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Mel Jones

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About Mel Jones

After nearly 9 years in the entertainment industry as a Chief Financial Officer for Universal Music Group, Mel started to search for businesses to buy. Two years later, he realized the business brokerage industry lacked good service, quality brokers, and most important, basic customer relationship and marketing tools.

This led Mel to revolutionize the business brokerage industry by using simple high standard customer service techniques as well cutting-edge internet marketing technologies to maintain a relationship with buyers and Sellers. Mel often says "we're doing things with our technology that other brokers haven't even thought about doing let alone are doing!"

Mel acquired Paramount Restaurant Brokers, Inc. in 2003 and purchased the name SellingRestaurants.com. This business model has been so successful that SellingRestaurants in nine short years is now the largest restaurant broker not only in California, but the nation in terms of number of restaurant listings, sales transactions, number of agents, area covered and website traffic. Do a Google on key terms relating to buying or selling a restaurant and find out for yourself how great our technology is.

SellingRestaurants has sold over 600 restaurants in 13 years despite the tough economy we've faced since 2009.

Mel is an accomplished merger and acquisition specialist having completed over $12 Billion of merger and acquisition transactions at the fortune 50 level. In addition to holding senior financial executive and Chief Financial Officer positions for multi-national corporations such as Universal Music Group, the world's largest music recording company and Nestle Foods, one of the largest food companies in the world, Mel has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from California State University Northridge and he studied law at Gonzaga University School of Law. Mel is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the California National Guard. He holds a California (#00893362) and Arizona (#BR634507000) and Real Estate Brokers license.

