Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling 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, wesellrestaurants.com

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 linkedin.com/in/jonathanmaze.  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 linkedin.com/in/sullivision.  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.

bar-209148_960_720.jpg

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 (www.dor.ga.gov) 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
Price:$199,000
City:Cumming

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
Price:$499,000


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
Price:$199,000


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.
Price:$249,500
City:Lawrenceville

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
Price:$249,000
City:Atlanta

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.

Financial

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.

Appendices

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.
Price:$59,995
City:Roswell

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
Price:$35,000
City:Austin

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.
Price:$125,000
City:Austin

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
Price:$199,999
City:Austin

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.
Price:$75,900
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.
Price:$95,000
City:Austin

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.
Price:$125,000
City:Smyrna

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.
Price:$159,900


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.
Price:$43,000
City:Hutto

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
Price:$499,000


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

Time & Money - The Two Ways Attorneys Kill Deals to Buy Restaurants

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 6, 2017 10:00:00 AM

kill deals.jpgA recent transaction for buying a restaurant reminded me of the two ways that we see deals most frequently fall apart.  Here's a hint -- it's just like all the TV shows where  the criminals stop talking once they "lawyer up".  The restaurant brokers see deals to buy a restaurant hit the same impasse when attorneys enter into the equation.

Time

The first killer technique of attorneys is time.  The time between offer and acceptance is the most critical part of the negotiation.  Attorneys that draw out deals while they draft the perfect contract blow them up

In one recent transaction, a standard purchase contract provided by We Sell Restaurants (which has been subject to lots of scrutiny in the hundreds of deals where it's been used) went into review with a buyer and seller who both had an attorney.  Two months later, the only progress on the deal was that the two attorneys billed their clients over $8000 and nothing was inked.

Here's how the transaction began. 

A very experienced restaurant operator started talking with the restaurant brokers about buying a franchise restaurant in Chicago. Paperwork was signed and he provided us with bank statements showing he had sufficient liquid assets to both qualify for the franchise approval and meet the equity requirement for SBA lending.

For the next six days the restaurant brokers set up meetings between the clients, forwarded financial materials and negotiated the deal terms.  After the first meeting, buyer and seller were happy.  Both parties were in agreement on the price, the closing date and most deal terms.  This restaurant broker prepared the purchase contract and that's when things went sideways. 

The seller decided his attorney needed to review the contract.  This is a very common request and should have been relatively painless, except it wasn't.  The seller's attorney demanded proof of funds and a resume on the buyer.  We sent the materials to the attorney with a caveat that the buyer's bank account information was for his eyes only and not to be forwarded.

At this point, the wheels came off as the attorney began having an email meltdown stating he was not willing to "hide things" from his client. We courteously advised him he wasn't asked to "hide" anything but simply to treat the information securely and not forward via a free email service or otherwise expose the client's private financial data to disclosure.  

Money

The second way that lawyers kill deals is with money and the charges they hit clients for while deals spin sideways. 

Returning to my earlier story, I should have realized this deal was going to remain off the rails based on the initial reaction of the attorney but I'm an optimist -- what can I say?  I worked to move this forward. The attorney for the seller then began to advise his client on a number of matters directly related to the transaction (such as calling the franchise and calling the landlord). Are these typicaly attorney functions?  Absolutely not. What's the cost of that effort?  Roughly $250 - $400 an hour to blow up a deal.  The restaurant brokers would normally do this as part of their process. 

Ultimately, as expected, this deal blew up.  The unfortunate part of the story is that both the buyer and seller were motivated to make this happen but their attorneys, in their efforts to protect them (or if I'm being cynical - charge them) led to total deal killing destruction.  The fee for both parties topped out at over $8000 with no deal ever inked.   The only money made in the transaction was by the law firms. 

Are the restaurant brokers telling you not to use an attorney?  Absolutely not.  Hire an attorney but here are some tips to be sure they don't waste both your time and your money. 

Tips for Using an Attorney

  1. Agree on deal terms before engaging with an attorney.  They aren't negotiators.  They capture deals, they don't make deals. 
  2. Use a business attorney who commmonly closes business transactions.  There are different skills  used by Uncle Louie the lawyer who wrote your will and a business attorney who closes deals for a living.
  3. Don't "over-lawyer."  For most deals under seven figures you do not need the largest (most expensive) law firm in town.  This is basic business law.  They should specialize in transactions however.  You don't want them learning on your dime.  
  4. Where possible, start with a purchase contract from your broker so the lawyer is not building from scratch. 
  5. Don't expand the attorney's reach.  They should not be (in most cases), working with your franchise, your landlord and other third parties.  Your restaurant broker should be.  The only exception to this is a landlord that is dragging his feet on an assignment. 

