Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon Interviewed on TV46 Atlanta

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 1, 2015 11:32:00 AM

Overtime wages are going up and Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon was asked to comment on how that will affect the restaurant industry by Atlanta CBS Affiliate TV46.  She's not the only one weighing in on the story with the National Restaurant Assocation, the National Retail Federation and others making the same call.  

She told the reporter, "I thik it's unfortunate for the restaurant industry," said Robin Gagnon, the owner of Atlanta-based “We sell Restaurants. The second largest line item behind food costs is labor costs and that's going up. Then you have the customer who's going to get the push back, [so] the pricing is going to go up as other costs go up."  

President Obama wants 5 million more people to be eligible to get overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.He's planning to raise the overtime cap so a salaried employee earning less than $50,440 a year would be assured overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.

The role of those who currently serve as managers will change since the federal government will define that a minimum of 50% of their time must go to supervision.  In the restaurant broker's opinion, customer service will go down.

"So a manager that might have gone out talking to a table saying, 'How are you doing tonight? Share with me about your experience,' they are going to have closely constricted responsibilities that they're no longer going to be able to do that," Gagnon said.

The White House says the proposed changes will be open for public comment and should be finalized sometime next year.

The full interview can be seen here. 

TV46

Topics: buying a restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Interview Cooking Channel Host Eddie Russell

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 26, 2015 5:07:33 PM

The Restaurant Brokers of We Sell Restaurants, Eric and Robin Gagnon, are joined this week on their popular restaurant radio show by Chef Eddie Russell host of Cooking Channel’s Belly Up!  
 
Bars are often seen as a place for great beer, laughs, and maybe a few peanuts, not palate awakening food.  Enter Chef Eddie Russell who plans to change that with his new show on the Cooking Channel called “Belly Up!” The host visits a different bar or pub each week to turn things around. 
 
The Cooking Channel host tells the restaurant brokers that “What differentiates “Belly Up!” from a lot of the other shows is that I’m 100 percent about the food. It’s really about giving them the tools to succeed.” If the food isn’t thoughtful, according to Chef Russell, “You’ll drink and then you’ll go somewhere else.”
 
Not only are the Restaurant Brokers chatting with Chef Eddie about his new show but they are dishing up advice for restaurant owners or would-be bar owners on topics ranging from social media to problems with kitchen design.
 
What is some of his advice?  According to this chef, responding to negative social media postings is a recipe for disaster.  Chef Eddie says a restaurant owner should not reply to negative online reviews.  He says, “Never engage in it.”  You’re not going to please everyone.”  The last thing you should ever do is sit there and respond to it.  As soon as you acknowledge it, you validate it.”
 
What about this chef’s take on his interaction with owners seen through the lens of a national television show?  The restaurant brokers ask if he takes a Gordon Ramsey approach or if he’s a bit more laid back in his manner.  According to the chef, “I don’t sugarcoat anything.  I definitely ruffle some feathers.”  He goes on to say, “My mother says I don’t suffer fools well.”  On the other hand, he says, ““I’m the kind of guy that you want to have a drink with afterwards.” I’m a very nice dude.”
 
What is Chef Eddie’s view on bar owners that focus on alcohol with food as an afterthought?  He says it unfortunate but for many bar owners, “The last thing people think about is the kitchen.”  In his words,  “At the end of the day, once you choose to have a food menu, you are a food service establishment so think about how food is going to come out of that kitchen.”
 
Current and future bar owners should tune in for more on the nation’s only national radio show focused on the restaurant industry.  The show airs in Atlanta on Talk920 AM Saturday at noon or Sunday at 1pm on Biz1190 AM.  It is also posted on the We Sell Restaurants iTunes channel or by popular demand on their YouTube channel as well.
 
This Week’s Guests:
 
Chef Eddie Russell Cooking Channel Host of Belly Up!:
                                                              
Atlanta-born chef Eddie Russell is a private consultant for bars, gastropubs and taverns, helping to develop menus, streamline operations and finesse overall functioning abilities. He got his first taste for cooking as a young sous-chef in his grandmother’s kitchen, continuing his training at Athens, Georgia-based restaurants - Five and Ten, Farm 255, and Trappeze Pub as well as Parish Foods & Goods in Atlanta.   Eddie’s style of ingredient-driven, simplistic techniques have put him at the forefront of culinary innovation, and he is known for an appreciation and commitment to slow food and conscious sourcing.  He helped create the Four Coursemen Supper Club, an exploration of food, technique, sustainability, seasonality and community.
 
