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Sell Your Business

How to Sell a Restaurant

Selling a restaurant can be stressful but, if you have a good business and you remain confident, you should get the price you want.

Owning a restaurant is a demanding and time-consuming business but it can also be an extremely rewarding one. Restaurant owners are their own boss and there is a lot of creativity that can go into this industry.

There is also a lot of stress that comes with owning your own restaurant, though, and working nights and weekends is quite commonplace.

Whether you’re wanting to move away from the lifestyle or you are just looking for a change, it can be tricky to sell a restaurant especially if it is still in operation.

Knowing when to sell your restaurant

There are always several reasons why anyone would sell a business. Your decision will be unique to your particular experience. It could be that the lifestyle has become too demanding or that you are wanting to move onto a new and more exciting project.

If you are wanting to get a high price for your business, you will have to make sure that you consider how well your business has been doing and ways that you can increase profits or decrease spending in order to make it more appealing to a buyer.

You should also look at the market and get to know what price other restaurants that are similar to yours have sold for so that you can understand what price you can realistically expect.

The important thing is that you create a plan that will allow a sale to go through smoothly.

Preparing your restaurant for sale Sell Your Business

Increasing the value of your restaurant without spending too much money may seem as if it is an impossible task but there are a few ways that you can do this.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to pay attention to the presentability of your restaurant as well as its hygiene. The hygiene and cleanliness of a restaurant will be an important factor to a lot of buyers and it is something that you can address with not too much effort.

In preparing your restaurant for sale, it will also be important that you make sure you have a clear record of your sales and expenses for at least two years.

This can be made simpler through the use of POS system in your restaurant so that the record is kept for you.

A restaurant can also sometimes rely too heavily on the owner and, if you want your business to be sellable, you should try to get systems in place that allow for it to run without you.

Business valuation, how much is your restaurant worth? 

When you have been working day in and day out at your restaurant, it can be difficult to take out the emotional attachment that you have for it and decide on a fair price.

It might be useful, therefore, to bring in a professional that will be able to advise you as to what a realistic price for your restaurant should be.

The value of your restaurant will be determined by the assets that it has as well as the goodwill that you have managed to build up over the years. The goodwill is harder to get to grips with, but it will play an important role in the final price tag that you give to your business.

Due diligence when selling your restaurant

Before a buyer goes through with the purchase of your restaurant, they will want to carry out due diligence on it in order to make sure that they know exactly what it is that they are buying.

Before selling your business, you could have a legal professional look over your restaurant so that they can point out any red flags that you may be able to address before the buyer is scared off by them.

If there are problems that you aren’t able to fix before the potential buyer does their due diligence, then you should remember that disclosing potential problems to buyers will be much better than trying to hide them and having the buyer get scared off by them.

How to negotiate the sale of your restaurant

When you are negotiating the sale of your restaurant, you should remember that, even though you need to be honest, you also need to offer up your restaurant in a positive way. You should, therefore, practice ‘careful honesty’.

In other words, don’t do yourself down and remember to be self-confident about your restaurant and what you have to offer.

Consider if you need a business broker when selling your restaurant

There are several options for you to consider when you are thinking of putting your business on the market. You can advertise online, on social media, you can rely on word-of-mouth or print media. The other alternative is using a business broker.

If you decide that this will be the right option for you, make sure that you select a broker that has experience with selling restaurants as these can be very different to trying to sell other types of businesses.

The right business broker will have a network through which they will be able to find a buyer and other contacts and experience that might come in useful.

Whatever decision that you make, you will need to make sure that you have done a lot of research and decided on the option that really will be right for you and the sale of your restaurant.

Find out everything you need to know about selling your business!

Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.

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