Owning your own restaurant can be a successful, fulfilling, and financially lucrative business. As long as people are around, there is always going to be high demand for high-quality good food. And if you can meet that demand, customers will keep flocking to your restaurant.
However, opening a restaurant is not a walk in the park. Thousands of new restaurants open up in the United States every year, but more of them close up shop within the first one or two years of business because of the extreme competition in the industry. It’s also because many restaurant owners don’t do the appropriate amount and quality of preparation and research before setting foot on their new venture.
There are two options for you if you’re thinking of owning a restaurant. First, you can start a restaurant from scratch, which requires a lot of work. Or you can buy an existing restaurant. Here are the pros and cons of that.
Pros of Buying an Existing Restaurant
1. It costs much less.
Buying an existing restaurant is less capital-intensive than opening one from scratch. The existing business means you don’t have to spend money on brand new machinery and equipment need to accomplish kitchen tasks. However, make sure that you check out the existing assets before signing your name on the dotted line. Inspect cooking and bakery equipment, such as grills, ranges, and bakery ovens, and make sure they are in good shape and don’t require costly repairs.
2. You can make money right away.
If the restaurant is already profitable, you don’t have to wait a while before waiting for cashflow. The money can start coming in right from the start. This also ensures that there is less financial risk for you because you can start seeing a return on your investment right away.
3. You can open more quickly.
With a new restaurant, you typically have to go through bureaucratic red tape just to get the licenses and permits required. This can take weeks or even months before you have all your papers in order. With an existing restaurant, you can quickly apply for a temporary permit and start providing service to the public immediately. You can then use the time provided by the temporary permit to apply for permanent ones.
4. You have an existing customer base already.
Getting the word out about a new restaurant can be one of the most challenging parts of starting a business. However, if you buy an existing restaurant, you don’t have to spend as much time or money to acquire new customers because you already have an existing clientele. While continuously promoting your restaurant is a must, it is always easier to do so when you already have customers paying for your marketing costs.
Cons of Buying an Existing Restaurant
1. It may cost more in maintenance.
Even if the kitchen commercial equipment is in good condition, they will still need more servicing and maintenance for the simple fact that they’ve been exposed to wear and tear much longer than brand new equipment. The same goes for the building itself. If you do not carefully check the physical assets of the restaurant, you may have to pay dearly in terms of repairs, replacements or renovations.
2. It may cost you a lot if the restaurant has a poor reputation.
It takes a lot to reverse the reputation of a restaurant that suffers from a poor public image. If people didn’t think highly of the restaurant before you started thinking of buying it, you will have to do a lot of work to turn that reputation around. This is why it is essential that you conduct thorough research about any restaurant that you want to buy before you shell out money for that business.