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Good Management Beats A Good Location When Buying 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.

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

Contributor:

Jeff Back
Areas Served: SF Bay Area, North Bay, Central Valley
Phone:  925-736-8200 Cell, 925-736-8200 Text
J. Back & Associates Restaurant Real Estate was founded in 1988 as the first SF Bay Area firm to specialize exclusively in restaurants. I am the past President of Charley Browns restaurants & have been involved in the restaurant business for over 35 years. Call 925-736-8200.

Comments & Feedback From Pro Intermediaries & Pro Advisors On BizBen:

Posted By: Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange Counties, California    

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.






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