Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Does Selling a Restaurant Require a License? You better believe it - in Many States

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Mar 15, 2018 9:14:33 AM

If you’re selling a house, you know you need a real estate agent.  That means someone who has achieved educational requirements, passed significant testing, undergone a background check and reinvests each year in continuing education. Do you know that in many states, selling a restaurant also requires a license?

It’s true. For sixteen states, it is a specific and certain legal requirement that business brokers or restaurant brokers hold a real estate license. Failure to do so is a Third Degree Felony in the state of Florida and a misdemeanor in Georgia punishable with a fine of $1000 for each violation with each day that person practices as a separate violation.

As of this date, the following states both require a license and have been very consistent in requiring a real estate license in order to sell a business without any real estate. These include: Florida, Georgia, Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Alaska. In Illinois, the law is slightly different and requires that you register with the Securities Division of the Secretary of State.  That's a total of 17 states with a licensing requirements for business brokers.  In the event that real estate is involved, all fifty states require a license for the transaction to occur legally.

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What are these states hoping to accomplish by requiring a real estate license or other form of licensing for selling a restaurant?

First of all, each license holder is subjected to fingerprinting and a background check. If there are any convictions, clouds or issues arising from the background check, the applicant will not be able to get a license. If you consider that you’re about to spend several hundred thousand dollars at the advice of business broker, is it really such a bad idea to know if they’ve been convicted of fraud first?

Secondly, a real estate licensee is subject to specific educational requirements, including legal and ethics coursework. This education insures that the person holding money and advising you on buying or selling a restaurant understands the legal elements of a contract including, escrow, consideration, buyer and seller acceptance and much more. You would never dream of visiting an unlicensed doctor, why would you put thousands of dollars in the hands of an unlicensed person practicing business brokerage?

Lastly, a real estate license holder is held to specific standards for holding escrow money, advertising listings, the language and content of listings and in some cases, even the legal forms he or she may use for a business.

Each of these items protects the consumer, you, the person buying or selling a restaurant. In the event something goes wrong, the Real Estate Commission in each state has a full complaint and disciplinary process that can result in fines, loss of a license and other sanctions, including, for those operating illegally, criminal charges.

How do you know if your broker has a license to sell your business or help you buy a restaurant? Don’t bother trying to find out on the national listing websites. This restaurant broker did a quick check online and found that in Georgia, fully 50% of the “featured” brokers advertising on BizBuySell did not have a current Georgia real estate license.

The internet has made it incredibly easy to advertise, leading to what I personally believe is the “wild west” mentality where anyone gets listings anywhere. There are no checks and balances on the national listing websites so you will not be able to tell if someone is licensed. For this restaurant broker, who spends an incredible amount of time and money each year complying with educational requirements, paying for licenses and renewal fees and staying current in many states, it is inconceivable that others simply operate in the open without proper licensing. All listings on the We Sell Restaurants website are represented by duly licensed representatives for that state.

How do you confirm a business broker is operating legally? Fortunately, the real estate commission for each state has a simple process where you can verify licensing. I’m including links to each state below. Before you inquire on a listing for sale, take five seconds and confirm the person representing it has the legal right to do so.

What happens if you’re listed with an unlicensed broker? In my opinion, you should immediately terminate the listing. That person has no legal right to represent you and any agreement would be unenforceable in a court of law.

What if you are in contract on a listing with an unlicensed broker? Seek legal counsel. If the broker has mistakenly represented the he or she has the authority to represent your business, you may avoid paying commission. An unlicensed party to a contract making a false claim could easily void any requirement to pay on your behalf.

Lastly, if you discover a broker is unlicensed and representing a listing in a license state, take a moment and report this activity to your real estate commission. There are laws on the books to protect your community and while the real estate commission may not be swift in follow up, they will ultimately investigate any claim you file.

Confirm a real estate license for each state by clicking the link on each state below:

Robin Gagnon is the co-founder of We Sell Restaurants and a licensed real estate agent in Georgia and Florida. She is also an M.B.A. and Certified Restaurant Broker. Her firm represents sellers in forty states and has licensed brokers handling those transactions legally in all states.


Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Ten Most Popular Restaurants for Sale in February Offered by the Restaurant Brokers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Mar 12, 2018 7:58:02 AM



February, the month when love is in the air! The We Sell Restaurants website feathing restaurants for sale was feeling the the love! Curious to which restaurants were the most sought after? Be still your heart! We've got the answers. Franchises for sale and Italian restaurants for sale trumped all other categories. What else made it to the top? Read on to find out!

Franchises for sale are always a hit on our website, and February was no different. At the top of the franchises for sale category AND overall is this sandwich franchise for sale in Austin. Wondering what made this one come out on top? Originally priced at just $45,000, the seller dropped the price by $5,000 and is agreeing to pay half of the transferCapture-36.jpg fees!

The second most popular franchise for sale on our website was this Ben & Jerry’s in sunny Florida. There’s no questioning why this listing was so popular – the Ben & Jerry’s name speaks for itself. The owner of this one is scooping up six figures to take home each year as well! Our final franchise for sale in the top 10 is this sandwich franchise for sale in Texas that qualifies for SBA lending. This business is part of a major brand that is well-known and easily recognized! It’s easy to see why these franchises for sale came out on top!

Buyers can’t get enough of our Italian restaurants for sale, and pizza restaurants for sale remain the most popular in this category. At the top of the list was Bella Nonna Gourmet Pizza in Boca Raton – it was so popular that We Sell Restaurants Franchise Partner Ken Eisenband sold it last month as well! Don’t worry, we always have the most Italian restaurants for sale on our website!

Check out this Italian restaurant for sale in Austin with a beautiful build-out. Buyers love this one for it’s beautiful build-out! Rounding out the Italian restaurants for sale category is this pizza restaurant for sale in breathtaking Boynton Beach. This one was on the hot list for buyers in February thanks to the built-in drive-thru window, not to mention the top-notch location!

Valentine’s Day must have been on our buyer’s minds, because this listing for an upscale restaurant for sale was popular last month. Not only is this beauty located in the Sunshine State, but the landlord pays for ALL the building maintenance!

This Greek restaurant for sale on Las Olas garnered the attention of lots of potential buyers! Not only is the build-out flawless, but it also features a 4COP liquor license with a value of almost $150,000.  Restaurant for Sale on Las Olas Blvd. includes 4COP Liquor LicenseSpeaking of liquor licenses, this bar for sale also made the top 10! When buyers see a 100-seat bar for sale with a lease rate that includes utilities, it’s no wonder this piqued their interest!

Rounding out the February 10 most popular restaurants for sale is this restaurant space for sale in Austin. After a $50,000 price reduction, buyers saw that they could steal this one for less than $50,000, AND it’s located in booming north Austin!

There you have it, these were the 10 most loved restaurants for sale on the We Sell Restaurants restaurants for sale website in February. Ready to buy a restaurant for sale for yourself? Click on the link below to be taken to our restaurants for sale website. Thinking now is the time to sell your restaurant? The Restaurant Brokers can help with that, too! Click here to find out more about listing your restaurant for sale!Restaurants for Sale

Topics: buying a rstaurant, selling a restaurant

3 Critical Points to Know About Landlords When Selling Your Restaurant

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Mar 3, 2018 4:43:20 PM

Planning to sell your restaurant? Have you already found a ready buyer? Before you get too excited, read what the restaurant brokers have learned over the years when it comes to landlords and lease assignments.

Critical Point # 1 – The Landlord is Not Your Friend – In fact, he’s now Your Enemy

In our book, Appetite for Acquisition, we devote an entire chapter to the premise that the landlord is not your friend. When you request a lease transfer however, you move into totally new waters. Not only is he not your friend; for most sellers, the landlord is now the enemy. Why is he the enemy? Think about the meaning of the term –

en●e●my (noun) a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.

At the time you are trying to exit your lease, your landlord, the same guy you have seen every month for the last several years or called up to discuss business with a dozen times is now, actively opposed to that action. Why? It’s human nature. He knows you. He’s seen you pay your rent. You’re on the hook to him for a personal guarantee and guess what – you pay him. He’s not sure the other guy will. He now wants to keep you on that lease for as long as humanly possible. You need to be smart and engage in a strategy early to stay ahead of the landlord for the lease transfer.

Critical Point # 2 – Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Landlords have office buildings full of legal staff and attorneys trying to figure out ways to protect their own self-interest. Just because your local rep is someone you know and like doesn’t mean he or she has anything to do with the transfer.

