Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Weigh in on Nation's Restaurant News Hot Concept Picks

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 29, 2017 1:48:13 PM

Are they Hot or are they a flash in the pan?  That's a question the Restaurant Brokers ask each year when Nation's Restaurant News looks at the "up-and-coming restaurants" to pick their five "Hot Concepts" award winners.  According to the magazine, these five brands are "resounding with consumers and have strong growth potential." 

hot concepts or flash in the pan-.png

Do the restaurant brokers agree?  Well, we have to say this year's field is a far cry from the everyday sandwich shop.  It ranges from a "hippie-chic" chain featuring healthy food to a gastropub concept.  Here are their Hot Concepts. What do you think?

Flower Child is first on the list.  This brand has grown to seven units in three years by combining a focus on healthy food with decor that feels like you're back in the 70's and headed to Woodstock. This is not some small hippie chick's brand however as powerhouse Fox Restaurant Concepts kicked this one off in 2014. That's not the only large player attached to chain.  In November, The Cheesecake Factory Inc. made a minority equity investment in Flower Child and North Italia, another Fox Restaurant Concepts brand.  The chain has three stores in Arizona, two in California, one in Dallas and one in Austin (with a second store in the works).  What is the restaurant broker take?  We are seeing this "healthy fare" space fill up quickly with players.  We anticipate some fall out in the next 24 months as Americans say they want to eat healthy a lot more than they actually do. 

Another concept noted as "Hot" is a fast-casual Korean concept called Bibibop Asian Grill. The idea is cashing in on the popularity of bowls — and Korean food, one of the hottest Asian cuisines currently.  The name comes from the Korean dish bibimbap, a Korean dish of rice served in a bowl, topped with vegetables and often an egg and meat.  The chain has more than 20 units and has expanded to Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and Dayton, Ohio.  The restaurant brokers opinion on this one is "Thumbs Up!"  There's a void in market for fast casual Korean while most other Asian concepts are well represented.  This has some space to grow. 

Topics: buying a restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Weigh in on Top 40 Restaurant Franchises based on Satisfaction with Brand

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 21, 2017 12:18:22 PM

Chain Restaurants just published a recent survey of more than 4,300 franchisess across 100 brands.  Theiy were searching for franchisee satisfaction.  Then they ranked the best and published their Top 40 Restaurant Franchises list. 

What do the restaurant brokers think?  Well , I for one, would have appreciated a ranking from first to last rather than just an alphabetized list.  I would also like more clarity on what the survey asked.  The article cites part of the reason for landing on the top 40 list was the ability of these brands to deliver an, "intense focus on company culture."Is culture enough however?  For these restaurant brokers, looking at a list of concepts ranging from emerging brand Dicks Wings & Grill with only 23 units to Zaxby's with 946 units is a very wide range.  Is the culture great because the brand is so small that there's immense individualized attention? Conversely, is the culture great because a large brand has the money and payroll to keep a team in place to make everyone "feel good" even if they are not making money. 


What about the store development costs and return on investment?  This list showns startup investment costs for these restaurant franchises ranging from a low of $45,000 for Happy and Healthy Concepts to a whoppping $3 million for Buffalo Wings & Rings,  Both are "Happy franchisees" and I want to know more about the difference between what makes each investor and franchisee of these brands make the list. 

What do you think?  The survey respondents totaled more than 4,300 franchisees from almost 100 foodservice brands.  Franchise Business review analyzed 18 months of data before naming their Top 40 Food and Beverage Franchises for franchisee satisfaction.  

Looking at this data another way, if "almost 100" foodservice brands were included and the ultimate list was 40 brands, was this a self-serving survey since the brand had almost a 50% chance of landing in the top?  Without ranking, we don't know if one of the restaurant franchieses listed below was number 40 out of 100 which is not that super great. On the other hand, they did throw in everything from soup to nuts (or Zoup! to Biggby Coffee) so that's a positive.  

The list is below and it was published in an article by Chain Restaurants written by Peggy Carouthers.  Let the restaurant brokers know what you think about the list. 

These are the year's Top 40 franchisees in alphabetical order:

