Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Latest Restaurant Franchise Deals and Openings Announced

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Sep 3, 2019 3:34:03 PM

Restaurant Franchises are growing across the nation and the globe.  Some are open, some are signed, and some are target markets!  We've gathered the latest announcements about what's opening and what's in the future based on the latest signed restaurant franchise agreements and deals announced across the industry. 

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken -- It's not just Popeye's that has Chicken on the brain after last week.  There's a lot frying up in the Chicken franchise space. 

The first Zaxby’s in Chantilly, Virginia is coming this month to 43820 Eastgate Shoppes Drive. A fan favorite for chicken fingers, wings and salads, the new fast-casual restaurant is the first location this licensee team will open with plans for an additional five Zaxby’s in the future. Construction on the Chantilly Zaxby’s began in March led by local engineering firm Tri-Tek Engineering.

Franchise openings

The brand is also expanding to Spring Lake, North Carolina in September as well to 130 S. Third St. A. The new fast-casual restaurant is the third location owned and operated by Alan Ward and Fry Guys Management Group 3, LLC. Zaxby’s has 119 restaurants in North Carolina and more than 900 locations across 17 states. Construction on this location began in April.

Slim Chickens, a leader in the “better chicken” segment of fast casual restaurants, will continue expansion of its fresh chicken and unrivaled flavor in Illinois, with its grand reopening in Plainfield on September 5, 2019.  They also inked a six-unit deal with Preferred Development, LLC, with the first location expected to open in Minot, North Dakota. 

Huey Magoo's Chicken Tenders signed a six-unit deal with new franchisee Buck Harris, who will open restaurants in Lowndes, Dougherty, Lee and Taft counties in South Georgia. Harris is a former a Chick-fil-A franchisee and now also owns locations of Chicken Salad Chick.  

That wraps it up for the latest chicken deals.  Meanwhile, pizza is still hot.

Mountain Mike’s Pizza, LLC, a leading California-based family-style pizza chain, known for its legendary crispy, curly pepperonis and Mountain-sized pizzas, is focusing its expansion efforts in northern California’s Humboldt County with a Eureka, California location already in development.

Data uncovered during an in-depth market analysis paired with the brand’s longstanding success throughout northern California makes Humboldt County a natural fit for a concept like Mountain Mike’s, which caters to families, large groups and celebratory occasions. There are currently 211 Mountain Mike’s Pizza locations in operation throughout California, Oregon, Nevada and Utah.

Following a successful restaurant opening in Newington earlier this year, famed New York-style pizza institution, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, has announced that its second Connecticut restaurant will open in Downtown Hartford this winter. The upcoming outpost will replace the former McKinnon’s Pub at 114 Asylum Street near the XL Center, in the heart of the city and at the epicenter of the revival and renaissance taking place in Hartford.

On the sweet side there’s plenty of new restaurant franchises in the mix as well.  

Doughnuttery, which launched its franchise program in February, signed its first area development deal, a six-unit agreement with Brian Burwell, managing member of Arizona Doughnuttery LLC, for shops in Arizona. A second area development deal, this one for three locations in Virginia, was signed with Doughnuttery of Nova, Inc., led by Leyla Khater, president, and Katherine Ronckovitz, partner. Doughnuttery has four open locations, three in New York City and one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Baskin-Robbins inked a multi-unit agreement to develop 10 new locations across Upstate New York, including in Syracuse and the Southern Tier, in addition to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania. With a portfolio of 40 Dunkin' restaurants and one multi-brand location, the deal was signed with franchisees Manish Patel, Sarika Patel, Krunal Patel and Tarak Patel of Bapa Chambers Rd Ice Cream, LLC.

Fast casual sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs remain in the mix with lots of opening planned coast to coast.   

Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast casual, “better burger” chain, is ready to satisfy the taste buds of burger enthusiasts in Orlando. The restaurant franchise is set to have two openings in late 2019 and early 2020 at 8050 International Drive and 3155 South Orange Avenue in Orlando. The Orlando openings mark the second and third MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes restaurants in the market, joining the existing Oviedo Mall location that opened last fall. The franchise brand is planning to bring an additional six locations to the greater Orlando area, creating a total of more than 200 jobs across the area.

