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Don't Buy Restaurant Businesses Without Checking The Competition

In order to buy a restaurant, savvy buyers should perform their due diligence on everything from the financial aspects of the deal to a restaurant's popularity and menu and everything in between, including the local competition. When investigating the competition, most entrepreneurs looks for competitor restaurants in the same price range, those that offer the same style of food, have similar atmospheres, or cater to a similar demographic.

All of those types of restaurants are part of the competition and need to be considered when deciding to buy a restaurant. The latest Census reports that there are approximately 62,000 restaurants in California alone, so there will always be plenty of opportunity and competition.

Don't Get Blindsided By This Competitor When You Buy A Restaurant

There are some competitors to a restaurant business that an entrepreneur might not see beforehand when they buy a restaurant. Not every competitor is another food service establishment down the road with a bright neon sign advertising the same food that you want to sell.

What would happen if, three months after you buy a restaurant, the main road in front of your facility is shut down for long term construction? Now your restaurant is inconvenient to find and get to, which will severely hurt your business. Did the previous owner know that the road work was scheduled and that is why they sold? That doesn't matter; what does matter is that a little bit of research is required to prevent a catastrophe like this from happening when you buy a restaurant.

Thankfully, you can check on this contingency before you buy a restaurant. Look up the local and state transportation agencies in the phone book or online. They will list upcoming road closings and construction online and via phone if you call. This is a vital step during due diligence when you want to buy a restaurant.

Get A Non-Compete From The Previous Owner When You Buy A Restaurant

That's right -- the seller that just sold you their business could end up being a potential competitor. Without a non-compete agreement, there is nothing stopping the previous owner from opening a new business and competing with you. Worse yet, they can entice former customers into the new restaurant and hire old staff to work in their new restaurant.

When creating a non-compete agreement, it is always best to consult with a legal representative. A non-compete agreement must be clearly written with discreet terms in order to be legally valid. Typical terms might include a restriction on the previous owner from opening a competing restaurant in the surrounding area for at least two years.

When it comes time to perform your due diligence and buy a restaurant, be careful of these 'hidden' competitors that can drain your business.

Looking to buy a restaurant business? See all restaurant businesses for sale in California - or sell a restaurant business and reach thousands of restaurant buyers. Also keep up to speed on the California restaurant market (with industry business brokers & experts) with upcoming BizBen Online Talk Shows & Webinars.

About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder of www.BizBen.com (established 1994 - 7000+ California businesses for sale, 200 new listings daily) and the Director of the BizBen Network (16,000 business buyers, 4,000 small business owners, 1,800 California business brokers & agents). Peter Siegel can be reached direct at 866-270-6278 to discuss getting resources for selling a restaurant, financing a restaurant purchase, or buying a California restaurant.


Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Buying A Business, How To Sell A Business



  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses

Mike Brewer: Liquor License Brokers, ABC Consulting Services

Liquor license brokerage and consulting services. We provide: Alcohol License Transfers Application Consulting & Processing, Liquor License Purchases & Sales, City Zoning Permits & Land Use Entitlements, Public Convenience or Necessity Findings and Letters. Phone Mike Brewer direct at 800-437-1100.

Lee Petsas, Business Broker - Orange, San Diego Counties, Inland Empire

UBI Business Brokers has been successfully selling businesses in Southern California since 1965. Our Agents have over 100 years of experience in selling small to medium size businesses throughout Southern California. We service Orange County, Inland Empire, San Diego. Phone Lee at 714-363-0440.

Harry Sidhu, CBB, Broker - SF Bay Area, Central Valley, SAC Region

Assisting both sellers and buyers of businesses - dealing mainly with Liquor Stores, Grocery Markets, Gas Stations, Smoke Shops, Restaurant Related, Retail Related, Service Related. Serving SF Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento area. Call Harry Sidhu, CBB for assistance at 510-366-6130.

Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

Jeff Back, Broker: Restaurant Specialist - SF Bay Area

J. Back & Associates Restaurant Real Estate was founded in 1988 as the first bay area real estate company to specialize exclusively in restaurant real estate. I am the past President of Charley Browns restaurants and have been involved in the restaurant business for over 35 years. 925-736-8200.

William Park, Business Broker - Southern California

Highest Volume Broker in California, Simply Check our HUNDREDS of Listings! Over 25 Associates, Speaking Dozen Languages, Helping Buyers and Sellers of Small Business since 1982, Centrally Located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while Riverside & San Bernardino Counties are Very Accessible.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 800-864-0420.

Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area

Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.


  Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews

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Don't Buy A Restaurant Without Checking The Competition - Key Buying Tips

Looking to buy a restaurant business? Check out these tips first to avoid getting blindsided when you buy any type of small or mid-sized California restaurant. Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen's ProBuy & ProSell Programs & Restaurant Purchase Financing Expert) at 866-270-6278 covers this topic for buyers.

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