1. Where is the restaurant broker located? Are they local and do they have intimate knowledge of the local market?

2. Does the broker understand your business?

If your restaurant broker doesn’t understand your restaurant business, they shouldn’t be trying to sell it.

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3. How long has the broker been doing this and how many restaurants have they sold in the past two years?

4. How do I determine the best price for my restaurant?

This is how you tell professionals from amateurs. Does the broker simply ask you how much you’d like for your restaurant just to get the listing? Or do they take the time to properly valuate your business based on experience and knowledge of the marketplace and give you a carefully prepared market analysis? You can waste months of time on the market figuring out the right price, jeopardizing confidentiality—or you can hit the market at a price that’s going to entice potential buyers.

5. How much difference is there between the “Proposed List Price” and the “Sale Price” of their typical transaction?

Generally, if you follow the advice of your NRP broker, your business should sell within 10-15% of the proposed listing price. No other firm anywhere can match those statistics.

6. Does the restaurant broker invest “hard money” into marketing materials such as direct mail, Facebook ads, email marketing, Google ad campaigns, etc.?

7. What kind of confidentiality does the broker practice? Does he/she always accompany buyers in person to a showing or just send them on “drive-bys”?

How can we expect someone to buy your business without looking “under the hood?” Accompanying buyers on the initial restaurant visit is a time-consuming task that many brokers have become too lazy to practice—but it’s essential. And if a buyer doesn’t want to be accompanied, they shouldn’t be trusted to examine your business.

8. Does the broker require Non-Disclosures be signed in person, or do they simply send them digitally without any “real” knowledge about the buyer?

Yes, it requires time and energy to require a buyer to meet in person—but that’s what your restaurant broker is for. This is how an experienced broker, who takes your confidentiality seriously, separates the wannabe’s and the snooping eyes of competitors and vendors from serious and engaged potential buyers.

9. Does the broker interview every buyer in person to determine net worth, operations experience, and other critical factors to ensure the buyer has the ability to follow through on a real offer for the business?

10. Does the broker quote an unrealistically low listing fee?

While there’s a great deal of time spent finding the right buyer, the real work of a broker begins when you have a deal in place. Keeping that deal in place and closing in a timely manner are when experience matters in this business. If your broker is willing to accept a discounted fee, you should ask yourself why. Real professionals know what their value is. The National Restaurant Properties (NRP) team has over 40 years of experience in daily restaurant operations and has closed on over $10 million in restaurant transactions. We have local offices in 14 cities where we are deeply involved in the local culinary scene and spend our days talking with local operators. Also, if we take your listing, we guarantee to spend our own money to market your business. Plenty of brokers want to list your restaurant business. NPR wants to sell it!

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