Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Who's Buying a Restaurant?  We Compare a Recent Survey to our Restaurant Buyers

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jan 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Want to know who's buying a restaurant?  Guidant Financial just published a great infographic that shares all kinds of useful information about business owners.  While it is not specific to the restaurant community, it represents a lot of information that aligns with our restaurant buyers and sellers.  We compared their data to what we know about restaurant buyers to see how closely they lined up and the results are very similar.  Guidant-Infographic-Survey-That-State-of-Small-Business-in-2016-4.png

For example, 77% of the business owners in the Guidant survey are male.  That's spot on the We Sell Restaurants demographics for both our website traffic and our buyers.  

The top states for buyers on their report include:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. Washington
  5. North Carolina

Okay -- we definitely don't align with this since we don't work in California but Texas is one of our largest states and it is number two on the list.  Florida is also a stronghold for the restaurant brokers and showed up in the power possition of number three.

It is interesting to note that two of the top five states do not have state income tax which may account for where businesses owners choose to live.

The age of most business buyers according to the Guidant infographic is right on target with our restaurant buyers.  A combined 88% of the buyers are either 40-49 or 50-59. Now we don't ask our buyers their age but we estimate pretty closely and this is on the money.

Where are business owners coming from? Fully 37% are opting out of corporate America, a phenomenon we referred to as "Corporate Refugees, Restaurant Wanna' Be's" in our book Appetite for Acquisition. We field calls every Friday afternoon as those stuck in cubicles determine there has to be a better way of life!

Only 19% of those in the survey were laid off and looking to replace income as business owners and that aligns with our restaurant buyers too.  While it's a healthy number at roughly 1 in 5, we find those laid off aren't as willing to risk their next career by moving into restaurant ownership.

When you look at the most popular industries, restaurants top the list!  Fully 15% of all business owners identify with Food/Restaurant as the industry they are part of while the next closest competitor is Health/Beauty/Fitness which is 50% less attractive coming in at 10% and tied with Business Services and Retail.

39% of the buyers surveyed are looking to buy an existing business or open and operating franchise.  That defnitely includes all the restaurant buyers coming to our website.  

The Guidant survey reveals that 35% of the small businesses purchased were under $175,000.  Only 7% are over 1 million.  As "Main Street" brokers, we see similar numbers for most transactions. 

What are the top challenges for business owners?  The Guidant survey indicates that recruiting and retention of employees are at the top of the list while capital and cash flow come in second.  In third place is time management.  

This one's interesting since most of our sellers point to quality of life and time management as reasons they want to sell. 

Overall, this infographic is a spot on guide to the motivations and demographics of not just general business owners but our restaurant buyers as well. 

Looking to buy a restaurant of your own? Check out all our listings online at this link or contact the restaurant broker today for more information. 

For more information on lending options for buying a restaurant including Roll Over 401K plans, visit our GuidantFinancial  prequalification page at this link.  Let them know the Restaurant Brokers sent you!

Visit Our Listings Online!

Topics: buying a restaurant