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Don't Buy Restaurant Businesses Without Checking The Competition

In order to buy a restaurant, savvy buyers should perform their due diligence on everything from the financial aspects of the deal to a restaurant's popularity and menu and everything in between, including the local competition. When investigating the competition, most entrepreneurs looks for competitor restaurants in the same price range, those that offer the same style of food, have similar atmospheres, or cater to a similar demographic.



All of those types of restaurants are part of the competition and need to be considered when deciding to buy a restaurant. The latest Census reports that there are approximately 62,000 restaurants in California alone, so there will always be plenty of opportunity and competition.



Don't Get Blindsided By This Competitor When You Buy A Restaurant



There are some competitors to a restaurant business that an entrepreneur might not see beforehand when they buy a restaurant. Not every competitor is another food service establishment down the road with a bright neon sign advertising the same food that you want to sell.


What would happen if, three months after you buy a restaurant, the main road in front of your facility is shut down for long term construction? Now your restaurant is inconvenient to find and get to, which will severely hurt your business. Did the previous owner know that the road work was scheduled and that is why they sold? That doesn't matter; what does matter is that a little bit of research is required to prevent a catastrophe like this from happening when you buy a restaurant.



Thankfully, you can check on this contingency before you buy a restaurant. Look up the local and state transportation agencies in the phone book or online. They will list upcoming road closings and construction online and via phone if you call. This is a vital step during due diligence when you want to buy a restaurant.



Get A Non-Compete From The Previous Owner When You Buy A Restaurant



That's right -- the seller that just sold you their business could end up being a potential competitor. Without a non-compete agreement, there is nothing stopping the previous owner from opening a new business and competing with you. Worse yet, they can entice former customers into the new restaurant and hire old staff to work in their new restaurant.



When creating a non-compete agreement, it is always best to consult with a legal representative. A non-compete agreement must be clearly written with discreet terms in order to be legally valid. Typical terms might include a restriction on the previous owner from opening a competing restaurant in the surrounding area for at least two years.



When it comes time to perform your due diligence and buy a restaurant, be careful of these 'hidden' competitors that can drain your business.



Looking to buy a restaurant business? See all restaurant businesses for sale in California - or sell a restaurant business and reach thousands of restaurant buyers. Also keep up to speed on the California restaurant market (with industry business brokers & experts) with upcoming BizBen Online Talk Shows & Webinars.



About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder of www.BizBen.com (established 1994 - 7000+ California businesses for sale, 200 new listings daily) and the Director of the BizBen Network (16,000 business buyers, 4,000 small business owners, 1,800 California business brokers & agents). Peter Siegel can be reached direct at 925-785-3118 to discuss getting resources for selling a restaurant, financing a restaurant purchase, or buying a California restaurant.


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Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Shalonda Chappel: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Christina Lazuric CBI CBB, Business Broker: Orange County

Premier Brokerage for selling Orange County Service based businesses since 2005! CBB provides a step by step approach to Business Brokerage, M&A Services, Business Consulting & Valuations. Contact me about selling or buying service based businesses: 949-257-7823 Cell.

Jim Saxton, Liquor License Broker & Consultant - SF Bay Area

20 years experience of local governmental requirements, such as Police Departments, Zoning / Planning Departments, and ABC District Offices, my company Liquor Licenses of SF Bay Area is very qualified to resolve all of your concerns during the liquor license transfer process. Call 925-787-0770.

Harry Sidhu, CBB, Broker: SF Bay Area, Central Valley, SAC Region

Assisting both sellers and buyers of businesses - dealing mainly with Liquor Stores, Grocery Markets, Gas Stations, Smoke Shops, Restaurant Related, Retail Related, Service Related. Serving SF Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento area. Call Harry Sidhu, CBB for assistance at 510-366-6130.

Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.

Michael Floorman, Business Brokerage, BTI, San Francisco Bay Area

Business Team, San Jose (Campbell) located in the Pruneyard Towers at Bascom and Hamilton. Established in 1981 Business Team with over 6600 sales to date has 1000 business listings to choose from, paid Google advertising. We offer highly trained and experienced professionals.

Michael Davidson, Business Broker - Southern California

Los Angeles Business Broker providing M&A quality services for Small Business Owners. We leverage our technology and expertise to Simplify & Expedite the Business Sales Process. Matching the right buyer with the right business is how we define success.

Rick Carlson, Business Broker - Southern California

You Will Never Feel Lost In The Shuffle. Many Brokers Simply Send Out An NDA And That's The End Of Communication. All Buyers Receive A Personal Meeting With An Ace Acquisition Specialist So They Can Recommend The Perfect Business For You. Phone Rick direct at 800-985-4939.


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