J.C. Kapas Restaurant Real Estate Blog
Five Things You Can Do to Sell Your Restaurant Quickly
Whatever your reason may be for doing so, the process for selling a restaurant is tedious - but not uncommon. If you’re thinking of selling, you are going to want to start preparing a few months out. Familiarizing yourself with the process early will save time once you actually take the plunge.
Here is a compilation of tips and pointers we’ve gathered from the professionals:
1. Set The Stage
A good first impression goes a long way. If a potential buyer were to pull up to your restaurant today, what would they see? Is the exterior attractive and free of trash? Do all of the interior lights work? An unkempt dining area, kitchen, or outside could suggest to the buyer that there is an underlying issue with profitability.
When planning on selling your restaurant, it would be a good idea to make sure all of the equipment is up to date and in perfect working condition. You don’t have to update everything at once but be certain that if you dedicate a certain part of your finances to upgrading and replacing equipment, the money will be there in the sale.
2. Get Your Advisors Involved As Soon As Possible
Keeping your lawyers, accountants, and other consultants integrally involved before the business is listed for sale will provide you with much-needed advice on legalities and taxes. The last thing you want is the last-minute introduction of advisors into the negotiation process, hindering the entire sales process. It would be much more efficient to have your team of advisors involved throughout the entirety of the sale.
3. Evaluate Realistically
When appraising your restaurant, it is important that you set a reasonable price. Too high and your restaurant won’t sell, but too low and you’ll be losing money in the sale. It is also important that you assess all factors of value. Does your restaurant get a lot of foot-traffic? How well-known is your brand? How appealing is the location? Do your research to find out what restaurants comparable to yours are selling for in the present-day market in your area.
4. Get Your Finances Picture Perfect
If you haven’t been keeping your financial records in fine order thus far, now is the time to get them into shape. Buyers will want to know how well your business is doing in order to gauge their chance of success in that location. Tax returns, profit and loss records, cost of goods, and payroll records for two years prior should be available if possible. Accurate and accessible records will instill confidence in your prospective buyers as well as set you up for a smooth transaction.
5. Gain An Advantage
With a transaction such as that of a restaurant sale, you want all of the possible advantages. A real estate broker, who specializes in restaurant sales, will be able to help you through every step of the deal. They will be able to give you the best valuation of your property because it is in their best interest too. A real estate team can give you info on comparable properties, connect you with industry professionals that can assist in the transaction, and help move the deal swiftly (and discreetly) through the pipeline. Most importantly, they know buyers. Having a real estate team in your corner will give you a leg up on selling for a price that satisfies you.