Eddie continues his passion for cutting edge pairings and cuisines as a partner for Coterie & Tie, a private residence supper club based where he resides in Athens, Georgia.

About WeSellRestaurants
 
We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resales.  The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge and unmatched service. They can be found online at www.wesellrestaurants.com.  The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina. 

Topics: buying restaurant

YouRestaurant Brokers Interview Women in Franchising

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 20, 2015 9:01:44 AM

The restaurant brokers are talking to the Women's Franchise Network. Led by the International Franchise Association, the Women's Franchise Network (WFN) is a network of local chapters designed to develop relationships with women franchising professionals by addressing issues, sharing ideas and offering solutions related to franchising. The WFN Atlanta Chapter welcomes women franchisers, franchisees, franchise suppliers and those considering franchising.

The guests for this week share their stories of success, mentorship and growth in their own path along the way to franchising including Debbie Shwetz of Nothing Bundt Cakes, the International Franchise Association Board Member for Women in Franchising. She says that her path to franchising included a lot of learning and in the beginning there was “a lot of things we didn’t know and understand.” She goes on to tell listeners that while “ability is innate, skills can be shared and developed.” Clarissa Bradstock, CEO of Any Lab Test Now says that women are “more collaborative and bring a lot of empathy” in the franchise space. She also serves on the national board as well as leading the Atlanta Chapter of the Women’s Franchise Network. Lauren Fernandez of The Fernandez Company says she counsels those considering franchising to ask themselves, “What is your end game?”

Tune into the entire restaurant radio show live on Atlanta radio station WGKA 920 The Answer on Saturday at noon or the rebroadcast Sunday at 1 PM on Biz 1190.

This Week’s Guests:

lauren0077-1Lauren Fernandez

Lauren is the founder of The Fernandez Company, the culmination of over a decade of practice as a trusted brand consultant and legal advisor with all kinds of clients, from start-ups to multinational companies.

She consults with companies in all aspects of restaurant and franchise development, brand licensing, product development, and market implementation. Lauren focuses her practice on regulated industries, particularly in the food and drug space.
Before forming The Fernandez Company, Lauren served as the General Counsel for FOCUS Brands where she was instrumental in the rapid growth of the licensing program. Prior to joining FOCUS Brands, she was part of an elite team at Novartis/CIBA VISION that successfully launched the company’s first new product in over a decade. She started her career in one of Atlanta's most respected Intellectual Property Boutiques, Gardner Groff.

Clarissa-Bradstock-1Clarissa Bradstock

As the CEO of Any Lab Test Now, Clarissa Bradstock is proud to lead the franchisees in their goal of providing an exceptional experience for our customers interested in clinical, toxicology and DNA testing. In addition, Clarissa is the Vice Chair for the Southeastern Franchise Forum, and on the IFA Women’s Franchise Network committee, and the Chair for the Atlanta Chapter of the Women’s Franchise Network.

 

DebbieGuestImage-1Debbie Shwetz

A graduate from The University of Washington with a degree in Psychology.  I spent the 10 years before Nothing Bundt Cakes working in Multi-level marketing, Insurance and Medical Transcribing.  In 1997 my friend and business partner Dena Tripp and I conceptualized and launched Nothing Bundt Cakes.  We decided to franchise in 2006 and my role was the development of the franchise system structure, sales and development and franchisee relations. Today we have 130 open locations with another 50 to follow shortly.

About We Sell Restaurants

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resell transactions. The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge and unmatched service. They can be found online at www.wesellrestaurants.com. The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Topics: buying restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Interview Chefs from “Beat Bobby Flay”

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 12, 2015 12:47:11 PM

June 5, 2015 – This week The restaurant brokers are talking to those who took on Bobby Flay of Food Network in the Hit Food Network Show “Beat Bobby Flay.”  Tune in to learn what that experience is like from three chefs that filmed and challenged celebrity chef Bobby Flay in front of a live audience.  You’ll learn which chef defeated one of the most well-known celebrity chefs on the planet.  Find out first hand if Bobby was gracious in defeat and whether they would do it again.