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop inked several multi-unit deals for development in six states. In New York City, husband and wife Ashok and Maleka Isranie signed for three locations; in Phoenix, Arizona, Steve Holdeman of franchisee group Pastrami Boys will open eight units. MAAAFOOD, Inc. and franchisees Daniel Hoffman and Michael Vanderwoude signed a deal for three locations in Hammond, Indiana, while in El Paso, Texas, Tessie Rodriguez plans to open three Capriotti's. Business partners Anthony Reviglio and Ken Cassas signed on for two restaurants in Boise, Idaho, and in Florida, the following franchisees signed for three units each: Todd King (Jacksonville); Mark and Michele Maroulis (Sarasota); Scott Crawford and Stephan Poletta (Tampa).

Crave Hot Dogs and BBQ has an estimated opening date of late October in Houston Texas.  The brand is famous for its delicious Grilled Hot Dogs, brats and sausages along with its amazing BBQ sandwiches. Crave was founded in 2018 by Samantha and Salvatore Rincione. Since then, the company has signed multiple locations in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and more.

Dog Haus, the craft casual concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and one-of-a-kind creations, opened its second Chicago location inside Kitchen United’s brand new Eats on Sedgwick, located at 831 N. Sedgwick St,. on Sept. 3.

Across the Globe 

QDOBA Mexican Eats®, a leading Mexican fast-casual chain, today announced its continued expansion across Canada through an agreement with multi-unit operator, Burgess Enterprise. The five-unit deal focuses on locations to be developed in and around Northern Ontario, with the group’s first QDOBA restaurant set to open in Sault Ste. Marie in early 2020.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen signed a new agreement to develop and open more than 1,500 Popeyes restaurants in China over the next 10 years. Franchisee group TFI TAB Food Investments, led by CEO Korhan Kurdo lu, already operates Popeyes and Burger King restaurants in Turkey and Burger King in China. The commencement of Popeyes' operations in China is subject to a regulatory filing in China.

That’s the list of the latest restaurant franchise openings.  Keep an eye on the We Sell Restaurants website for franchise restaurant resales or click this link to see our latest franchise for sale listings.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

We Sell Restaurants Sells Nona's Sweets of Charlotte, North Carolina

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 23, 2019 4:50:53 PM

We Sell Restaurants closes on another restaurant for sale transaction; the sale of Nona’s Sweets in Charlotte, North Carolina

We Sell Restaurants is pleased to announce the sale of Nona’s Sweets located 1520 Overland Park Lane in Charlotte.  Mikel Leka of Greensboro, North Carolina acquired the company from Dominica and JoAnn Morlando. The transaction was handled by Justin Scotto of We Sell Restaurants.

 Nona’s sweets is a unique family-based concept that was launched by Jo-Ann and her daughter Dominica Morlando. They specialize in delivering an exceptional experience with their “tradition of creating old world taste with new world flair.” The new owner Mikel Leka will take this concept to the next level!

Nona Sweets photo

The seller, Dominic and JoAnn Morlando, said of his experience with Justin Scotto, “Thank you for all you did to make our business sale go smoothly. With the sale of a business, a small family business, there are many dynamics and emotions. You explained to us the steps and phases to sell the business and implemented the tools to see results.”

Justin Scotto is the multi-unit Franchise Partner for the Charlotte, NC Region and surrounding communities. A Certified Restaurant Broker, Justin has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years. Justin is a longtime veteran of the restaurant industry. He started out as a busboy as an early teenager and worked countless restaurant jobs from sports bars to sub shops. In recent years, Justin developed and operated 12 fast casual restaurants with Firehouse Subs from the ground up. In the process of selling his own restaurants, Justin came across the We Sell Restaurant brand. Impressed with their firm, he was ready to join forces with them to help restaurant buyers and sellers alike achieve their goals.

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants, said of the transaction, “Justin Scotto has proven time and again, that he is an unmatched resource in the Charlotte market for those buying or selling a restaurant.”

Other restaurants for sale can be found directly online at wesellrestaurants.com. We Sell Restaurants is the country's leading restaurant brokerage focused on those buying, selling or leasing a restaurant.

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm, specializing in restaurants for sale, restaurants for lease and franchise restaurant resales.  Found online at wesellrestaurants.com, We Sell Restaurants offers services in 45 states nationwide.

