I think we're done.....

We’ve been at this for 2 years and maybe anyone else would be thrilled with where we are. We have 1 store doing about $10,500 average with peaks up to 14K and a second store averaging about 6.5K weekly. The money is pretty good but we didn’t have restaurant experience when we started and find this exhausting. We’re not sure the success is worth the price and think maybe someone with background and love for this might find it more rewarding and enjoyable.

That said, does anyone have advice on the best way to sell? I listed a classified here but am considering a business broker. Does anyone have experience with a professional or any advice? Thanks!

Just how did you get sales to 10.5/wk within 2 years without any experience?

You should be able to hire a pretty decent GM with those kind of sales. It takes alot of stress off, believe me.

My husband is very social and committed to success, I am the financial end and together we just refused to accept anything but success. It took about 7-8 months before we broke even (both held full time jobs the first year to stay afloat). I did marketing by trial and error to figure out what worked and when we found something we hit it hard.

We’ve been averaging our current numbers for 12 months staight now and honestly, the employee management is the toughest part. We can’t find anyone trustworthy to help out. Someone else can reap the benfits of what we’ve done.

Who do you have running both stores? It was alot easier when i sold my 2nd store and was able to concentrate on my #1 store. I feel for you, it is real hard to find trustworthy people…

I’ve been trying to sell one of my store for 5 months and I didn’t get any serious offer. We are asking $360K
I sold my 2 other stores in less than 1 month with broker about 2 and 3 years ago when economy was looking in good shape. Ordinary people with no business experience had cash from their house to buy business. So everyone jumbed in to get into business.

What happend now?

Only people got cash now days is the ones that knows what they are doing, not the ones that made money on houses. They made money on other ventures, and these people are much clever when buying busineses and they are very cautios. They know the economy really well.

Anyways, any rightminded person wouldn’t get into restaurant business at this time for their first time. It is tough times.

But I recomend using good broker who has good network. I use Sunbelt Brokers.

Doggie Boyz

I am sort of sad to hear that you are getting out. Also sort of glad you are trying to leave on a good note with some possible sale profit, rather than failing and walking away with debt. Hope you find a buyer. Having the base nearby should be a good selling point and make more attractive for prospective buyers.

Personnel is always the toughest part of the business, eh? Had an employee of 3 years, our main weekday driver, quit by phone a few hours before her shift Tuesday. Almost 12 hours notice, except she ended up leaving a voice mail that we never heard, and only found out the deal when her husband and daughter came to get her paycheck that night. I can understand the need to move up and on when a new job is available, but that isn’t something we forgive easily. People are hard to find, keep and motivate.

I feel for you and hope you find someone who sees the business as a diamond in the rough . . . and has $$$ to pay for it.

I feel your pain. We have 1-2 good employees but even the headache that they give us is just not worth it. Life is short, and the amount of stress that we have from this business is amazing.

Don’t get me wrong. The hours I was working sucked, and my income was laughable. Dealing with the employees is what finally drove me to sell though.

Ah, integrity, ethics. Far too many people today have either never heard of the words or simply do not feel they are important. Where is this coming from? In my day as a youth my parents reminded me constantly of the importance of integrity and ethics. It was ingrained in me and my siblings from the get go. You want to quit your job? Give proper notice to your employer and in person. My father explained to me that this was first to my benefit and secondly to the benefit and consideration of my employer. Walk away if you must but do it honorably.

Today we see the lack of parental training. In some cases we see parents supporting poor behavior and even theft. If you can get away with it then you are ahead is the motto of many. I think what amazes me even more is that we tell all of our employees multiple times during their employment that if they think they need to quit then all they have to do is give us reasonable notice and we will fully support their decision. Our employees have a right to make changes and decisions that they perceive will benefit their lives and their families if they have them. Never have we ever given an attitude or treated an employee differently simply because they have given notice to quit. And yet we still have employees who give zero notice or, worse yet, simply fail to show up. I am not a betting person but I would bet some money that the majority of these people will proceed through life never accomplishing much. It still amazes me that some of our employees who quit with no notice actually come back and ask us for a job after a time. We usually explain that we would love to hire them back(and usually we do need people) but given they way they left we absolutely cannot. We cannot because it would undermine our credibility with our current employees and we would quickly see a deterioration. Good people (employees), honest people, those with a sense of honor and ethical behavior do not want to work in an environment with those who do not exhibit those qualities and they will soon leave or gravitate towards the behavior of the wrong headed people. It is somewhat ironic, is it not, that the wrong headed people can work in an environment with other wrong headed people as well as in an environment with the good people.