    Bahama Buck's
  • Startup Investment: $223,346 – $720,825
  • Cash Requirement: $90,000
  • Total Units: 89
    Biggby Coffee
  • Startup Investment: $220,000
  • Cash Requirement: $70,000
  • Total Units: 254
    Billy Sims Barbecue
  • Startup Investment: $169,000 – $433,000
  • Cash Requirement: $60,000
  • Total Units: 59
    Buffalo Wings & Rings
  • Startup Investment: $1,224,000 – $3,085,000
  • Cash Requirement: $300,000
  • Total Units: 57
    Captain D's
  • Startup Investment: $771,000 – $1,003,000
  • Cash Requirement: $350,000
  • Total Units: 522
    Checkers & Rally's
  • Startup Investment: $96,414 – $1,501,265
  • Cash Requirement: $250,000
  • Total Units: 855
    Dick's Wings & Grill
  • Startup Investment: $237,500 – $772,500
  • Cash Requirement: $100,000
  • Total Units: 23
    Donatos Pizza
  • Startup Investment: $449,000 – $667,000
  • Cash Requirement: $449,000 – $667,000
  • Total Units: 152
    East Coast Wings & Grill
  • Startup Investment: $658,875 – $1,133,502
  • Cash Requirement: $250,000
  • Total Units: 35
    Fazoli's Restaurants
  • Startup Investment: $883,000 – $1,399,000
  • Cash Requirement: $250,000
  • Total Units: 334
    Fuzzy's Taco Shop
  • Startup Investment: $335,000 – $1,035,000
  • Cash Requirement: $250,000
  • Total Units: 112
    Golden Corral Buffet & Grill
  • Startup Investment: $2,120,644 – $6,170,713
  • Cash Requirement: $500,000
  • Total Units: 482
    Ground Round Grill & Bar
  • Startup Investment: $450,000 – $2,200,000
  • Cash Requirement: $350,000
  • Total Units: 27
    Happy & Healthy Products, Inc.
  • Startup Investment: $45,000 – $90,000
  • Cash Requirement: $45,000 – $90,000
  • Total Units: 65
    Hungry Howie's Pizza
  • Startup Investment: $251,375 – $495,850
  • Cash Requirement: $100,000
  • Total Units: 548
    Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries
  • Startup Investment: $191,255 – $385,155
  • Cash Requirement: $125,000
  • Total Units: 137
    Jamba Juice
  • Startup Investment: $201,000 – $619,300
  • Cash Requirement: $350,000
  • Total Units: 953
    Jason’s Deli
  • Startup Investment: $905,891
  • Cash Requirement: $905,891
  • Total Units: 261
    Kona Ice
  • Startup Investment: $120,225 – $143,025
  • Cash Requirement: $20,000
  • Total Units: 941
    LaRosa’s Pizzeria
  • Startup Investment: $800,000 – $1,000,000
  • Cash Requirement: $500,000
  • Total Units: 66
    Lenny’s Sub Shop
  • Startup Investment: $188,216 – $396,146
  • Cash Requirement: $75,000
  • Total Units: 96
    Marco’s Pizza
  • Startup Investment: $221,592 – $546,592
  • Cash Requirement: $221,592 – $546,592
  • Total Units: 682
    Mooyah Burgers & Fries
  • Startup Investment: $412,750 – $620,000
  • Cash Requirement: $250,000
  • Total Units: 98
    Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Startup Investment: $392,875 – $545,475
  • Cash Requirement: $150,000
  • Total Units: 168
    Penn Station
  • Startup Investment: $293,102 – $593,027
  • Cash Requirement: $300,000
  • Total Units: 310
    Pizza Factory
  • Startup Investment: $156,000 – $643,500
  • Cash Requirement: $90,000
  • Total Units: 109
    Planet Sub
  • Startup Investment: $182,500 – $402,000
  • Cash Requirement: $100,000
  • Total Units: 58
    Scooter’s Coffee
  • Startup Investment: $334,000 – $514,000
  • Cash Requirement: $100,000
  • Total Units: 167
    Smoothie King
  • Startup Investment: $225,650 – $426,185
  • Cash Requirement: $100,000
  • Total Units: 907
    The Häagen-Dazs Company
  • Startup Investment: $154,158 – $542,408
  • Cash Requirement: $154,158 – $542,408
  • Total Units: 206
    The Honeybaked Ham Co. and Cafe
  • Startup Investment: $299,200 – $468,200
  • Cash Requirement: $100,000
  • Total Units: 405
    The Wendy’s Company
  • Startup Investment: $300,000 – $3,000,000
  • Cash Requirement: $2,000,000
  • Total Units: 6,564
    Toppers Pizza
  • Startup Investment: $291,666 – $527,152
  • Cash Requirement: $150,000
  • Total Units: 99
    Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Startup Investment: $198,050 – $478,550
  • Cash Requirement: $125,000
  • Total Units: 541
    Uno Chicago Grill
  • Startup Investment: $736,000 – $1,850,500
  • Cash Requirement: $750,000
  • Total Units: 196
    Wings Etc.
  • Startup Investment: $300,000 – $780,000
  • Cash Requirement: $300,000 – $780,000
  • Total Units: 40
  • Startup Investment: $346,775 – $733,249
  • Required net worth $1,200,000; $600,000 liquid
  • Total Units: 1,056—21 are corporate-owned stores, and the rest are franchise
  • Startup Investment: $352,000 – $664,300
  • Cash Requirement: $300,000
  • Total Units: 946
  • Startup Investment: $321,400 – $609,400
  • Cash Requirement: $321,400 – $609,400
  • Total Units: 87

To see our restaurant franchises for sale, check out the link in this paragraph or the graphic below. 

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Topics: buying a restaurant

Restaurant Brokers Report on Latest Franchise Deals Announced

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 13, 2017 10:41:57 AM

The Restaurant Brokers love to announce the new franchise restaurant deals in the pipeline.  The counts continue to grow with established and new concepts on the horizon demonstrating strong unit count increases in both openings and future deals.  Here's an overview of new deals announced recently.  

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It looks like Tom+Chee has a new competitor with Meltshop which is expanding in both the U.S. and abroad.  Their recent press release says they are seeking seeking experienced entrepreneurs to help the brand grow to 100 locations over the next five years across the U.S. and internationally. Melt Shop recently expanded into the Middle East and will open seven locations in the region, with four opening in Kuwait by March 2018. Melt Shop’s focus is simple: melted sandwiches made with high-quality ingredients. Its bread is freshly-baked daily and its high-quality cheese is sourced from meticulously selected dairies. But Melt Shop does more than create melted sandwich masterpieces — it creates a culinary experience unmatched in the fast-casual space. 

Pie Five Pizza Co , the fast-casual restaurant known for its customizable pizzas prepared and ready to enjoy in five minutes – will soon be expanding its piece of the pie beyond the USA.  They are reporting a new master development partnership with Ali Shahid Butt and his partners at AR Pizza, LLC, Pie Five will open its first international location in Pakistan in 2018, with up to 40 more locations over the next seven years. AR Pizza also owns 47 Popeye’s Chicken locations and eight Arby’s restaurants. The group is developing Pie Five locations on the East Coast of the United States as well.

