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Choosing The Best Restaurant Broker

Sep 13, 2018
Article #391
Author: Mel Jones

In this age of technology, making a smart restaurant broker decision is much easier than it was 10 years ago. There are thousands restaurant brokers in the United States and around the world to choose from, so how do you make a choice of who is going to best sell your restaurant and bar the fastest and for the highest price? The answer is easier than you think!

Here is a quick list of what to look for:

1. WEBSITE: Does the broker have his or her own website? Is it professional, easy to navigate and formatted in a way that best represents your business? If not, then the broker is relying upon commercial websites such as or to communicate the sale of your business to buyers, causing the broker to lose his or her ability to control the messaging of your business sale to potential buyers.  For example, when the listing is new, the broker can't communicate to buyers that you're business just came on the market or when a price change occurs, the broker has no way to communicate to buyers, who've expressed an interest in your business in the past vi these websites, that there was a price reduction.  The lost ability to control the messaging to buyers is a serious impairment to selling your business. 

2. PROFESSIONAL: Do the listings on the website appear professional, intelligent and well prepared with a wealth of information to entice a buyer to want to look closer to your business?  The secret of brokering businesses is to capture a buyer's attention and direct him to your business. When the buyer spends time researching your business, they are not looking at other businesses. The listing ad should "suck them" into your business and keep them there!

3. COMMISSIONS: All too often, restaurant owners believe all brokers are created equal so they shop for the lowest commission broker. That's like saying all cars are created equal and a Mercedes is the same as a VW, yet unlike the price difference between those two cars is significant, the commission percentage between a top broker and a not so top broker isn't significant.  A good broker can create huge value to your business by preparing your business for market, usually resulting in a price difference that more than covers the entire commission! 

4. VALUE-ADD BROKERING: What does this means? It means preparing a professional business valuation analysis, lining up a bank to finance the transaction, research the area and the business to determine the strengths and weakness emphasizing the weaknesses in the ad so a buyer knows where to grow the business (don't be offended because of the weaknesses, they help add value to your business), writing an intelligent ad and having all the documents at the broker's finger tips ready for a buyer's review. Remember, if a buyer is looking at your listing, he or she is not looking at other businesses.  

5. GREAT FOLLOWUP: Followup and follow through are where so many brokers drop the ball. Try calling 10 broker or dropping e-mail to 10 brokers.  See how many respond with quality information. Have the broker describe his or her process of finding, communicating and following up with prospective buyers. They should have a comprehensive system supporting them to monitor buyers on their website, generating communications between buyer, seller and broker.  They should produce weekly or monthly reports for their clients highlighting the activity surrounding their business including how many views, how many buyers inquired, how many buyers signed an NDA and where the buyer activity is being generated from. 

These five points are critical to selling your restaurant at the highest price in the least amount of time. This is why SellingRestaurants sells 70+% of the restaurants and bars it lists. No broker can make this claim!  We strive to always improve our exposure and reach, resulting in faster sales at greater prices. 

Give me a call at 800.576.3615 and let's talk about your business. 

Mel Jones. 



Mel Jones is one of the premier restaurant brokers in the nation having published hundreds of articles on buying and selling a restaurant and bar business, selling thousands of restaurants in CA., WA and AZ and building one of the most copied business models in the brokerage industry.  Mel started SellingRestaurants in 2004 with the one simple concept, give the buyers the information they need to make intelligent buying decisions without being pestered by a broker or hiding information, prepare the business for market by researching key details that make or break deals and educate the buyer on the buying process to create an intelligent buyer.  Prior to SellingRestaurants, Mel was a Chief Financial Officer for Universal Music Group, the largest music company in the world.  There he participated in more than $11.5 billion of merger and acquisition transactions.  He also work for top companies such as Nestle Foods, USA. He hold a Bachelors in Business Administration Finance as well as attended Law School at Gonzaga University.  He is a volunteer coach at Westlake High School track and field specializing in shot put and discus. 

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