It is my opinion, when considering where all this poor behavior comes from, is that it comes first from the parents who are either passive in terms of not teaching their children the importance of these values or who actually encourage their children to exhibit less than honorable traits and behavior. The next source might be our government leaders (not all of course), who are often caught in situations less than honorable whether it be lying, cheating or of a moral nature. Throwing these kinds of politicians our of office sends a message to the rest of us that ethical behavior is important. If they are allowed to evade the penalty and even get re-elected then we must share the blame/responsibility. It should not make any difference what party these kinds of politicians belong to; if they violate our trust then they should be booted out of office. Instead, today, the lessons our young people are learning is that if you are slick, if you know how to work the system, then you can succeed while not having to adhere to the traditions of ethical behavior. Our children are bombarded with examples of this daily on t.v. and in the newspapers so the end result is predictable especially if the parents are not doing their job of implanting the important correct values on a daily basis.

GMAC Tell us how your really feel :smiley:

Hey Top,

I thought you guys had way higher numbers than that. In my neck of the woods, upper east coast, those numbers will not work in this economy. I am sorry you’re going through this.

The best way to sell is through your vendors if you have a quality business. You might end up paying a commission but they promote you to people you would otherwise not have exposure to.

I know a girl, Jen, pretty Italian girl that just landed in your area going to college - I think in your town. She has excellent work ethic and is committed. She might need a little training in the area of homemade and unfrozen. I’ll send her your way for an interview.


Quality, Excellence, Difference, Professional and Friendly.

Easier done than said : )


Hey, GMAC, every generation seems to have said that about the following generation. (However, that does not mean you are wrong. I share the same opinion and am rarely wrong! :smiley: )

We are putting Integrity front and center in our business. It is in the business plan and guides all aspects of operations. We expect it of our stakeholders as well. It has determined which suppliers we chose and the people we hired. You cannot teach integrity. “Integrity” is fast becoming an overused buzz word rather than a very real characteristic business owners and of those they choose to do business with.

When you’re looking at the characteristics of how to build your personal life, first comes integrity;

Second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and, last and least, experience.

Without integrity, motivation is dangerous.
Without motivation, capacity is impotent.
Without capacity, understanding is limited.
Without understanding, knowledge is meaningless.
Without knowledge, experience is blind.

Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with the other qualities.

Make absolute integrity the compass that guides you in everything you do. And, surround yourself only with people of flawless integrity.

Karl Eller

Hey, GMAC, every generation seems to have said that about the following generation. (However, that does not mean you are wrong. I share the same opinion and am rarely wrong! ) dewar…

Loved the Eller quote.

I know that each generation somewhat disdains the succeeding generation in some fashion and to some degree. There are changes in music, dress, speech, etc. but I believe there are certain rock solid characteristics that should be aspired to, taught, supported and valued by society. The obvious ones are integrity, ethics, honesty, etc.
Deceiving, lying, cheating, etc. cannot be earmarks of an honorable society. We cannot allow “the times” or the next generation to gravitate towards a position where these elements become even somewhat acceptable. Giving in to the movement or, worse yet, being a willing participant devalues us, harms our families and certainly contributes nothing positive to our country. There is no real or ultimate happiness to be found in this direction either. I have seen far to many people in my life who have cheated, deceived and lied and who had apparently done well as far as anybody could tell. In time most were found to be paying the price. There was unhappiness, disrespect by their acquaintances and community, sometimes a loss of family and variety of other visible evidence. How does one deal with an issue where their children find out their father or mother is a cheat, a liar or is disrespected in the community? How does one deal with a situation where no respectable person wants to be around them?

I read something interesting a few years ago about homeless people. The question was why there seems to be so many more homeless people today as opposed to decades ago. One theory put forth pointed out that our large cities have the majority of the homeless whereas very few are found in small town America. This theory postulated that in decades past there was always a stigma attached to being homeless. In our large cities this stigma has mostly disappeared whereas it still exists in small towns. Can it be today (in this instance concerning our employees) that the stigma that used to apply to dishonesty (name your vice) has been greatly diminished?
I had an attorney friend and I remember when we had a U.S. President who boldly lied to the American public. She defended his actions by saying that everybody lies and that it was no big deal. Well, I think it is a big deal and it matters not the political party. The President of the United States represents all of us, he is looked up to by children, he is the most prominent face of this country to the world. He is, and must be, held to a higher standard. “Everybody does it” and “no big deal” just doesn’t work.
If there is any agreement that the values above are critically important to us then how do we ensure their validity? How do we ensure that this generation and the next hold them dear and understand how critical they are? I can only guess but my first thoughts are that each one of us, individually, shows by example, by word and by deed every day and at every opportunity as best we can. We pass it on to our children and our employees. As employers I think we have a unique opportunity to touch our employees while many of them are still in their formative stages. Many of them are still deciding, sometimes whether they know it or not, what is right and which way they want to go. This is not being nosy or intrusive; it is passing on lessons and values that over the span of history have proven their value. It does not require, suggest or try to influence vocational, political or personal decisions or lifestyles. Young employees can really be a headache sometimes and frustrating as some here have said. But there are rewards. There is the reward of building a good business with the right culture. There is the reward, of occasionally helping one young person get off the wrong track and on to the right one.