A brand in the "better breakfast segment," Famous Toastery has opened six stores, with another eight expected to open their doors before 2017 comes to a close. The restaurant brokers have seen growth in this segment for some time but we suspect the field is getting crowded.  Breakfast is a high profit meal and we're seeing too many brands jumping in while established fast food chains all add the meal to the mix.  Expect to see some fall out in the future.  For now, Famous Toastery has also signed on to open five more corporately owned locations as the breakfast and brunch segments of the restaurant industry continue to grow. This year, Famous Toastery has officially crossed the 20-unit mark, and is on pace to meet its goal of signing 15 deals for a total of 75 restaurants.

Fast Casual concepts show no signs of slowing down and here are just a few examples the restaurant brokers have seen announced very recently.

Chicken Salad Chick, the nation’s only southern inspired fast casual chicken salad restaurant concept, announced today it will be expanding in North Carolina with its first location in Concord. The new restaurant will open on Tuesday, September 12 and is located at 8915 Christenbury Parkway, Suite 40. This location is owned and operated by franchisee team Mike Hernandez and Don Carson of Cardez Hospitality Group, and marks the fifth Chicken Salad Chick restaurant in North Carolina.

Zoup!, which labels itself as the nation’s leading fast-casual fresh soup concept, is preparing to open its doors in Washington, Pa., on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 181 Old Mill Blvd. in the Old Mill Shopping Center.  Washington’s first Zoup! also marks the 10th in Pennsylvania.  As an established brand throughout the United States and Canada – with more than 100 restaurants in 20 states/provinces – Zoup! is targeting Pennsylvania as part of an overall expansion strategy.

Other concepts showing growth include Buono, a 19-store chain founded by Buonavolanto patriarch Joe Buonavolanto, Sr..  The chain announced a partnership to serve Chicago’s original Italian beef and other classics during Chicago Bears games at Soldier Field.  As part of a three-year agreement with the Bears organization, Buona is the exclusive purveyor of Italian Beef, Italian Sausage, Beef & Sausage “Combos” and Meatball sandwiches during all of the Bears regular season games at Soldier Field. 

The restaurant brokers are also seeing growth from large franchise chains.  Dunkin Donuts for example, is not slowing down.  They have signed another multi-store development agreement for seven stores in Raleigh/Durham North Carolina with Coastal Franchising Inc. The company, led by CEO George Ross, Coastal Franchising already has 39 locations throughout the Carolinas, including four Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and one Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins combo unit.

Dunkin also signed with two franchisee groups in Georgia for a total of six locations. Franchisees Nishith and Navnit Patel and their QSR Group LLC will open five restaurants in the Macon area, including two multi-brand units. And in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, franchisee Smita Patel of Guzaratii LLC will have one unit in a gas station/convenience store.

Additional multi-unit deals announced include Chuch's Chicken.  Their franchisee, Volunteer Chicken LLC opened its first Church's Chicken location last month in Smyrna, Tennessee, as part of a 10-unit development deal to expand the concept in the middle Tennessee region. Larry Lavigne, president of Volunteer Chicken, has more than 25 years of restaurant industry experience, and is also a franchisee of Jet's Pizza and Tropical Smoothie Café.

Overall, strong unit count increases and reinvestment by existing franchisees into growth signal a continuing strong market.  The restaurant brokers expect this trend to continue. 


Topics: buying a restaurant

Buying a Restaurant Business?  Take Advantage of Delivery to Boost Sales

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 8, 2017 9:02:03 AM

Are you buying a restaurant business and looking for ways to improve the business?  Here's a simple way to drive sales.  Start with delivery.  A recent survey from Morgan Stanley has some eye-popping statistics on the delivery portion of business and the opportunity it presents for operators.  The restaurant brokers have been hearing this from multiple clients looking for a way to shore up sales in a soft market and it looks like it’s just getting started.

According to this recent study from Morgan Stanley, delivery will account for more than 40% of total restaurant sales by 2020.  That's an increase of seven times over current levels.  It's an incredible opportunity for growth of the current volume in a store.  That's why anyone buying a restaurant business must focus on this aspect of their operation.

Delivery to drive sales.jpg

What are they ordering?  The survey found that demand for delivery is surging most for coffee and burgers.  That's very non-traditional.  It's also good news if you're buying a restaurant business and thought no one would be in the market for Pho takeout or hot dogs.  In this case, it seems nothing is off limits when someone wants to grab an APP and dial up an order. The Morgan Stanley survey indicates that traditional leaders in delivery aren’t suffering either.  Pizza chains, the most traditional of all delivery models seem immune from any other competition. 

Is this a new customer or someone you’re diverting from seats in the business?  The Morgan Stanley survey found that around 43% of delivery patrons were opting to order in place of going to a business.  That’s up from 38% in 2016. At the same time, National Restaurant Association numbers show us that a family’s share of their food dollar spent outside the house continues to grow.  From these two data points, the restaurant brokers could infer that isn’t replacing the customer in your store and could in fact, be a new one.

How do you take advantage of the opportunity if you’re buying a restaurant business?  First, evaluate what form of delivery (if any) they have.  Most businesses (outside of pizza) don’t have a delivery person on staff any longer because of the costs associated with insurance.  Thankfully, using a third party eliminates that risk.

Secondly, forecast your anticipated sales.  We have restaurant operators telling us they are picking up a net (not gross sales) of $1000 a week with the delivery services and that's out of the gate.  That's an additional $52,000 in sales by doing nothing other than installing an app and fulfilling orders!  It's found money.

Third, investigate the services. The beast among these is Uber Eats but the choices aren't an either/or scenario.  You can have accounts with UberEats, GrubHub, Doordash, and Zifty simultaneously.  If they each contribute an extra $500 per week, the opportunity is unmatched and should definitely be considered if you're buying a restaurant business and looking for ways to increase sales. By the way, if you’re buying a restaurant business and an account with one of these vendors is already set up, here’s a quick tip.  Transfer that account rather than setting up a new one.  That shortens the time frame for you to get going and there’s no interruption in service to customers already using the App to order from your business.