The restaurant brokers are joined on this week’s show by Chef Adam Halberg of Barteca Group.  Asked what it’s like to film before a live audience, he tells us that “Chefs live for a certain kind of gratification.”  Chef Adam reveals that he challenged Bobby Flay to a dish that the chef regularly enjoys in one of his restaurants at Barteca Restaurant Group.  Did he win?  Listen to find out. 

Chef Brian Tsoa joins in the discussion about his Beat Bobby Flay appearance where he prevailed over the celebrity chef.  Brian challenged Flay to a taco battle and beat him out with his Beef Bulgogi Tacos, making him the only chef to beat Flay during the first season.  Brian reveals to the restaurant brokers that this was a grudge match since he “had done Chopped prior to that and got beat pretty badly.”  He went into the Food Network taping ready to put a win up and succeeded in his quest.”

The last guest, Chef J. Jackson reveals that the show was his first TV appearance.  He tells Eric and Robin Gagnon that the “first thing I did was call my mother and tell her I was going to be on TV.”

Tune into the entire restaurant radio show live on Atlanta radio station WGKA 920 The Answer on Saturday at noon or the rebroadcast Sunday at 1 PM on Biz 1190.

This Week’s Guests:

Chef Adam Halberg

Chef_Adam_Halberg-1Adam Halberg made the decision to pursue a restaurant career at an unusual moment. In Chicago, he was mid-way through managing a traveling show celebrating the 25th anniversary of LEGO in the United States when he began plotting a return to school for a culinary education. A spin through jobs spanning 'newspaper reporter' to 'summer camp director' to 'improv comedian' had failed to sate his desire to learn a craft and use it to create public experiences which were both exciting and home-spirited. 


Adam Halberg made the decision to pursue a restaurant career at an unusual moment. In Chicago, he was mid-way through managing a traveling show celebrating the 25th anniversary of LEGO in the United States when he began plotting a return to school for a culinary education. A spin through jobs spanning 'newspaper reporter' to 'summer camp director' to 'improv comedian' had failed to sate his desire to learn a craft and use it to create public experiences which were both exciting and home-spirited. After taking a degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta, Halberg paired a push through some of Atlanta's most respected restaurants (Justin Ward's Harvest, La Grotta Ristorante in Buckhead) with a year working in Florence and Modena, Italy. With a growing passion for American ingredients and Mediterranean sensibility, he traveled to Maine to work at James Beard winner Melissa Kelly's seaside Italian restaurant Primo. This was followed by seven years in Boston, consulting for popular restaurant/caterer Bakers Best and running restaurants for both Laura Bren  Best and running restaurants for both Laura Brennan and James Beard winner Michael Schlow. Each year that he helmed Schlow's Via Matta, that restaurant was recognized as 'Best Italian' by Boston Magazine. Before leaving Boston, Halberg also oversaw the opening of the giant bohemian eatery and live music venue The Beehive.

Barteca_Logo-1In Connecticut, Halberg has found his place overseeing the kitchens for the Barcelona Restaurant Group, developing a strong group of creative, collaborative chefs for a local bar and dining institution. Still, every once in a while, he sneaks away from the 'small plate' leanings of tapas to cook a big bowl of pasta.

Adam has a BA in Religion & Culture from Emory University, has visited 42 states and a dozen countries. He plans on returning to live in Italy someday ... or building something almost as satisfying here.

Brian Tsao

Chef Brian Tsao started out wanting to be a musician but teen years spent in China and immersion in its culinary diversity led him on a different path, to the world of restaurants. The son of a Chinese father and Korean mother, Brian grew up in Queens, New York before journeying to Beijing at age fifteen to study at the World Youth Academy, without even knowing Chinese. During his six years in China, he also became guitarist for the country’s first touring thrashcore band and traveled extensively, learning about the specialties of each region including Beijing’s dumplings, Guang Dong’s roast goose with plum sauce, Xin Jiang’s lamb kabobs, and more. 

Chef_Brian_Tsao_2-1Brian returned to New York needing a job before college and his father directed him to a longtime client who needed help, Michael Hu (former Executive Pastry Chef of the Waldorf Astoria and Grand Hyatt) of Hana Pastries. With no culinary training, Brian truly started at the bottom as a dishwasher, before moving on to packaging and eventually the kitchen. There he discovered a love of pastry as well as learned the skills of chocolate sculpture and sugar showpieces, which Hu was known for. “A highlight of my time there was helping to build an all sugar Gibson Explorer Guitar show piece. After this experience, I decided to skip college.” After two productive but tough years at Hana, Hu suggested Brian further his skills by working for his friend Wojtek Stachura, former head baker at Eli's Bread, at his wholesale bread factory Solina Bakery. Though Stachura was capable of making fantastic bread show pieces, he usually turned down such projects to focus on the 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of dough he processed on a daily basis from a single mixer. 