I apologize for such a long post, way to much time on my hands tonight not to mention that it is off topic I think. This is the Dr Laura thread is it not?

Busy, busy - took me a while to view advice. I had to grin at the “I thought you were doing more”. Gee, just shy of $1 million a year and you think we should be higher?? Golly, I wouldn’t have time to sleep!!

You are all right, though. I think what gets me most about all of this is that it can be a fun business, the customers are great and honestly, the money isn’t bad. We make a living and have a couple bucks in our pocket so I’m not really complaining about that. The sad state of the current workforce is depressing.

In the past 6 weeks, we’ve had 1 deserter from the military, 1 employee walk off with keys, cash, and equipment, 1 totaled his car within 10 minutes of leaving work because he was “sniffing”, 1 quit because it “wasn’t fun anymore”, 1 quit because she “loves us but didn’t feel like we loved her anymore”, 1 having a baby and it’s too hot (6 weeks pregnant), 1 let go because his car broke down at least once during his shift, and always on the way to a delivery so the food didn’t make it to the customer, and on and on and on.

When I was 16 I worked fast food and fell down one day on my way to work. Picked myself up and rushed off to clock in on time. The manager called my mother to take me to the hospital because I sliced my knee open to the bone and was bleeding everywhere. I still clocked in on time, though, and after I was stiched up, I came back the next day and did my job even though I couldn’t bend one leg and mopping was tough. I did it anyway because it was my job.

What’s wrong with today’s parents that they cannot instill work ethics or basic skills? God bless each of you that come in every day and do this, stick with it and still love it. My new goal is to find a manager to take care of all this but I don’t hold out much hope. Thanks for the advice and support!

My defeatist way of dealing with employees is by having far more hired and scheduled than I actually need. On any given night I have at least 3 more people than I need. This past Saturday it was 8 (usually in the summer I have many people on vacation at any given time, not this year). Yes it kills the bottom line, but I used to lie awake at night worrying about staffing and scheduling. Not anymore. I actually encourage my employees to take days off to thin out the crowd. This new system works better for them as well, before it was difficult for them to get time off. About eight years ago I was ready to get out for the same reasons as you. Good luck to you.

Check out some interesting facts about Jacksonvil NC
http://www.bestplaces.net/city/Jacksonv … ina.aspx#0

Some of the info:
“Jacksonville public schools spend $4,410 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 15 students per teacher in Jacksonville.
The unemployment rate in Jacksonville is 5.30 percent(U.S. avg. is 4.60%). Recent job growth is Positive. Jacksonville jobs have Increased by 4.84 percent.
The median age is 23.1. The US median is 37.6. 50.25% of people in Jacksonville, NC, are married. 5.59% are divorced.”
This may explain some of the trouble with finding good people to work.

In your situation I think you will need:

  1. Sell the least profitable store (not necessarily the one who makes the least sales)
  2. for the remaining store get a partner, meaning sell some of the equity of the store (generally less than half in that way you can still keep the majority of the ownership). The partner needs to be somebody who’s willing to work in the store and oversees things in a daily basis.
    At the end you will put a little bit of cash in your pocket and still keep some income coming from one of the stores and work waaay much less


I know you undoubtedly must be tired and it is a strain but as I was reading your post my mind went to two thoughts. One, my father admonished me once when I was younger and in business. I was complaining about the hours and the lack of days off, etc. He said never complain about too much business. Those types of problems are the best ones to have because you have choices. He said there is nothing worse, nothing more gut wrenching than no customers walking through the door.

On occasion, when I was, again, much younger, I would either be feeling sorry for myself or complaining that I wanted to take more time off. I would go to the unemployment office and stand at the back of the room and just watch all the people signing up or there to collect benefits. I remember one day that as I was leaving there was a small group of men off to the side doing something. When I walked over they were gambling with their benefit cash. Anyway, I would go home after these visits and look at my kids and vow that I was never going to let too much work be a problem for me. I did not ever want to be in the position of having to draw unemployment to take care of my family if there was any possibility that I could do something to avoid it. (But what a great back up if we need it.)