My Articles / Stories
THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF INVESTING IN A RESTAURANT
ISSUE This is a good question for every Seller to read and understand. A client asked: "Do I pay taxes on the entire sale price of my restaurant or is it only on any profit made." Example If I owe $200,000 and I sell it for $300,000 do I only pay taxes on $100,000?... read more
IRS is Handing Out Certificates of Value!
Now that I have your attention, the headline is very true and accurate. Every year a tax return is demanded by the IRS and in return, the U.S. government returns a certificate of value, more often referred to a good tax return. ... read more
Sell Your Restaurant Counseling Advise
A marriage counselor somewhat new to the profession is nervous about his upcoming session with a couple that is seeking marital advice, so he asks a more senior counselor to sit in on the session. ... read more
Choosing The Best Restaurant Broker
In this age of technology, making a smart restaurant broker decision is much easier than it was 20 years ago. There are thousands restaurant brokers in the United States and around the world to choose from, so how do you make a choice of who is going to best sell your restaurant and bar? The answer is easier than you think!... read more
What should My Restaurant ‘s Operating Costs be?
There is a never-ending debate about what percentages should a food business maintain in order to be profitable...... read more
Outbreak of E. coli Infections
Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an unusually broad food safety alert that we want to make sure you see as soon as possible:... read more
Best New Restaurant Award Won By JuneBaby in Seattle!
The James Beard awards were recently held in Chicago where JuneBaby owned by Chef Edouardo Jordan won the Best New Restaurant Award...... read more
41 Restaurants Sold Through August
SellingRestaurants.com is having a banner year with 41 restaurants sold through August and a 71% success rate! In other words, SellingRestaurants is selling 71% of the restaurants and bars it lists! ... read more
Increasing The Value Of Your Business
I've been selling restaurants for 15 years, taking my responsibility to my clients very serious. The easiest way to increase the value of a business is to properly market the business. What does this entail? ... read more
SellingRestaurants.com sells 21 Restaurants in the First Quarter of 2018!
SellingRestaurants.com sold 21 restaurants in the first quarter of 2018. ... read more
SellingRestaurants.com Hit Another Milestone - 600 Restaurants Sold
SellingRestaurants.com continues to hit major milestones with the latest being the selling of 600 restaurant businesses with a total sales value of $102 million dollars!... read more
The Disadvantages of Buying an Existing AAA Franchise
There are a few things I've learned in this business over the years and today I want to share one of them. People have a belief that buying an existing AAA franchise such as McDonalds, Taco Bell, Jack-in-the-Box, etc. are great deals with low risk. On the surface, sure sounds like it. ... read more
Franchises Approved by SBA for Acquisition
The SBA has published a list of franchise businesses approved for SBA lending. This doesn't mean the franchise isn't available for financing per se, it could mean the lender needs to go direct to the SBA to get approval. Check with your loan officer or under-writer for more details. Here is a link to the SBA website listing the franchises that are approved. ... read more
How Much is My Commercial Building Worth?
...the value of an asset is worth the discounted cash flow it generates. In plain English, a piece of real estate is generally worth the annual income it generates (fair market net rents) divide by expected return. ... read more
SellingRestaurants Closes $1.5 Million Deal in Sacramento! Largest in Sacramento History!
SellingRestaurants closes the largest single unit restaurant deal in Sacramento history at $1.5 million not including the real estate! Although the new owners want confidentiality of the name, this is a California Italian upscale restaurant that has operated for 30+ years with revenues in excess of $3.5 million. ... read more
Check Those A/C Units Before You Buy!
No matter the climate your business is located, checking those HVAC of A/C units is critical. This past summer was a test of some areas where temperatures tend to be moderate, but when the high heat struck, I walked into a number of restaurants where it was clear the HVAC units were not operating properly. ... read more
Unprofitable Restaurants Can Have HUGE Value!
I recently listed a restaurant business doing more than $4.1 million a year. The owner struggles with managing labor cost, which are running 48% of the revenue, making this a marginally profitable business despite having a rent factor of 5.5%. ... read more
Landlord's Are Getting Greedy...Again! Use a Smart Restaurant Broker!
There is a trend I'm seeing in the marketplace over the past year; that being landlord's are charging unsustainable rents. This is usually followed by an unusually high failure rate in the restaurant business. ... read more
To Buy Versus To Start-Up? That is the Question!
According to Keith Gillman of Restaurantdata.com, a company that tracks all opening and closing of restaurants across the United States, 10% of the restaurants fail in the first six months, another 10% fail the second six months and thereafter 10% fail each year. Cornell University study roughly supports ... read more
SellingRestaurants Sells 32 Restaurants in First Half of 2017!
SellingRestaurants is on fire with 32 restaurants sold in the first half of 2017, beating records dating back to 2008, before the great recession. The total sales price of these restaurants is more than $7 million.... read more
How To Buy a Restaurant Making $100k+ a year with Only $30k Down!
The lending environment is booming. Banks are lending and restaurants are moving as a result. This translates into great leveraging opportunities under the right circumstances. With $30,000 down plus closing costs, one can buy a restaurant earning greater than $100,000 and be putting more than double the investment in their pockets each year. ... read more
4 Misconceptions About Selling Your Restaurant or Bar
I've brokered restaurants and bars for 13 years in California, Washington, Arizona and Florida through my brand SellingRestaurants and I've accumulated a list of the most common misconceptions about selling your restaurant or bar. Here they are:... read more
Spend The Money, Save The Headache!
I talk to a lot of restaurant and bar buyers each day. I wish they could hear me when I say it is cheaper to buy a successful restaurant then a troubled restaurant. ... read more
Restaurants for Sale Ventura County
Sell my restaurant ventura county california. Restaurants for sale ventura. ... read more
SCAMS! Be Aware of These Scams Played on Restaurant Owners
Take for example a sports bar in Oxnard we sold. Late on a Friday afternoon the accountant of this sports bar got a call from what appeared to be the power company. The person to the accountant that the power bill hadn't been paid yet and that the power was going to be shut-down unless they received a cashiers ... read more
What To Expect After Selling a Restaurant
First, the employee's tend to be loyal to the previous owner. The buyer must act quickly to assert him or herself as the new boss. Of course, it must be done in a fair and calm manner as to not come across as a bully of crazy new owner. People make up a good part of the business' goodwill and the buyer is smart to keep that alive and well. ... read more
The Top 25 Restaurants in the U.S. per TripAdvisor