We are not saying it's not a good idea to use an attorney.  We just recommend you manage them so they don't waste both your time and your money. 

 

Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Ready for your Own Independence?  5 Reasons the Timing is Right to Buy a Business

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 3, 2017 11:10:16 AM

As the nation celebrates Independence Day in America, it could not be a better time to reflect on individual independence and what that means to each of us.  The restaurant brokers come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Breaking with that tradition, we did many years in the corporate world but found that owning a business was always the siren call, not the corner office.  Like many Americans, we wanted the chance to call the shots with our unique brand of independence and know that fail or succeed, the buck stopped here.  That's why we both left large companies to found We Sell Restaurants.  Seventeen years later, we’re thrilled with the decision.

It's uniquely American to celebrate our independence and also to seek control over our own circumstances with something we call our own.  In looking at the history of our country, the Homestead Act of 1862 can be seen as the earliest catalyst to lighting the flames of financial independence and entrepreneurship.  Under the act, any citizen could appy for 160 acres after filing a $10 fee for the land.  Then they had to start living there within 6 months and within five years the land was his for just $1.25 per acre. Then President-elect Abraham Lincoln said the act was necessary, "so that every man should have the means and opportunity of benefiting his condition.”  The idea worked and countless individuals began homesteading across the country, working the land and building their own small businesses capable of feeding, clothing and sheltering their families. 

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Here are five reasons we think the timing hasn't been as positive since way back when the Homestead Act brought everyone into land ownership to take matters into your own hands and buy a business.  It seems that 2017 may be the best chance since the Homestead Act of 1862 to follow your instincts and seek your own financial independence.  

Reason 1:  Stock Market Performance

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture of the rise in the stock market for the last year should spell out reason number one.  The gains in the market have almost everyone looking at a pretty healthy 401K. Since many business starts are financed through tax free rollover of a 401K plan, taking part of those gains and reinvesting them in your own business may be a smart strategy.   

Who knows how long this trend will last but for now, a stock market that's posting wins and a trend line like this one are reason number to signal the right timing for buying a restaurant opportunity.

Reason 2:  Economic Optimisim Soaring

Americans believe we’re on the right path.  The latest CNBC All American Survey posted the highest rating for America's optimism in survey’s 10-year history.  They found that 30 percent of the public are both optimistic about the economy now and for the future, the second quarter in a row that present-future optimism scored so high. 

  • 44% say wages will rise
  • Homeowner optimism is off the charts – 54% say value of home will rise versus 38% in September
  • Investor optimism – 44% say now is a good time to invest

In the survey prior to the election, 30 percent gave the economy a poor rating–a result largely consistent with those throughout the Obama administration. In the latest results, just 16 percent give the economy a poor rating.

Reason 3:  US Business Confidence Highest in 8 Years

US consumer confidence spiked to a 16-year high in March, according to the Conference Board's monthly survey. 

The headline index jumped to 125.6, the highest since December 2000. Economists had forecast that the index dipped in March to 114.0 from a 15-year high of 114.8, according to Bloomberg. 

Consumers were more positive about the labor market and economic conditions. The share of people who expected jobs to be plentiful also jumped to a 16-year high.

Reason 4:  Lending 

The lenders working with the restaurant brokers are willing, ready and able to fund deals today!  That's a big change over just a few short years ago when any restaurant submitted for lending was a reason for most banks to run and hide.  There is plenty of money out there to fund investments in a business of your own. We are being approached daily to add new lenders to our robust list of resources for funding a restaurant purchase.

Reason 5:  

Morning Consult and the International Franchise Association released a survey a few short days ago.  In that survey 67% of franchise owners and potential buyers are likely or more likely to invest compared to six months ago. By a two to one margin, franchise owners and potential buyers say the economy is improving.  52% of current franchise owners say the economy is improving.  That means there will be more people seeking the business opportunities on the market so don't drag your feet too long.

It's true that the deal of 1862 for 160 acres at $1.25 an acre can't be found today but these five reasons and many great business opportuntiies for sale indicate the timing is right to let freedom ring!  Happy Independence Day!

