Discretionary Earnings is appropriately determined, then it becomes the basis for a “multiple” for appropriately pricing restaurants for sale. Every buyer wants the answer to the question, “What’s the multiple for restaurant pricing?” and the response rarely satisfies anyone. In general, restaurants for sale can be offered and sold somewhere between two and a half and three times earnings. Franchise restaurants trend at the higher end of the multiple, at nearly three times earning for lending at most times. Exceptions come into play when the business has down trending sales year over year. For purposes of this article, we are limiting our discussion to single restaurant units. Multi-unit restaurants for sale, (anything above three, especially franchise) changes the multiple significantly and requires a whole different analysis and pricing model.

“How much should you pay for the restaurants for sale you are evaluating? The answer can be affected by any of the following variables including: strength of books and records, saturation of concepts in the marketplace, seasonality, location, comparable Sales Information or “comps,” franchise or independent offering, geography and competition.

Strong restaurant brokers that know the market and should be able to share exactly where a restaurant is priced based on the multiple and why. Ask some questions of your broker to be certain they fully understand restaurant pricing. If you’re not satisfied with the response, contact a Certified Restaurant Broker who has passed testing and has experience in pricing to assist you in buying a restaurant.

Topics: buying a restaurant

Buying an Existing Franchise Restaurant Versus Building It

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 17, 2017 9:02:04 AM

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Topics: buying a restaurant

Atlanta Restaurant Sales Trend is Positive for Third Quarter  - Sign of Things to Come?

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 15, 2017 12:49:01 PM

Atlanta restaurant sales are headed back in a positive direction according to the latest survey relesed by Robert Wagner, CPA and President of NetFinancials.  His latest data shows that Atlanta Q3 2017 restaurant sales volume increased 1.0% vs. Q3 2016. This is great news since it's the first positive sales increase shown in the last twelve months for the market.  The majority of the independent restaurants surveyed (57%) by NetFinancials reported gains.  

The numbers were much better than the national results issued by TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence for the same time period.  

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The restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company, reported national restaurant Q3 2017 revenues declined by 1.9%.  That makes the Atlanta market nearly 3 percentage points (2.9%) better.  This was the seventh consecutive quarter of negative sales results nationally.  Restaurant traffic also declined 4% nationally in Q3. 

Was the Atlanta market a signal that the industry is turning around?  The restaurant brokers will take the optomistic route that Atlanta was just a forecast of things to come.  National results for October are positive nationwide.  Black Box Intelligence released a  0.9-percent same-store sales growth last month, the first time that's happened since May of 2016.  TDn2K data is based   on The Restaurant Industry Snapshot, including weekly sales from 30,000 restaurant units, more than 155 brands and representing over $68 billion in annual revenue.

The third quarter had the southeast in particular, hit with multiple hurricane and weather events.  Atlanta, as one corridor for evacuations may have felt the benefit of those escaping the storms contributing to better growth than the nation.  Overall, the market remains strong overall economically, with etro Atlanta unemployment declined in September to 4.1% from 5.0% in September 2016.

For whatever reason, those in the industry are breathing a sigh of relief to see local and national sales begin a turnaround.  Eric Gagnon of We Sell Restaurants, said, "This is an industry of ups and downs but ultimately, a necessary part of American lives.  While diners may cut back on meals outside of the house or trade down to less expensive choices, the volume in this industry has grown year over year for decades."


Data for this article was released by Bob Wagner, NetFinancials. Robert Wagner, CPA is president of NetFinancials, Inc. which provides a full range of tax and accounting services for restaurant companies. Email: [email protected] Direct: 404-874-7002
The NetFinancials quarterly Atlanta restaurant sales survey is provided as a public service to the restaurant industry. Copyright NetFinancials, Inc.

The Sample: The 96 non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $223 million for YTD 2017. The survey includes restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 21 months.

Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

The Restaurant Brokers Share New Franchise Deals Inked in the Restaurant Industry

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM

There are all kinds of new franchise expansion deals happening across the country that the Restaurant Brokers are excited to1-4319039364371.jpg tell you about. From world-famous Dunkin Donuts expanding into a new market in Minnesota to location openings of fast growing cafés, wing, and burger concepts, there are franchise expansions happening across the board.  These are all new transactions being built from the ground up.  Of course, We Sell Restaurants has dozens of existing franchise for sale  listings online.  available at this   Read on to check out what’s been happening in the franchise restaurant world.

