Written by Bruce Hakutizwi, Director of North America for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses.
Many chefs aspire to one day own their own restaurant and run a business that they are truly passionate about. This is a great and exciting path to take towards being your own boss while still doing what you love. However, running a restaurant can require changing your mindset from running a kitchen to include the business aspects and the wider goals.
Read on to discover what you need to know to buy the right restaurant for your needs and then run it successfully!
Know what type of restaurant you want to open
Before you can start looking for a restaurant to buy, you will need to figure out exactly what kind of restaurant you want to run. There will be a few factors that come into play with this decision.
The type of food that you are skilled at cooking will be one such determining factor. If you love cooking fine dining cuisine, this can guide you as to the type of restaurant you want to open. However, this is not the only factor.
It will also be important that you extend the concept of your restaurant beyond this. What is the atmosphere that you want to create? What will make your restaurant different from the one next door? What is your brand?
Many restaurants are successfully crossing over concepts to create a relaxed atmosphere while still serving upmarket food or vice versa. The seating you choose, the way that you light your restaurant and the way that your food is presented will all be a part of this.
The more specific you are, the more focused you can be in finding the right business to buy.
Know your target audience
Part of creating your brand will require knowing who you are trying to target. The customers that you want to draw through the door will only come if you know who they are and can cater to them.
The more defined your audience is, the more likely you are to find your niche and keep customers coming to your business. You will be able to speak to them directly through the channels that they use.
For example, if you are targeting millennials that are working but don’t yet have kids and so have disposable incomes, you can target them through paid Instagram advertising. You can also speak to them by making their concerns yours. Do you use ethically and locally sourced produce? Do you aim to reduce your waste and environmental impact? This is something that you can advertise that millennials will certainly care about.
Finding the right restaurant to buy
If you have clearly defined the brand and customers of your restaurant, you will be clearer about what kind of business to buy. Your previous assertions should inform your business plan. Your business plan will be what you use to approach financial institutions for a loan for the purchase.
Knowing how much money you have available to you will greatly refine your search. You should also know what location will best suit your particular target audience. This will narrow your search further.
Finally, you will be able to determine the business you will buy on how well it gels with your concept and brand. You do not need to keep the restaurant exactly as the previous owners had it, however, it can be very useful in the early stages of the business to have an already existing customer base on which you can build.
It is certainly a challenge to find a restaurant the exactly meets your needs, however, having detailed criteria will help you to narrow down your search.