Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Buying a Restaurant with an E-2 Visa?  Here’s the Process from the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 26, 2016 9:13:25 AM


An E-2 visa can be a great way to buy a restaurant and simultaneously get to the “head of the line” when it comes to immigration status. How does it work?  An E-2 visa can be obtained by citizens of countries where the United States has a “treaty of commerce and navigation.”  This allows restaurant buyers coming to the U.S. to get an expedited visa since they are making a substantial investment in the United States.

e2 visa.jpg

Not every single country in the world will qualify and for a list, you can visit the State Department website or the United States immigration website at this link. Admittedly, some countries are easier than others (easy, Australia, Canada, Germany while tougher – Iran, Iraq or any other Middle East country).

If you are originating from a nation with a treaty of commerce, you (or the business) has to meet five criteria to get this type of visa.

  • You have to be coming to the U.S to invest in a new or existing enterprise. The restaurant brokers have found that franchise operations tend to be looked at more favorably when establishing this criteria but any business can qualify. It can be a startup business but we find these to require much in-depth business plan.
  • The business investment must be in a ‘bona fide” enterprise and can’t be marginal. What does that mean?  This is pretty straightforward.  You have to show that the business has operated with a tax ID number, filed tax returns, has a lease, pays people, has a business license, etc. That means when buying a restaurant for an E2 visa purpose, you must have good books and records since everything has to be submitted for review to the government. To prove the business isn’t marginal, you’ll need financial statements, tax returns and/or a business plan that shows the business will produce more than a “minimal” living for you and your family or will create a significant economic contribution. If you’re looking at restaurants for sale, virtually anything meeting the qualifications for SBA lending would be suitable for an E-2 visa.
  • You have to be in possession of all the funds to invest and they have to be committed to the business. There is no lending.  You must have cash up front to buy the restaurant and 100% of the funds will have to be in escrow with the attorney.
  • You have to provide the source of funding. The U.S. government says they want a “clear and legitimate path” regarding the source of capital you’re investing.  They want to make sure the money you are spending didn’t come into your control through criminal means.  Usually if it’s in a bank, that’s good enough to demonstrate this requirement for buying a restaurant with an E-2 visa.
  • You have to “Develop and Direct” the business. There is no approval if you’re purchasing the restaurant with a “hands-off” or absentee approach. The point of the visa is to make sure you are coming to the U.S. for this very purpose so you’ll need to have a corporation or operating agreement that shows you control more than 50% of the business.

That’s it.  Meet those simple and straightforward five requirements and you’re set to move to the front of the line and get your visa.  Use a good attorney and anticipate that it can take between 3 – 4 months depending on the originating country between signing a deal and closing. 

Here are a few quick tips to make sure you visa process goes smoothly. 

First, make sure your restaurant broker is aware this is for a visa so the contingency can be pre-written into the contract.  The seller needs to know that it is a longer path to closing and not all will agree to these terms.

Second, if you’re buying a franchise, make sure you’ll be able to enter and leave the U.S. in the interim as you will need to attend their Discovery Day and training, then leave to go back to your native country before returning to close on the restaurant.

Lastly, choice of your attorney is critical.  Good attorneys have done this multiple times.  Others are learning at your expense.  Ask the restaurant brokers for a referral for attorneys that have handled multiple visas and have high success rates.

If you have questions about E-2 visas or need recommendations for an attorney, contact the restaurant brokers and we can put you in touch with some excellent resources.  For a list of restaurants that will qualify for a visa, visit our restaurants for sale at this link.

Visit Our Listings Online!

Topics: buying a restaurant

Franchise Restaurant Units Growing!  Latest Deals Discovered by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 20, 2016 7:01:17 PM

It seems there is no end to the excitement for additional restaurant units to be built in the franchise space.  We have consulted with our friends at Franchise Times, scoured the news releases and tracked who's announcing new franchise deals.  Here's what we've learned. 

Can we start with the biggest deal we've seen ever?  We're talking about the self-described "Absolute Wurst"  or Dog Haus who signed a deal for a whopping 300 units.  That's not a typo -- we said 300 units.  The deal, according to Nations Restaurant News is going to bring an investment of more than $500 million to fuel the hot dog brand’s growth from American Development Partners.  The current chain is just 21 units so it's growing more than 15 fold with this announcement  to construct more than 300 Dog Haus locations in 11 states over the next seven years. With the 300 unit deal and other commitments in the pipeline, the store count will hit 450 in record time.  Dog Haus Partner Andre Vener co-founded the concept with friends and fellow partners Hagop Giragossian and Quasim Riaz in 2010. The deal, which is American Development Partners' biggest commitment to date, has a projected real estate, construction and design investment value of over $500 million.  

hot-dogs-676469_1280.jpgCalifornia is a tough state to compete in but Bajwa Group is bullish on the market.  Restuarant brokers in that market tell us that between occupancy costs and impact fees, it's very expensive to launch new stores.  That hasn't stopped Del Taco Restaurants who's adding five more restaurants in San Diego County by 2020.  Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is also growing on the West Coast in its second biggest state (behind Texas). Four new stores are on the books to open in Spring 2017 in Foothill Ranch. Two in Irvine and one in Mission Viejo are to follow. The four new locations are included in a development agreement between Dickey’s and new franchisee Scott Cole. The state will also see grwoth from Dunkin' Donuts franchisee, Precision Hospitality & Development. They announced a commitment to open California's Orange County's first combo, Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins in Foothill Ranch. The group also plans to add several additional Dunkin' Donuts locations in both South Orange County and North Los Angeles.  

