The headlines read like the sky is falling. Rising gas prices are taking center stage with ominous warnings about Americans staying home instead of dining out. Gas is up more than 9% since the start of the year. What does all that mean when it comes to buying a restaurant?
Not much according to these restaurant brokers. Year over year restaurant sales have increased in the Atlanta market faster than the national average according to the latest statistics published by Net Financials. Sales of restaurants have also increased in transaction count, total dollars and unit sales. Why are more buyers than ever entering the marketplace and buying a restaurant? Here’s why.
Corporate refugees are looking for a way out of the rat race. They are tired of the wondering when the next layoff will come and they are just plain tired from doing three times the work with half the resources over the past three years. They figure if they’re going to work this hard, they should do it in their own business.
Baby boomers are seeking new challenges after being forced out early. With plenty of funds in their retirement accounts and years spent shaping restaurant trends they are first in line looking to buy a restaurant.
The tough economic conditions have fostered growth in all these categories.
The largest group buying a restaurant however, are the unemployed looking to buy a job. The recession has lasted far longer and the recovery has been much weaker than the nation has ever experienced. After spending more than a year out of work, many of the unemployed have figured out that the best person to work for is the man in the mirror. They are buying cash flow to replace their earnings. They are well credit qualified and have strong management skills and 401K’s that can convert into funds for buying a restaurant.
The final group buying restaurants amid rising gas prices and a slow recovery are restaurant owners. That’s right. Successful restaurant owners are cashing in on the best deals, great lease rates and availability of staffing to expand while the market is contracting. It’s a smart strategy to gain market share.
So while the number goes up at the gas pump, don’t put too much faith in the doom and gloom predictions. There are plenty of buyers in the current market for buying a restaurant.