 

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

People Like to buy Restaurants, Not to be sold!

Posted by Scott Ruby on Aug 21, 2019 4:36:47 PM

Certified Restaurant Broker Scott Ruby reports on a recent sales seminar.  His takeaway -- People want to Buy Restaurants but they don't want to be sold.  Here's his report.

Scott Ruby recently attended a Sandler Sales training class that discussed how to be a true and genuine person. It touched on how to avoid being a ‘typical salesperson’ while continuing to grow your business.

The days of a sales professional having all the right words and being a slick car salesman are over.   You need to dress like a restaurant operator, have the same language, and understand the challenges of the business. 

Scott Ruby

The restaurant owner or restaurant buyer of today is looking for a trusted business adviser that they can work with in a comfortable environment. They look for someone they trust with their intimate financial situation.  They want someone who will listen to what they need financially to with the business. 

Good Restaurant Brokers earn the seller or buyer’s trust first.  Failing to do this by requesting financials may cause the buyer to seller to shut down and move to defensive mode. 

Understanding that staffing challenges are affecting all of our clients is an essential in this business.  Most of the We Sell Restaurants sellers are exiting the business because they are tired of struggling to find good team members and can’t afford to pay the “market rate.” 

Seek First to understand

Too Often we show up and start telling what we can do for them. The fact that we focus on Restaurant Sales and are pretty great at what we do is an excellent start.  But what is the pain point that we are trying to solve for them?

  1. Don’t show up and Throw Up!
    This is a common trait for a new salesman. They get nervous and show up and state how great they and the company they work for are, not really focusing on what problem the customer is struggling to solve.   Listen first, then figure out what we can do to solve the problem.
  2. Don’t be afraid to say that we are not a fit for everyone.
    This is the biggest problem with a new salesperson / franchisde. We are not the one size fits all solution!   We can’t help the operator who has 30 days to vacate the property and is losing money.   The best thing we can do is to focus our energy on the opportunities where we can make an impact and generate income in the process!
  3. Stay Behind the Pendulum
    This is the biggest lesson from the class. The best thing we can do as a trusted business advisor is to stay behind the customer.   If they are super excited about an opportunity, we need to keep them grounded.   If they are concerned about a situation, we need to help them investigate, and not be overly excited and positive.  This will drive them away if we are more excited about the opportunity then they are.
  4. Help them buy, but don’t sell!!!
    Our Business Analysis Tool is a best in class report at stating the opportunity as it sits. This does not over promise but clearly states the opportunity and how they can build upon the current sales.
  5. Never Give Something, unless you get something in return!
    Time is limited.  As Restaurant Brokers, spending time with people who have no intention of ever working with us is a waste of resources. We need to be sure and offer free evaluations, travel to the listing, only when we feel that the client is committed to selling, and prescreen them to make sure that we are not just providing a free valuation.  You don’t want to travel halfway across the state, only to confirm that they are priced right if they list it without us!
  6. Customers call us for a reason, as they think we have the solution!
    The information that we have on the market, the price to SDE ratio, is of value to most of our operators. They have been so focused on growing their business, that they have lost track of how to price a restaurant.   Our information is valuable.  We don’t give it away without some commitment of working together.
  7. Be Open, Honest and Up Front!
    Sometimes we are not a great fit.  Be sure to understand how we can provide value. One of my long-lost friends ran a restaurant that he leased from a golf course.  His lease was coming due, and he wanted to know his options.   Since he didn’t own the real estate, his options were fairly limited, either continue to operate the restaurant, or let his lease expire.  Our customer is this situation is the golf course, not the lessor.
  8. Use their data.  People don’t argue if we use their data.
    This was a great lesson as well. If we let the customer provide the area data, or the problems with the restaurant’s numbers, they have a hard time arguing with their own assessment.   If we say that their occupancy numbers are too high, they tend to want to argue with our assessment.   If they come up with the challenges themselves, it is more of a team environment, instead of us stating the problem.
  9. Seek First to understand – ask lots of questions!!
    Why are they selling, what is staffing like, what are they going to do when they sell? We need to do a better job of finding out what is driving them to sell.   Most operators struggle to communicate the real reason they decided to call you today and why they are selling, but I recently asked a pizza franchise what staffing was like, and he showed me a picture of every team member working while on their phones!  He was so done with them looking at their phones instead of actually working that he decided to call and list the restaurant.

