Why You Can’t Sell Your Sell Restaurant?

Why can't sell your restaurant?

Have you ever wondered why you can’t sell your restaurant? It’s a fact only about 30%-40% of restaurants for sale listed under 1 million dollars will transfer to new buyers via a sales transaction.

Buying an existing restaurant for sale can be a quick approach to become a restaurant owner. This approach eliminates some of the difficulties of starting a new restaurant.

Today restaurant for sale market is unique and selective compared to the number of restaurant listings for sale last year before the Covid pandemic. Some states have seen the number of restaurant listings for sale decreased by 20%-40% or more.

Unlike the residential market, where it’s a seller’s market, it’s a buyer’s market in the restaurant brokerage industry. The number of buyers in the market looking for restaurants for sale far outnumbers the number of sellers willing or able to sell.

There is an old saying In the Restaurant Brokerage Industry of “there are no bad restaurant listings for sale; they are just not priced correctly.”

Selling a restaurant can be a process that takes 6-9 months before a transaction is complete. Most Business Brokers or Restaurant Brokers require listing agreements of 6-12 months.

There are several reasons why a restaurant doesn’t sell;
EATS Broker has created a list of the most commons reasons:

1. Overpriced Listing– This is the obvious way to keep a restaurant from selling. It’s an emotional challenge for restaurant owners to put a monetary value on their restaurant. The value should be based on the Tax Returns or priced as an Asset Sale.

2. Bad Books and Records– The Tax Returns and Profit and Loss statements tell the story about a restaurant’s financial success or failures. The majority of buyers are only interested in verifiable sales numbers.

Restaurant Owners leave a lot of money on the table when they manipulate their books and records to pay the IRS less in taxes. This approach hurts when it’s time to sell the restaurant and impress the buyers.

3. Lease Terms– In some cases, the lease terms can make the restaurant more attractive or less attractive to new buyers. A majority of restaurants for sale under 1 million dollars will involve a lease assignment or transfer. This means the landlord will approve the new tenant, and they will be responsible for the lease terms agreed upon by the restaurant seller.

Commercial leases can have various rent structures that can make it challenging for a restaurant owner to sell a restaurant.

-Rent Structure- can range from a Net Lease, Single Net Lease, Double Net Lease, or Triple Net Lease (NNN Lease. Landlords can also add verbiage for a percentage of sales.
-Yearly Increases
-Stipulations on Lease
-Lack of Option Years
-Landlord Financial Requirements
-Common Area Maintenance(CAMS) yearly increases.
-Landlord owns the equipment

4.Seller unrealistic with listing– Today’s restaurant sellers have to be realistic when it comes to the resale market. Some restaurant owners expect their restaurant to be sold in a month. Some restaurant owners want to price their restaurant at 4x-5x earnings.

Today’s restaurant owners that want to sell have to be willing to negotiate and be flexible.

5. Lack of Financing-All restaurants for sale do not qualify for bank lending, and a majority of buyers can’t pay a 100% cash price.

It’s a known fact that restaurant owners that offer owner financing get a higher asking price from a buyer. This option does come with a certain amount of risk for a restaurant owner, but it does allow more buyers to qualify financially.

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.