What are the most demanding Restaurants to Sell

What are the most demanding Restaurants to Sell

The most demanding restaurants to sell fall into three categories. Chef-driven restaurants, BBQ restaurants, and unprofitable restaurants or new openings. All three types of restaurants present considerable challenges when it’s time to sell a restaurant.

The cold hard fact is that only 30%-40% of restaurants listed for sale will sell to a new buyer. Some restaurant concepts are much easier to sell than others, depending on the skill level required.

Restaurant owners can improve their chances of selling if they understand the obstacles they will face while selling a restaurant.

Texas Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox says, “ when a buyer is thinking about purchasing a restaurant for sale, they should think about an exit strategy. Concepts like pizza restaurants, sub sandwich restaurants, or ice cream concepts have a large ready, able, willing buyer pool looking to buy.

Restaurant Broker list of challenges to selling a restaurant in each concept:

Cons: Chef-Driven Restaurants: Are usually started by a trained Chef

-The majority of restaurant buyers looking to purchase are not trained, Chefs

-The restaurant is usually branded with Chef’s name and goodwill

-Some locations don’t have a trained Sous Chef

-The consistency of the food can be a problem

-Most will not have recipes documented


Cons: BBQ Restaurants:

The skill level required to produce an excellent product can be high

-Some cultures don’t eat pork products, so they would not be interested in buying a BBQ restaurant

– Everybody does not want to be a pit master

-Time required to cook meats

– Most will not have recipes documented unless it’s a franchise


Unprofitable restaurants or new openings- The most common phrase from Restaurant Owners is, “I just want my buildout cost or original investment back” it sounds good, but it’s not that simple.

ConsUnprofitable Restaurants

-Not making money-buyers mainly want profitable restaurants

-Can be considered risky

-Buyers are more cautious when buying restaurants that are not profitable

-Most times, limited books and records are provided

-The new buyer will assume lease obligations

-Buyer is purchasing used equipment and leasehold improvements


Cons: New Buildout-open less than one year (Seller usually doesn’t get original build-out cost back when selling)

-Tenant is usually responsible for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (CO)

-Many restaurant owners go over the original buildout cost

-Can take an extended time to open depending on supply and demand for supplies and contractors

-The “unknown” cost associated with a new buildout

-Tenants can be responsible for the following build cost before opening the doors

Installing a Hood System

Installing a Grease Trap

Installing new plumbing

Installing sinks

Building out bathrooms

Building outside seating

Installing walk-in coolers

-First, all Restaurant Sellers should understand that the landlord owns all leasehold improvements that are fixtures.

-Restaurant Valuations for new build-out locations is a challenge for a Restaurant Broker

**These restaurant segments were chosen from past experiences after 11 years of being a Restaurant Broker and specializing in selling restaurants only.**

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