So, you've decided that you are ready, or almost ready, to sell your restaurant—now what? Once you decide to sell your restaurant, the next step is finding the right business broker. For the most success in the transaction, you will want to find a business broker that is familiar with your geographic area and specializes in the restaurant segment. When you make the wise decision to use a restaurant broker, you can expect them to provide an accurate valuation of your business, along with resources for lending, liquor licenses, and more. A strong restaurant broker is your key to success when selling a restaurant because they bring knowledge and peace of mind to the table.
Unlike regular business brokers who handle every business transaction from doggy daycares, to car washes, to manufacturing businesses—Restaurant Brokers, like at We Sell Restaurants, only handle those looking to buy or sell restaurants. They know the restaurant industry and are highly experienced in restaurant business transactions.
When selling a restaurant, you want an experienced and professional restaurant broker to represent your business—One that can do your business valuation to ensure that you get the most money for your restaurant. You have one time to sell the business that you have worked years to grow, and you need a trusted business advisor in your restaurant broker to ensure that you get the most money for your business.
Experienced Restaurant Brokers Bring Resources for Selling a Restaurant
In the process of selling a restaurant, prospective buyers will inevitably come looking for lending options to purchase the business. A knowledgeable restaurant broker should have existing relationships and be able to provide at least a few lending options to buyers. This is important as it will help the selling process go more smoothly and quickly. When you are running a restaurant, or preparing for the next chapter of your life, you likely don't have the time to research these lending options for or with the potential buyer. Restaurant brokers at We Sell Restaurants, for example, will refer buyers to our unsecured and SBA-backed lenders, in addition to other forms of restaurant financing.
Getting a liquor license is another important aspect of selling a restaurant that your broker should be familiar with. Every state has different laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol, but an experienced restaurant broker will guide the prospective buyer in the process to obtaining those licenses.
In addition to knowledge of the processes, forms, and requirements associated with liquor licenses, experience restaurant brokers regularly participate in hospitality and restaurant groups locally and nationally. Their participation in groups such as the National Restaurant Association, International Business Broker Association, and state restaurant associations means that they stay up to date on local and national restaurant news and how it may affect selling a restaurant.
Restaurant Brokers are Licensed to Broker Deals
Beyond the qualified experience of restaurant brokers and their access to invaluable resources, good restaurant brokers keep your restaurant business transaction legal. This is probably the most basic experience that any restaurant broker should have before selling a restaurant. Why? Multiple states require a real estate license to broker business transactions, including:
- Illinois (Illinois does not actually require a license, but registration with the state securities commission is necessary.)
- South Dakota
If you are selling a restaurant in any of these licensed states, or are attempting to work with someone who does not hold a real estate license, then you risk steep fines and penalties for illegally brokering the deal. All of our restaurant brokers at We Sell Restaurants hold real estate licenses in their respective states for selling a restaurant, so you can put your mind at ease in that department.
Restaurant Brokers are experienced in Coordinating a Smooth Transaction
An experienced restaurant broker understands the sensitivity of your restaurants information. They maintain confidentiality of your restaurant for sale and prequalify buyers before disclosing critical items such as the name of the restaurant, its address, and most recent Profit & Loss statements. You don’t want your regular customers or employees to lose confidence in your restaurant if they hear that you are selling.
When selling your restaurant, it is important to ensure that prospective buyers are qualified to purchase your restaurant. Buyers should also sign a confidentiality agreement before they can see your restaurant's financial statements and other sensitive information. An experienced restaurant broker will pre-qualify prospective buyers. If you have a franchise or high-volume restaurant, you may also want to ensure that the perspective buyers have the financial means to qualify for the franchise and bank financing before they release the buyers’ packet.
Pre-qualifying buyers means having the time, energy, and relationships to manage multiple prospective buyers at one time. An experienced restaurant broker checks all of these boxes. They will follow-up by phone, email, and text to gauge buyer interest and seriousness. In cases where it applies, the restaurant broker will financially pre-qualify the inquiring buyer. When the restaurant broker handles communications with prospective buyers, it means that you only have to engage with serious buyers who are ready to put in a fair offer on you restaurant. The experienced restaurant broker saves you valuable time and energy while selling a restaurant this way.
Once you receive an offer, the restaurant broker's work is not done. Their services are critical in manage all the moving parts of the transaction. A Certified Restaurant Broker® will handle all aspects of the deal, bringing in closing attorneys ad lending resources when necessary. If you are thinking about selling a restaurant, then you can also read 10 things a restaurant broker does to get to closing for a look at the process an experience restaurant broker will follow.
At the end of the day, a qualified restaurant broker understands the process of selling a restaurant, and brings experience, resources, and peace of mind to the seller. These are vital components that will make the sale of your restaurant business successful and less stressful. Moreover, it eliminates the risk of outstanding issues surfacing after closing.
If you are looking for a restaurant broker to handle the task of selling your restaurant, then use this Cheat Sheet to help you find the experienced candidate for the job.
An experienced restaurant broker can sell your restaurant for the most money in the shortest amount of time. This means not only the best offer price, but also gets you paid for your inventory, and your lease deposit returned. Remember that a qualified restaurant broker should bring experience and resources to the table when selling a restaurant. We Sell Restaurants has more than 30 Certified Restaurant Brokers nationwide prepared to assist you. Contact a restaurant broker near you today to get started in the process of selling your restaurant.
Scott Ruby, Certified Restaurant Broker®, is the Franchise Partner for We Sell Restaurants in Minneapolis St. Paul. From a very early age, Scott sought out experience and inside knowledge of the restaurant business. His first job at age 14 was in a restaurant in his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. Scott’s Food and Beverage industry experience evolved during his years in specialty restaurant management and as a Food and Beverage Director in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a member of Hospitality Minnesota, an organization focused on the hospitality industry and restaurants for the state.