As you begin the process of buying a restaurant, you’ll want to find a restaurant broker to support you through the purchase. This person will be your guide to the place where your dream meets the reality of owning a restaurant, so you want to make sure that they are the best fit for both you and your potential restaurant. Before committing to a restaurant broker you should have a meeting to discuss your ideas and ask more about them and how they can help you.
Prior to meeting, do your research on the potential broker and prepare a list of questions to ask about them or the process.
What to look for in your research:
- Location is important when choosing a restaurant broker. You’ll want someone who knows the area in which you are planning to open. Where do they operate? Are they local or do they cover a larger area? How long have they been in the area?
- Experience and holding appropriate licensure or education are a good sign that a broker has the background to help you. What are their credentials? Have they worked with restaurants before or in other industries?
- Do they work in buying, selling, or both?
Ideas for Questions to ask:
- What types of restaurants have they helped purchase in the past? Do they have experience with similar concepts to your idea?
- Ask for a general overview of the process of working with them to assess their understanding and ability to explain it in layman’s terms.
- What connections or relationships do they have with vendors, lenders, attorneys, and other specialists you will need to work with?
- What are the trends in the restaurant market currently? Does your vision have potential to fit in that space?
- How do their commissions and fee structure work?
Preparation for meeting with a potential restaurant broker is important, as is the meeting itself. When it comes down to it, you want someone with experience and expertise, but also someone you can work with. You will be spending a lot of time with your restaurant broker and putting your trust in them as you work together, so make sure that they are someone you feel good about.