Why Do Restaurant Sales Transactions fall apart?

Restaurant Sales Transactions fall apart for a collection of reasons. Some of these issues can be resolved before they derail a deal from closing, but several problems are discovered along the way.

Once the restaurant seller and buyer have agreed to terms and signed an Asset Purchase Agreement, the due diligence period will start, and the buyer will deposit $10,000-$30,000 in escrow with a closing attorney. The due diligence period for a buyer is similar to a monopoly get-out-of-jail-free card. This gives the buyer the right to cancel the agreement for any reason and get their 100% escrow deposit back.

Due diligence on a main street restaurant sales transaction usually ranges from 10-30 days.

A main street restaurant can be described as a business that:

  • Have less than $3 million in sales revenue.
  • Have a restaurant valuation of $1 million or less.
  • Have adjusted earnings or EBITDA of $1 million or less.

Dominique Maddox, a Restaurant Broker and Founder of EATS Restaurant Brokers says, “I can handle the lion’s share of the problems if I know about them at the start of the selling process.

The more information I can collect upfront can help me resolve future issues that might happen. I have been specializing in selling restaurants for over 8 years now, and I encounter new problems every day helping a buyer and seller arrive at the closing table”.

EATS Broker provides the Top 2 Reasons Restaurant Sales Transaction fall apart?

The Restaurant Seller does not tell the truth and is not upfront with important information.

The restaurant owners know the restaurant’s pros and cons better than anybody (or they should). The individual can be upfront with information or hold back valuable information, hoping it will not come back and hurt the deal.

When working with a restaurant brokerage, sellers are usually required to sign a listing agreement that indemnifies the Restaurant Broker from any future liens or lawsuits because they are only representing the information provided by the seller.

The biggest lies or half-truths a seller will provide will cover:

  • Books and records-Profit and Loss Statements and Tax Returns
  • Tax liens or UCC liens
  • Kitchen equipment working status
  • Partnership status
  • Franchise required training
  • Their current financial situation-includes monthly lease status (do they owe landlord money for back rent?)

Buyer changes mind about buying the restaurant

Owning a restaurant is a lifestyle choice that buyers have to realize before they buy a restaurant. During the diligence period, the buyer will start to poke and analyze the restaurant under a microscope. The buyer begins the buying process with tons of enthusiasm and thoughts of being a successful restaurant operator.

The buyer can easily change their mind once they start noticing errors and mistakes in the financials provided to them to analyze. Restaurant buyers will look at the kitchen equipment with a heavy microscope and detect if the restaurant kitchen equipment is outdated or not working.

The most significant issues for buyers to cancel contracts during the due diligence period:

  • Books and records were not accurate
  • They don’t like or trust the restaurant seller
  • Can’t agree to terms with the landlord
  • Can’t attend the required franchise training
  • Spouse disapproves
  • The restaurant lifestyle and hours are not a good fit
  • Want to renegotiate the sales price and terms
  • Can’t get approved for bank financing

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