Every person knows what is driving them, but it is not always as easy for them to verbalize why.  This is a big piece of the puzzle, and the bigger the problem, the more likely they are to sell at a reasonable price to solve the problem. We need to find the pain point, and then find a way for us to solve it for them!!!

Scott Ruby

 

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

We Sell Restaurants Sells Zaatar of Plantation, Florida

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 16, 2019 9:13:15 AM

We Sell Restaurants closes on another restaurant for sale transaction; the sale of Zaatar in Plantation, Florida

We Sell Restaurants is pleased to announce the sale of Zaatar located at 1893 N Pine Island Road in Plantation Florida.  Wissam Farhat of Dearborn Heights acquired the company from Darin Richards. The transaction was handled by We Sell Restaurants Franchise Partner, Ken Eisenband.  Ken is the multi-unit owner of both Broward and Palm Beach counties Florida. 

It was a great experience, professional, honest, dependable and reliablesZaatar serves nothing less than authentic Mediterranean cuisine. This restaurant specializes in providing expletory Lebanese dishes. The most popular dish is called the Shawarma platter which combines a massive amount of meat with flavors leading to an insanely delicious fresh salad.

The seller, Darin Richards, said of his experience with Ken Eisenband, “It was a great experience, professional, honest, dependable and reliable. If I have another restaurant to sell it will definitely be Ken’s (listing).”

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants, said of the transaction, “Throughout the years Ken has topped the charts with restaurant brokerage. Every day Ken is improving in sales techniques and competitive skills that create the best experience for buying or selling a restaurant in South Florida.”

Ken Eisenband leads two offices for We Sell Restaurants in the southern part of the Sunshine state with distinction and directs a team of Restaurant Brokers as a multi-unit owner. He is a member of the Business Brokers of Florida Association where for multiple years, he received the prestigious Dealmaker Award.  That designates him one of the top five transaction agents in the state of Florida.  He has also prepared training and spoken before the group at large as an expert in selling restaurants. 

Other restaurant for sale in Ken’s market and nationwide can be found directly online at wesellrestaurants.com. We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s leading restaurant brokerage focused on those buying, selling or leasing a restaurant.

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm, specializing in restaurants for sale, restaurants for lease and franchise restaurant resales.  Found online at wesellrestaurants.com, We Sell Restaurants offers services in 45 states nationwide.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Why Restaurant Buyers Don’t Pay for “Potential”

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 12, 2019 10:36:34 AM

It seems every day in selling restaurants, an owner describes the “potential” the business has for more volume or more profit.

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For those selling a restaurant, this potential or opportunity for the future is seen as a reason that a buyer should invest and rightly so, as the future prospects makes the listing more attractive to buyers.  It can also encourage a restaurant buyer to identify this as a better long-term opportunity.

When it comes to pricing the business for sale, however, Restaurant Brokers must price according to common lending practices and standard valuation methods.  That means that “Blue Sky” or potential for the future is not something buyers are willing to pay for and lending can be provided for.  A buyer will only pay for the past performance and a bank will only lend on past results.

Here’s why buyers will not pay for the “potential” in your business.

Lending is trickier.  Most lenders avoid any open and operating businesses built on a pro forma. This is the Latin words for “to form.”   It is standard practice to develop a pro forma in a startup situation where there are no existing metrics to rely upon for sales and earnings.  The commonly accepted definition of a pro forma is, “assumed or forecasted information presented in advance of the actual or formal.  The objective of a pro forma business plan is to give a fair idea of the revenue, expenses and earnings in anticipation of the actual occurrence

If a business is not open, it’s easy to formulate underlying data points and put them into a business plan to forecast the pro forma earnings.  The only problem with this method is that pro forma financial statements estimate how the actual statements will look if the underlying assumptions hold true.

For open and operating businesses, the underlying assumptions have already been put to the test.  Now we have actual statements and actual performance.  The underlying assumptions may be revealed as flawed or inaccurate.  If a restaurant owner built a pro forma based on sales of $6000 per week and the actual performance is only $4500 in sales per week, that fact is now known and therefore, must materially adjust the pro forma. 

