Purchasing an existing fast food business can be the best way to accomplish your dream of owning a restaurant. For one, you’d skip the difficult part of getting the fast food off the ground.
Like buying fast food franchises where you gain a built-in customer base, and instant name recognition, purchasing an existing restaurant offers the same result.
However, in a fast-food purchase, you gain both the good and the bad. Simply put, some legal or financial mess might await you.
If the previous fast food doesn’t have a good reputation, your new business might find it difficult keeping its head above the water. Before jumping in to make your offer on an existing fast food business, ensure you thoroughly examine it.
Simply because you wouldn’t have to start from scratch doesn’t mean buying a restaurant should be a walk in the park. There are still lots of factors to consider.
Simply put, buying an existing fast food business is like purchasing a used car. So ensure to know everything about the company to avoid ending up with a dump.
Before making the payment for that preferred fast food business for sale, here are some things to consider.
1. Investigate the Reason for Sale
Although it’s alluring to buy an existing fast food business than to start from scratch, you’ll need to investigate the main reason for the sale. Nevertheless, some vendors might not like the idea of questioning them on the motive for selling a profitable and thriving business; it’s reasonable to ask the rationale behind the sale of a viable venture.
A genuine seller wouldn’t have a problem with displaying the financial records for your scrutiny. Don’t take the seller’s reason for selling the business at face value. Conduct your research by talking with similar establishments in that area about their experiences.
2. Critically Examine the Features
When purchasing an existing business, the seller might include equipment, fittings, and furniture into the deal, or the buyer can negotiate their inclusion.
Check whether or not you can alter the commercial kitchen’s design and layout to suit your intended visions and purpose. Fit-out and equipment, which would ordinarily comprise a more significant part of your budget if you’re starting from scratch, can be integrated into the existing layout.
Suppose you need to add substantial-sized machinery or equipment, like a commercial oven or freezer; the existing equipment’s presence may be a hindrance to your design plan.
Have a professional look at the equipment for any damage and verify if they’re functioning correctly and safe to use. If there’s an existing lease, review its terms and conditions critically to avoid any challenges during handover.
The importance of positioning when buying a franchise fast food for sale can’t be overemphasized. Before paying for your preferred fast food business, consider the following:
- High demographic and surrounding population numbers
- Ample parking
- High visibility
- Lack of competitor for a specific cuisine
Imagine establishing a five-star restaurant in a poor neighborhood – a recipe for disaster. Conversely, the benefit of buying a fast food business in a local area is that you can monitor your limited staff and even fill in for an employee if needed.
Check the formula the successful food businesses in that area are using. Is there an opportunity or niche to expand or develop an existing business that your competitors are yet to explore?
4. Financing Your Vision
Buying a fast food business for sale or franchising a restaurant needs a substantial capital outlay. For instance, you’ve got to pay for the property, get licenses, hire staff, upgrade or buy new equipment, amongst other costs.
It’s often impossible to quantify how much you’ll be needing exactly. However, the result of the negotiation and the features and equipment the seller is willing to include will determine the total amount to spend.
You don’t have to make big plans until you’re sure of your financial position. Check how much your financial institutions can lend you and weigh it against your estimated cost for permits, the premise, licenses, equipment, and building alterations, to help you make a prudent budget.
You might be situated in the most desirable location, have a great chef and respectful staff ready to serve your customers like royalty, but when there are little to no customers to attend to, there’s a problem.
Although word of mouth is necessary to grow your restaurant, you need a more advanced technique to get the customers to your fast food business. Consider exploring digital marketing to gain a competitive and sustainable edge over your competitors.
You can connect to your customers and bring your business to their face by providing valuable content online via platforms like Instagram, Facebook, amongst others.
Discover how the locals think of the service and food. Even if you had been a customer at the restaurant, look at it from the broader community’s eyes or use resources like Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau (BBB) to discover what people have to say about their experiences at the restaurant.
Suppose the restaurant has a terrible reputation; it’s often hard to overcome. However, you can increase your marketing effort and tell people the business is under new management. Still, it’ll take extra effort to keep the restaurant afloat.
7. Legal Issues or Tax Problems
When buying one of the listed NNN service restaurant properties, check if the property has legal or tax issues. Payroll taxes or failure to pay sales is a significant reason for restaurant closures.
These obligations become worse under government penalties, and you wouldn’t want to inherit that kind of a mess. Consider checking for the following:
- Customer lawsuit
- Back rent
- Unpaid wages
- Health department citations
You can hire a lawyer to review the restaurant’s public records to avoid future problems.
Once you’ve decided you want to purchase a fast food business for sale, you’ll have to decide if you wish to use the entire brand- the logo, menu, and name or you simply need the equipment and space.
Some fast-food businesses rebrand after a sale. This option is perfect if the previous restaurant’s reputation isn’t stellar. However, in a way, rebranding feels like starting from scratch.
If you intend to make minimal changes, consider keeping the restaurants branding. I mean, why fix what isn’t broken?
Fast food businesses are risky ventures. Even those with a good track record are never guaranteed to succeed, so you’ll need to be careful when buying a restaurant.
If you feel you can make it work, ensure to do your homework and use this article as a guide. Don’t worry. Buying the fast-food business might be all you need to set you on the path of success.
Check out other valuable articles on investing in fast-food restaurants at Buy NNN Properties to help you get started.