When to Sell

Hi everyone,
I have recently been approached to sell my place. Good help has broken me down and from time to time, I often think about starting fresh with a new place. I built this place from nothing to very busy, during that time a lot of sweat and mistakes. In 2008, tried to open a second location and did not go so well. That location was 4 times the size and bills, thus failed. It has taken me a few years to recover and thankfully we are now out of that debt that it caused. I am now seeing the cash flow we once had, but not quickly enough. I still have some debtors out there, including family.

I have often thought of selling my business and using the money to pay off all debts and to use the remaining money to open up a second location and use my knowledge of what worked and what didn’t into the new location and start the process of possibly franchising my concept. Ideally starting up a location with a buyer ready to take over and move on from location to location.

My family has pushed me to not do this but they haven’t been what I have been though these past couple of years and the daily grind that I am going through now. I was hoping to take 6 months off to regroup, refresh and re-energize my concept and procedures. Get more organized, more efficient etc.

Has anyone thought of this and/or done this?

I would say with the economy being what it is…and it sounds like the current operation is making money…I would stick it out where you are at and not take that additional risk just yet. Why not continue at the current and pay off all debt from the closed 2nd shop and then plan on moving on. Now if the selling price is more than enough to cover the risk of a new venture… rethink it all over again. Only you really know where the hard numbers fall and how much you want to gamble on the success of a new venture. Best of luck.

Yes, that was my point. The asking price is three times the debt and (original investment). I was thinking of selling the first location, paying remaining long term debt and starting fresh with new location. Fresh capital, fresh labor, fresh ideas, etc. At what point do I make the decision that “made me an offer I couldn’t refuse”. If someone came into any of you and offered you more than the market value, what other factors make me say no.

thanks for the response by the way.

I doubt there’s a single answer to this question…but it’s one that most of us have asked ourselves.

I’m tempted to just say, “you’ll know when it’s right”. But I’m the same way. I LOVE what I’m doing, we’re making gains every month…but still, some days if the right offer was slide across the bar. Hmmm, what oh what would I do. I suppose the one thing stopping me from seriously considering that, were it to occur, is the fact I don’t want to go back to doing what I was, and I really like doing “this”.

I had store #2, it failed . Store #1 started to suffer, so i decided to stay and concentrate on Store 1.
Sales grew and grew and grew.

The restaurant business is not very easy and can be hard to make money. So i personally would stay in the situation your in. Don’t break something that doesn’t need fixing.

I say take the money and run. Spend a few months in Bratislava writing up a business plan for your next place.

The one thing that is guaranteed (well, besides taxes and death) is that the economy is headed down. Get while the getting is good.

The best time to sell… is when you have a buyer.

thank you for the responses. RobT, would your mind change if I told you I was selling off the first one and then separately opening the second one, not running the two at once?

I don’t think i would take the chance in this economy. If the store is very profitable and i am living comfortably, i couldn’t take the chance of losing that income & going into another venture and possibly losing it all.

Now if you know you will succeed and your getting your max $ from your first store, thats a different story.

I guarantee there is a “non compete” clause in the offer. So, the new store isn’t an option. If there isn’t a clause, I’m guessing the money they’re offering you isn’t actually there.

On a side note. If I could have sold my last store, or my current store, for a hearty profit…I wouldn’t go back into the restaurant business. I’d take the knowledge I gained from running these places, plus the cash in hand, to start a new business. Probably one supporting my former competitors.

I agree with Bodge but that does not apply to everyone. I think in your case, it does.

Your question seems answered within the question itself. The relief of a buyer and a chance to cut yourself a break without any financial hardship appears to be what you need. The second location you had is still empty and broken down. Take a ride down the route and just count the empty buildings.

My vision after I sold was to work a bit, develop some signature comfort food and start again. I still can’t get the numbers to crunch to where I want them to be. If you have a sure thing set to go down the road, I would go for it.

Good Luck


thanks everyone, diva, I would love to talk to you again in person and pick your brain. let me know if that is possible.

I’ll sale and look for a better place…

You’re Welcome. Of course that is possible. I will PM my email.


I posted in off topic with issues I am having with PM. I guess it might take a while so I have a gmail at (no spaces)
D E M O jj ten(use the numerical) at gmail.