How to Sell Your Restaurant Fast

bizfluent article image

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Owning a restaurant of any size can be a huge undertaking, and many owners find themselves needing to sell their restaurant fast due to competing financial pressures or serious family matters, or simply because they wish to move on to another phase of their lives. According to The Restaurant Brokers website, most restaurant concepts have a short lifespan, typically five years. Selling a restaurant fast is possible and can be critical to a restaurant owner's financial future.

Make sure all the repairs you've put off in the restaurant are addressed. If prospective buyers can clearly see repair issues in a restaurant, they may wonder what other repairs are lingering that they can't see.

Go over your current leases, including the property and equipment leases, and ensure that all leases are transferable or give you the option of subletting. While most restaurant and equipment leases are fair, some could be so restrictive that it becomes prohibitive for anyone to buy. It's also important to note that most buyers want to see the lease first before moving forward with any other price or term negotiations.

Come up with a Summary Page or Basic Information flier for the restaurant you are trying to sell before you even approach a prospective buyer. The information should include the type of business, city, gross income, net profit, years of operation and lease costs. This will allow you to quickly convey information to a prospective buyer, providing a summary of information if asked. The information is also important to include in any online or offline for-sale listing.

Create a Business Offering Package. It should include the information that a qualified buyer would ask for and would need to see: 2 years P&L (profit and loss statements), seating capacity, code requirements, furnishings, fixtures and all other equipment included in your sale.

Draft a blank purchase agreement and have it ready before you find a buyer. Have a lawyer review it to make sure the agreement adheres to your state and local laws.

Develop a marketing plan that is broad in reach. Don't just depend on your local paper. Advertise in restaurant industry magazines and newsletters and on Internet sites, including general for-sale websites and restaurant for-sale websites that match buyers with sellers.

Make sure your buyers are qualified right away. They should fill out a buyer profile/disclosure form. Know their financial background, worth and business skills before you hand out the private financials of your own business

Get everything in writing. Whatever is agreed on and verbally stated should be found on the signed purchase agreement.


  • As an alternative to handling the tasks on your own, hire a real estate broker specializing in commercial property such as restaurants to guide the process.