How is Selling a Restaurant like Fishing?

Selling a restaurant

Are you asking yourself how is selling a restaurant like fishing? The best fishers in the world know that they are not guaranteed to catch a fish every time they go fishing. The art of selling a restaurant is a process that is not guaranteed to end successfully for the restaurant owner.

If there were guarantees in fishing, they would call it catching. Fishing can be defined as the activity of trying to catch a fish. Selling a restaurant could be described as trying to catch the RIGHT buyer.

When it’s time to sell a restaurant, the owner needs patience, just like if they were going fishing. It can take an average of 6-8 months to sell a restaurant, and only 20%-30% of all restaurants listed for sale will actually sell.

When fishing, bait is used to attract the fish to bite the hook. When selling a restaurant, the lure is the details about the restaurant for sale to attract buyers.

Dallas Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox says, “ providing a buyer with the cash flow, gross revenue,  EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization), and asking price is the bait to attract a buyer.”

While fishing, a person can get a bite from a fish, and the process of securing the fish starts. The restaurant for sale listing can get multiple inquiries from interested buyers before the restaurant is sold.

The Restaurant Broker at EATS Broker knows it takes talking/emailing to anywhere from 60-75 buyers before finding the buyer that will actually buy the restaurant for sale. Only 2% of buyers looking to buy a restaurant will purchase a restaurant for sale.

Once a qualified buyer has signed the non-disclosure agreement and sent proof of funds to qualify for the listing, and decides to make an offer, the process of getting that buyer to the finish line starts.

Just because a fish bites the hook does not mean fresh fish is for dinner. The fishing line can break, get snagged on debris, or the fish just gets off the hook.

Every buyer that goes under contract for a restaurant for sale does not end in a closed deal. The due diligence period for a buyer and seller would be equivalent to a person struggling with a fish on the hook.

Unlike fishing, the wrestling match between the fish and person fishing is usually done within an hour. When selling a restaurant, the due diligence process is usually 10-30 days for deals under $2 million.

The conclusion in fishing is that you catch a fish, celebrate with a delicious meal, or if you don’t catch a fish, you just have stories to tell.

When selling a restaurant after the deal closes, The restaurant seller gets a check at the closing table, and the Restaurant Broker receives a commission. But if the deal doesn’t close, it’s time to go fishing for the next buyer.

To learn more about EATS Broker consulting services or to receive a complimentary restaurant valuation, contact Dallas Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox at 404-993-4448 or by email at [email protected]. Visit our website at