While at Solina, Brian’s mentors convinced him to pursue a formal culinary education and he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He also undertook an externship at Telepan, which with its highly seasonal, ever-changing menu was a formative experience for the young chef.
“Telepan taught and exercised everything I needed to know to become a line cook,” he says. “Telepan was by far the most educational culinary experience in my entire career by far.”logo-mira-sushi4-1

After graduation, Brian moved to the West Coast to work for his uncle, Taiwanese restaurateur Ivan Liang. A year later, he returned to New York and opened Liang’s with his uncle in Flushing, Queens. Unfortunately, Liang’s closed after two years and Brian, though “tired and jaded, but humbled and wiser,” counts the experience as a foundation for his future success.  

In 2013, Brian brought his heritage and travel experiences throughout Asia to Mira Sushi & Izakaya. By fusing Japanese, Chinese, Korean and American cuisines, he has created an adventurous, delicious menu of Asian street-food inspired dishes that take a traditional concept in an exciting direction. His mission as a chef is to “remove the stereotypes of Asian cuisine, make good, interesting but still authentic food and keep things approachable.” 

In March 2014, Brian appeared on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” where two chefs compete by cooking a dish with an ingredient chosen by Flay. Then the winner faces off against the Food Network star – this time the challenger picks the dish and a panel of three judges chooses the winner. Brian challenged Flay to a taco battle and prevailed with his Beef Bulgogi Tacos, making him the only chef to beat Flay during the first season. Brian has also appeared on Fox 5 Good Day New York, CBS TV and Food Network’s Chopped.

Chef J. Jackson

ChefJHeadshot2-1Chef J. Jackson has become synonymous with great food and is a successful private chef and motivational speaker based in the DC metro area. Jackson has created his own personal style by mixing his love of food with that of techniques from some of the best chefs in the country and beyond.  Jackson has been a self-taught chef for the past few years and is a regular culinary contributor on Fox and Friend’s Morning Show. He has also made appearances on Neighborhood Chef and ABCs The Chew. His accomplishments include “Crowd Favorite” at The Travel Channels Fiery Foods Challenge, winner of the DC local competition of Top Chef for Love Night Club and a Season 4 Contestant on Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay!  Jackson has provided his culinary services to the likes of Jill Scott and has toured the world with Lady Gaga.  He also speaks to youth about achieving their dreams and mastering their craft. 

About We Sell Restaurants

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resell transactions.  The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge and unmatched service. They can be found online at www.wesellrestaurants.com.  The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina. 

Restaurant Brokers Interview Extreme Cuisine Chefs on Restaurant Radio Show

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 5, 2015 4:35:29 PM

This week the restaurant brokers are talking to chefs that are known for their extreme cooking. Unusual proteins, extraordinary conditions and more are on the menu as we talk to those who cook in extreme conditions. Join us as we interview one of Food Networks Extreme Chef and another chef who take his food straight from farm to fork.

These talented chefs that take their food to the edge and back tell the restaurant brokers that “We’re not just cooking food.  There’s a lot that goes into it.  Ultimately, we’re artists.”  These artist share the stories, tips and techniques for becoming a successful chef with a following.  Chef Kristi Ritchey, a contestant on season one of Food Network’s Extreme Cuisine says, “Any successful chef is in some way an extreme chef.”

These two talked about the industry as well as the extreme route their careers have taken.  Chef Ritchey says that “Food is like the Fashion industry” and reminds us to “Remember when Kale was just for dressing the salad bar.”

Tune into the entire restaurant radio show live on Atlanta radio station WGKA 920 The Answer on Saturday at noon or the rebroadcast Sunday at 1 PM on Biz 1190.

This Week’s Guests:

Mark Ulrich

Mark_Ulrich_HeadshotFrom Philadelphia but now resides in Mickleton, NJ.  He currently is the executive chef at Methodist hospital by day and the Head Chef at Cecil Creek farm on the weekends. Mark is married with 4 children and 1 grandson.

