â€œI would like any and all opinions if you all don’t mind.â€
Okay, you asked for them.
â€œMy food cost is 24-28% I just sell pizza and subs. rent is 675 month. 450 average for all utilities including phone.â€
â€œI am on the main drag across the way from the lake.â€
It certainly reads as though youâ€™ve made an emotional investment/attachment to this place. Youâ€™ve taken emotional ownership. (Iâ€™m taking you at your word that youâ€™re a potential buyer and not the actual owner looking for advice.)
My opinion #1: I think it will be difficult for you to make objective decisions regarding your interest in this business unless you change your attitude and emotional involvement to a much more objective, dispassionate state.
This guy is losing time and money in a venture in which he no longer wants to be involved. He is trying to â€œsellâ€ you on the idea that it is a good idea and a good deal for you to give him your money (down payment) and your time and labor (paid through your payments to him on the balance) to bail him out of the situation.
My opinion #2: If you investigate this in a much more thorough manner than what youâ€™ve communicated here, including answering all of Nickâ€™s questions, AND you adjust your attitude as indicated in opinion #1 above, AND you still think this shop can be a worthwhile, profitable venture for you, then you can start â€œsellingâ€ the owner.
What kind of arrangement, including money and risk, would benefit you the most? You might want to try an arrangement where you can lease/rent everything from him for a certain length of time while you actually try running the business, after which you would have the option to purchase it at a maximum price, purchase it at a negotiated, reduced price to that maximum or just walk away from it, leaving him where he is now.
You can show what is the true value of his used equipment. You can point out how heâ€™s spending his valuable time in a venture in which he has lost his heart and drive to make it work for him. You can sell him on a deal on your terms.
Just remember not to sign or do anything binding with the owner without having a highly competent lawyer giving you his
recommendations and drawing up the binding documents, highly slanted towards your interests.
P.S. YOU HAVEN’T TOLD US WHAT BUSINESS OR FOOD SERVICE BACKGROUND YOU OR YOUR WIFE HAVE!! Have you ever worked in a restaurant? Have you ever worked in a pizza restaurant? Have you ever been a pizza maker in a restaurant?