How can I sell my restaurant fast?

How can I sell my restaurant fast?

Every restaurant owner wants to know, how can I sell my restaurant fast? The art of selling a restaurant is different than selling a residential home. The element they have in common is both a restaurant and a home need preparation before hitting the market for sale.

When selling a home, you can usually expect an offer within 1-3 months before owners start to panic. The average time to sell a restaurant is 6-8 months. Restaurant Brokerage Firms will usually ask for a 6-10-month listing agreement, some companies will require a 12-month listing agreement. 

Dominique Maddox an Atlanta Restaurant Broker and Founder of EATS Restaurant Brokers says, “ restaurants with good books and records, goodwill, and location sell the fastest. The best sellers to work with are the ones that prepared their restaurant to sell for the highest and best price.”

EATS Broker provides a checklist of the items to be prepared and available before listing restaurant for sale:

List of fixtures and equipment – only items owned by the seller. Fixtures belong to the landlord. Broken equipment should be repaired before listing for sale. Restaurant equipment that does not work should be removed from the building. 

Three years of profit and loss statements– is one of the financial statements of a company and shows the company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period. Once a buyer has signed a non-disclosure and qualified financially, they want to see the financials for the restaurant. 

Time kills deals and buyer enthusiasm towards buying a restaurant. One of the biggest mistakes a seller can do is list a restaurant for sale and not have financials available for buyer review. 

Three years of Federal Income Tax Returns for the restaurant- the tax returns should be the same ones filed with the IRS. Banks will request a Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return before approving a buyer for a bank loan. 

The original lease and lease-related documents- besides financing the lease can be one of the most complicated parts of selling or buying a restaurant. Some restaurant owners have never reviewed the language in the lease they signed. 

It is important to have a copy of the original lease and other docs associated with the lease, available for buyer review. 

A copy of the franchise disclosure document (FDD), if applicable- A franchise disclosure document is a legal document that is presented to prospective buyers of franchises in the pre-sale disclosure process in the United States.

Restaurants can sell quickly but the real fact is that restaurants will take 6-8 months to sell. To improve the odds of selling a restaurant quickly, restaurant owners should treat the restaurant like a home. Prepare the restaurant for the market, collect and gather all docs before hitting the market. Once you do find a ready, able, and willing buyer, all the docs needed for closing are available to share. 

For more information on the restaurant market and other available consulting services or restaurant valuations, contact Dominique Maddox at 404-993-4448 or by email at [email protected]. Visit our website at