Visit Our Listings Online!

 

Topics: buying a restaurant

Firehouse Subs Franchises for Sale are Hot Opportunities!  Why Should You Buy One?

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 29, 2017 1:45:38 PM

Have you heard about the HOT Franchise Restaurant Brand -- Firehouse Subs? As a leader in the fast casual sandwich industry, the demand for their uniquely-prepared Specialty Subs is blazing a trail across the country, opening up fast casual food opportunities in new and existing markets.  They currently have over a thousand happy operators in over 44 states.  Every once in a while, someone chooses to retire, a partnership changes or for other reasons, someone decides to sell.  That's when they call the Restaurant Brokers at We Sell Restaurants.

We are excited to represent these franchise opportunties for sale.  In 2017 alone, Firehouse Subs has earned 6 different awards for being a top chain.95461-FH_Subs.jpg

Founded in 1994 in Jacksonville, Florida by former firefighting brothers Robin and Chris Sorensen. Firehouse Subs is famous for serving medium and large specialty subs with premium meats and cheeses steamed hot with generous portions on a toasted sub roll, served “Fully Involved®” with fresh produce and condiments. The concept takes inspiration from the Sorensen family’s decades of combined fire and police service.

In 2005, Chris and Robin Sorensen created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Since its inception, Firehouse Subs and its customers have donated more than $24 million in 46 states, Puerto Rico and in Canada through Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada.

Firehouse Subs first attempted franchising in 1995. Soon after, the founders decided to pull back on the idea, eventually buying back those franchised locations in the coming years. Instead, they chose to focus on operating company-owned stores only, especially in the Jacksonville market putting franchising on the back burner. In 1998, Firehouse Subs surpassed 10 restaurants, and later that year opened the first location outside of Florida. By 2000 franchising became a topic of conversation once more. This time, the founders decided to take a different approach, using consultants to plan franchise growth. Due to the founders’ frugality and business operations, they were able to set up financing for potential franchisees. The second wave of franchising began in 2001. By 2002, Firehouse Subs was opening its 50th restaurant. A year later in 2003, Firehouse Subs hit another milestone, opening the 100th restaurant. As the 2000s continued, so did Firehouse Subs’ growth. By 2012 the company had opened its 500th restaurant, closing out the year with nearly 600 and in July 2016, Firehouse Subs opened its 1,000th restaurant.

If you are looking for a franchise restaurant brand that believes in both their operators and their communities, check out the listings below from the Restaurant Brokers at We Sell Restaurants.   

 
 
Listing ID:5433 Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon    
Firehouse Sub Franchise for Sale - 6 Figure Earnings
Lease: 10 years From Jan 2015
Monthly Rent: $4210
Inside Sq. Ft. 2200
Outside Sq. Ft.
Price:$349,500


Robin Gagnon
(404) 800-6701

Listing ID:5509 Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox    
Firehouse Subs Franchise for Sale in Louisville - High Volume Store!
Lease: Expires March 2019 + 2-5 year options
Monthly Rent: $5200
Inside Sq. Ft. 2000
Outside Sq. Ft.
Price:$175,000
City:Louisville

Dominique Maddox
(404) 993-4448

Listing ID:5434 Restaurant Broker Robin Gagnon    
Firehouse Subs Franchise for Sale is a Hot Opportunity for Owner Operator
Lease: New Lease Term to be Negotiated
Monthly Rent: $8953.02
Inside Sq. Ft. 2400
Outside Sq. Ft.
Price:$150,000


Robin Gagnon
(404) 800-6701

 Looking for a franchise restaurant  brand that makes a difference?  Don't look any further than these franchise opportunities for sale.  In a fast casual industry with plenty of competitors, this one outperforms others by turning visitors into into loyal customers. They know their customers want both quality food and fast service.  They adapt and change based on consumer demand.   This brand has been recognized through the industry with the following awards:  :

·        #1 America’s Favorite Chain for “Top 5 Brands Overall” – Restaurant Business

·        #1 America’s Most Loved Fast Food Restaurant – Business Insider

·        #1 America’s Favorite Sandwich Chain – Market Force

 

 

 

 

Topics: buying a restaurant

A Day in the Life of a Restaurant Broker...What are they doing anyway?

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 15, 2017 9:35:04 AM

50032-Dominique_2011_cropped_for_website_1.jpgHave you ever wondered what your restaurant broker is actually doing every day? Here's a day in the life of Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox who shared these thoughts.