You’d be hard-pressed to visit any city or large town and not be within a few miles of a Dunkin’ Donuts store, and America’s Favorite coffee and donut stop has announced even more locations to open. The Rochester, Minnesota area will see four new Dunkin’ Donuts stores, with the first scheduled to open its doors in 2019.  These locations will be opened by Donut Kings, LLC, who also signed an agreement in 2016 with the donut giant to open three locations in the Mankato, Minnesota market. The first of the three locations from the 2016 deal opened in March of 2017.

Dunkin’ is offering special development incentives to encourage franchisees to jump on board the donut train and expand, especially in the Duluth, Michigan area. For anyone not interested in an existing franchise for sale, and instead wishing to open their own franchise, this may be the brand for you as they are very flexible regarding the format of the real estate for new stores. Dunkin allows new franchisees to open locations in fuel stations, educational institutions, and free-standing locations to name just a few.

Further south in Texas, healthy café concept First Watch opened their fourth San Antonio location in September. This comes after the breakfast and lunch café chain opened three other locations in San Antonio just in the past three months! San Antonians were unfamiliar with the brand until just recently, but it looks like they picked up on the award-winning restaurant quickly as the demand for First Watch locations in the area has continued to grow!

First Watch serves up organic cuisine options, eggs from free range chickens, and freshly juiced fruit drinks to name just a few items. The brand has 105 stores operating across 17 states, the first of which opening in California in the early eighties.

North Carolina based East Coast Wings + Grill, made famous for their award-winning flavors, has announced that it will be expanding its reach into the Indian Trails, North Carolina marketplace. This news comes after the signing of a new franchise deal with Chatpatta Ventures, LLC., who are excited to expand upon their range of businesses owned with their first casual dining acquisition. East Coast Wings + Grill currently has 60 locations operating or in the developmental stages, along with plans to open 11 more stores up and down the east coast.

Rounding out the news of franchise expansions is the announcement that MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes has opened its first Pennsylvania location. Two Guys from Italy restaurant owner John Valerio brought the brand to Dickson City, after he tried the food on a trip to New Jersey and saw the potential it had. Valerio is excited about the possibility of opening even more locations in Pennsylvania after he can determine the success of his first location.  MOOYAH is a burger chain made popular by its multiple meat, cheese, and bun options including its signature lettuce bun which is featured on the Iceburger.

There you have it, deals being made and locations popping up at incredible rates! Want to get in on the franchisee action? Check out for our up-to-date existing franchise for sale listings as well as hundreds of other restaurants for sale.

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Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Pizza Restaurants for Sale are Moving Quickly! Brooklyn Pie Company SOLD in Austin, Texas

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Certified Restaurant Broker and Franchise Partner Dave Duce announces the closing on a deal for more pizza restaurants for sale in his market, Brooklyn Pie Company!

28300-Dave_Duce_Crop.jpgBrooklyn Pie Company in Austin Texas is the latest of Restaurant Broker Dave Duce’s pizza restaurants for sale to move into the sold column. Brooklyn Pie Company has been filling the bellies of hungry Central and South Texans for years at each of their six locations. The location of this store on Parmer Lane in Austin was ideal for someone looking to stay busy serving slices. It’s close proximity to Starbucks, a supermarket, and apartment complexes proved to be a winner among buyers searching for pizza restaurants for sale in the market.  This listing had 60 interested buyers and sold in under 100 days!

Murat Barin will take over as the new owner/operator of this Brooklyn Pie Company located in Austin, which is the eleventh most populated city in the United States. It is also the fastest growing city in the country with a population of almost one million people, so it’s easy to see why pizza restaurants for sale don’t stay on the market for long!  This store is located across the street from a large high school whose students love to grab a slice of pie after a long day of studying!

