What Drives The Value of a Restaurant?

The valuation of a restaurant is much like any other business valuation. But, there are certain factors unique to the restaurant industry. The universal drivers for many restaurants are pretty simple: quality, hospitality, consistency, value, cleanliness, and customer loyalty. 

You may have heard the saying that the three most important ingredients for a successful business are location, location and location. Obviously, there are other factors which are very important as well, but you cannot compromise on location.

In a 2005 publication of Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, the authors noted how successful owners were able to describe their concepts - and why people like it - in great detail - those unique reasons why people choose their restaurant over their competitor.

1. Location, Location, Location

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What Serious Buyers Look For When Looking For A Business To Purchase

Serious buyers want to carefully look at the financials of a company under consideration and all of the other major aspects of the company. However, there are a few other areas that the serious buyer will investigate that sellers may overlook. The Industry – The buyer will want to take a serious look at the industry itself, the customers, the suppliers, the competition, etc. This investigation will cover the strengths, weaknesses, threats from competition, and opportunities of the potential acquisition. With the growth of the “big box” retailers, much power has shifted from the manufacturer to the retailer. A manufacturer may want to increase prices, but if Wal-Mart says no, it’s a very powerful no. Discretionary Costs – Some sellers will reduce their expenses in discretionary areas such as advertising, public relations, research and development, thus making for a higher bottom line. However, these cuts will hurt the future bottom line, and smart buyers will take notice o ...

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Is It The Age Of Aquarius For Selling Businesses?

You may have been reading or hearing that conditions in the business-for-sale marketplace have been synchronizing and harmonizing. The stars are aligning, charting an agreeable economic climate in the acquisition universe for Baby-Boomer Business Owners.

Anyone reading our newsletters has been kept aware of the stats, and the numerous articles written on this subject recently from all the big-name business magazines, media news outlets, and others like us: "There's a perfect storm approaching for exiting business owners," "Why you should consider selling your business now," "Small businesses are selling faster than ever," and "Get set for greater intensity by serious buyers." 

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Supplier Concentration And Business Value

Concentration in the acquisition world is a bad word. Businesses with high supplier concentration attract fewer buyers and this lowers the price. What’s too high? Having a supplier with 40% of your business is too high. Diversify if at all possible.

When buyers look at a company for sale, they look at risk. Supplier concentration is one of the top risk factors that are examined. Why? Because if customers push the throttle, the suppliers furnish the gas. A company cannot sell its products to customers if it cannot secure what it needs from suppliers. Any adverse change in a company’s relationships with its key suppliers, or loss of the supply of one of the company’s key products, could have an adverse effect on the business. Therefore, the nature and stability of suppliers is an important consideration in identifying a company’s risk.

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Don’t Fall For It: The 5 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Dreaming Of Selling Their Company

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of working as a Certified Financial Planner™, it’s that entrepreneurs are a special breed of people. They’re motivated. They’re inspired. They’re incredibly tenacious. They’re smart. They’re optimistic. And they know how to get what they want.


On the flip side, many entrepreneurs are guilty of being a little pie-in-the-sky—especially when it comes to their own businesses. Unrealistic expectations of the exit process can both hinder the sale of a company and affect the morale of an entrepreneur getting ready to sell. Be wary of the mistakes below and you’ll enter the exit-planning process better informed, better equipped strategically, and more likely to enjoy your sale process.

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The Best Time To Sell A Business Could be Right Now!

By Jim Stauder The Dow Jones closed at an all-time high on Friday, September 19, 2014. And the NASDAQ and S&P were within ¼ of 1% of their all-time highs. As a result, corporations, private equity groups, and individual investors are flush with cash – trillions of dollars. Where can they go with all that cash? Interest rates are so low that fixed income investments are not attractive. Whereas it’s typical to have a stock market correction (10% tumble) about once every 1 1/2 years, it’s been almost 3 years since the last correction. With international tensions in Ukraine, Russia, Iran and the Islamic radical group ISIS setting its sights on terrorizing the US economy, how much longer can the (stock market) good times last? Where can that cash best be used to achieve adequate returns on investment? The answer – business acquisitions. The buyer demand for good businesses with good cash flow has always exceeded the supply of good businesses available for acquisi ...

