How to Sell My Restaurant Business?
Keep it confidential
Don’t stop improving
Prepare finance & legal papers
Get a market valuation
Sell yourself or with a broker
Whatever the reason may be, selling a restaurant business is not easy. Not only a restaurant business but selling any business can be stressful and frustrating.
And selling restaurant business gets even more trickier if it is operational and you don’t want your staff or customers to know that you are selling your business. Once the word is out, that could be the beginning of the end of your business. Hence you must take careful steps while decided to exit your restaurant business.
Keep it Confidential
Once you have decided to sell your restaurant business, don’t let your staff and customers know about it. Why? When your staff know, they will certainly look for other jobs, they will not be motivated, their overall job performance will decline.
And if your customers know about the selling, their perception towards your restaurant may change, which could result in choosing competitors over you.
Don’t Stop Investing & Planning
Most of the restaurateurs and business owners shoot in their foot when they make decide to sell their business and stop investing & planning into their business. Why? Selling a restaurant business takes time. You must be extremely lucky to find a buyer and complete a deal within 8 weeks. Some restaurant businesses even take years and years to find a buyer at the right price. Hence, if you stop investing and improving your restaurant business, its actual value will decline day by day.
Prepare Financials & Legal Documents
Many restaurant business owners want to sell their business, however there is no business to sell. Why? First, they don’t have financials in order. A business is a business when there are financial accounts showing the revenue, expenses, and net profit. So, if you don’t have financials in order, get then sorted as soon as possible.
How about the legal documents like lease, title register, title plan etc. And premises license, EPC, safety certificates? Get them ready. Sort out the list of fixtures, fittings & equipment (FF&E).
Get a Market Valuation
Do some online research. Lookout for restaurants like yours and how much are they marketed at. But you must know the fact that no two restaurant businesses are similar. Properties are similar but not the business. Business is subjective; hence value of your business is what the buyer is willing to pay.
You can also ask some local commercial agents and restaurant business brokers to give you a valuation. Getting a £250,000 valuation for your high street restaurant sounds appealing, but you must ask the valuer about the basis of the valuation. Also, ask this question to yourself, if you were the buyer, would you pay the premium or price which you as a seller is asking for?
See our guide about Restaurant Valuation
Sell Your Restaurant Business Yourself
You can sell your restaurant yourself. There are several online platforms of selling restaurant businesses. Simply sign up with them, prepare advert, take nice pictures, and post it online.
Please note, restaurant business selling platforms will charge you a monthly upfront fee until sold, ranging from £50-£100 per month. So, if you choose to sell via 5 different selling platforms, you could end up paying £250 to £500/month until sold.
Use a Restaurant Business Broker or an Agent
You can always speak to several brokers and agents and then decide which one to go ahead with. Some brokers charge upfront marketing fees, some don’t.
A restaurant business broker will give you a valuation, prepare the advert and post it online and market the business via several other mediums. Some work on a fixed fee, some charge a % of the selling price.