Selling your fast and casual restaurant franchise may be the farthest thing on your mind right now. Especially if you’re riding the wave of success for one of today’s many food crazies (think Pokeworks, MOD Pizza, or Wahlburgers). Yet with the fast-casual industry set to hit $ 67 billion by 2020, you never know when the right opportunity to sell your restaurant might present itself. As a smart and savvy business owner, you need to be prepared.
When everything runs like a well-oiled machine and you feel like your restaurant is running on its own, it’s easy to get lulled into complacency. This might lead you to believe that you would not consider selling your business for many years. But this mindset can be limiting and cause you to miss out on potentially lucrative opportunities if they arise.
When the opportunity presents itself
Although you are not actively looking to sell your business, someone else may be looking to buy a franchise when strategizing to enter the fast-casual dining space, or when looking to expand an existing operation. It could mean an attractive and lucrative offer that you don’t expect.
As a franchise owner, you know your restaurant is worth the most when the business is good, not when the business is in trouble or an owner is desperate for a sale. You should always consider the potential longevity of your business and be realistic that you won’t be holding the cards indefinitely when it comes to making a healthy profit from selling your restaurant.
Aside from the potential opportunity to take advantage of a fast-paced, laid-back booming market, there are a number of operational advantages associated with being prepared to sell your restaurant. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that maintaining a sales mindset can improve the way you run your restaurant on a daily basis:
Keeps your restaurant running at its best: First and foremost, there’s the right logic that running a business like it’s for sale and you’re wooing potential buyers is a great way to make sure it’s running at peak performance. Just like people, companies always look more attractive during the brokerage phase. When things are going well, it’s easy to get complacent. Running your restaurant as if a potential suitor could walk in the door at any time can have positive ripple effects, including better customer service, increased cash flow, and a better reputation through positive customer reviews.
Holds you responsible for details: Keeping the books and records of your business can often take a back seat to the day-to-day management of the customer side of your fast-casual restaurant. Having your restaurant ready for a potential sale will hold you accountable for keeping your books, records, licenses, and any other business details that may be put aside for what appear to be more urgent needs.
Helps you establish repeatable processes: Always being ready for a sale will force you to embrace operational efficiencies and processes that are easy to duplicate. Efficient and repeatable processes mean a greater chance of success when and if you decide to expand your business to other locations.
Facilitates the definition of your sales criteria: When you’re caught up in the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, it’s hard to envision or define criteria that would make you consider a sale. But when you are ready to sell, then you can begin to consider the reasons and circumstances under which you might actually consider selling. Keeping the sales potential top of your mind will make you more aware and prepared for potential opportunities that are too appealing to be overlooked.
If you’re serious about preparing your fast, casual restaurant, you’ll want to consider bringing in professionals to help make sure your financial and legal documents are up to par if a real sale goes through. And when the time comes when you are ready to actively seek out a buyer, be sure to register your franchise for sale with a reputable partner.