Thinking of Selling Your Restaurant? What You Need to Know in 2022

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If you’ve been following the news over the last few years, you know that business sales are up—way up—for certain industries, including restaurants. And if you’re like many restaurant owners, you’ve been thinking about selling your business, too.

It’s easy to see why. Record-setting sales (both in terms of speed and profit) in 2021 proved restaurants are in high demand. Now is a great time to realize your hard work, make your exit, and leave your business in someone else’s capable hands.

And with Transworld’s advisors at your side to navigate the valuation, negotiation, and closing processes, it’s never been simpler to get started. A quick sale, a tidy profit, and a retirement (or maybe a new venture) to look forward to—bon appétit!

Why is Food Service So Popular Now?

Restaurants (including cafes, bars, and sit-down eateries) were one of the most-sold businesses of 2021. Why? Because they were overwhelmingly popular in the wake of pandemic closures.

Statewide and local safety measures stopped consumers from eating in restaurants. When COVID-19 restrictions lifted and consumers returned to their everyday lives, they wanted to eat out again. Socializing over a meal had historically been taken for granted—but now that Americans are back in the office and back at school, they want the small luxury of eating out.

This also means that while demand is high now, it may not last much longer. If you’re at all curious about selling your restaurant, we encourage you to contact us sooner rather than later—even if it’s just to chat about your business’s potential value.

Food Service Industry Trajectory

So, if we’re unsure how much longer this demand for food service sector businesses will last, what do we know? And what can we extrapolate from that information as we plan next steps?

For one thing, we know that restaurants sold in 2021 were sold more quickly and for higher prices than in recent years. Though businesses in the service sector saw the highest demand (37%), restaurants were the next most popular (26%).

Some experts don’t expect to see these numbers fall anytime soon. Robin Gagnon of We Sell Restaurants brokerage says:

“Opportunities with strong earnings continue to attract those who are opting out of traditional career paths and moving to ownership. Restaurants in certain parts of the country, less ‘locked down states’, have attracted incredible interest.”

Shifting attitudes about employment and labor may contribute to demand for restaurants. Independent-minded entrepreneurs and investors are likely to continue searching for new opportunities as long as these attitudes remain in vogue.

Steps to Selling Your Restaurant

If selling is on your mind, you’re not alone. Thousands of restaurant owners have already made their exits with cash in hand; they’ve moved on to well-earned retirements, new business ventures, and even investment opportunities. You could be next. How? Transworld’s advisors are happy to show you.

Step 1: Retain an advisor. An experienced professional could mean the difference between a lost opportunity and the best possible deal. At Transworld, we can connect you with a specialist in your industry—someone who has sold many businesses like yours and knows what hurdles to anticipate.

Step 2: Keep running your business. Potential buyers want to purchase a business that’s profitable and organized. According to BizBuySell’s Small Business Survey, “60% of buyers indicated profitability and strong financials as a purchase requirement, followed by trained and skilled employees (37%), great location owned (38%), and great location leased (36%).”

Step 3: Take steps to mitigate rising costs. As a result of the supply chain shortage, food costs and labor costs have thrown wrenches in many restaurateurs’ plans for a simple, swift exit. Be sure to keep an eye on your industry’s most critical expenses as you prepare to sell. You might even consider implementing automation on some level (like tableside checkout machines or similar labor-saving devices).

This could be a delicious opportunity to sell your business and enjoy the fruits of your work. Even if you’re just in the consideration stage, there’s no reason not to have your business valued and find out what you stand to gain. Transworld is here to help—contact us today!