What about costs?  The delivery services do take a chunk of change from the transaction.  However, if that customer is ordering from home, increasing your market share, and not costing you a seat in the dining room, you have to run the math to see if this is 'found' money or a “found” customer.  After all, this is a way to get your brand in front of customers that otherwise wouldn't come in the door.  According to the Morgan Stanley survey, almost half the respondent base (45%) had ordered delivery in the prior six months, and 85% had visited restaurants.  But the key to this is whether they have visited your business.  Seeing something interesting on a menu and ordering it to the front door might be a way to expose your brand to new customers who will then book a table for 4 on a Friday night or call in a catering order for the office. 

When you are buying a restaurant business, the first goal is to retain the existing business but a focus on growing sales may definitely have a delivery component.  Let us know what you chose and how it worked out for you in our comments section.

In the market for buying a restaurant business?  Check out our listings online at this link.



Topics: buying a restaurant

Top 10 Restaurants for Sale in August 2017 by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 5, 2017 6:28:43 PM


It is always fun to figure out which restaurants for sale are the most interesting to our buyers!  August was a banner month with tons of clicks, calls and downloads on the most trafficked restaurant for sale website online.   Restaurant Broker Cyndi Weinbaum led the list with her Decatur listing priced to move at under $50,000.  This winning location is right sized for someone entering the industry and has a fixed cost we can all love with rent at just $1540 per month. This restaurant for sale is jumping off the site and will land in someone's hands soon.  

Listing ID:5640 Restaurant Broker Cyndi Weinbaum    
Restaurant for Sale in Decatur, GA - Metro Atlanta
Lease: 2 1/2 with 5 year Option
Monthly Rent: $1540
Inside Sq. Ft. 1500
Outside Sq. Ft.

Cyndi Weinbaum
(770) 851-5194
The Colorado market is smokin' hot with restaurant for sale listings moving quickly.  Chris Gordon, one of the team's newest Certified Restaurant Brokers listed an adorable coffee shop for sale that made it into the number two most active spot on our top ten list. This won't last long with a common theme in play for reasonable rent, especially for the Colorado marketplace.
Listing ID:5668 Restaurant Broker Chris Gordon    
Turnkey Coffee Shop For Sale in Arapahoe County, Colorado
Lease: 5 yr
Monthly Rent: $2610
Inside Sq. Ft. 1400
Outside Sq. Ft.

Chris Gordon
(303) 594-4247
The third most active restuarant for sale listing this month was offered in Austin Texas, one of the fastest moving markets for our restaurant for sale listing.  A manageable size, at just $1100 square feet in a location described as "killer" by this restaurant broker and you have a winning scenario in hand.  
Listing ID:5648 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Restaurant for Sale in Killer Location SW Austin, TX - Fantastic Rent!
Lease: Expires December 31, 2017 + 2 two-year options
Monthly Rent: $1851
Inside Sq. Ft. 1100
Outside Sq. Ft.
City: Austin

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272
The number four slot on our hit parade for the month was in sunny Pompano Beach Florida which is bracing for Hurricane Irma as we write these words.   This restaurant space for lease is a winner at just under 200 square feet.  The landlord is looking for a new restaurant tenant so take a deal to Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband today. 
Listing ID:5649 Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband    
Restaurant Space for Lease in Broward County
Lease: Negotiable with Landlord
Monthly Rent: $4240
Inside Sq. Ft. 1950
Outside Sq. Ft.
City:Pompano Beach

Ken Eisenband
(561) 350-3365
 Austin made it back into the list with a second slot in the top five restaurants for sale. This gourmet Sandwich franchise for sale at under $50,000 made a lot of noise on the top 10 list with buyers checking it out.  This daytime only opportunity is ideal for someone seeking limited hours.
Listing ID:4935 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Gourmet Sandwich Franchise for Sale in Thriving Downtown Austin Texas!
Lease: Expires March 31, 2018 + 5 yr option
Monthly Rent: $2000
Inside Sq. Ft. 1583
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272
 Austin continues to get some of the hottest activity on the Top Ten report.  A historic location that has been beautifully renovated converted some of the highest buyer counts to electronically acknowledge confidentiality on the listing and learn more.
Listing ID:5270 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Restaurant for Sale - Historic and Beautiful Renovated Location Near Austin
Lease: 5 years
Monthly Rent: $5500
Inside Sq. Ft. 6000
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272
Colorado has one of the busiest real estate markets around and our Restaurant Brokers are fielding plenty of calls and inquiries as well.  Restaurant Broker Bob Steinberger offered a tremendous deal in Greenwood Village that got the phone ringing and the website clicking.
Listing ID:5616 Restaurant Broker Bob Steinberger    
Profitable Office Building Cafe for Sale in Denver, Colorado DTC Area!!
Lease: TBN
Monthly Rent: $0
Inside Sq. Ft. Aprox 1000
Outside Sq. Ft. Aprox 2000
City:Greenwood Village

Bob Steinberger
(303) 901-4938
 Austin made it back onto the top 10 list yet again with a Mexican Restaurant offered by Austin Franchise Partner Dave Duce.  The 2000 square foot location brought a look of looks to the table and will see a buyer before long.
Listing ID:5647 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Mexican Restaurant For Sale In Austin, Texas
Lease: Expires 2020
Monthly Rent: $8000
Inside Sq. Ft. 2000
Outside Sq. Ft. 120

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272
Georgia restaurants for sale always lead the list of favorites offered by the Restaurant Brokers and this Italian gem earning over $200,000 on the books was no exeption.  Great books and unmatched earnings had restaurant buyers burning up the website with clicks and confidentiality agreements. 
Listing ID:5655 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Italian and Pizza Restaurant for Sale Earns $200,000 for Owner
Lease: 2 years remaining + 5 Year Option to renew
Monthly Rent: $4700
Inside Sq. Ft. 3300
Outside Sq. Ft. 140

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552
 A Gastro Pub location in Miami garnered a lot of looks.  This standout location has sex appeal and a top spot in one of Florida's most exciting cities.
Listing ID:5547 Restaurant Broker Everett Rashotsky    
Gastro Pub for Sale In Miami Dade - Rare Chance for Outstanding Location
Monthly Rent: $6800
Inside Sq. Ft. 1694
Outside Sq. Ft. 400

Everett Rashotsky
(786) 302-8125

The top ten restaurants for sale this month featured listings across the United States with Austin Texas showing strong results.  For more information on these or any other restaurants for sale, call our office at 1-888-814-8226 and speak to a restaurant broker today.


