SELLING YOUR RESTAURANT OR CAFE

Published : 15 February 2016

As with all businesses, there are many reasons why people sell, but burn-out is one of the most common. It can be a tough call owning a cafe or restaurant - and you have to remember that your potential buyers might be worried about that, too.

So, at least six months before putting the restaurant on the market, you need to start creating an irresistible business to buy.

Some of your potential buyers will have had experience in the industry. Perhaps they have done their time as a chef or barista, and now feel ready to own their own cafe or restaurant. They will already be aware how demanding the industry can be but will maybe have ideas about streamlining.

But don't make the common mistake of only marketing your business to those in the know. It will be of interest to all sorts of buyers, including ones with no background in hospitality, who have no intention of actually working in the business.

If the buyer is using a loan to buy the business, they will naturally be very interested in the financials! But there are many other deciding factors, such as style of restaurant, location and set-up.

Everybody wants to buy a restaurant in a top location, say harbour-side in Sydney, but they also realise that the better the location, the higher the price.

But regardless of the street address, they will want something in a busy area, with plenty of passing trade, easy to get to, and including/or close to easy parking.

Sure, there are certain restaurant in out of town locations but, if they are doing a roaring trade, it's probably to do with their well known name and reputation.

To help your cafe or restaurant sell quickly, at the right price, you need to spend time making it look good inside and out. How often do you actually stand in front of your establishment and take a critical look? You need to.

Is it in good repair? Is it freshly painted? Is it attractive and appealing? Would YOU dine there!

The same applies inside, with the added - and critical - factor of hygiene and cleanliness. Sure, there will be some potential buyers who don't care, because they only want the name and the location and plan to renovate anyway.

But the majority of potentials will walk straight back out if the place is filthy and unhygienic. We've all seen Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, right!

And while a busy restaurant is more appealing than one with no customers, you might find a lack of buyers wanting to take on a cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. That is either a huge amount of work for the owner, or a hefty wages bill.

If you have a manager in place who's happy to stay on, that could be a strong selling point for someone who doesn't want to spend too much time in the business - except, perhaps, to entertain guests.

What is your restaurant worth? There are lots of variants involved, based on location (State, town and street), reputation, financials, presentation, inclusions, management, even social media. An active Facebook page with plenty of Likes is a plus point!

The best advice when selling a cafe or restaurant is to talk to those in the know, like Coast to Coast Media. Independently owned and not affiliated with any broker or agent, they are unbiased and very serious about selling your business.

You have to remember, when it's all about commission - which Coast to Coast Media never charge - there's perhaps a different driving force at work in the sale.

In addition, Coast to Coast has a great team of professionals on hand, including graphic designers and journalists, and, because they are not driven by commission, they are working towards you getting the RIGHT sale, and coming away with the money you want in YOUR pocket.