What's a restaurant broker in London look like? Well, they aren't a husband and wife team like the restaurant brokers here in the U.S. but they were certainly worth a visit on our recent trip. We dropped by the offices of a leading firm called Restaurant Property located at 5 Fitzhardinge Street London W1H 6ED. Their website says they are the "leading specialist in this sector we are able to provide our clients with a breadth of resources and contacts they simply can’t find anywhere else." Sounds like We Sell Restaurants doesn't it?
What does a London based restaurant broker do that’s different from our process in the United States? Not much, according to Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants. “The team at Restaurant Property in the U.K. features a number of listings for sale in and about the London area. They are specialists in the industry and have strong market knowledge and dominate the number of restaurants for sale available.”
Here is a sample of two of the restaurants for sale in London featured by these London Restaurant Brokers.
They offered up this listing in the popular Covent Garden Region saying, “Located in the heart of the West End, running from Seven Dials in Covent Garden down to it’s junction with Charing Cross Road. The street is a popular dining destination for shoppers as well as theatre goers and night time revellers.” Fancy this restaurant? It’s what we in the U.S. refer to as “Bring all offers” with no pricing while London Restaurant Brokers say on their ad, “Premiums Invited.”
Not all the listings are without pricing. One 779 square foot restaurant for sale was described as “The property is situated in the Northern part of Upper Street, adjacent to the fire station, where it’s neighbours include Be at One, Ottolengi, Whistles, Sweaty Beatty, Paul and many more. Nearby restaurant operators include Carluccio’s, Strada, La Porchetta and karaoke bar Lucky Voice” This gem of a listing is shown with a Premium (listing price) of £85,000 or just under $140,000 U.S. dollars.
Confidentiality is still key whether you’re selling a restaurant in London or in the United States. This group practices non-disclosure agreements on most of their listings rather than having them available on a “public” or “known” basis.
Pricing per square foot for retail space in one of the world’s most important cities is one difference between many of the listings offered by these U.S. restaurant brokers and our counterparts across the sea. The lease rates (interestingly enough priced in square feet rather than the metric s system) were quite pricey. The first listing described above shows a rate of £368,000 pounds annually for 8136 square feet. That works out to be £45.23 pounds per square feet of $73.00 per square feet. No that’s a pricey rental rate. The second listing is much smaller at only 779 square feet but the math on this one works out to be more than $111.00 per square foot. That’s a big premium over the restaurant brokers pricing in Atlanta.
The main restaurant brokers in the London office are Sally French and Mark Caldor. In our visit, we invited them to join us on a radio show in the future so they can tell us more about how restaurant brokerage is similar to what we do here in the United States. If you’re in the mood to buy a restaurant on foreign soil, the fondness of the “Brits” for their “pints” and the number of pubs in the market make this an ideal opportunity.
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