Why It Is Important to Start with Experience When Buying a Restaurant

Posted by Robin Gagnon on Jun 15, 2011 2:22:00 PM

When buying a restaurant choosing to work with an experienced business broker who specializes in the restaurant industry is well worth your investment. An experienced broker, who works with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, will not spend their time on a wide variety of other businesses.

An experienced broker who specializes in the restaurant business will be able to work with every aspect of the business in addition to overseeing the details of putting the deal together. For example, if you contact them to inquire about an equipment inspection you can bet they will have multiple contacts on their cell phone. Inquire about a food safety education program and you can count on them to have a list of dates. If you ask them where you can find an Ancel System service they will know that it is a fire system and have someone there within 24 hours. The services of an experienced restaurant broker are similar to having an expense paid consultant at your beck and call since the broker is paid through the commissions of the seller.

Purchasing a restaurant is a once or twice in a lifetime experience for you.  It's a weekly activity for a restaurant broker.

Cnduct a search online for an experienced restaurant broker and interview them by phone.

Find an experienced broker by searching online for restaurant listings.  Brokers that have multiple restaurant listings should have the experience you are looking for.  Visit their website.

If the broker provides articles and quality advice chances are they are dedicated solely to selling restaurants. Notice if they use a lot of “fluff” or offer facts such as lease terms and amount, gross sales, net income, or owner benefit.

Determine the broker's level of experience of the broker through their social media marketing strategies.  Experienced brokers will offer quality information related to their area of expertise on their blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and any other type of online social media tools.  

Review their blog and pay attention to the topics they are discussing in their blog posts. You should find information on relevant trends, industry happenings, and restaurant news.

Review a restaurant broker's biography, professional background and education, licensing, and professional affiliations. When it comes to state and federal licensing there is no criteria to meet for a business broker and the licensing does not help to separate the experienced from the unqualified brokers. Not all states require business brokers to have a real estate llicense. 

Once you complete this phase of broker research call the broker to see what kind of response you get. Do they personally answer the phone or return your calls within a reasonable period of time? You want to be sure that they are available and working for you instead of simply hiding behind a sharp online presence. Also, if you work a regular job and you are searching online in the evenings, try calling the broker during this time to see if they answer the phone or send an email to see how fast they respond. Ask the broker about a specific listing, follow through with the confidentiality agreement and then request a package. It is worth your time investment to do your homework ahead of time to ensure that you find a restaurant broker that is qualified, professional, and dedicated to helping you buy a restaurant

Topics: Buying a Restaurant

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