Dominique recently had a conversation with his wife telling her how mentally tired he was after a tough day as a Certified Restaurant Broker when she returned from work. His wife said, “You sit in front of your computer all day, what did you actually do today?" Here's his log of his actions for the day he was kind enough to share.  

5:00 am – Wake up and put on the 1st pot of coffee. Review my business to-do list for the day and add items

5:30 am-  Go to the gym and go beast mode to get ready for the day

7:30 am – On the road to take pictures of a restaurant I recently listed for sale. I must arrive before the back of the house staff arrives so they will not be suspicious.

8:45 am- After battling through the high-dense Atlanta traffic, I make it to my destination 42 miles from my home.

9:15 am- Pictures are finished and I must conduct a conference call between a buyer and seller to discuss expenses on last year’s profit and loss statement while sitting in my car. 

9:40 am-  While still sitting in my car, I get a call from a seller he is not happy. The seller does not want to sign the 4506-T form which allows the bank to request the sellers tax returns for a buyer to get an SBA Loan based on the business financials. The seller discloses to me they need to amend their tax returns because they filed inaccurate numbers.

9:50 am – Receive call from leasing representative the landlord will not offer my client more Tenant Improvement Money to move forward with the lease. The landlord will only offer 2 free months of rent instead of 3 months.

11:00 am – Arrive back at home office to respond back to missed emails and calls.

11:25 am – Review my HOT Report and touch all my pending deals with updates or reminders

11:45 am – Receive call from a financially qualified candidate. Buyer needs help understanding the price valuation of the restaurant. Buyer does not understand the definition of add-backs for a price valuation.

12:00 pm- Receive email from buyer that request to see a lease space I’m advertising. I call the buyer and they don’t want to show proof of funds, business plan, or menu. They just want to see the location first and then decide if they want to move forward. Let them know landlord wants to see those documents to qualify them as a tenant before showing tghe space.

12:45 pm- Receive an email from a buyer in South Carolina, they want to make an offer on a Franchise Restaurant I have listed in South Carolina. The buyer requests a copy of our Asset Purchase Agreement. I draft the Agreement and send for review.

1:30 pm – Follow up with Dickey’s BBQ Pit to confirm buyer’s Discovery Day date to attend at Dickey’s Headquarters.

2:00 pm – Conference call with Wich Wich, buyer, seller, and Area Representative to discuss transfer checklist

2:30 pm-  Schedule a meeting between buyer and seller at restaurant for Friday

2:45pm- Follow up with Firehouse Subs Area Representative to discuss training day for approved candidate.

3:00 pm – Review an 80-page lease to find out the lease expiration, option renewals, security deposit, CAM charges, and type of restaurants allowed in the shopping center

3:30pm- Follow up with closing attorney on debits and credits for Closing Settlement Statement.

3:45pm- Receive a referral for a Firehouse Subs seller who wants to sell from my current client

4:00pm – Assist buyer with working on bank projections for loan approval. Review business plan and give feedback for improvement.

4:45pm- Follow up with listing leads and search for more leads

5:30pm- Work on Science Project with my 5th grade daughter Amaya

7:00 pm- Draft emails to send out in the morning

7:30 pm- My wife arrives at home!

7:45 pm- Receive text message from seller, asking for an update on buyer activity for their listing.

Dominique writes, "To be an excellent Restaurant Broker you must multi-task and be the quarterback of the deal. Nobody wants to get the deal done more than the Broker.  It can be the difference between feeding your family ground beef or filet mignon.  Yes, most days I’m drained from my daily activities and I’m constantly thinking about items that need to be complete on each deal at night. The satisfaction I get from this career is knowing I help people realize the American Dream of Business Ownership. Tomorrow I will get up and do it all again."

 

Domminique Maddox is a licensed Georgia real estate agent and graduate of Morehouse College which he attended on a football scholarship.  He brings that same competitive spirit and energy to the field of restaurant brokerage. Dominique received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management from Morehouse College.  He has worked in mortgage financing, real estate, business to business sales, and Restaurant Brokerage Sales.

Dominique was named the recipient of the Georgia Association of Business Broker "Rookie of the Year" award from the organization for 2011.Dominique was also elected as a Director to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers for 2012. Dominique has undergone extensive training for restaurant brokerage and has earned the designation as a Certified Restaurant Broker. View his listings online at this link.