Topics: buying a restaurant

Congrats to MJ Sawaged for Buying a Restaurant Business in Colorado

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 31, 2017 11:37:45 AM

A succeBuying a restaurant.jpgssful end to MJ Sawaged's search for buying a restaurant business has culminated in the sale of Massino’s Pizza and Pasta in Colorado.   The legacy business has been operating in the Denver suburb of Aurora for over 12 years under the same owner. Massino’s is an Arapahoe County favorite, serving up New York style pizza, calzones, and homemade soups, as well as Italian staples such as lasagna, manicotti, and baked ziti.

Certified Restaurant Broker John Kesterson represented 15 Restaurant Operators, LLC and its managing member MJ Sawaged in his search for buying a restaurant business.  The listing was a popular one in a city that is booming with economic growth.  Aurora is the 54th largest and most populous city in the United States, with a population of nearly 330,000 people as of the 2010 Census. That’s a lot of hungry customers for the new owners to serve piping hot pizza and authentic Italian dishes to!

As part of his process for buying a restaurant business, Sawaged undertook due diligence, a site visit and a study of online reviews.  The findings were positive leading to a quick transaction.  The Italian restaurant is located in a popular strip center on Buckley Road and has an abundance of five-star reviews online.

The seller, Joseph Hadjih, is the original owner of the location, and after 12 years of owning and operating Massino’s Pizza and Pasta, he was ready to retire.  Mr. Hadjih reached out for the services of the We Sell Restaurants team in Colorado and John Kesterson to deliver those in the market for buying a restaurant business. The popular listing received hundreds of page views online.

Mr. Hadjih prepared Italian dishes over the years that have satisfied hundreds of customers. Here are some notable reviews left online regarding the establishment and the incomparable dishes it serves up:

  • “This place has the best food and the friendliest staff.”
  • “Amazing pizza, prices and amazing customer service! I would definitely recommend to others!”
  • “By far the BEST pizza I've had in Denver since moving here.”
  • “The pizza was awesome! Very friendly and helpful. I can't wait to go back and try more from the menu!”

The new owners are ready to start cranking out pasta and pies from this location equipped with indoor and outdoor seating now that their search for buying a restaurant has ended with this successful acquisition. 

John Kesterson, the Certified Restaurant Broker representing Sawaged in buying a restaurant business said this of the transaction, “When a successful restaurant owner is retiring, it is always gratifying to find someone to take over that legacy location and continue to operate.  It’s a win for both parties.”

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants had this to say of the sale, “Helping those who are buying a restaurant to support their families allows us to participate daily in the American dream.  We are excited for Mr. Sawaged and wish him the greatest success in the future.”

Those in the market for buying a restaurant can check out the many options online at our powerhouse website,

Topics: buying a restaurant

10 Best Restaurant Twitter Feeds Followed by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 29, 2017 10:07:54 AM

Blog Picture 8.29.jpgWondering where and who to follow on social media when it comes to news about the industry? The restaurant brokers have a few favorites you should know about.  Social media is a great place for find the latest, most up to date information about trends, financial forecasts, traffic patterns and even restaurants for sale and for lease.  However, you need to be following the right individuals if you want to get the best information.

Here are the best ten twitter feeds we keep at the ready for industry information based on the restaurant brokers experience. 

#1 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- Jonathan Maze of Nations Restaurant News.  

Jonathan is the Senior FInancial Editor of Nations Restaurant News. Formerly of Franchise Times, he has an amazing resume insight into the industry.  His point of view is summed up by his Twitter photo which is a picture of a t-shirt reading, "I Heart (LOVE) EBITDA." 

Jonathan can be found online at @jonathanmaze on Twitter.  You can also find him on linked in at  His stories on the industry always contain the latest and greatest information and as restaurant brokers, we rely on his smart and on target approach to the business. 

#2 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter  -- Jim Sullivan - Sullivision 

You may have seen this industry guru on CNN, NBC, ABC, the Food Channel or heard him ... discussing people, performance and profitability in Nation's Restaurant News, but you're missing a daily ingestion of great information to your smart phone if you aren't also following him on Twitter or Linked In.  

He can be found on twitter @Sullivision and on linked in on  Check him out and add him to your feed.  Tell him the restaurant brokers suggested him!

#3 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter  -- Franchise Times 

If you want information on the franchise restaurant industry, you need to keep an eye on the newsfeed from Franchise Times.  This magazine is at the top of the chain when it comes to tracking what's happening, what's hot and what's being sold in the industry.  Their twitter handle is @FranTimes and it's definitely worth a follow. 

#4 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- Technomic

Technomic is a research company defined by their Twitter description as "a 360° view of the food industry. We impact growth with consumer-grounded, channel-relevant data and forward-looking strategic insights."  Want to learn everything from the useless to the most amazing statistics? This twitter feed leads the way.  This morning's insight?  62% percent of consumers say it’s important that they can choose the side that comes with their entrée.  .  The Restaurant Brokers love this feed! 