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Business Goodwill vs. Personal Goodwill & How They Impact The Sale Price Of Your Business

Let’s start by defining the word “goodwill,” in the context of valuing a business.  The fair market value of any business is made up of the value of tangible assets (inventory, accounts receivable, equipment, land and buildings, etc.) and the value of intangible assets (customer lists, brand awareness, proprietary processes, etc.).  Some intangible assets are specifically identifiable and can be valued; the rest make up “goodwill.”  In most business valuations, the amount by which the fair market value of the business exceeds the value of its tangible and identifiable intangible assets is considered “goodwill.” 
From a purchaser’s perspective, goodwill is the premium they are willing to pay for a particular business, rather than just buying the tangible assets directly and starting the business themselves.  It represents the investment they are willing to make to buy an existing business, based upon the incremental income and cash flow it generates over starting the same business from scratch.
Valuing goodwill is by far the most challenging aspect of determining the fair market value of any business.  And it generally makes up the majority of the difference between what a seller is hoping to be paid, and what a buyer is prepared to pay, for any business.

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Learn From Other People's Mistakes: 8 Sure-Fire Lessons Before Selling Your Business

Selling your business is the most important transaction you will ever make. It would be a shame to spend 20 years building your business like a pro, only to exit like an amateur. By avoiding these eight common novice mistakes you’ll have a more profitable and satisfying experience.

1. Selling Because of an Unsolicited Offer To Buy

Got an offer from a competitor? Or, perhaps a Chinese company looking to buy a customer base in the U.S. These are not unusual occurrences these days. There are countless stories about a competitor coming in with a spontaneous, unexpected offer and after a little light negotiating the owner sells. Another common story is the owner tells his banker, lawyer, or accountant that he is considering selling. His well-meaning professional says, “I have another client that is interested your business. I will introduce you.” The next thing you know the business is sold. Believe me, these folks are buying your business at a big discount. If you previously were not considering this business sale, you probably have not taken some important steps to improve business value and optimize your exit. You may not have prepared for an identity and lifestyle to replace the void that will be left by the separation from your company. Wouldn't you rather be prepared and exit on your own terms….better terms.

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Planning To Sell Your Business In The Next Three Or Four Years? --> Start Working On It Now.

When getting ready to sell a house or a car, the first thing people do is clean it up and get rid of the clutter. It is not different when selling a business. The process just has to begin much sooner.

Buyers look at the past three or four years of financial performance, so that is when the cleanup process should begin. Sellers need to look at what the future buyer will be looking for and organize appropriately. It is important to consider the following before deciding to sell:

Are you taking out too much compensation, travel, entertainment or other related expenses? -- This may save you money on income taxes, but buyers have a difficult time differentiating between what is required for business and what is excess. A buyer may agree to pay x-times, so an additional $100,000 of expenses could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in sale value. With excess expenses, your bottom line or net income is lower, which makes the profitability and the amount a buyer will pay lower.

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Buying A Business? | Buyer Beware: Do You Really Want to Meet Employees Prior to Closing?

As intermediaries, we always look to protect our clients. When a buyer wants access to employees before closing, the risks to the seller are numerous and obvious (loss of confidentiality, disruption to the business, concerned employees, etc.). However, if these are the only arguments made when representing a seller, the buyer may not see the entire picture and perhaps even feel that some of their concerns are being validated. The key is to express to the buyer why it is not in their own interest to let the cat out of the bag prior to closing.

Now, there may be some exceptions, such as a key employee, manager or member of a bona fide executive management team (rare for a small business). Even in these instances, you will want to carefully consider the timing and nature of bringing others into the fold. Also, please note this advice pertains primarily to main street transactions and some at the low end of the lower middle market.

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