The second reason that “potential” cannot be factored into the selling price of a restaurant is that all the risk, effort and financial commitment to meet the business potential belongs to the buyer, not the seller.

In our earlier example, there is “potential” is to increase the number of customers each day and improve the volume to the original forecasted point.  That, however, may require any of the following conditions be met:

  • Investment in Advertisement
  • Investment in Marketing 
  • Change of Concept
  • Improvement in Service
  • Change in the ingress/egress to the business
  • New Residential or Commercial Development 
  • Improved Signage
  • And the list continues

For an open and operating business, that means the buyer must invest some level of energy, effort and/or financial resources to improve the current performance of the business.  That investment and effort is on the part of the buyer, not the seller.  Therefore, the “up-side” or “potential” is still unknown, can’t be quantified and thus, can’t be sold on the front end of the listing.

The next time you consider selling your restaurant and offer up “potential” as a reason to buy, just remember, it cannot factor into the listing price. It is a definite selling point and makes a business more attractive but is not part of the valuation model.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

We Sell Restaurants Recently Sold Terra Thai of Boulder, Colorado

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Aug 6, 2019 10:30:00 AM

We Sell Restaurants closes on another restaurant for sale transaction; the sale of Terra Thai in Boulder, Colorado

We Sell Restaurants is pleased to announce the sale of Terra Thai located at 1211 Broadway in Boulder Colorado. Usman Chughtai of Thornton, Colorado acquired the company from Karuna Wiwattanakantang. The transaction was handled by Franchise Partner and Certified Restaurant Broker, Jeff Marcus of We Sell Restaurants.terra thai

Terra Thai is a Restaurant on the hill of Boulder Colorado and one of the few that is close to the University of Colorado. This iconic concept is highly recommended by Yelp users who say, they have a “great selection of original hard-to-find Thai dishes.” This small jewel was sold from start to finish in just 49 days by We Sell Restaurants far outpacing the national average for days on market before selling a restaurant.

The seller, Karuna, said of his experience with Jeff Marcus, “It went quick and Jeff was very helpful, accommodating both seller and buyer.  It saved us time in negotiation and paperwork. Everything was clear and with his experience in (the) restaurant business, he knew my concerns and helped get the price right for both parties.”

Jeff Marcus is a Certified Restaurant Broker and the Franchise Partner for We Sell Restaurants in the state of Colorado and Wyoming. Jeff is a licensed by the Colorado Real Estate Commission as a Broker. Jeff has nearly 30 years of restaurant experience. Starting at an early age of 13 working in Chinese, Pizza, and high-end tablecloth concepts, Jeff has done it all and trained in every position in the industry.

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants, said of the transaction, “One of our newest Franchise Partners, Jeff Marcus, has shown significant sales results in a short period of time. We are looking forward to seeing his continued success in the future.”

More than 450 restaurants for sale can be found directly online at wesellrestaurants.com. We Sell Restaurants is the country's leading restaurant brokerage focused on those buying, selling or leasing a restaurant.

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm, specializing in restaurants for sale, restaurants for lease and franchise restaurant resales.  Found online at wesellrestaurants.com, We Sell Restaurants offers services in 45 states nationwide.

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Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Ken Eisenband of We Sell Restaurants Presents Seminar Selling Restaurants

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 25, 2019 1:02:12 PM

Ken Eisenband, We Sell Restaurants Franchise Partner for Broward and Palm Beach county, recently presented a seminar titled, “Selling Restaurants 101” to the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF).

Ken's educational seminar was focused on helping other brokers understand the key metrics and items on the restaurant financial statement as they perform valuations or assist others in selling or buying a restaurant. He focused on key points such as, “what is the broker Selling?” along with a primer on the variables found on restaurant financial statements. He reviewed common ratios for cost of goods sold, labor costs and rent along with other expenses. The most important number, in his words, “Rent – you cannot fix a bad rent deal.”

KenEisenband reminded the group that other items on the profit and loss are controllable.  Food is in his words, “easily fixed by a new owner” and other expenses are “easily re-budgeted.”  Even labor, in Ken’s opinion is “easy to fix over time with new staffing, new pay structure or new scheduling parameters.”  Rent, however is a fixed cost that cannot be changed.

Ken also cautioned brokers on the practice of selling a restaurant that is doing a “cash business” stating that the owners have “lied to the IRS, lied to the Florida Department of Revenue, lied to their accountant, BUT, expect the buyer to trust everything they are told.”  Ken’s enlightening and entertaining presentation was attended by business brokers from across the state who are members of Business Brokers of Florida. 

The Business Brokers of Florida is a nonprofit association for business brokerage companies and their agents in the state.  The BBF association is the largest state business broker association in the country, and the second largest association of business brokers in the world.

The Business Brokers of Florida membership is restricted to those with experience in the industry or who attend specific training and have demonstrated knowledge in the industry.  They must establish this expertise when applying for membership.  Any member of the BBF is also held to a strict code of ethics, ensuring that buyers and sellers receive principled treatment in any transaction. 

Other members of the BBF include those supporting transactions such as attorneys, accountants, financial planners, appraisers and various financial institutions specializing in business loans. The association has more than 1,400 members and over 4,000 listings in their database. The Business Brokers of Florida currently has five districts within the state of Florida.

Ken Eisenband is the multi-unit Franchise Partner for Broward County and Palm Beach County Florida, the southern part of the Sunshine state. Ken leads two offices for We Sell Restaurants with distinction and directs a team of Restaurant Brokers as a multi-unit owner. Ken is a member of the Business Brokers of Florida Association where for numerous years, he received the prestigious Dealmaker Award as one of the top 5 transaction agents in the state of Florida as well as receiving the Million Dollar Club award.

Additionally, Ken is licensed by the Florida Real Estate Commission as a Broker and has also completed training leading to his designation as a Certified Restaurant Broker. Ken graduated with Honors from The School of Hospitality at Michigan State University in 1983 and has thirty years of experience in the restaurant industry.

For a look online at Ken's restaurant for sale listings, visit this link

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Recently Sold Howard's Famous Corned Beef and Deli

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 10, 2019 12:55:22 PM

We Sell Restaurants closes on another restaurant for sale transaction; the sale of the Howard's Famous Corned Beef and Deli in Boca Raton, Florida

We Sell Restaurants is pleased to announce the sale of Howard's Famous Corned Beef and Deli located at 3571 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, Florida. Sal Angrisani of Greenacers, Florida acquired the company from Howard Rich.  The transaction was handled by Ken Eisenband, Franchise Partner with We Sell Restaurants for Palm Beach and Broward Counties.  The location was sold after just 122 days on market. 

Howard's Famous Corned Beef and Deli is an outstanding location that’s been described as one of the most authentic delis in Boca Raton, Florida. The concept features signature corned beef that is cooked in-house as well as smoked salmon. They offer half pound sandwiches with their daily fresh breads. Howard's Famous Corned Beef and Deli also offers catering service and onsite beer and wine sales.

 

The seller, Howard Rich, said of his experience with Ken Eisenband, “I listed my restaurant for sale with Ken Eisenband and We Sell Restaurants. The process was very easy, and he brought in many prospects. Once we were in contract for sale, Ken was very organized and guided me through the entire process. I would definitely recommend Ken and We Sell Restaurants to anyone looking to sell their restaurant.”

Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants said of the transaction, “Ken is an excellent Franchise Partner and one of the strongest players in the competitive business for sale marketplace in South Florida.  He is a consistent top producer for the brand and the state with excellent feedback from his clients.”

Ken Eisenband

Ken Eisenband is the multi-unit Franchise Partner for Broward County and Palm Beach County Florida, the southern part of the Sunshine state. Ken leads two offices for We Sell Restaurants with distinction and directs a team of Restaurant Brokers as a multi-unit owner. Ken is a member of the Business Brokers of Florida Association where for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) he received the prestigious Dealmaker Award as one of the top 5 transaction agents in the state of Florida as well as receiving the Million Dollar Club award.

Ken graduated with Honors from The School of Hospitality at Michigan State University in 1983 and has thirty years of experience in the restaurant industry.  In 1996 Ken joined Ruby Tuesday’s finance team as an analyst working closely with the Real Estate department and Vice President of Operations on site selection and feasibility studies. Ken can be reached by phone at (561)-350-3365 or by email – ken@wesellrestaurants.com. His listings can be found online at wesellrestaurants.com.

We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm, specializing in restaurants for sale, restaurants for lease and franchise restaurant resales.  Found online at https://www.wesellrestaurants.com, We Sell Restaurants operates in 45 states nationwide assisting those buying or selling a restaurant.   

 

 

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Attention Restaurant Sellers.  Don’t Sign the Listing Until You Mystery Shop the Broker.

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jul 6, 2019 11:56:16 AM

Two years ago, We Sell Restaurants embarked on a journey to confirm that our customer service standards were being met.  We achieved this through Mystery Shopping our Restaurant Brokers. We now highly encourage any restaurant seller to do the same.  Here’s why.

Quarterly, our restaurant brokers are shopped by “secret” buyers.  They never know which buyer inquiry it is, and they never know how they are chosen. They simply receive one of many inquiries on a restaurant for sale. Our corporate standard for follow up is that each buyer will be “touched” three times within the first three business days.  Why three times?  It shows genuine interest without putting undue pressure on the customer.  If the first message or contact is ignored, it lets the restaurant buyer know you will be professionally persistent without being annoying. 

Dont Sign - Until you SHOP

What’s a touch?  The first, most critical touch is by phone.  There are auto email responses on buyer inquiries, so we penalize the scores of brokers that email the buyer.  If a buyer has inquired through a national website, odds are any broker will have an automated response that says something like, “Thank you for inquiring on my restaurant for sale….”  In addition, the online listing site will also send an automated response..

Imagine that a buyer inquires on three listings.  They will easily get a total of six auto response emails (three from the site and three from the broker), without having spoken to anyone. Buyers are getting inundated with email but are not receiving a personal touch in the form of a phone call and actual discussion with a broker.   

We hired a research firm to develop the scoring mechanism.  An email outreach results in a negative score.  Failure to achieve three touches results in a negative score.  If the outreach occurs over six days instead of three business days, full points cannot be achieved.    

Overall, it’s simple.  Each broker is held to a standard for buyer contact by phone three times within the first three business days of their inquiry.  We compare each office and each broker to others as well as their last quarterly “shop.”  Lastly, we compare the income of the brokers with the highest Mystery Shopping scores to the income of restaurant brokers with the lowest scores.  What we found got their attention.  The brokers with the highest Mystery Shopping scores had the highest income and most sales.  Every. Single. Time.  The brokers with the lowest Mystery shopping scores correlated directly to the lowest income.  Every. Single. Time. 

What does this mean?  Restaurant brokers is a full contact sport.  You must touch and communicate with buyers in order to sell a listing. When we figure out how to sell restaurants with total automation and through email, then brokers are no longer needed.

So why must Restaurant Sellers perform this exercise for themselves?  After a year of quarterly shops, we decided to shop our competitors in year two.  That’s right.  In every single market, nationwide, we knew our performance, but what about the person we’re competing with for the listing.  What did we find? 

Brokers have forgotten to use the telephone.  They don’t realize it has a function other than to send and receive email.  In markets nationwide, in dozens of mystery shopping scenarios with competitors, our “buyers” did not receive one single phone call from other brokers. It is almost unbelievable, but the results are clear and scientific.  We gave them an email address, a phone number that rang to an area code in their market and an inquiry.  We did not get a single response outside of email. 

I recently sat through a software presentation built for business brokers and the entire focus was to build a chain of emails to respond to the buyer.  That’s fine for marketing and brand recognition but for sales, a personal phone call is still required. 

If another broker offers to sell your business for less, consider what that means.  If they do not call buyers and try to put deals together, it doesn’t matter how much they market or what else they do.  Emails do not sell restaurants.  Brokers do.  Don’t sign my listing agreement or anyone else’s until you make a buyer inquiry and see what happens.

When I call you three times in three days, I deserve the listing. 

Robin Blog Update

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

5 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Restaurant

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 18, 2019 8:55:00 AM

Selling your restaurant is not easy.  Here are five deadly mistakes to avoid for greater success.  We Sell Restaurants has been selling restaurants for twenty years.  Our best advice follows.