#5 Restaurants Brokers Resource on Twitter - National Restaurant Associatio

Not to be confisued with NRA, @WRRestaurants on Twitter is the feed for all things restaurant.  Their data insights and latest news is a good feed to be tied into when looking for the latest insights. 

#6 Restaurants Brokers Resource on Twitter -- QSR Magazine

The QSR segment of the business has been roaring for the past five years and is currently experiencing a bump or two with crowded competition, fight over market share and declining sales.  If you want a pulse on what's happening in the QSR part of the restuarant industry, take the restaurant brokers advice and follow @QSRmagazine on Twitter.  

#7 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter - Robert Irvine

If you want to add to your feed with the sometimes funny, sometimes showy and often inspriing charitable feed of a Food Network star, Robert Irvine brings real heart to the industry.  His feed is full of outreach to the troops and help for those in need.  He's very generous on Twitter and often interacts and re-tweets so this star is on the Restaurant Brokers Twitter feed list for sure. Find him on Twitter as @RobertIrvine and you've got yourself a great guy to follow. 

#8 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- International Franchise Association - IFA

The restaurant world is definitely connected with the franchise world so you should add the latest tweets from this group into your list if you want to stay up to date on who's franchising their restaurant concept.  The restaurant brokers have @Franchising411 (great handle right?) in their feed to stay connected each day. 

#9 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- Food Network 

It just wouldn't be Twitter if we didn't throw in a glam channel like Food Network who manages to make every form of food look delicious in just a single glance of your feed.  The restaurant brokers love the food industry and Food Network keeps our feed chock full of fun, flavor and photos of our favorite subject. 

#10 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- We Sell Restaurants @SellRestaurants 

Of course our Twitter feed makes the top 10.  We compile information from all over the industry and comment, retweet and share it all. Our Twitter feed includes our latest restaurant for sale and restaurant for lease listings along with our sold listings!  You get the latest information in real time when you follow the restaurant brokers online. 

Got some favorites of your own that didn't make our top 10 list?  Comment below and let us know what we need to add to the Restaurant Brokers feed.


Want to see our latest restaurant for sale listings?  Click the link below. 

Visit Our Listings Online!



Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Here’s How You Can Buy a Bar For Sale and Obtain a Liquor License in Georgia

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 25, 2017 3:50:47 PM

Want to buy a bar but trying to figure out the liquor license requirements?  if you are taking over an existing business, take a few minutes to read on and gather some sound advice from the Restaurant Brokers at We Sell Restaurants.  

First things first - you want to keep it legal!  For a business to operate legally when you buy a bar, the liquor license needs to be in place. You will need to apply for a license with the local municipality and then get the state license.  The restaurant brokers are here to advise you during the process. Applying for a liquor license when you buy a bar requires thorough attention to detail – there are lots of things that need to be filled out, and omitting any information could result in your application being denied. A great tip from the restaurant brokers is to take a copy of the application used to apply for the last approved liquor license. Complete all of the information that is on the prior application and you know you’re good to go, as the last license was approved.


If you are interested in getting additional assistance before you buy a bar, you may wish to consider contacting a liquor license broker or legal counselor. Be prepared to shell out some money for their services, because they aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere between $3,500 to over $10,000.

A common misconception is that the state of Georgia issues each liquor license.  You may be surprised to learn that it is the municipality where your business is located that has issues a license.  As long as it's valid, the Georgia license is assured.  

That means the costs are not consistent.  Keep this in mind when you are considering where to buy a bar – the application process and cost will be far different for a bar located in the City of Atlanta versus one in Canton. Those in the city can expect to shell out about $8,000 for a license, whereas you can expect to pay half of that to obtain a liquor license in smaller counties or cities.  After your municipality approves your application, then it moves along to the state level where you will await their seal of approval, and pay about $300.  .

Now let’s get into some of the things that will be required for ALL applicants, regardless of where you buy a bar in the state.  You must be 21 or older.  If you can't drink, you can't legally license the facility when you buy a bar.  You will need to show proof that you are a citizen of the United States, or a legal resident with a green card.  Taking it another step further, you will need to reside in the city or county in which buy the bar and apply for the liquor license. Out-of-staters who are interested in relocating to Georgia to buy a bar will need to provide a current lease, tax record, or a copy of a bill such as electric or gas to show as proof that you are living in the city or county the business is located in. If you don’t meet these criteria, there are a few loopholes. Some of them include placing the license in the name of your spouse, business colleague, or the bar manager until it’s time to reapply. At this time you can apply for a change of owner and place it into your own name.

The next order of business is to visit the police or sheriff’s office to have your fingerprints recorded and processed for the purpose of researching your background. You can count on being denied a liquor license if your background check reveals that you have previously had a liquor license revoked or suspended, any of your immediate family is an owner or an employee of an alcohol wholesaler or distributor, you’re delinquent on your property taxes or other licenses, or you’ve been convicted of a felony in the last 10 years or a misdemeanor within the last five.  These are items that will keep you having the authority to get licensed when you buy a bar. 

The Georgia Department of Revenue website ( features the applications required statewide. These forms may include the following:

  • Certificate of Residence for Retail Liquor License or the ATT-14 form
  • Fillable Georgia Alcohol & Tobacco Personnel Statement or the ATT-17 form
  • Retailers and a Consumption on Premises Liquor License or the ATT-59

After you receive the application, your next step will be to place it on file at city hall. Each city will have a different system, so your best bet is to make a trip downtown, speak to someone in person and get your hands on an application package from the get-go. The application package will have all of the documents you need for the city in which you are applying and where you will buy a bar.  It will also contain the state forms that you are required to complete.

After the application, you may need to appear before a neighborhood meeting.  In Atlanta, the groups are legislatively formed and are referred to as an NPU or Neighborhood Planning Unit.  For other areas, it may not be required or it may be a different organization. At these meetings, a vote is conducted on granting the license when you buy a bar.  

