Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Restaurant Brokers on Restaurant Expansion Beyond One Door

Posted by Robin Gagnon on May 14, 2014 6:29:00 AM

The We Sell Restaurants radio show airs every Saturday at 12 Noon (Talk 920) and Sunday at noon also on the Wall Street Journal Network on Biz 1190AM, catch the Restaurant Brokers as they dish about how to expand your restaurant into multiple doors.  Remember, the goal of the show is to satisfy our listener’s appetite for acquisition, feed the need for restaurant reality and serve up a recipe for business success. 

In this week’s show, the Restaurant Brokers discuss how you grow from a single unit to a multi-unit operator?  The Restaurant Brokers talk to some of the most powerful operators in the business that have "multiplied" over time.  What makes a concept scalable beyond one or two doors?  What are the challenges as a restaurant grows?  Simply put, what advice do these experts have for others in the industry looking to go from a single store to many more?

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Experts who weighed in on this topic, included Aziz Hashim and Pierre Panos.

Aziz Hashim is a highly regarded executive in the U.S. and international franchise space.  Mr. Hashim is the President and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC (NRD), and CEO and Chairman of Impact Investments, LLC.  Mr. Hashim founded NRD in 1996 with one QSR location and has grown the company to one of the top 200 franchise operators in the U.S. with several high profile brands including:  Popeyes, Subway, KFC, Taco Bell and many others.  Mr. Hashim expanded his portfolio with his investment in Winston Resources, a Canadian public mineral company with projects in Gold and other national resources and in 2013 with Impact Investments, LLC, for business ventures in Africa.  Through expert risk identification and managaement, unique portfolio management strategies and superior execution, Mr. Hashim has become a leading multi-brand and multi-national investor.  In 2014, Nations Restaurant News recognized Mr. Hashim as one of the 50 Most Powerful Leaders in the Food Service industry for setting the standard for multi-unit development.  Mr. Hashim is often published and quoted in prestigious franchise industry publications as well as the Wall St. Journal, The Globe and Mail, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. He regularly shares his expertise in franchishing as a public speaker and guest lectures at Emory Law School, Georgia State University and Harvard Law School.

Mr. Hashim serves on several boards including the Executive Committee of the International Franchise Association (IFA) where he will become Chairman in 2016,  the Board of Advisors at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, BB&T Bank Regional Advisory board, and is the Chairman of the 2014 Multi--Unit Franchise Conference. 

Pierre Panos is a highly regarded entrepreneur and restraunteur.  Having founded three resturant concepts from scratch, Panos has learned that the key to successful restaurant opereration is to differentiate yourself from the outset by creating something unique.  At the age of 24, Panos and his brother developed a fast food mobile vending concept which won the Small Business Development award for South Afria.  After selling the concept for a project, Panos, a CPA by training, worked as a manager at Coopers & Lybrand, the second largest financial serves and audit corporation in the world at the time, before he returned to his passion of restaurant development; creating Late Night Al's - before making the move from South Africa to America.  Shortly after arriving in Atlanta in 1993, Panos became CFO and co-owner of Brookwood Grill, Inc.,   overseeing the operations of four stores with combined sales exceeding $16 million. He went on to found Stoney River Legendary Steaks in 1996 – and later Brookstone Management, the parent company of Stoney River and Brookwood Grill – which he sold to Nashville, Tenn.-based O’Charley’s Inc. in 2000.

In 2000, Panos established QS America, LLC dba, a $59 million company, parenting 42 Papa  Johns franchises, Brookwood Grill, Brookwood Catering and eventually, Fresh To Order.

Fresh To Order came about in 2006, when Panos and his long-time executive chef Jesse Gideon, partnered to pioneer the innovative "fast fine" dining concept in Atlanta which quickly distanced itself from fast-casual concepts by providing a finer   dining taste profile and an elevated level of service at a fast casual price point. Panos began franchising the highly successful brand in 2010. By 2015, he expects Fresh To Order to have 50 locations open nationwide and another 50 in various stages of development.

To begin, Aziz Hashim says that he has a 5 step process for analyzing a potential brand which has led to his success today.  To begin, if he's not personally comfortable with the food, would not eat it or would not be comfortable with his family dining there, is number 1.  Second, do the unit economics work?  Is the brand set up for profit?  Third, is he comfortable with the brand level management?  Fourth, he looks at the franchisee/franshisor income stream profitability.  And lastly, he analyzes the legal documents he's expected to sign to ensure he can live with the terms.  If a brand doesn't pass these five initial tests, he doesn't go further with it.

Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon asked Pierre Panos about launching a hot dog stand in South Africa, Stoney River Legendary Steak, Brookwood Grill and Fresh to Order.  Eric wanted to know...how do you know, when it's time to grow from one unit to multiples?  Pierre stated that "many grow for the sake of growth.  In his opinion and experience, if it's not profitable, you don't grow it".  Pierre provided further excellent advice on starting a location from scratch.  Essentially he stated "you start with just one, you optimize it, you make sure the economics work, you make sure that the guest acceptance of the brand work and that the positioning of that brand work and only once you see it resonates with the guest then you take it to the next location".

Aziz says that he has a 5 step process for analyzing a potential brand which has led to his success today.  To begin, if he's not personally comfortable with the food, would not eat it or would not be comfortable with his family dining there, is number 1.  Second, do the unit economics work?  Is the brand set up for profit?  Third, is he comfortable with the brand level management?  Fourth, he looks at the franchisee/franshisor income stream profitability.  And lastly, he analyzes the legal documents he's expected to sign to ensure he can live with the terms.  If a brand doesn't pass these five initial tests, he doesn't go further with it.    

To learn more about this topic and more, please download a copy of the radio show on iTunes, or on the wesellrestaurants website. 

You may also find We Sell Restaurants online at www.wesellrestaurants.com.  Take a moment to LIKE us on FACEBOOK or follow us on Twitter.  Remember, that We Sell Restaurants is the nation's largest restaurant brokerage firms based on the number of listings, transaction count and offices.  The company is franchising nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado and Tennessee. 

   

 

Topics: restaurant brokers