Mark attended THE RESTAURANT SCHOOL in Philadelphia. Mark graduated from there in 1989 with an associate’s degree in chef training. He says he was influenced early on by his grandmother and actually a lot from my Italian friends, and families who also cooked a lot. He soon gained an interest from television shows on public broadcast networks and started reading magazines and books. Mark decided to attend cooking school right out of high school and he’s been cooking ever since.

Kristi Ritchey

Kitchen_Kristi_smKristi Ritchey's culinary quest began back in her hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, when she started working at a quaint Italian restaurant in the city. The owner recognized Kristi’s potential immediately and encouraged her to peruse a career in food. Straight after graduating with a degree in culinary arts from Pennsylvania College of Technology, she moved to California’s Napa Valley, where she quickly found a position at the prestigious Pinot Blanc restaurant, operated by the Patina Group.

Studying under Chef Greg Stillman, Kristi swiftly elevated herself within the restaurant to the position of Sous Chef within her first year. Soon after, the Patina Group relocated Kristi to Southern California to help open Eat at The Desert, inside the Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs, and then Eat on Sunset in Los Angeles.

Taking notice of her skills, restaurateurs Sandy Sachs and Robin Gans, sought her out and asked her to join in planning and opening of Murano Restaurant and Lounge in Los Angeles. Contributing to the initial kitchen layout, menu design and more, she was able to help create the restaurant’s concept and mold what it is today. While at Murano, and at the age of 26, LA Direct Magazine named Kristi one of Los Angeles’ top chefs.

After Murano, friend and celebrity chef Jonathan Rollo asked Kristi to help in the opening of Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop in Beverly Hills. Kristi accepted the position of Corporate Chef and was again part of developing the menu and overall concept for a new restaurant. Throughout her time with Greenleaf, Kristi was a frequent media star, with appearances on The Food Network’s “Extreme Chef,” NBC’s weight-loss series “The Biggest Loser,” as well as several appearances on “Good Day LA.” During this time she was also named to OC Metro magazine’s 40 Under 40 list.

Kristi’s passion for cooking is more than just her career – eating healthy has become her lifestyle. She brings her creative fusion of Italian and French cooking styles with a fresh twist to the West Shore’s menu. Executive Chef Kristi explains, “I want to focus on fresh, local, seasonal products that we combine to exceed our guests’ expectations for flavor and presentation. Whether a simple salad, soup or a composed entrée, it has to be the best.

 

About We Sell Restaurants

 

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resell transactions.  The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge and unmatched service. They can be found online at www.wesellrestaurants.com.  The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina. 

 

 

Atlanta Restaurant Sales Continue to Climb in 2015

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Jun 2, 2015 1:41:07 PM

CPA Robert Wagner has released his quarterly survey of sales growth in the Atlanta market and the results show an increase over last year of 5.5% versus the same period in 2014.  

A positive first quarter trend was reported by the CPA firm at 71% of the more than 100 restaurants surveyed.  

Q1_2015_Sales

The restaurant brokers are seeing similar trending in the dozens of P&L's reviewed in the past quarter.   Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants says, "We are seeing sales increases ranging from 3% on the low end to 6% on the high end for most of the P&L's we review as part of the listing process. That includes both Atlanta Georgia listings and restaurants for sale nationwide."  He continues saying, "Sales are only one part of the equation when valuing a restaurant for lending.  Most valuation is based on earnings and owner benefit rather than top-line sales.  Most restaurant find stronger earnings as a result of better top line sales but others find savings in the bottom line through stronger expense management."  

Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon's take on sales increases is in line with the results captured by Black Box. Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company found results nationwide were almost half that of the Atlanta marketplace with reported sales up 2.8% over the prior year in first quarter. Their data implies that some price increases have been in play as well since they say that while overall sales are up 2.8%, traffic is down .6% compared to the same period in 2014. 

Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Q1 2015 was the 17th straight quarter that our
sales survey disclosed positive sales growth at Atlanta restaurants. There were a couple of
offsetting developments in Q1. First, sales in 2015 were going up against a quarter (Q1 2014) with
significant weather challenges. So we expected the 2015 sales to show favorably. Alternatively, in
Q1 new restaurants opened in Atlanta, particularly at Krog Street Market and Buckhead Atlanta. By
definition, new restaurants are not included in our survey. However, they can negatively impact
sales trends at existing restaurants. These competing trends appear to have canceled each other
producing a routine, respectable positive-comp-sales trend of 5.5% for Q1 2015.”