Michael Chang, the previous owner, established this location in 2008, and after nearly 10 years of owning the store decided to sell his business as part of the pizza restaurants for sale offered by Restaurant Broker Dave Duce. Chang earned top-notch online reviews on both the quality of the food served as well as the service. Some of the most popular reviews had this to say:  

  • “I used to live in New York, so I have high standards for New York style pies. This is easily the best I’ve had in Austin.”
  • “The best calzones I’ve had in Austin and real Brooklyn style pie that is fantastic.”
  • “Clean location and employees were really friendly and professional.”
  • “I stop in here every once in a while for a slice, salad, and drink for less than $10 at weekday lunchtime.  It hasn't failed me yet!”

Restaurant Broker Dave Duce had this to about the market and his pizza restaurants for sale inventory, "These businesses are in high demand. The food cost is generally low and high profits can be made, so these listings like this one do not stay on the market long - you have to move fast!"

Are you in the market for one of our pizza restaurants for sale? Click on the link to be taken to our listings across the country, and check out these and other units offered by We Sell Restaurants® here.

If you would like one of expert Restaurant Brokers to sell your restaurant, give us a call at (888) 814-8226, or click here for a free valuation of your business.

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Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

We Sell Restaurants Aids those in Need at Atlanta Community Food Bank

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 8, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Restaurant Brokers Eric and Robin Gagnon led their team and a volunteer group at the Atlanta Community Food Bank on Nov. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. They were joined by others in the franchise community including representatives from Shane’s Rib Shack, Any Lab Test Now, Adfinitely and Loud & Clear PR. The initiative was part of the Women's Franchise Network effort to support Franchising Gives Back nationwide.

The We Sell Restaurants team and additional volunteers helped the non-profit organization inspect, sort and package nearly 15,000 pounds of food which in the words of the Food Bank representative, is, "enough to fill five Mini-Coopers." Their efforts will provide meals for more than 8,533 Georgians in need.


In addition, We Sell Restaurants donated $1,500 to the Atlanta Community Food Bank as a matching gift for reaching a goal of 15 or more volunteers for the day. The funds were from the charitable trust foundation established by the Gagnons and We Sell Restaurants that will distribute more than $21,000 annually for the next ten years.

“We were thrilled to have our team members, their family, friends and those in franchising, spend their Saturday afternoon helping out our community. As we head into the holiday season, we are always mindful of those in need. The funds we provided will serve more than 6,000 meals," said Robin Gagnon, Co-Founder of We Sell Restaurants.

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants said, "We established our charitable trust in 2016 as a way to pay back the many blessings we've been provided. We are actively looking for charitable initiatives that can benefit from our time and funds and have made a matching donation program available to our franchisees and team members."


The Atlanta Community Food Bank works with more than 600 nonprofit partners—including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, night shelters and senior centers—to distribute over 60 million meals to more than 755,000 people in 29 counties across metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

The Atlanta Restaurant Brokers for We Sell Restaurants  turned out including Steve and Cyndi Weinbaum, along with their daughter.  Dominique Maddox also included his dauther in a day of giving back.  

We Sell Restaurants

We Sell Restaurants is the nation's largest restaurant brokerage firm, representing buyers and sellers in the sale of the restaurant businesses. The firm operates in 42 states across the country. We Sell Restaurants is franchising their concept nationwide.

Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

85,000 Jobs Added in October - What does it mean for Restaurant Sales?

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 6, 2017 9:39:50 AM

The recent jobs reports from the U.S. government shows that employment in the restaurant industry rose sharply in the month of October.  According to news reports, "employment rose sharply in October as the industry picked up jobs lost the previous month due to hurricane-related closures." The restaurant brokers, along with the rest of the industry, see this as great news.

By the numbers, there were 85,000 jobs added during the month which took the total jobs in the restaurant industry up to 11.7 million.  The data is courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why such strong growth?  Part of the reason was simply a rebound from industry's loss of jobs in September due to the dual hit by hurricanes. Both Harvey and Irma impacted the nation. 

Restaurant Hires.pngRestaurant sales suffered in September as well.  Black Box Intelligence reported a same-store sales decline of 1.9% year over year for the September time period.  The number of restaurants on the east coast affected by flooding, closures and wind damage contributed to the tough month.  The hurricanes impacted traffic as well.  Comparable traffic was down 4.0% in September with the West Coast outperforming in the East Coast. The impact of the hurricanes was strongest in Florida where September restaurant sales were reported down by 6.2% and traffic off by 8.8%. October has come roaring back as reflected by the jobs numbers. We are still waiting on the release of sales trending. 