5 deadly mistakes

Deadly Mistake 1:  Choosing a Broker based on the cheapest rate

It’s human nature to look for the most cost effective means to accomplish anything.  That may mean seeking a low cost provider when selling your restaurant.  Why is this a mistake?  The person who is charging the lease amount of money often has the lowest investment in marketing, the least number of buyers in their database and the lowest potential for selling your restaurant.  You would not engage with a POS provider who gave you a 1% lower rate if in fact, your credit card machine wouldn’t operate during peak hours.  Why would you engage with a business broker based on the lowest cost?

The other issues with selling your restaurant with the cheapest resource is that you may be dealing with a novice in the in industry.  There are many costs that come into play when selling your restaurant. Many of these can easily cause items to “leak” from the cash you take away from the closing table.  Negotiating the security deposit which landlords are notoriously slow to hand back is one element.  If your broker does not secure your interest in this property up front, you could potentially save $4,000 in commission and give up $7,000 in security deposit.  The same is true for inventory or cash on hand in the safe or tills.  Those items must be negotiated and the “newbie” who does it for less may simply not negotiate the devil in the details that adds up to thousands of dollars in lost cash for you on the settlement statement.

One of the costliest mistakes that someone who is the “cheapest” may make on your behalf is simply negotiating a weak letter of intent or LOI without the proper structure of a full Asset Purchase Agreement.  This not only leads to the issues cited above with loss to the seller of reimbursable expenses but often leads to a seller engaging with an attorney which can result in thousands of dollars in fees before a deal is even done.  The adage to avoid being “penny wise and pound foolish” comes into play when selling your restaurant.  The “cheap” choice can be very costly.

Deadly Mistake 2:  Pricing above market

The second costly mistake for sellers is going out above the recommended pricing level.  It seems harmless as you simply list “higher” and see what comes in the door.  Today’s consumers for buying a restaurant are more informed, have great financial skills and are savvier than ever before.  If the restaurant for sale is priced above market, you’ll lose countless days while it garners no interest before you adjust the pricing to the reasonable level.

Deadly Mistake 3: Taking Your eye off the Ball

A third deadly mistake when selling your restaurant is assuming that the buyer will pick up the slack and taking your eye off the ball. There’s never a more important time to stay fully engaged in the business and make sure it’s running at its full potential.

Buyers won’t purchase the future potential.  They are purchasing the current performance.  Be careful that you don’t become complacent or start generating sales drops once you’re listed, since after all, you’re out the door before long.  When selling your restaurant, the bank, the buyer and the broker are looking for comparable store sales to stay at or above last year.  Failing to do so is a deadly mistake that will impact your eventual selling price.

Deadly Mistake 4:  Saying “no” to a deal

This is perhaps the worst of the deadliest mistakes when selling your restaurant.  There are always three options when presented with an offer.  Yes, is one option and it’s generally not the first response.  No is the second option which is a deadly mistake.  The last option is the appropriate one – a counter.  When a buyer is engaged enough to make an offer, no matter what the offer, it’s time to swallow your pride and come back with a counteroffer.  The most important part of the negotiation is to keep the would be buyer engaged.  A flat out “no” leads to a buyer that must then, negotiate against himself and most will simply bow out.

Sellers that refuse to counter and simply respond “no” are acting out of emotion.  These are the same sellers that return to We Sell Restaurants later and say, “Can you call that guy and see if he’s still interested.”  We get one bite at the apple in negotiations.  If you simply say no and go back later to negotiation, you are in a severely weakened position.  No matter what the offer is; it’s a good strategy to look for some positive in it and counter the buyer.

Deadly Mistake 5:  Going to market without good financial data

The last deadly mistake is going to market without good financial data.  When buyers are interested, time is money.  If you don’t have your past year books and records in order or if you don’t have the ability to provide electronic documents, get ready to lose deals.

You must have your financial house in order and be ready for due diligence.  Time kills deals and introduces doubt.  While we are waiting on due diligence materials, the buyers are getting cold feet by the minute.  Don’t make this deadly mistake.  Have your records ready to go.

In twenty years of selling restaurants just like yours, these are the five most deadly mistakes we’ve seen.  Don’t fall victim to them.  Prepare up front and contact a broker today for success in selling your restaurant.

Want our free downloadable checklist on selling your restaurant?  Click the link below.

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Topics: Selling a Restaurant