Across the nation, other multi-store deals announcedf include Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop's development agreement to open a minimum of 20 locations in four states, Oklahoma, northern Texas, Kansas and Arkansas. The first location is expected to open in spring 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  

Also announced this week as part of a plan to cut costs and spur growth, Yum Brands aims to sell franchisees thousands of units by the end of 2018, a move the franchisor said will reduce its risk and trim its capital expenditures to $100 million in 2019 according to USA Today.  Those sales would make Yum Brands—which currently franchises 77% of its restaurants—at least 98% franchised.

Fast casual continues to grow and seafood is part of that trend.  Captain D's has announced deals in Georgia, Texas and Virginia.  Dallas is planned to open later this year with two additional stores in the works for the Dallas/Ft Worth market. They also signed with an existing franchisee group (CD Restaurants) to grow more stores in Virginia. Jersey Mike's is opening Long Island beginning in Commack, New York and follwed in November in Uniondale.  

The breakfast daypart is traditionally profit rich so that's one reason the restaurant brokers see unit growth in concepts like First Watch.   This popular breakfast, brunch and lunch concept opened in St. Louis-area onday, October 3. The 3,300-square-foot restaurant will be the 33-year-old company’s ninth First Watch in the St. Louis area and will employ about 25 people.

Uncle Maddio's Pizza recently signed two three-unit franchise agreements for the greater Nashville metropolitan area. Franchisee Michael Eastham, along with his wife, will open his first restaurant in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, mid-November - and is currently searching for locations for his second and third units in Brentwood, Franklin or Hermitage.

Twp dozen new units are in the pipeline for Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom.  Three of its existing franchise partners have agree to open nearly two dozen new restaurants across eight states, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi. The franchise groups growing The Collier Group (7 stores) in South Carolina and Tennessee; The Johnson Group (3 stores) in Wyoming and Montana; and The Nursariwala Group, who will be expanding their portfolio with six new locations in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi.

That's the latest deals we see in the pipeline for franchise growth.  The market continues to thrive with new franchise stores. Want to check out our latest listings?

  Visit Our Listings Online!



Topics: buying a restaurant

4 Tips for Buying a Franchise Restaurant Resale from the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 18, 2016 9:30:00 AM


I just finished reading an article titled, “4 Tips for Investing in the Right Franchise” by Wall Street investor turned franchisee Jon Blob.  This article laid out his financial secrets for quick-serve operators.

That got me thinking about my buyers for franchise restaurant resales like the ones We Sell Restaurants specializes in.  Is there a difference between main street purchases and someone managing an investment portfolio of restaurants on the stock exchange floor?  What’s the difference when risking an investor’s capital and someone putting their entire family’s savings at risk?  I would argue that the latter carries more risk and thus needs even better focus.  Let’s look at his advice and I’ll weigh in as a restaurant broker specializing in franchise resales.

His tip #1:  Start with a Sound Concept.

There is no way to argue with this one.  Whether you’re investing in a restaurant chain with sales in the millions or a single store; first understand the brand.  How do they train you?  What does their marketing support consist of?  What is the trending in the field with not only their best franchisees but their worst performers?  How many stores are turning over?  What does the franchise balance sheet and P&L look like?  Any time you are buying a franchise restaurant resale, you’re provided with the FDD and the brand’s financials are fully disclosed. Study these before moving forward.

One piece of advice directly from Jon Blog couldn’t ring more true for me.  He says, “Make sure you like the product you are selling and are passionate about the business and brand.”  If you don’t like the food business, customer interaction, sales and driving business, then look at another line of business.  The fast casual business is competitive and requires dedication and drive.

His Tip #2:  Buy Smart

As a restaurant broker, I am all about this tip.  Now the original author, Jon Blog is weighing in on the basis of a multi-million dollar transaction but the same principles apply to a single unit in the inventory of We Sell Restaurants.  You never want to overpay.  Look at the time it will take to return your investment.  For most franchise restaurant resales, the multiple you can expect to pay is roughly three times earnings.  That gives you a payback period of three years assuming no improvement in the trend line or, worst case scenario, no decline in sales or earnings.  Since your loan for the store typically requires a 20% down payment and is spread over ten years, that means you’ll reap an immediate reward from a franchise restaurant resale with earnings on the books. 