 

About the survey

_________________________________________________________________________


The Sample: The 103 independently-operated, non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro
Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $69 million for the quarter. The survey includes
restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 15 months.

Robert Wagner, CPA is president of NetFinancials, Inc. which provides a full range of tax and
accounting services for restaurant companies. Email: bob.wagner@netfinancials.com.
www.netfinancials.com Direct: 404-874-7002

The NetFinancials quarterly Atlanta restaurant sales survey is provided as a public service to the
restaurant industry. Copyright NetFinancials, Inc.

Topics: selling a restaurant

Franchise Times Reports New Burger Deals. Restaurant Brokers Weigh In.

Posted by Robin Gagnon on May 30, 2015 10:32:04 AM

Franchise Times has issued their latest Development Deal Tracker.  This great industry resource keeps tabs on expansion in the franchise world and new deals signed for multiple unit development.  There is plenty of movement in the restaurant scene especially in the burger segment.  Quoting directly from their Deal Tracker published on 5/29/2015,  Franchise Times reports the following.  

"Wahlburgers, a casual burger restaurant chain founded by celebrity brothers, Paul, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, has signed an agreement with SSP America to operate restaurants at Boston's Logan and Toronto's Pearson airports. In addition, the Hingham, Massachusetts-based brand has extended its contract with New York-based Big Apple Burgers to build six units on Long Island, in addition to the five in Manhattan and one on Coney Island. Internationally, the restaurant with its own reality TV show, secured a 20-store deal with Middle East developer, the Arjomand Group. "We are very proud of the Wahlberg family for creating such a great franchise concept and we plan on making it a huge success in the Middle East region, Farooq Mahmood Arjomand, founding chairman and CEO of the Arjomand group, said in a release. Wahburgers units combine full-service with a bar and quick-service stations, plus take-out."  The Wahlburger concept was featured on the cover of Franchise Times in the most recent May 2015 edition.  

The Deal tracker further reports that "Three franchisee groups are joining Denver-based Smashburger for a combined commitment of 61 new better-burger restaurants. Regrub LLC will build 34 units in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Ft Myers and Naples, Florida over the next eight years. Moe's Southwestern Grill franchisees, Brad and Drew DeGrazia, have signed on to open 23 Smashburgers in upstate New York. Former McDonald's franchisees Paul and Kathleen Thaller will open four units in the Wilmington, New Bern and Jacksonville, North Carolina area." 

What does all this new development mean?  Well, according to the restaurant brokers, the market heating up with more units in the burger segment will continue to fuel an unsustainable trend with an ultimate shake out of units.  This will take three forms:

1) Multi-unit Scale back.  Multi-unit owners with ten stores or more will ultimately work to shed their lowest performing units.  We refer to this as the "Jack Welch 20% rule" as it applies to franchising.  There will always be those slightly outside the geographical reach or tracking beneath their forecasted sales for one reason or another.  These units will come back onto the market as a re-sell opportunity.  Often these stores will be offered first to existing franchisees (who are often willing to the pay the least amount for them) before going onto the re-sell market in the hands of firms like We Sell Restaurants.  While they may not be profitable for a large multi-unit owner with a spread of corporate overhead into their books, they recast nicely for a single unit owner/operator.  

2) Unfavorable Unit Economics.  Smaller owners with one or two doors will find that the unit economics are not sufficient for their lifestyle or that they overspent on the build out and carry too

Burgers_Growing

 much debt.  These units will also make it onto the marketplace and represent strong takeover targest for those who want into the brand but don't want the high upfront capital costs.  They can be acquired at a significant discount over the intiital build out and with an investment in marketing and local "hands-on" type leadership can prove to be highly profitable. 

3) Thinning of the Herd.  Units place too closely to competitors is a real risk with the number of upper tier hamburger brands all vying for market share.  The number of concepts seeking real estate means they are ultimately settling too close to competitors and there will be some "thinning of the herds" and makes some of this growth as unsustainable growth.  These units will go back on the market and ultimately convert to another franchise concept or an independent. 

The restaurant brokers love to see growth in the industry and are excited to see so many development deals in the mix.  The "better" burger segment is getting highly crowded so we anticipate a shake-out in the field in the 18 to 24 months and a consolidation of some brands and others that will simply fail to meet their development goals.  

Topics: buying a restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Interview Grilling Experts on Restaurant Radio Show

Posted by WSR Operations on May 29, 2015 4:10:52 PM

May 29, 2015 – This week the restaurant brokers are talking about America’s favorite pastime: Grilling! The guests of this week’s show answer those all-important questions like, “Who’s behind the grill? What are the secrets to great grilling?  Charcoal or gas?  Marinate or dry rub?  To Smoke or Not to Smoke? The Restaurant Brokers are taking on the topic loved by chefs as well as those at home.  

Linkie Marais, a contestant on the Food Network’s hit series, Next Food Network Star told the restaurant brokers that some of the hot trends she sees with grilling include “People using their smart phones to keep track of temperatures on the grill.”  The South African award-winning baker and grill master tells our audience of foodies, restauranteurs and would-be restaurant owners that the most interesting thing she’s prepared on the grill is a doughnut!  When asked whether she was for charcoal or gas grilling, she says, “I absolutely love charcoal…love the flavor you get from charcoal.”
 
Chef DP Johnson, the other guest on this week’s show markets himself as a “Roadside Celebrity Chef” and has a loyal following in South Florida.  Known for his conch fritters and spice line under the name Sabroso Sauce, chef says “Cooking outdoors is a challenge.”
 
Tune into the entire restaurant radio show live on Atlanta radio station WGKA 920 The Answer on Saturday at noon or the rebroadcast Sunday at 1 PM on Biz 1190.
 
This Week’s Guests:
 
Chef Linkie Marais

Headshot-1Beauty queen, award-winning baker and grill master are all extensions to her title, making Linkie Marais more than your average chef. With a love for exploring, cooking and the outdoors, her will to grill stems all the way back to her unique blend of South African and Southern roots. Born in South Africa, Linkie was raised in the kitchen. With a lack of abundant fresh ingredients, she inherited her mother’s creativity, utilizing whatever they had available to create fresh and original meals.

Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi she obtained a degree in Culinary Arts from Mississippi University for Women.  She held various pastry and executive chef positions. In 2012, Linkie accepted the opportunity of a lifetime to compete on Food Network’s hit series, Next Food Network Star.

Linkie_Logo-1Her experience on the show was, in her words, “crazy”. “It’s like driving a fast car—fun but unpredictable.” It forced her to push her limits and take creativity to a new level. After discovering her love for grilling 
during a Big Green Egg Competition, Linkie’s passion for grilling began to take her career in a new and exciting direction. It’s clear that her meat-filled and resourceful South African culinary upbringing has had a tremendous in-pact on her cooking flair, as Linkie is considered the best among the few females who have mastered the art of grilling.

Chef Darryl “DP” Johnson 
 
ChefDP_Headshot-1Some people know him as the chef who cooks up the most delicious conch fritters and conch salad in Miami from a mobile kitchen under a tent. Others know him as a bow tie wearing, Dapper Don; a regular on the red carpet around town supporting charitable causes. Johnson's customers come from far and wide to enjoy his chunks of sweet, tender conch imported from the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos or for his fritters, made from a batter that has bits of conch, green pepper, onion and secret seasonings. Darryl Johnson aka Chef DP, is also the man behind the global brand SabrosoSauce.™ Known in South Florida as the Roadside Chef, Johnson has cultivated a loyal fan base.

About We Sell Restaurants

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resell transactions.  The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge and unmatched service. They can be found online at www.wesellrestaurants.com.  The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Topics: buying a restaurant

Marketplace Confidence, Low Interest Rates Driving Increased Business Transactions

Posted by Robin Gagnon on May 28, 2015 6:45:07 AM

The 1st Quarter 2015 Market Pulse Survey Report published by the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), M&A Source and the Pepperdine Private Capital Market Project is out.  They report that "business transaction activity increased across all market sectors in the first quarter of 2015, driven by consumer and market confidence and low interest rates."

This data aligns with an earlier BizBuySell industry report showing 1st quarter of 2015 transaction levels ahead of last year. 

The latest data covers both businesses sold in Main Street markets (values under $2 million) and lower middle markets (values $2 million to $50 million).  The restaurant brokers are seeing even strong results in their "Main Street" transactions with an increase in transactions of 22% in the first quater of 2015. 

