Pius Jeon

Does anyone have any tips on selling a cafe/restaurant?

Hey guys,

We want to sell a small Cafe/takeaway type restaurant out in the suburbs. It's quite stable with a modest, but consistent turnover. 

We're having a bit of trouble even getting enquiries. We've tried a business broker who advertised it on SBX (Sydney Business Exchange) and a couple of local papers.

I've also advertised it on one of the many other business buy/sell websites, but still no luck.

I'm certain that it's an attractive deal for people that are interested in a simple/easy family business, but I think the problem is getting noticed. I originally thought it was the price we were selling it for, but we've tried selling it at even half the original price, but still no biters. The problem is more likely that the adverts are simply hidden away among literally hundreds of other listings.

How do I get noticed? How do we get in touch with people that are looking to buy?

Any tips would be appreciated.


3 Answers

Jeffrey Joel

Jeffrey Joel MD at Auspac Trading NSW PL

You already have regular clientels, why not try simply posting a sign outside that this business is for sale or have a chat to a few of your better, well connected clients? The sign will generate some interest to local folks who might like to try their hands at running an already established cafe. Smart business people will see that there is an opportunity and they may not want to buy it themselves but they may have friends or associated that are looking for one. What better reference than coming from a regular who can vouch for your business.

Pius Jeon

Pius Jeon ,

I love your outside-the-box thinking. This idea is simple, easy and effective.
Don Gregg

Don Gregg Director at Advice 4 Growth

I suggest you try to figure out who are some good target buyers and approach them rather than relying on advertisements. Are there staff members on your team who would be interested, other cafe owners or their senior staff, customers who seem to have taken a interest in your business for example? Could you offer to have a staff member pay you over time for example if they lack the capital? And, remember a business is worth more if is robust - that is likely to continue to generate lots of cash well into the future. Reduce the dependency on the owner for successful operation and make sure you are still giving your business your best efforts right until sale day.

Pius Jeon

Pius Jeon ,

Hi Don, Thanks for the tips.
I think we know what kind of people will be good target buyers, but unfortunately we don't have the network base to find them. One of our staff members were interested, but has decided to do something else.
Its definitely a robust business. We have been tracking turnover over the past 4 years and it has stayed consistent despite new competitors appearing in the area. There's an straight forward system in place that has been refined over 25 years.

All we need is someone to tell this too!
Visual Nett Media

Hi there! You would probably have a better chance by enlisting the help of a business broker that has a wide reach. The main websites you need to advertise on is realcommercial.com.au, domainbusiness.com.au, seekcommercial.com.au. These can only be utilised by a business broker & I'm very surprised that your broker hasn't used these? They must be registered as a real estate agency so if they are not, they are not able to sell your business anyway.

I presume you are located in Sydney, I have a business brokerage firm I could highly recommend but they are based in Victoria. However we could offer you a marketing package that would suit your needs and you can deal with all incoming enquiries and so not have to pay any commissions. If you are interested please email me at info@vnm.net.au The package can include all the necessary websites including a very wide reach to make sure that your business is seen as far as possible., that's the best way to find a potential buyer. Unfortunately in today's market it usually takes time but you want to give yourself the best chance of finding people.

Take a look at our free small business magazine online www.vnmmagazine.net.au which comes out quarterly, in each issue we try and cover as many subjects about business (including selling your business) and there are also business advertisements in there which may assist you. Alternatively have a look at a couple of blogs I can recommend below.




Hope this helps :)  As I said feel free to email us to find out more about letting us help you market your business.

Pius Jeon

Pius Jeon ,

Thanks for your answer! I would definitely be interested in finding out more about your package. I will email you tomorrow.