These meetings are another step in the seal of approval process and should not be taken lightly.  The restaurant brokers recommend you always attend rather than sending an attorney or other representative.  Not only will you look more professional by being there in person, but you will also get to meet members of the community who may in return become patrons of your establishment once you buy a bar.  While you’re at the neighborhood association meeting, get the information you need to join the association. The fee is very small.

Once you receive the seal of approval from the neightbors, your application will be passed along to the city and the state, and soon you will be the proud recipient of your liquor license that you’ve worked hard to obtain, and shelled out a pretty penny for! The process isn’t easy and it definitely is not quick, but just follow this advice from the restaurant brokers and you’ll be on your way to mixing some tasty cocktails once you buy a bar!

Ready to buy a Georgia Bar For Sale. Try these locations:

Listing ID:5533 Restaurant Broker Cyndi Weinbaum    
Established Italian Restaurant for Sale in Cumming Georgia
Lease: Til 3/31/20
Monthly Rent: $6735 including CAMS
Inside Sq. Ft. Approx. 3600
Outside Sq. Ft. Seats 36

Cyndi Weinbaum
(770) 851-5194

Listing ID:5445 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Sports Bar for Sale - Highly Profitable Location has been Open 15 Years!
Lease: 4 years + 5 year option remain
Monthly Rent: $7000
Inside Sq. Ft. 7000
Outside Sq. Ft. 1600

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552

Listing ID:5323 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Sports Bar For Sale in the Kennesaw, Ackworth, Dallas area of Georgia
Lease: Negotiable - 9 months remain on current lease
Monthly Rent: $6580
Inside Sq. Ft. 4470
Outside Sq. Ft. 500

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552

Listing ID:5153 Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon    
Bar and Grill for Sale in Atlanta - Own Your Own Version of Cheers!
Lease: Valid through September 30, 2020
Monthly Rent: $9225
Inside Sq. Ft. 6000
Outside Sq. Ft.

Robin Gagnon
(404) 800-6700

Listing ID:4944 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Profitable Bar for Sale Events Venue! Great Location in Downtown Atlanta - SIX FIGURE EARNINGS
Lease: New 5 year lease with 5 year option
Monthly Rent: $$6162
Inside Sq. Ft. 5300
Outside Sq. Ft. several Hundred

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552


Topics: buying a restaurant

Buying a Restaurant?  Key Elements of Your Business Plan

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 10, 2017 8:33:58 AM

If you are buying a restaurant with SBA lending, it’s a good idea to get your business plan in the works.  The restaurant brokers recommend you build this critical document now and then ask a few trusted advisors to read and provide input.  Does it need to be 100 pages?  No.  In fact, 10 – 12 pages is more than sufficient to capture the items a lender will want to focus on.  The quality of the work is important however.  This document has multiple uses beyond the SBA lender that may require it.  More and more frequently, landlords will want to see that you have a well thought out direction for the business, particularly if you are buying an existing concept. How will you take it to the next level?  What will you keep the same (if it’s working) or change (if it’s struggling).calculator-178127_1920 (1).jpg

Here is a basic outline of the elements most lenders like to see.  Use this to template out your business plan when buying a restaurant and you’ll be ready to impress, whether it’s the bank, the landlord or investors.

Table of Contents

Begin with a table of contents so the reader can quickly reference where they can go to for important information.  There are multiple word templates available that are already set up in a style to capture a table of contents at the beginning.

Executive Summary

Buying a restaurant means you have given this some thought about the who, what, why and when.  Capture those points in your Executive Summary.  This only needs to be a paragraph or two.

Business Description & Vision

Describe the restaurant you are buying and your vision for the future in the next section.  What is it doing now and what will your leadership bring to the future for tomorrow once you buy this restaurant?

Definition of the Market

What is your target market?  Who visits this restaurant and how do you develop a deeper market share?  Look at the current operation when buying a restaurant and figure out how you will grow the business

Description of Products and Services

Tell the reader of your business plan what you are selling.  Describe the menu and services you offer including any catering or outside services in a way that is both enticing and demonstrates your knowledge of this location. If this is a franchise resale restaurant you are buying, it’s easy to pull this from the brand’s website and rewrite it into your own words.

Organization & Management

Lenders and landlords in particular, want to know who they are dealing with.  Who’s buying the restaurant?  Make sure the organization and management section highlights your relevant background and experience.  Be clear in stating your strengths that will transfer to this role, especially if this is your first restaurant.

 Marketing and Sales Strategy

Your marketing and sales strategy is key to landlords and lenders. They see fixed costs, like rent, increasing each year.  What is your sales and marketing strategy to grow sales and offset these increases?  Make sure you spend the most time on this section when buying a restaurant.


Lenders and landlords want to see financial projections.  As we discussed in our book, Appetite for Acquisition however, these projections need to make sense.  There’s no way you’re buying a restaurant that’s generating revenue of $500,000 this year and it will go to $750,000 next year.  It’s better to be conservative on the estimates rather than overstate them.


Additional items that may find their way into the appendices of your business plan may include:  your full menu, photographs, resumes.  This is the space where you add material that support the document you’ve prepared.  Don’t “stuff” this area with a lot of items just to add weight to the plan.

Follow this template to write your business plan when buying a restaurant and your success rate with landlords and lenders will improve.

Contact the restaurant brokers for help with buying a restaurant or see our many restaurant for sale listings below at this link.


Visit Our Listings Online!

Topics: buying a restaurant

Top 10 Restaurants for Sale in June 2017 by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 10, 2017 4:10:58 PM

Summer is heating up across the country.  At We Sell Restaurants we have seen some red hot listings that are sizzling with our buyerswho are clicking and calling to learn more.  These HOT restaurant for sale opportunities make the Restaurant Broker's Top 10 most active listings for the month.  