His Tip#3:  Work Hard and You’ll Be Rewarded

This is again, super savvy advice, whether you’re a mergers and acquisition expert acquiring revenue in the tens of millions or a single store franchise restaurant resale buyer.  The restaurant business is a penny business that requires tight control over costs to generate earnings.  It is not an industry where someone absentee is rewarded for their efforts.  It takes a hands on commitment to thrive.

His Tip #4:  Control your cash by appointing the right people

This is a great call out by this author who says, “While owning a restaurant is more of a marathon than a sprint, it is easy to get off track quickly.”  For a single unit buyer, it’s impossible to be at the restaurant every single hour it is open.  You need to surround yourself with good people.  This is a greater struggle in this restaurant broker’s opinion for a single store versus a multi-unit opportunity.  You won’t have the cash resources to pay larger salaries and attract the best so you will have to focus on finding and grooming talent. 

All in all, Jon Blob’s article for Wall Street level investors translates just as well to the single unit buyer seeking a franchise restaurant for sale to provide for their family.  In this restaurant broker’s opinion, you can apply all four of these tips when investing in the fast casual franchise restaurant industry whether you’re buying a single store or a multi-unit, multi-million dollar chain.


Robin Gagnon is the co-founder of We Sell Restaurants and  She is one of the nation's most prolific franchise resale specialist and sells hundreds of units each year.  She and her husband Eric, also wrote the book on restaurant broker, Appetite for Acquisition was named Best of 2012 by Small Business Book Awards.  Her listings can be found online at or by clilding the folloing link.

Visit Our Listings Online!

Topics: buying a restaurant

Sale of Fuggins Pizza Announced by Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 14, 2016 10:00:00 AM


We Sell Restaurants Franchise Partner and Certified Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband has done it again - selling Fuggins Pizza and Deli in Broward County Florida in record time.  

We Sell Restaurants announces the sale of Fuggins Pizza and Deli located at 1141 W. McNab Road in Pompano Beach, Florida.  The pizzeria and deli was established early in 2016 in the former Rickris Cafe Space. The buyer was attracted to the opportunity based on the location in a densely populated area. The total population in the three mile radius is 121,995 with a household income in excess of $56,000.  The 1800 square foot location also had a very reasonable lease rate which appealed to the buyer, Tom Maroulis.  

This listing was offered by the restaurant brokers for only 54 days before it went to the closing table.  Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband said of the transaction, "We priced this listing aggressively to move quickly and ultimate fielded multiple offers before closing in record time.  For sellers, time is money and we were happy to make this transaction move so quickly."

The restaurant seller, John Alari built the cafe to serve breakfast and lunch and found great success but decided to sell the restaurant because of another business opportunity that required him to redeploy his capital.  Recent reports from the Georgia Association of Business Brokers indicate it can take eight to ten months to sell a business.  This location went to closing in under two months.  

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants noted, "It is always exciting to see quick turnover on our restaurant for sale listings.  We measure our success in selling restaurants and closely monitor days on market to be certain we're providing strong results for our sellers."  

Ken Eisenband is the franchise partner in the Fort Lauderdale We Sell Restaurants location and has been a Licensed Broker in Florida for several years.  He is a Certified Restaurant Broker as well as a Certified Negotiation Expert. As a member of the Business Brokers of Florida, Ken received the prestigious Dealmaker Award for transaction volume as the top 5 transaction agent in the state of Florida.  

Ken has a background in the industry and previously worked with Ruby Tuesday as the Vice President of Operations.  Ken has also owned and operated his own restaurant before becoming a franchisee of We Sell Restaurants. 

We Sell Restaurants is the nation's largest restaurant brokerage firm and specialist in selling restaurants.  They are franchising their brand nationwide and have offices in Colorado, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Georgia and opening soon in North Carolina. Franchise information can be found at and you can visit our restaurants for sale at this link. 


Visit Our Listings Online!

Topics: selling a restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Report the Top 10 Restaurants for Sale September 2016

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 10, 2016 9:15:00 AM


Even with the thought of upcoming elections on everyone's mind, the restaurant brokers at We Sell Restaurants see no slow down in activity for those in the market to buy a restaurant.  The latest list of the top ten restaurants fors sale include those which got the most online views, resulted in the most confidentiality agreemetns signed and kept our professional Certified Restaurant Brokers busy on phone calls to follow up.  These were the ones that kept activitiy humming on the nation's most productive website for buying a selling a restuarant -  

We continue to see restaurants grabbing interest from all over the country but Georgia dominated the top of the list with this well-established steakhouse for sale that offers hand cut steaks and extensive seafood.  The busy Downtown Atlanta location got our restaurant buyers interested in knowing more about this surf and turf dining location.  

Listing ID:5102 Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox    
Steakhouse for Sale in Metro Atlanta. Established for over 10 years.
Lease: Expires March 2017 plus 2-5 year options
Monthly Rent: $5600
Inside Sq. Ft. 5000
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dominique Maddox
(404) 993-4448
 What better way to kick off football season than with a Bar and Grill off the Florida West Coast?  This location generating seven figures in sales and over $200,000 in owner benefit was the second most popular listing of the month.  With a Full Liquor bar that can seat 20 and indoor dining for another 100, this bar and grill is popular with both customes and restaurant buyers.  
Listing ID:5004 Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon    
Bar and Grill for Sale in Florida - Over $1MM in Sales $200,000 Owner Benefit
Lease: 5 year lease with option to renew for an additional 5 years
Monthly Rent: $2750
Inside Sq. Ft. 3000
Outside Sq. Ft.

Robin Gagnon
(404) 800-6701
Denver, the mile-high city took third place with a Greenwood Village listing for a breakfast and lunch cafe.  This cafe offered by Restaurant Broker Bob Steinberger burned up the phone lines with traffic from buyers looking for more information. This Cafe serves up breakfast and lunch 7-4pm Monday-Friday, giving potential buyers the opportunity for a great lifestyle with no nights or offers the potential to grow by expanding the hours.
Listing ID:5097 Restaurant Broker Bob Steinberger    
Breakfast and Lunch Cafe for sale in Denver is a great deal at a low price!
Lease: 2 years left o assignment
Monthly Rent: $2900
Inside Sq. Ft. 1800
Outside Sq. Ft. 600
City:Greenwood Village

Bob Steinberger
(303) 901-4938
Bienveniod a Miami, Welcome to Miami! This iconic town has history and population that continued to keep buyers wanting  more on this Space for Lease in Miami. Close to the beach and in a hotel with a nearby pool, this Restaurant Space for Lease offers endless opportunities to serves up cold cocktails and craft beers to those needing to cool down.
Listing ID:5110 Restaurant Broker Everett Rashotsky    
Established and well known Bar and Restaurant Space for Lease in Miami
Lease: 5 years ,5 year option
Monthly Rent: $11500
Inside Sq. Ft. 500 Sq Ft Kitchen
Outside Sq. Ft. approximate 3000 Sq Ft.
City:Miami Beach

Everett Rashotsky
(786) 302-8125
The top 10 list continues to heat up with this BBQ restaurant in Austin, TX near the University of Texas. The university has an average enrollment at over 50,000 students. That is lots of potential stomachs to fill with BBQ or your concept.
Listing ID:5103 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Highly Visible BBQ Restaurant for Sale right next to University of Texas!
Lease: expires August 2017 + 5 year option
Monthly Rent: $5500
Inside Sq. Ft. 2000
Outside Sq. Ft. 250

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272
Spaces for Lease often make the Top 10 list and this one in Woodstock, GA had potential buyers interest. With a manageable space and a commercial kitchen with some items ready to go a make it your own concept is ready to go.
Listing ID:5100 Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox    
Woodstock Restaurant Space for Rent - Ready for your concept.
Lease: 5 year lease
Monthly Rent: $2800
Inside Sq. Ft. 1600
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dominique Maddox
(404) 993-4448
Beauty is in the eye of the build out? The owners have spent over a $1 million to build out this amazing full service restaurant, also in Austin Texas and offered by Restaurant Broker Dave Duce.  The stylish atmosphere can handle the current Italian dishes or a new concept making this Restaurant for Sale popular choice.
Listing ID:5113 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Full Service Restaurant for Sale with Huge Patio and Full Commercial Kitchen.
Lease: expires June 2024 + two 5-year options
Monthly Rent: $13500
Inside Sq. Ft. 4000
Outside Sq. Ft. 1500

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272
 The idea of creating your own concept seems to be a trend with the September Top 10 restaurants for sale.  This popular spot in Alpharetta Georgia has a very reasonable monthly rental rate of $3492 with CAMS, Taxes and Insurance included for this 1600 squre foot location. Potential to add a Drive Thru to this location.  This competitive rate is perfect for a fast casual franchise concept.  It's no wonder it made it into the We Sell Restaurants Top 10 for the month.  
Listing ID:5079 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Restaurant for Lease with Drive Thru in Alpharetta
Lease: To Be Negotiated
Monthly Rent: $3,492 with CAMS
Inside Sq. Ft. 1600
Outside Sq. Ft.

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552
Did we say Breakfast and Lunch again? Yes we did! This Cafe located in Pompano Beach Florida, has found its way to our Top Ten list while serving up a high profit meal with a buy in cost of under $30,000. This cafe has shown many canindates an opportunity to own an operataing restaurant without the cost a new build out.  This rock bottom pricing led to an offer and a closing in a matter of days so if you missed this deal, keep looking for new opportunities. 
Listing ID:5082 Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband    
Cafe for Sale Serves Breakfast & Lunch Pompano Beach - Under $50K
Lease: Expires March 31, 2019 plus five year option
Monthly Rent: $1842
Inside Sq. Ft. 1800
Outside Sq. Ft. 0
City:Pompano Beach

Ken Eisenband
(561) 350-3365
 We finish our Top 10 List with another element found during Breakfast, Bagels. This bagel place is combined with a Deli and has been well established for over 10 years with a $1 million volume. That is a lot of bagels and deli items! Add those booming sales with a Turn-Key Profit and the clicks added up fast!  Word from Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum is that we'll soon have this listing in contract.
Listing ID:5104 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Deli for Sale - Highly Profitable Bagel and Deli Restaurant in Norcross
Lease: 9 Years Remaining
Monthly Rent: $6400
Inside Sq. Ft. 3000
Outside Sq. Ft.

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552

For the month of September the trends seemed to be Breakfast and "make it yours" spaces.  The top ten restaurants for sale ranged from the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean to the white top mountains of the Rocky's.  Still looking for the right opportunity to buy a restaurant?  We Sell Restaurants has a variety of listingw to offer. Whether you want something well established, breakfast, dinner, or maybe an idea of your own this September list had a little of it all. Elections haven't slowed us down! Are you ready to buy or sell? Contact We Sell Restaurants Today or click below to view our latest listings online.


Visit Our Listings Online!

Topics: restaurants for sale

5 Things Every Restaurant Franchise Buyer Should Learn From the FDD

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 6, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Buying a restaurant franchise?  While the restaurant brokers focus only on open and operating restaurant franchises for sale, this article addresses the FDD points that anyone buying a franchise should learn from the FDD.  The first requirement you will be exposed to in the FDD is the receipt. Not only are you required to receive the FDD but you are required to acknowledge receipt of this lengthy manuscript.  With FDD’s average well over 100 pages, this document is not intentionally designed to overwhelm and intimidate but it certainly has that effect on the average buyer.


In this article, the restaurants brokers are going to break down a standard FDD and give you the “Cliff Notes” version of the 5 key items you should focus on as a restaurant buyer.

First of all, what is the FDD?  The FDD is the Franchise Disclosure Document mandated by federal law and the Federal Trade Commission or FTC.  In plain English – the FDD is what the government requires the franchise to tell you before you go into business with them.  Face it, you are signing up (in most cases) for a 10 year relationship and going into business with someone who is a stranger to you.

Not only does the FTC tell the franchise that they must create an FDD, they tell them what it must include in sections they break down into “Items.”  Every FDD has the same information included in each “Item” or section of the FDD. Every FDD will consist of the cover page, table of contents and 23 Items with standard headings.  The five you need to focus on are:

Item 5 Initial Franchise Fee (also royalties and advertising)

This segment of the FDD will tell you not only what the initial fee but also any ongoing costs.  Want to know the royalty rate? Here’s where you find it?  Want to know about the ad fund and what you have to contribute? This is in Item 5.

Item 7 Franchisee’s Estimated Total Investment “Start Up Costs”

In this item, the franchise is required to tell you the high and low of the costs associated with starting the franchise brand.  How is that helpful to you?  As a new buyer, it helps you to understand your costs.  As a resale buyer, it lets you know how much you are saving over the expected initial cost to build the franchise from scratch.  One very important tip on Item 7 is the working capital cited in this section. What most happy franchise buyers do not realize is that the FDD requires the brand to list the estimated three months of capital required.  That is THEE MONTHS.  In the restaurant broker’s experience, we do not see restaurants that are profitable after three months.  It will take on average, 18 months for a business to operate in the black.  Do not rely on this much understated amount in Item 7 if you’re starting a business from the ground up. If you are buying a franchise resale, this is not as important because you have actual cash flow on the business, not projections to rely upon in building your business plan.

Item 17 Renewal Transfer of the Franchise Agreement

Especially as a franchise transfer candidate, you should focus on Item 17.  This reveals the costs for renewing the agreement and transferring the agreement.  The most common cost for renewal of a franchise is “50% of the ‘then-current’ franchise fee.”  What that means is that when the franchise renews is 6 years or 10 years, your cost to renew the agreement will be half of whatever they are charging at that time.  That could be less (rarely) or more (generally) than the current cost of the franchise.

Item 19 Financial Disclosures

If you’re buying a restaurant, the numbers matter and Item 19 is where they are found.  Now while the FDD requires that you have a section titled Item 19, they do not require that a franchise provide any financial information.  It is the choice of the operator whether they want to include information on not.  For new franchise restaurant buyers, there may very well not be any financial information available.  The benefit, obviously, of buying a franchise restaurant resale that’s already open and operating, is that the actual numbers are available. You are able to see the actual food costs, labor costs and sales up to the latest time period.  Here’s a very important tip on the financial disclosures.  Make sure you carefully study which numbers the franchise is providing you. In other words, read the fine print at the bottom.  It is not uncommon for franchises to footnote and provide “select” data such as, “Data reflects average of top 20% of all franchises in the system” or “Reflects stores open more than 2 years” or ‘Includes Corporate Stores”.  Think about the ways this could be manipulating the data you are getting.  The top 20% of any brand is not representative of the total system as it leaves out the average and bottom performers.  If there are only five stores in a chain and they show only data for the 1 open more than two years, again, you are getting data that is not representative.  Lastly, systems are famous for including their corporate stores in results.  A system with an airport store or high volume location can skew all of the results.  The best tip you can take away from this article – study the footnotes and make sure you understand what “cherry picked” data you’ve been provided. 

Item 20 List of Franchise Outlets

The FDD requires the franchise to list the name, address and phone number of every franchise outlet.  This is where a franchisee may want to start dialing and talking to other franchisees. Note that the information is typically for the storefront location, not personal information on the individual that owns the store but it is a starting point for your investigation of the brand.  One quick tip here.  Franchises often have their “go-to” cheerleading group they will send people to for what’s known in the industry as “validation”.  While you should definitely follow up with the ones recommended by the franchise, the restaurant brokers would also encourage you to find an equal number of franchisees outside that group.

In our estimate, these are the top five items in the FDD that deserve your time and attention.  While there are definitely other important pages, these will give you the key financial information you need to make an informed decision when buying a franchise restaurant.


Topics: buying a restaurant

We Sell Restaurants Sell Mediterranean Cafe in Georgia

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Oct 3, 2016 12:00:00 PM

 The Restaurant Brokers at We Sell Restaurants announce the sale of Seven Seas Mediterranean Café located at 124 Devore Road in Alpharetta Georgia.   

This Mediterranean and Greek Restaurant has been operating for over four years serving local patrons and businesses with their highly rated food and service.  The new owners, Nilesh Chheda and Maya Desai pledge to continue the tradition of great food and service to all their local customers, in addition to catering corporate and special events for man years. 

Steve Weinbaum, Certified Restaurant Broker at We Sell Restaurants, originally worked with the seller, Ali Moradi to determine the appropriate value and asking price for his restaurant.  They worked together to call out the strengths and high-points of Seven Seas Mediterranean Café, which was easy given all the rave reviews as well as strong year-over-year sales and revenue growth.  In less than three months, Steve had Mr, Moradi’s restaurant in contact and got it to the closing table soon after.  Both Buyers and Seller were very pleased with Mr. Weinbaum’s ability to work through the complex negotiations, coordinate with the landlord, and keep everything moving towards a successful closing.

The new owners of Seven Seas Mediterranean Café are no strangers to the Hospitality Industry or Mediterranean cuisine.  Mr. Chheda has owned many restaurants in his long and distinguished career and currently has interests in several great Wraps franchise locations throughout the Atlanta area.  Ms. Desai currently manages the great Wraps located at Lenox Mall but will be transitioning to being co-owner and operator of Seven Seas.

In addition to being a quick and inexpensive way to get a great Mediterranean meal consisting of Gyros, Falafel, and Souvlaki or if members of your group prefer a terrific salad, burger, or pizza, this restaurant has a beautiful outdoor patio for hosting special events.  Want to use your own venue….no problem….Seven Seas Mediterranean Café caters weddings, corporate functions and all other special events.  Whether you use Facebook, Google, Yelp, or Trip Advisor as your source for restaurant feedback, you will find rave reviews about the food and service at Seven Seas Mediterranean Café.  Great food, Service and Value is the norm plus people just love the outdoor patio.

Restaurant buyers are looking for all types of situations….second generation restaurant space where basics such as a ventilation hood, grease trap, and walk in cooler are in place, asset sales where business are priced based on the furnishings and equipment available to the buyer, but the most desirable scenario is where a restaurant has been open and running successfully for at least three years.  Cobb, North Fulton, and Gwinnett counties are particularly desirable and there is no shortage of interested and qualified buyers looking for profitable restaurants in these hot areas.

For a complete look at all of our profitable restaurants, franchises, as well as lease space available currently, visit our listings online at

Visit Our Listings Online!

Like this article?  SHARE on Twitter, Linked In or Facebook.

Topics: buying a restaurant, financing a restaurant

Election Year Advice for Restaurant Sellers - Are you ready?

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Sep 29, 2016 9:45:00 AM

The first debate is over and the election countdown begins.  Who are you pulling for?  Never mind – the restaurant brokers don’t care.  No matter which side makes it into the oval office, as a restaurant seller, you need to start looking ahead and prepare for the coming year.

election_blog.jpgSome brokers say that business is slow in anticipate of the election while buyers sit at the sidelines in a “wait and see” phase.  That is not the case at We Sell Restaurants where we have more deals in contract than at any time in our fifteen year plus history.  However, if you as a seller have been holding on until after a new President is sworn into office, here are some tips on what you can do between now and the election to be ready to sell early in 2017.  

First, it is a lot easier to figure out where you are going next when you know where you are coming from. Make sure the data from your current year is up to date through last month.  Know your key performance indicators like year to date sales, food costs and labor cost along with the performance of your marketing and advertising campaigns.  Don’t overlook items like LTO (limited time offer) success and employee turnover.  Buyers are more serious and curious than ever and you should expect them to ask questions about your total operation. 

Once you have the current year’s starting point, analyze your findings against last year’s performance.  Most importantly, also compare your results to the current year industry performance in your segment. Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I performing above, at or below the industry? ( a very important key indicator)
  • If I’m a franchise, where do I rank in the system?
  • How am I doing compared to my previous year? Once you answer several questions you should start getting a clear picture of where you stand instead of a "gut feeling statement." Some might say business is bad if you’re down 10% from last year, but if your industry and segment was down 25%, you actually did quite well right?

Once you get this picture; you can now start looking ahead and drafting your plan for next year. What are your goals? Get with your management team and discuss the following:

  1. Do we open a second location or a new concept?
  2. Do we focus on strengthening operations and growing sales?
  3. Do we stay put and renegotiate the lease while saving money for future remodel or do we make changes now?
  4. Do we start looking at moving to a new location?
  5. Do we look at expanding or different brands if you are in the franchise industry?
  6. Is it time to exit the business for any reason?
  7. Are there any other scenarios that you may imagine may be reviewed through this process?

This process makes it very easy for you to see if you can achieve the things on your wish list through your financial results.

The common element in all these is to have current high quality information at your fingertips at all times. Many of the scenarios above will require you to have this information to provide to various other entities such as banks, landlords, franchisors and restaurant brokers.

If you have not invested in having financial information available to you on a monthly basis you are making decisions blindly.  That’s whether you have one small family owned restaurant or multiple units.  Sometimes you can be more lucky than good, but as we all know, at some point luck will run out.

It is not too late to make this happen for 2016 and be ready for great success for 2017 regardless of the political outcome. If you need help, contact the estaurant brokers to point you in the right direction. 

Topics: selling a restaurant

Franchise Restaurant Growth - Latest Deals Reviewed by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 26, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Are franchise restaurants expanding?  You bet they are!  Here are some of the latest deals the restaurant brokers have found in their inbox in recent days.  Is there a singular trend?  Not really.  Overall fast casual is still outpacing other segments (full service and fast food) and pizza is dominant but outside of those observations the news on franchise restaurant growth is across all categories.  . 


Continuing to get a strong piece of the new unit pie are pizza concepts. Uncle Maddio's Pizza has signed a two-unit development deal for the Pensacola, Florida, area, with franchisees Jeremy and Wendy Jordan. The first location will open in 2017.  

Meanwhile, MOD Pizza has entered into a partnership with BBX Capital to develop an estimated 50 or more MOD locations throughout central and southern Florida over the next seven years. BBX has retail companies inlcuding Hoffman's Chocolates but this will be their first food business anrowd they are staking a huge role at 50 stores.  The restaurant brokers will be watching to see how this chain develops this opportunity.  

1.jpegPie Five Pizza is growin gin the Greater Baltimore area with the fifth location by franchisee Megel opening this month.  There are plans to open 12 more units by this franchisee in the Greater Baltimore over the next few years. Pie Five, based out of Dallas, offers a fast casual dining experience with customers designing their own pizza. 

While fast casual pizza is growing, the burger growth remains strong.  BurgerFi has added a second Delray Beach Florida location this month. The expansion in Delray is part of BurgerFi’s overall franchise development plans for this year, with a goal to have 100 restaurants open by the end of 2016. The company has experienced a surge of franchise expansion.

In other burger news, Cade Cothren, whose family is Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries' master franchisee for the state of Tennessee, has opened a Lewisburg restaurant in Governor's Plaza. An additional two restaurants are already opened in Nolensville and Spring Hill, with about 50 new Hwy 55 locations planned for Tennessee over the next 10 years.

Other concepts expanding include Captain D’s who announced signed franchise developmen3-882.jpgt agreements to expand in Georgia, Texas and Virginia. As part of this accelerated growth, the company will open five new restaurants in the Savannah, Georgia market, three in Dallas, Texas, and one in Hopewell, Virginia over the next several years. Captain D’s has experienced a recent surge of franchise development, propelled by the brand’s overall expansion plans for the year and its ongoing success, with the second quarter of 2016 signifying its 19th consecutive quarter of system-wide growth.

A Texas Dairy Queen franchisee is moving at a rapid pace.  He just announced the opening of their 9th location in 40 months.  Franchisee Michael Clarke, owner Luckety Split Food Services said, "We opened our first location in Euless, Texas in April 2013 and now, exactly 1,234 days later, we'lll open the doors to our 9th location."  Now that's moving ""Likety Split!"

Richard Tarascio, President of Hot Harry’s Fresh Burritos has announced the opening of the newest Hot Harry’s location at 1470 East Street, New Britain, Connecticut.  Walk On Bistreaux & Bar has announced an Area Development Agreement with seasoned restaurant owner Moussa Haidar to bring an initial five Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar restaurants to southern Texas, with more locations to be added in the near future. Haidar currently owns and operates more than 20 IHOP locations and an On The Border franchise.

Houston-based Salata, a custom salad and salad wrap chainwith 53 locations throughout Texas, California and Illinois, is reinstating its franchising program, after a two-year hiatus during which time it opened a new headquarters building.

4.pngNewk’s Eatery, the fast casual restaurant known for its culinary-driven menu and open kitchen, is expanding into Indiana with the company’s latest development agreement to open 15 locations in the Indianapolis and southern Indiana markets over the next several years. Indy Eatery is the fourth multi-unit franchisee to sign with Newk’s in 2016. Combined, the new franchisees will open more than 45 new restaurants in the next four years, consistent with Newk’s goal to reach 200 units by

Paris Baguette, announced its first multi-unit franchise deal in Northern California. With 11 locations already open an operating throughout Northern California, Kim’s next location is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017 in the city of Sunnyvale, California. With over 70 years of experience in the baking industry, Paris Baguette first debuted in the United States in 2005. Further expansion plans across the United States will focus on 18 key target markets including continued development throughout California and the Northeast. By the close of this year, Paris Baguette is on track to add 15 new locations. 

Chicken Salad Chick, will be expanding in Georgia with its first location in Athens. This location marks the 13th 7.pngChicken Salad Chick location in Georgia, and the sixth location for Origin Development Group, an Atlanta-based restaurant development fund founded by Darren DeVore and Lauren Fernandez. The Chicken Salad Chick concept  has 63 restaurants across the Southeast.

How's the franchise restaurant business?  From the deals announced and opening, the health seems pretty strong.  What do you think?  Want to see our latest franchise restaurants for sale?  Visit this link. 


Visit Our Listings Online!


Topics: buying a restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Expand with Second Husband & Wife Team

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 23, 2016 1:00:00 PM

What’s better than one knowledgeable restaurant broker?  For We Sell Restaurants, the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm with a married couple at the helm, the answer to this one is easy! Its two knowledgeable restaurant brokers in the form of a husband and wife team!  The firm is excited to announce the addition of Cyndi Weinbaum to the Atlanta office who is not only joining the We Sell Restaurants group but will be teaming up with her highly successful Certified Restaurant Broker husband, Steve Weinbaum to form a new dynamic duo.

Cyndi recently completed her instruction and testing to earn the distinction of Certified Restaurant Broker, roughly one year after her husband, Steve Weinbaum completed this same exercise.  Cyndi is a licensed Real Estate Agent who has been representing buyers and sellers for over a decade.  Her experience in the residential market for both resales and new construction has provided her with excellent experience in negotiating complex contracts and performing valuation and analysis for commercial real estate and the business community.SC.jpg

Robin Gagnon, co-founder of We Sell Restaurants said, “Cyndi is a tremendous asset to the We Sell Restaurants team.  Eric and I can fully appreciate the lifestyle and fun she and Steve will enjoy working together along with the passion she brings to the role.” 

Cyndi is also a Certified Negotiation Specialist and has attended many workshops and seminars on sales and marketing.  Cyndi is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Club.  She sharpened her negotiating and business analysis skills as a buyer for Macy’s where she collaborated on multifaceted deals in order to maximize return.  This further developed her ability to quickly and accurately review financial data to establish value and drive sales lines.   As a Restaurant Broker, Cyndi is now working with restaurant owners to accurately value, market and sell their restaurants for maximum value.  She is also helping buyers identify the right business opportunity based on their financial goals and objectives.

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants said, “Cyndi’s partner and husband Steve is in his second year with We Sell Restaurants but is already making a name for himself in the marketplace.  In the 1st nine months of 2016, he has negotiated and closed a dozen restaurant and lease transactions with another five in contract set to close by the end of the year. With his wife joining his team, they are sure to continue this strong trend.” 

Steve is a licensed Georgia real estate salesperson and Certified Business Broker. He has over 25 years of experience working with retail, dining, and financial industry leaders with a focus on Marketing, Business Analysis, and Relationship Management. He spent six years working with all the major casual dining and QSR franchises on customer acquisition and retention with a focus on loyalty and customer engagement.

Steve has the ability to quickly and accurately review and evaluate financial data. This skill enables him to provide sound valuation feedback and business guidance.  Ask him to do a free valuation of your restaurant. He has years of experience negotiating complex business to business contracts. Combined with his extensive lease experience he is definitely someone you want working on your next lease agreement.  The importance of establishing open and honest rapport with all his clients is, and will continue to be, paramount.

His success is due to the personal attention he devotes to each and every client by helping them determine the best way to achieve their goals and working closely with them until they are realized.

As a team, Cyndi and Steve can utilize their experience, strengths, and contacts in the marketplace to serve their client’s needs.  If you are looking to buy a restaurant, sell your existing restaurant or franchise, or better understand the value of your restaurant or franchise, contact Steve or Cyndi today or go to and search the over 200 listings for second generation restaurant lease spaces, restaurants and restaurant franchises for sale.  For more information on Steve and Cyndi’s listings, click the link below.

Visit Our Listings Online!