 

 

Topics: buying a restaurant, buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Restaurant Trend Spotting - The Reality from the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 13, 2017 10:46:59 AM

Restaurant Trends – how do they apply to the real world scenario of your restaurant down the street? 

dont follow.jpgTrends can be a game changer for a restaurant operator.   Think about the millennial trend which turned to a tidal wave with some writers claiming this one demographic calls all the shots for restaurant market share.  If you missed an appeal to that audience, some will declare your restaurant dead in the water. On the other hand, you can’t apply every single trend.  If you take the latest Restaurant Trends Reports and start applying everything, in the words of one restaurant broker, “You're probably gonna have a giant mess and very quickly so."

Trend reports are released by marketing companies and by the National Restaurant Association every year.  You can get culinary trends, beverage trends, technology trends and drive it down to specific items like coffee trends.  How do you use it and what’s the right way to apply the knowledge?  Here are the restaurant broker’s thoughts on trend spotting and trend hopping.

Don’t live in the Muddled Middle Ground

There's a phrase in the marketing world called the “muddled middle ground” and that's where you never ever want to be. Why? Because your client can't find you there. If you try to be a little bit of everything, you end up being a whole lot of nothing. That’s the danger of letting a trend eclipse your basic premise.  If you are a vegan concept, it makes absolutely no sense to go with pates and a lot of meat spreads. Even though that’s the hottest trend in menus, it doesn't make any sense for you.

Make sure the Trend Makes Sense for Your Concept

On the other hand, trends can move you in the right direction.  If you're a veggie concept and the trend for vegetables says beets are out and cauliflower is emerging, then make sure high points on your menu no longer speak to beets as the main star when they begin trending down.  Instead, start speaking to cauliflower in your dish creation and then push the envelope into radish.

A good restaurant operator should take the latest trend reports available online and really study it to see where it should impact their concept.  As restaurant brokers, we study all the trends in the industry all the time do we can advise clients on the latest concepts.

Trend Spot but Don’t Trend Hop at the Expense of your Legacy

How do you stay on trend without giving up your identity?  If you've been in business fifty years, stay with your core approach and adapt to stay relevant. That adaptation may be the adoption of technology while keeping your strengths.  If you’re built on the best wings in town, there’s no reason to jack with that recipe but putting Ipads on the table with “build your own sauce” opportunities is a changeup that will appeal to a new and old customer. 

You Don’t Have to Keep Following the New Best Thing

The opposite of the “muddle middle ground” is a radical approach that keeps your customer guessing.  If you change the menu as often as you change your sheets, it can be difficult to build loyalty.  Cuisines come and go.  Not too long ago it was Asian Fusion which gave way to New French and that morphed to Spanish influences, small plates and Tapas.  It’s here today, gone tomorrow. 

There’s an issue of following the trends too tightly or not moving at all.  It’s finding the approach that makes sense to you as a restaurant operator and your cuisine that matters.

Don’t Ignore a Long Term Trend with Sales Consequences

One trend we know for sure is changing is the lunch business. The long lunches where people go out for an hour and half is a shrinking segment. People are now eating more and more at their desk or working from home which means no lunch out at all. 

That changes the dynamics. If you're in the lunch business you must be refreshing your options by expanding to the trends of today.  That include, “meals to go” or carry out, delivery, catering and all the delivery services.  You’re not just making food to order anymore, you’ve having to figure out how to make and stock grab-and-go as well as understand what “travels” well and what doesn’t. It’s not as simple as building a bunch of sandwiches, and putting them in your deli case.

There has to be a plan if both trending and your numbers are telling you lunch is shrinking.  If you used to have 50 covers between 11 and 2, and now it’s down to 11:30 to 1:30 and only 30.  Develop a plan to make up that volume.

If lunch is out but Sunday brunch is in, then take that trend information build the volume back. So, maybe you're never going to get back that long lunch but you can pick up part of it with “to go” and delivery.  Find ways to get the volume back at different other parts of the week.  It will require you to be very targeted, specific and creative.  But that’s why you’re in the business anyway, right?

The bottom line is that trend spotting and trend hopping can be ways to build your restaurant sales.  You just have to decide which trends make sense for your business and pursue with passion.

 Eric and Robin Gagnon, the Restaurants Brokers write on topics of interest to the restaurant industry.  They are the founders of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com.  Their restaurants for sale website can be found online at this link.

Topics: buying a restaurant