"Confidence is up across the board, and we're seeing that reflected in both buyers and sellers markets," said Robert K. Adams, Partner, Advanced Business Brokerage & Adams & Chebalo, LLC and member of IBBA / M&A Source.  Eric Gagnon of We Sell Restaurants says, "Confidence is high but we see this reflected in the credit market.  There is strong lending available for restaurants and in particular, franchise restaurants, that are driving the We Sell Restaurant activity levels."

Other key findings from the latest study include that nearly 6 out of 10 (59%) of Main StreEric_and_Robin_Crop_April_2013_Headshotet brokers characterize current buying conditions as a "Buyer's Market" versus a "Seller's Market."  On this point, Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon of We Sell Restaurants says, "It is difficult to characterize the entire marketplace as advantaged toward either buyers or sellers.  We see each indidual deal and the circumstances dictate the deal terms.  With a willingness to get a deal to the table by both parties, there is a natural give and take on both sides."

According to the survey, "Business services led the Main Street market, appearing in the number one (or tied for first) spot for the most businesses sold in each sector. Consumer goods and personal services also held leading positions."   The earlier BizBuySell data found roughly 22% of all transactions in the first quarter were restaurants. 

The survey found that "Retirement ranks as the number one reason to sell across all Main Street sectors."  That finding is at odds with the restaurant brokerage industry according to Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants.  "The hospitality industry is highly transactional one.  We see more units changing hands as people move into and out of the business in much shorter periods of time than is indicated by retirement. The resaons for the sale are often tied to lifestyle issues but retirement does not top the list."

Brokers surveyed also found a growth in new clients and optimism for new client engagements at "near its peak since the survey began for all market sectors."  Chief Marketing Officer for We Sell Restaurants, Robin Gagnon concurs saying, "We have seen traffic from new buyers at double digit increases for the entire fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.  Buyers are actively pursuing opportunities in the marketplace and our lead generation efforts have definitely paid off

The Q1 2015 survey was completed by 231 business brokers and M&A advisors, representing 39 states. More than half of the respondents (57 percent) had at least 10 years of experience in the M&A industry. Participating advisors reported closing 143 Main Street market transactions and 20 lower middle market transactions in Q1 2015. The report can be found here: http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/about/people/faculty/appliedresearch/research/pcmsurvey/ 

Topics: buying a rstaurant

Restaurant Brokers Radio Show - SBDC

Posted by WSR Operations on May 22, 2015 3:05:24 PM

May 22, 2015 – This week the restaurant brokers are talking about the Small Business Development Center or SBDC and why restaurant owners or would-be restaurant owners NEED to know about it. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.

SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.

With dozens of host networks branching out with hundreds of service delivery points throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere.

The Georgia State University Small Business Development Center is a public service unit that provides consulting and training to Georgia small businesses. They are a part of the Robinson College of Business and one of 17 Georgia SBDC Network locations. Their professional business consultants have a combination of advanced education and real-world experience.
 
On this week’s show, the guests including Jeff Patterson, the Director at the Georgia State Center and Ted Beveridge, a consultant for the group tell the restaurant brokers that, “Small Business is too big to keep in your head.”  They discuss the free consulting services of the SBDC and say that “most people coming in are looking for capital.”  Restaurant owners in start-up or expansion will all need a business plan.  The SBDC team helps owners prepare one for either capital or investment.  They also critique operator’s plans and tell the restaurant brokers that owners should “…get their thick skin on when it comes to business plans.”
 
Tune into the entire restaurant radio show live on Atlanta radio station WGKA 920 The Answer on Saturday at noon or the rebroadcast Sunday at 1 PM on Biz 1190.

This Week’s Guests:

Jeff Patterson
 
Jeff has extensive financial industry experience that includes leadership roles in credit administration, commercial lending, operations management, regulatory compliance, and audit administration. His expertise includes loan proposal and business plan preparation, cash flow management, budgeting, and customer satisfaction. He also has brokerage and financial planning training as well as his Commercial Lending Diploma from RMA. 
 
Ted Beveridge 
 
Ted spent six years as a successful small business owner prior to joining the Georgia SBDC Network. He has experience in every facet of small business operations and has developed specific expertise in the food and retail sectors. Mr. Beveridge also spent several years in corporate financial roles and is well-versed in quantitative functions like budgeting, financial planning, pricing, and cash-flow forecasting. Additionally, he spent four years conducting search-and-rescue operations in the United States Coast Guard.

Topics: buying a restaurant