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Good Management Beats A Good Location When Buying A Restaurant


Good Location Important When Buying Or Selling A Restaurant

People who know me know my opinion about what it takes to be successful in the restaurant business- and it's not just a good location.  What makes a difference time and time again is the difference in management.  Good management is the key to success.  Every time you hear its Location Location Location, I say it's Execution Execution Execution!

Look over my list of "done deals" over the past 23 years and you will notice that many are no longer in business.


Some have been sold as many as four times.  But eventually, with good management, the same location that was once a loser has been turned into a winner by good management.

Nowhere is this truer than with the Charley Brown's chain.  These restaurants flourished for many years but are now all gone in the Bay area. There are many reasons for their demise, but location is not one of them.  Their locations were always terrific and are still terrific even though Charley Brown's is no longer in business in the San Francisco Bay area.

The best location is the right location.  You have to take into account the characteristics of the concept and match them up to the characteristics of the location. Different concepts have different location needs and different affordability.

When I'm trying to help someone find a site, buy a restaurant for sale, or sell their restaurant, I try to use all of my experience in the restaurant business so that the right decisions are made.  The same location can be absolutely perfect for one concept and absolutely wrong for another concept.

I have had many of my clients for 10 to 15 years or more.  These long term relationships mean a lot to me and I am rewarded with a good deal of inside information that I can use to help them and others make the right real estate decisions.

The restaurant business is difficult to say the least. But it is an exciting business, and an ever changing business.  And, it can be a very profitable business.

Jeff BackAbout The Author:  Jeff Back is the founder of J. Back & Associates Restaurant Real Estate. - specializing exclusively in buying, selling and developing restaurants, bars and nightclubs. View more information about Jeff Back at J. Back & Associates & his listings or phone him direct at 925-736-8200 about selling or buying a restaurant in Northern California.


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


Comments Regarding This Blog Post


I think it's also true that an owner/operator must also have a love of people or at least good customer service skills. I have had clients where I have steered them away from certain businesses, because I knew it would not be a good match.

I had a client who was interested in a dance clothing store near the coast, but later changed her mind and wanted a bar/dance hall about an hour and thirty minutes inland. I told the client that I felt it would not be a good match for her, even though I probably could have sold it to her, and made a higher commission, but it breaks my heart to have to relist something six months after a client buys something (at a 40-50K loss, because of insufficient books).

Bars, liquor stores, restaurants, and coffee shops really demand that the owner really enjoy being there and connect with the customers, because the temperament of the owner sets the mood for all other management and employees underneath.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
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.

Steve Zimmerman: Restaurant Broker Specialist

Steve founded Restaurant Realty in 1996. He has personally sold/leased over 900 restaurants, bars & clubs, & completed over 3000 valuations. The author of "Restaurant Dealmaker - An Insider's Trade Secrets For Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club" available on Amazon. Reach Steve direct at 415-945-9701.

Taj Randhawa, Business Broker Specialist - Gas Stations, Liquor Stores

If you are interested buying or selling a gas station, liquor store feel free to phone me for a consultation. My vast experience & specialization in gas stations & liquor stores helps me in serving my clients with full confidence, trust & sincerity. Serving Central Valley, SF Bay Area. 559-259-4247.

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.

Prabhjot Randhawa, Broker: SF Bay Area, Northern Central Valley

I'm a Business Advisor at Liberty Business Advisors of San Fransisco. I have over 20 years of experience in all phases of entrepreneurship. During the past 15 years my concentration has been in business of mergers and consulting. I have owned and operated over 10 businesses.

Timothy Cunha, J.D., Business Broker, Northern California

Having managed and sold several businesses of his own, Tim offers business sellers extensive personal experience and professional expertise in building business value, planning a successful exit strategy, "packaging" and promoting the sale, and coordinating a successful sale. Phone 650-600-3751.

Rob Hartman: Business Broker, SF Bay Area

Business brokerage services in the SF Bay Area. I bring skill, integrity and energy to all of my clients and our projects. I'm accustomed to working with a wide variety of clients and their businesses; large or small, simple or highly complex. Get a free consultation by phoning 650-279-3097.

Manjit Singh: SF Bay Area - Business Intermediary

Assistance in the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact me about buying or selling a restaurant, liquor store, gas stations, markets, and c-store businesses. If you are looking to buy or sell a SF Bay Area liquor store, market, c-store, restaurant, etc phone me direct at 510-417-9429.


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In this Discussion, Peter Siegel MBA (Business Purchase Financing Advisor at 866-270-6278) discusses financing of purchasing a small to mid-sized restaurant business (with or without real estate). When it comes to financing a restaurant, potential restaurant buyers have many options to choose from.

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FREE Webinar: Buying Or Selling San Francisco Restaurants - Best Practices

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Specialty Restaurant Broker Discusses Liquor Licenses & Working With The ABC

What you will read in this BizBen blog post you will probably not find in any manual or set of instructions provided by the ABC (liquor licenses in California). This blog post by Jeff Back (SF Bay Area Restaurant Broker Specialist) at 925-736-8200 discusses this topic of liquor licenses in detail.

Tips From A Restaurant Broker - Check A Restaurant For Karma Before You Buy

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