Why are the hiring numbers so important?  The restaurant industry is a $799 billion dollar industry.  Its total size is larger than 90% of the world's economies and equal four percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product.  Where the restaurant sales and industry go, so goes the nation's economy.  Consider that the total economy added 261,000 jobs during the month of October and more than a third of those came from the restaurant industry.

As the industry grows, it often grows from within.  The National Restaurant Association reports that 90% of all restaurant managers started at entry level and 70% of all restaurants are single-unit operations.  That makes them a very large component of the small businesses that fuel the United State economy.

The restaurant brokers see these statistic borne out in our interactions with buyers and seller.  Those within the industry want to become owners and those who are selling, often started at the same store, before purchasing it themselves.

Where are restaurant sales headed?  Our owners on the ground are telling the restaurant brokers that October was a good month for some sectors.  Pizza delivery has been hurt by the fall off in NFL viewing as evidenced by the Papa John’s latest earnings disclosure.  Sports bars however, may have turned off NFL but ratings for the World Series set records so that may help their sales in the month.  For fast casual, we estimate the tide may be turning on restaurant sales as brands react to the market share crunch and beef up both delivery and advertising campaigns.  This may be too little, too late for some, but fingers crossed, we’ll see sales settle out of negative territory for October.

Interested in buying or selling a restaurant?  Reach out to the restaurant brokers at this link or visit our restaurants for sale online..


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Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

We Sell Restaurants Releases Top 10 Restaurants for Sale in October 2017

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 3, 2017 11:30:53 AM

Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Restaurants for Sale in Cumming – Quanto Basta Italian Bistro SOLD by We Sell Restaurants

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Nov 1, 2017 11:44:57 AM


Quanto Basta Italian Bistro didn’t stay on the market as one of the restaurants for sale in the Metro Atlanta market very long. Thanks to Restaurant Broker Cyndicyndi.jpeg Weinbaum, this was sold in record time after being on the market for only 62 days!

This particular listing in our restaurants for sale inventory garnered the interest of 27 interested buyers, but in the end Aneta Ardeljan came out on top and scored this Georgian gem. Ardeljan immediately expanded the hours of operation and decided to move away from the more formal setting that was previously in place. She will make it more casual, while still keeping the restaurants signature white tablecloths.  A grand-reopening occurred on October 4th which was a huge success!

The grand openeding featured a menu that is staying primarily the same while, and Ardeljan has added some weekly drink specials to the mix such as “Whiskey Wednesday” and “Thirsty Thursday.” On and off-site catering and special holiday menus will keep the guests coming back for more!

The seller of this restaurants for sale listing, BMW Restaurant Group, LLC established the business in 2011 and developed it into the successful eatery.  After owning and operating the establishment for six years, they decided to place it in the restaurants for sale inventory of We Sell Restaurants so they could spend more time with their family.  This gem was quickly picked up by the new buyer since it had a great location, strong operation and very favorable online reviews like these.  

  • “Everything was delicious! Best sauce and meatballs! Can't wait to go back!”
  • “Waitress didn't charge us for the dessert we ordered since it was our first time at the restaurant. Definitely try this place. Food is great!!!!”
  • · “Love the chicken picatta, very nice atmosphere great wine and liquor selection along with very nice staff makes this a great place to come have a nice dinner or gather with friends.”

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants, was confident that this would be a quick sale. He commented, “The Atlanta Metro market is reflective of recent trends reported by BizBuySell research.  The market is hot for restaurant sales and the time on market has dropped to one of the lowest levels seen in the past decade.  Certified Restaurant Broker, Cyndi Weinbaum did a great job on this trasaction.  Cyndi knows how to move restaurants for sale quickly and this recent sale is a reflection of that.”

Cyndi Weinbaum is the Certified Restaurant Broker with We Sell Restaurants in Georgia. Cyndi has extensive experience as a buyer for Macy’s and is a licensed Real Estate Agent as well. Cyndi is ready and eager to help you buy or sell your restaurants for sale, and she can be contacted at [email protected]

Are you in the market for restaurants for sale in the Metro Atlanta area, or anywhere else across the United States? Click on the link for more opportunities to see all of the listings from the Restaurant Brokers for restaurants for sale in your area!

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Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant