David Whitcomb (Dave), like many of our franchise partners, comes from a restaurant industry background. He owned and operated a steakhouse in Silicon Valley, CA before taking the leap to become a restaurant broker. Learn what motivated Dave's jump to start thinking like a restaurant broker.
The Jump from Operations to Sales as a Restaurant Broker
Every career path comes with its own unique obstacles. For David Whitcomb, a veteran of restaurant ownership and operations, that challenge was learning how to switch gears into thinking from the perspective of restaurant sales rather than restaurant operations—A key difference between a restaurant owner and a restaurant broker.
“The biggest challenge is jumping from operations to sales,” says Dave, “I’ve enjoyed the challenge and grown a lot in the last 3 years.”
In one of his most recent restaurant sales, Dave brokered a café for sale with an international couple looking to accomplish their American dream. As a restaurant broker, Dave shares that every deal impacts his career. For this recent transaction, he had to work with an immigration lawyer and learn the process of brokering a restaurant business with an international buyer.
“It’s important to instill confidence, but at the same time patience, too,” Dave says “because it is a process.”
Moving forward, Dave is a more knowledgeable restaurant broker for understanding how he can help future clients in similar transactions.
A Restaurant Broker Thinks About the Buyer and Seller Perspectives
“When they said they fell in love with the restaurants, it just made my heart happy,” Dave describes while telling us more about a restaurant sale.
Coming from his background in restaurant operations, Dave thinks with the perspective of buyer, seller, and broker. This is an advantageous attribute for a restaurant broker like himself. As a restaurant operator, Dave was thinking about his 80 employees and 6,500 square foot restaurant. He was thinking about his menu, the kitchen, the inventory—the list goes on and on. Any restaurant operator understands that mental load. The opportunity to become a restaurant broker allowed Dave to stay close to the industry without the long hours and operational stressors. Now, he thinks about how he can deliver sales results and help his buyers and sellers.
Passion is what motivated him as an operator, and it is the passion that drives Dave still as a restaurant broker. Every deal is different, and every deal impacts your career as a restaurant broker. At the end of the day, after you’ve thought about the buyer, seller, and broker perspectives, the objective remains the same.
“We’re all working towards the same goal,” explains Dave. Buyers, sellers, and restaurant brokers alike are working together to successfully see the sale of a restaurant. That’s the mindset Dave operates with, and it’s a valuable mindset that all our Certified Restaurant Brokers think with.
That’s really what a career as a restaurant broker is about: excelling as a business intermediary to help restaurant buyers and sellers achieve their goals.
The Restaurant Broker in Action
Being a restaurant broker does not mean that industry veterans like Dave give up their love for cooking and restaurant operations. Just look at our Annual Franchise Conference, where we host competitions that employ those restaurant skills so many of our brokers keep sharp. For example, in 2021, Dave led a team in the Burger Wars competition to create the “Widow-Maker” (i.e., the secret sauce was extremely spicy). Dave and our Certified Restaurant Brokers stay connected to the industry they first fell in love with.
Today, Dave is the franchise partner and Certified Restaurant Broker in Naples, Florida, specifically Lee and Collier counties. He has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, a growing statistic as he continues to operate as a restaurant broker.
If you are someone like Dave who wants to start a new career but stay connected to the restaurant world, visit the We Sell Restaurants Franchise website to learn more about becoming a restaurant broker through our business broker franchise.