Should I Sell my Restaurant?

Every Restaurant Owner has asked the question to themselves, “Should I Sell My Restaurant” at one time or another. It takes a certain person and mindset to want to own a restaurant, and an even smaller set of people have an exit strategy to sell a restaurant when the time is needed.

Restaurant Ownership is a very rewarding experience but can also become a negative burden quickly. The Restaurant business can require an owner/operator to work 10-12 hours a day, work 5-7 days a week, and miss out on spending valuable family time with loved ones.

60% of restaurants will close within 3 years and 80% will close within 5 years. To better understand why restaurants, sell or close at a rapid pace, you must understand what it takes to operate a successful Restaurant business. Some restaurant owners check out mentally from operating the day-to-day operations once their restaurant ownership dream starts to crumble. There are times when selling a restaurant is the best option for an owner. Here is a list of situations:

Health Issues– Operating a restaurant can be very stressful and lead to multiple health problems. Stress can lead to Restaurant Owners experiencing low energy, headaches, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Burnout- This is the #1 reason, according to industry experts, why owners consider selling their business. The normal 10-12 hour workdays can take a mental and physical toll on the body. The required working conditions can take out the excitement of restaurant ownership from most owners. The pressure to increase sales or stop sales from declining can be a mental drain that leaves owners with limited motivation.

Partner Disputes– Partnership disputes happen often and usually force the sale or closure of a restaurant. Most partnerships have a written agreement of each party’s responsibilities, and financial responsibilities. Partnerships come in all shapes and sizes, intending to protect all parties. The majority of partnerships involve an operations partner and financial backing partner. Once partners are not on the same page regarding the direction of the restaurant, it’s time to sell.

Financial Reason– Liquidating the business can often relieve restaurant owners of the debt, other financial burdens, or cash out for financial gain. Many restaurant owners have much of their net worth invested in their restaurant. They have dedicated years of blood, sweat, and tears to build up the business and now it’s time to cash out and retire or move until the next adventure.

Lifestyle Changes– I know of several restaurant owners who have built successful restaurants but want to sell because their lifestyle has changed since they open. Uncontrollable life changes can force the sale of a restaurant. The biggest issues I find are divorce, kids, changes in family living arrangements, spousal job opportunities, or just want to take life in a different direction.

Losing interest in one’s business usually indicates that it is time to sell.

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