The landlord’s attorneys are fighting to retain you on the lease as a guarantor and fully liable, years after you leave the business. They are fighting to retain your security deposit. In some instances, they are fighting to keep from assigning the lease because it has a favorable term or rates remaining. Trying to negotiate for yourself against a pack of lawyers representing a landlord is like the old adage of bringing a ‘knife to a gun fight.” You need fire power. You need someone who will fight back for your best interest.

In most cases, the restaurant brokers are sad to tell you; that means you need to spend the money to get an attorney involved. If it costs you $3000 to get representation to fight back against a bully landlord on a personal guarantee, that is much cheaper than being on the hook for $300,000 if the person you assign the lease to goes belly up after two years.

Photographic Coffee Fact Facebook Post-1.pngCritical Point # 3 – Watch for Dirty Tricks

In the opinion of this restaurant broker, landlords are the spawn of the devil (just kidding – sort of). Landlords are now bringing on a whole new bag of dirty tricks on transfers. A lease transfer is a courtesy that we are now seeing landlords turn into profit centers. Assignment fees are sky rocketing from $1500 to $5000 per transaction. We have seen some language forcing a percentage of the sales price as a transfer fee (one client had to pay $18,000, a percentage of the sales price to transfer a lease). Many landlords won’t even do the assignment any more but pull out a “consent to assign form” which forces sellers or buyers to get the assignment drafted and have to hire an attorney. All of these dirty tricks are ways to drive up revenue for the landlord.

In many cases, they can charge what they want. Far too many sellers did not spend enough time on lease review before signing. They have agreed to terrible terms and/or payment of the landlord’s “reasonable” attorney fees without capping them. Now landlords are cashing in. They’ve figured out how to make all the money to pay those offices full of legal staff they need to fight you. Now a lease transfer document that takes ten minutes to prepare cost you $3500 to $5000 in attorney fees  to the landlord plus attorney fees on the other side to have someone protect your interest.

Recent other dirty tricks by landlords include keeping security deposits. For fifteen years we’ve seen virtually every lease assignment convey the rights to the seller’s deposit to the buyer. Then the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Now, in alarming numbers, we’re seeing landlords demand new security deposits from buyers while making sellers fight them for return of the own.

Other dirty tricks – saying one thing and papering another. A recent transaction with a landlord in Atlanta turned up a lease assignment that bore no resemblance to the original deal terms. He delayed and delayed before providing the lease assignment at 5:36 PM on a Friday night for a Monday morning closing. He obviously didn’t think the restaurant brokers would read it over the weekend and catch his actions but he was wrong. Watch for late delivery of assignments and read them thoroughly before signing. If you need to postpone the closing, then do it. It’s too important to just accept what landlords give you.

Another recent dirty trick.  A landlord trying to collect fees from a prior assignment at a new closing. We recently did a deal with Weingarten and the prior assignment fee was unpaid. It was owed by the prior assignor. Did the current Assignor or Assignee have anything to do with the last fee? No. Of course not. Did the landlord try to hold up the transfer to get the fee? They certainly did. It took an attorney telling them they had no legal right to do so to back them down.

Selling your restaurant is an exciting time in your life. Be extra cautious in dealing with your landlord to be sure it does not turn into a long term nightmare that costs too much and leaves you with lingering liability for a lease.

Do you have stories of dirty tricks by landlords?  Reply to our blog posting. 


Topics: selling a restaurant

Reasons You May Not Be Ready to Buy a Restaurant

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jan 5, 2018 12:19:27 PM


Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

10 Best Restaurant Twitter Feeds Followed by the Restaurant Brokers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter  -- Franchise Times 

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

#4 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- Technomic

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

#5 Restaurants Brokers Resource on Twitter - National Restaurant Associatio

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

#6 Restaurants Brokers Resource on Twitter -- QSR Magazine

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

#7 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter - Robert Irvine

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

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

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

#9 Restaurant Brokers Resource on Twitter -- Food Network 

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

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

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

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


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

Visit Our Listings Online!



Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

Restaurant Sales Results are Down.  What are you Doing About It?

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Aug 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Restaurants sales for most of 2017 have been soft.  We are seeing reports for both of the first two quarters trending below expectations.  The results are the same for both franchise and independents operators. As a restaurant broker performing valuations on a daily basis we always ask potential sellers the same question we are being asked by the bank and the buyers.  Why are your sales declining?  The most common answer we receive is, “I don't know."

Get our there and Sell.jpgIf you have been reading or even just glancing at the headlines in most trade publications you should know this: traffic is down and there are more options than ever before for consumers when it comes down to prepared food. Are you measuring the decline or working to curb the trend?

Owners will often tell us their plan to grow sales is a “wait and see” strategy.  For these sellers, they truly believe, “it will come back on its own; this is a good location." Other reply that they truly don’t have a plan.  As a restaurant broker focusing on business valuation neither of these makes me feel good.  If you tell this to a banker,  don't count on lending any time soon.  They will likely shy away from your deal with either answer. 

Now that the cat is out of the bag let's try to look at what you can do to curb this trend. Here are three ways you can take control of your business today and improve your sales results.

Review and Refresh your Marketing and Advertising Strategies. Marketing and advertising have changed tremendously over the last couple of years.  If you don’t clearly understand how to interact on social media to drive bottom line results, I suggest you hire someone that does ASAP.

Putting your events and daily specials on social media every day is not having a successful social media presence. You need to measure results and look at each offer.  Social media is not the magic bullet to turn your sales around.  It is, however, one of the ‘must-have’ tools in your strategy.

Community Involvement. Old fashioned community involvement seems to have fallen off the radar but the actual bottom line results are still strong from this tried and true method. Churches, little league baseball, youth football, soccer and civic organizations in your area are great potential loyal patrons for your establishment.  Restaurant owners need to go and meet with the leaders of these groups.  Then figure out the best way to get involved and ask how you can personally invite their members or participants to your restaurant.  

Get Outside Your Walls. In this day and age of technology it is very easy and comfortable to stay behind our screens and interact with others though digital means.  You however, chose to be in the restaurant industry which requires human interaction every day with team members and customers. Most of you enjoy the interactions and this why you are a restaurant owner or manager, otherwise you would have become an accountant! In order to gain sales even in slower sales cycle it is imperative for you to reach OUTSIDE of your four walls on a daily basis.  If you are not out there in your local market meeting new people, thanking and inviting customers, someone else is doing it for their establishment. You should be outside the store with a strategy every single week to develop new business.  Is there a new gym opening?  Partner on a coupon for a healthy “side” for free with purchase of an entrée.  Fun K run this weekend?  Buy yourself a tent and invite the runners to celebrate their success with a sweet indulgence – free dessert with purchase of a meal.  There are many ways to get outside the store and develop business.

While we have restaurant sellers trending right on par with disappointing national trends, we have others experiencing double digit growth.  The difference in the two?  Our growth sellers are using the techniques described above. They are not counting losses, they are making changes.  Above all, they recognize the game has changed and it’s time for them to get out there and yes, SELL!!!

 Interested in know what your restaurant is worth in today’s market?  Contact the Restaurant Brokers at this link for a free valuation

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Topics: selling a restaurant

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

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

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

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

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

Dominique Maddox
(404) 993-4448

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

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

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

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

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

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

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

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

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

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

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

Robert Morrison
(917) 499-5137

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

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

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

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

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

Eric Gagnon
(404) 800-6704

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

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

Cyndi Weinbaum
(770) 851-5194

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

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

Dave Duce
(512) 773-5272

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

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

Steve Weinbaum
(770) 714-4552

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

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Topics: buying a restaurant, selling a restaurant

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.


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.  


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

What is the Process to Sell a Restaurant?  Here are the Steps

Posted by Ken Eisenband on Jun 23, 2017 12:21:04 PM

Are you wondering about the process for selling a restaurant?  The steps are actually very straightforward.  Here's a guide from Certified Restaurant Broker Ken Eisenband on selling your restaurant - step by step.  It's a blueprint from start to finish.  Let us know what you think.

pieces.jpgStep 1 - Preparing the Listing

Seller agrees that We Sell Restaurants has the exclusive right to sell the business at the agreed upon listing price and financing terms contained in the listing agreement.  This includes any other terms the seller agrees to.

Seller furnishes We Sell Restaurants all the necessary financial documents and data required like tax returns, lease, payroll records, etc.

We Sell Restaurants values the business by analyzing the data and in some cases, touring the facility.  A comparison to previously sold restaurants and current listings will be used to make sure we get the right listing price.  That’s critical in making sure we sell your restaurant for the most money in the shortest period of time.

Step 2 - Marketing the Listing

We Sell Restaurants will write the listing copy and search engine optimize your listing to get the greatest possible response. The listing is then email blasted to the most current database of buyers.  That buyer count now exceeds 65,000 and is growing daily. 

Step 3- Maintaining Confidentiality and Working with Buyers

We Sell Restaurants will require buyers to sign a confidentiality agreements and pre-qualify prior to releasing the name and address of the business.

The Buyer will visit the location as a secret shopper.  

We Sell Restaurants will set up a meeting with theSeller, Buyer and Broker to tour the faility and answre any questions. 

Step 4- Purchase Agreement 

We Sell Restaurants will prepare an Asset Purchase Agreement and collect the good faith deposit in escrow.  

Your restaurant broker will provide buyers with third party lending resources.

Offers will be presented by We Sell Restaurants to sellers.

Step 4- Due Diligence 

We Sell Restaurants will set up any meetings to tour the facilities and answer any questions.

Your restaurant broker will work to coordinate inspections or any other due diligence items. 

Step 5 – The Closing

For the final step, the We Sell Restaurants Certified Restaurant Broker will work with the closing agent to insure all material necessary will be provided to ensure a smooth closing for both the buyer and the seller.

All the steps taken during the process of buying and selling a restaurant run smoothly with the help of a Certified Restaurant Broker.  Are you ready to meet a broker in your area? Contact us today!   

Free Restaurant Valuation


Topics: selling a restaurant

Franchise Buyers and Franchise Owners Excited about the Future

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 19, 2017 1:07:54 PM

The International Franchise Association or IFA in conjunction with Morning Consult has released a dynamite new survey about the high level optimism in franchising.  The restaurant brokers have been seeing general research about small business optimism hitting eight year highs, but this is the first survey we’ve seen that focuses on the franchise community.

The survey was conducted online between May 22 – June 5, 2017, among a sample of self-reported franchise owners and potential franchise buyers/investors. Twenty-one percent of their sample was comprised of current franchise owners.  The results are powerful. 

The survey asked how likely prospective buyers are to invest in a business.  Three in 10 (31%) are more likely to buy or invest in a business than six months ago while 4 in 10 (36%) are as likely as before.  Combined, that means 62% of prospective buyers are as likely as or even more likely to buy business than six months ago. Since roughly 30% of all the franchise units are in the restaurant segment, that's good news for those of us selling restaurants today.  Only two in 10 (19%) are less likely.

Ready to buy-1.jpg

Those surveyed believe the economy is improving.  Fully 38% of franchise owners and potential buyers say the economy is improving while half that number (19%) believe it is not. Of the ones that own franchises today, the result is even more bullish.  52% of those who own franchises today, says the economy is improving.  Does that translate into actual spending to buy a restaurant franchise?  The We Sell Restaurants results for the first half of the year say yes.  We are seeing overall improvements in both unit counts and size of restaurants sold.

What about millennials?  The survey found younger franchise owners and potential buyers/investors show high levels of optimism. Almost half (45 percent) of 18-34 year olds report being more optimistic, while only 15 percent of this age cohort is less optimistic.

While they may be ready to buy, they also had a few things on their mind that the government could do to help.  A series of policy questions were posed for feedback.  The data indicates on a policy level that two items are on the minds of franchise owners – taxes and regulation.

Two survey items reinforce the need to a reduction in regulation.  78% said we could improve the economy and the business prospects of the respondent by “Reducing red tape to make it easier to start a business.”  75 percent of franchise owners and potential buyers believe reducing regulations on small businesses would improve the economy.

72 percent believe lowering taxes would improve the economy. 

That’s in line with what the restaurant brokers are hearing from the industry.  Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants said, “We are seeing growth in the first half of the year and optimism by buyers, lenders and sellers.  Despite some soft restaurant sales data at the unit level, the fundamentals of owning a business have never been better and our buyer inquiries reflect that, in particular for franchise brands.”

 We Sell Restaurants is a restaurant brokerage franchise and the largest firm specialized in selling restaurants.  All listings can be found online

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Topics: selling a restaurant