Number one on the list is a low price restaurant for sale opportunity in Roswell, Georgia.  Fully equipped, this one has low rent and can stay the same or convert to virtually any concept.  Full chef's kitchen and long term lease opportunity at rock bottom pricing.  This is a great opportunity for any restaurant entrepreneur

Listing ID:5486 Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox    
Restaurant for Sale in Roswell with low rent. Can Convert to Any Concept
Lease: Expires October 31, 2018 + 3 year option
Monthly Rent: $2800
Inside Sq. Ft. 1800
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dominique Maddox
(404) 993-4448

Austin Texas has the greatest velocity of virtually any restaurant for sale listings with high levels of interest and some of the shortest days on market efore selling.  This low price bar for sale opportunity priced at under $35,000 got buyers calling, clicking and inquirying.  This Unique concept in Austin, Texas has seen lots of action in the short time it has been on the market. Austin is the perfect place to own a quint market and cafe combo.

Listing ID:5469 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Bar for Sale in Austin Serving Beer & Wine - Expand to Craft Beer & More
Lease: expires Nov 2020 + 5 yr option
Monthly Rent: $1850
Inside Sq. Ft. 737
Outside Sq. Ft. 60

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

The Austin market is on fire in the hot summer days as they headline the Top 10 list.  They had three out of the top four slots in Restuarant Brokers Top 10 list this month. On the market for less than 30 days, this one has high cash flow for an owner operator and low rent.  That make sthis sub shopw for sale in Austin Texas a winning opportunity and it's priced to move.  

Listing ID:5538 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Sub Shop for Sale - Renowned Local Austin Location
Lease: negotiable
Monthly Rent: $2458
Inside Sq. Ft. 1000
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

Continuing with the red hot Austin Texas market, this Bistro restaurant for sale with six figure earnings was also red hot for the month.  The price was recently reduced and the restaurant brokers are expecting offers any day!  

Listing ID:4988 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Established Bistro restaurant for sale in Austin - $115,000 cash flow in 2015!
Lease: expires July 2018 + 5 yr option
Monthly Rent: $4885
Inside Sq. Ft. 1824
Outside Sq. Ft. 800

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

Florida sure is HOT in the month of June, but that is not stopping buyers from want to know more about this bar for sale in Fort Lauderdale.  Currently operated as a tap room that features live music and a small menu, but can be easily converted to any concept. Priced to move, the plentiful of buyers are looking to move it off the market.

Listing ID:5530 Restaurant Broker Robert Morrison    
Bar for Sale in Fort Lauderdale Priced to Move! Features Live Music
Lease: One Year Remaining + Two 5 yr options
Monthly Rent: $2703
Inside Sq. Ft. 2000
Outside Sq. Ft.
City:Fort Lauderdale

Robert Morrison
(917) 499-5137

A second sub shop for slae in Austin also brought lots of buyers to the table.  This location has been open in the Austin Texas market for over 23 years.  An owner that operates this location every day will take home around $65,000 and it's priced to move quickly.  With limited hours, this sub shop for sale location, like many other Austin locations are moving quickly.

Listing ID:5540 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Sub Shop for Sale in Austin Established over Two Decades
Lease: negotiable
Monthly Rent: $1925
Inside Sq. Ft. 1100
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

Location, Location, Location! That is what everyone is looking at in this restaurant for sale. Located in Smyrna, Georgia near the New Braves Stadium this location comes with plenty of parking for patrons. Keep the current concept or make it yours!  Buyers are clicking and calling the restaurant broker to find out more about what the can do to scoop up this location.

Listing ID:5472 Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon    
Home Run Restaurant for Sale Nearby New Braves Stadium
Lease: 36 Month till Nov 2018
Monthly Rent: $5687.18
Inside Sq. Ft. 2924
Outside Sq. Ft.

Eric Gagnon
(404) 800-6704

Franchise opportunities for sale in the Atlanta Metro market always drive traffic  to our website and this location offered by Restaurant Broker Cyndi Weinbaum is no excepction.  Open and opertating, this business opportunity is turnkey.  Don't buy a franchise brand and start from scratch when you can buy a unit already up and going.   This franchise for sale is qualified for an E2 visa and ready for a new owner.  

Listing ID:5535 Restaurant Broker Cyndi Weinbaum    
Restaurant Franchise Opportunity in Metro Atlanta -- Established -Profitable
Lease: 3 Years, with option to renew
Monthly Rent: $$3015 including CAMS
Inside Sq. Ft. 1500
Outside Sq. Ft.

Cyndi Weinbaum
(770) 851-5194

Buyers took advatange of their slice of the pie by already putting this Austin, Texas listings into contract! On the market for less than 60 days and soon it will be heading to the closing table. The common theme this month is that Austin restaurant for sale opportunities are burining it up in the hot summer heat!  

Listing ID:5236 Restaurant Broker Dave Duce    
Turn-Key Pizza Business for Sale in Austin Texas Market - Great Rent!
Lease: expires March 2018 + 5 yr option
Monthly Rent: $3000
Inside Sq. Ft. 1440
Outside Sq. Ft.

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

Bar are a way for some to cool down on those HOT summer days. Add some profit and a great location and buyers are pouring in to find out more about this Sport Bar in Georgia earning over $200,000. Get into this profiatble location before the fall bar season really picks up.

Listing ID:5445 Restaurant Broker Steve Weinbaum    
Sports Bar for Sale - Highly Profitable Location has been Open 15 Years!
Lease: 4 years + 5 year option remain
Monthly Rent: $70000
Inside Sq. Ft. 7000
Outside Sq. Ft. 1600

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552

The summer will keep heating up and buyers are flocking in to see these Top 10 restaurant for sale opportunities.  The Hottest markets are Texas and Georgia.  While the temperatures are still going up, the market is too. 

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Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant