Buying a Restaurant

Restaurants are popular business choices for many people.  Assuming that you have the necessary training and expertise, buying a restaurant can be a profitable choice, as well.

There are several things to consider, before you sign a contract to buy.  The first question that you may want to ask is this.  Why is it for sale in the first place?

There are some good answers.  It is a privately owned establishment.  The owner is getting older and ready to retire. It could be a part of an estate sell.  The owner might have died recently.  In order to settle the estate, it could be necessary to liquidate the assets.

There should be no question in your mind about why the owner is selling.  If there seems to be some hesitation when you ask that first question, you might not even want to bother with asking any others.

The location of the restaurant is very important.  If you find the business by seeing a sign in the window or doing an internet search, then you shouldn’t have to ask about the location.

However, many restaurants are listed through a business broker.  The owner might wish to withhold the name of the establishment until you have been evaluated as a qualified buyer.  It can have a negative effect on sales if customers find out that the restaurant is for sale.

The bottom line is that you might need to ask about the approximate (if not the exact) location in order to be sure that you are interested.  There are a number of things to consider when you actually visit the location, but that’s another subject.

The lease is another important consideration.  In a few cases, the property itself is among the assets, but it is unusual to find a restaurant and the land on which it is located for sale.
Evaluating the leases is one of the 125 due diligence points that need to be investigated when restaurants are sold.

In some cases, the leases are not transferable.  In others, the landlord will want some kind of assurance that you have the necessary experience to operate the business.  Some have been known to cancel a lease when they find out that a business is for sale.

A good business broker will be able to provide all of the information that you need in order to make a wise decision.  Performing the due diligence is part of the job that goes along with selling restaurants and other businesses.