Much like the game of golf, the difference between the top golfer and the 25th golfer is negligible and I think it is the same for restaurants. Trip Advisor has just published the top 25 restaurants in the U.S. I look at these ranking a... read more
How Do I Value or Price My Bar for Sale!
Bars are a unique business. ... read more
How to Sell Your Restaurant Quickly
First, find a qualified restaurant broker in your area. You can do that via our website www.sellingrestaurants.com or is we don't have a broker in your area, go to BizBuysell.com and look for brokers who list a number of restaurants.... read more
Death of a Property Flier - Real Estate Fliers Are Dinosaurs!
It is 2016! Media in the past 25 years has drastically, and sometimes violently, changed our world and the information we access. Yet today it shocks me that so many commercial and business brokers still prepare PDF file fliers for the properties they sell. ... read more
Tips on Selling Your Restaurant and Bar Business
The restaurant business is sort of like riding a rollercoaster in the dark. You never know when the next turn, up hill climb, or big down hill drops is going to come. It’s an emotional business, no doubt. ... read more
Top 10 Reasons To Sell Your Restaurant Now
#10. You find Yourself Hating Your Own Food. #9. You Tried to Unlock the Door of a Neighboring Restaurant and Didn’t Realize it For 5 Minutes. #8. You Just Cut Your Finger, for the 100th time, Prep’ing Food.... read more
Buying a Restaurant - Watch the Deferred Costs
I just went to a burger place that I haven't been to in 13 years. It's been there for 18 years. Burgers are great! And the food in general is pretty good too. I estimate the business does $80,000 to $100,000 a month with a rent factor of perhaps 7% range. It resides in perhaps 2,800 Sq. Ft. So it makes money. Probably about $200,000 a year. It's value is in the $500,000 range based on my estimated cash flow. ... read more
How To Win Customers In This New Media World
The internet has taken over all the marketing of your restaurant and bar. More and more people are relying on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google+, Facebook and others to determine where to eat, sleep and go.... read more
Business Sales Increase With Highest Level of Listing Activity in Years
As the baby boomers are aging, more and more business owners are selling their businesses in lieu of handing them to their children and according to BizBuySell.com, the quality of the business' financials are causing the average sales prices as well as the average cash flow to increase. The average asking sales price in the first quarter grew 11% to $250,000 in 2016 while the average cash flow improved from $100,000 to $106,000 in 2016.... read more
Dynamic Pricing is Being Tested in the Restaurant and Bar Business
Dynamic pricing is being tested in the bar business! Dynamic pricing has been used by the airline industry for decades and with the the advancement of technology it makes it easier to move prices based on immediate supply and demand. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/much-tequila-shot-price-always-161419926.html ... read more
Lunacy From The Left...Is Your Website ADA complaint!
There is no question laws are created to protect people, but are they really protecting people or creating huge windfall profits for lawyers? This author thinks the latter.... read more
Sell My Restaurant Now! The Top 3 Things to Do To Sell Your Restaurant or Bar.
If you're thinking of selling your restaurant or bar there are three things you can do to get top dollar. 1. FINANCIAL HEALTH: Get you books straight! Stop skimming the cash. Get a good bookkeeper that knows the restaurant and bar business financial statements. Pay your taxes. ... read more
SellingRestaurants Sells 20 Restaurants in First Quarter! $5.2 Million in Sales!
Continuing the strong second-half 2015 trend, strong restaurant sales continue across all regions of our company through the first quarter of 2016 with our company selling 20 restaurants and bars for a total value of about $5,2 million and an average sales price of $260,000. ... read more
Getting A Restaurant and Bar Deal Done Takes Patience and Diligence
Buying and selling a restaurant and/or bar is a process requiring patience along every step. From the beginning of the negotiations to the very end of the deal when inventory is being counted, there is a tremendous amount of stress on both the buyer and seller. ... read more
THE LAW OF NUMBERS - CONTINUED - HOW TO CUT COSTS
A couple months ago I wrote an article on how to reduce the cost of running your restaurant business, or any business for that fact, by reducing the number of items you need to keep track of such as food and paper products. This article received great reviews. Many have asked me to write in more details on how to go about implementing this concept in your restaurant. ... read more
Selling Your Restaurant, Give Us a Call! 800.576-3615
SellingRestaurants is a professional full service restaurant brokerage firm who primarily represents restaurant and bar owners. We prepare the businesses for market using proven and thorough methods. We first start with an interview of the owner.... ... read more
THE LAW OF NUMBERS - MAKE MONEY BY REDUCING THE NUMBERS
I learned early in my career about the laws of numbers as it relates to managing costs; cost of running a business to be exact. I'm not talking about money per se, I'm talking about the number of items one must keep track of in a business. In the restaurant business I'm talking about the number of ingredients and liquor, beer and wine items needed to make a finished product. That's where most people just don't understand the laws of numbers. ... read more
A Man Boards A Plane...A Beautiful Woman Sits Next to Him...
A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realized She was heading straight towards his seat. As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out, “Business trip or pleasure?”... read more
GET AN SBA LOAN FOR YOUR RESTAURANT/BAR PURCHASE
The value of an experienced Business Broker in handling an SBA transaction in the selling and buying of a restaurant is invaluable, and can make the difference between getting the deal done and having it fail. There are few business broker who have the experience to handle such transactions as SellingRestaurants does.... read more
LOOKING FOR A STEAL OF A DEAL! THEN CONSIDER RELOCATING!
It seems that every day a business buyer calls me looking for the deal of the century. Those deals do exists, but rarely are they in your backyard. They are often in other cities where perhaps the weather isn't as nice as say San Diego or the distance from a major city is a couple hours. ... read more
Right to Good Legal Care...Nationalize Attorneys!
Our nation over the past 40 years have become obsessed redefining the "rights" it believes our constitution grants every American. We talk about injustices in health care, income inequality, inequality of education, wages and whatnot. Yet at the heart of a lot of these rights is a lawyer making a financial killing on using laws created...... read more
Get Top Dollar For Your Restaurant Sale
Every one wants to get top dollar for their business, but did you know that most people don't know how to go about insuring that this happens? Here are steps you should take to help you get the highest possible price. ... read more
YOU WANT TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR RESTAURANT! REALLY!
For those of you that know me, I'm a straight shooter type of guy. You'll always get the straight story from me. So here's a straight story. Being a restaurant broker has some wonderful highlights as well as lowlights. Most of the lowlights are surrounded by debates about the value of the restaurant particularly when the owner is skimming the cash. ... read more
DECIDING TO SELL...IT'S A TOUGH DECISION...MAKE THE RIGHT ONE!
I talk to a lot of restaurant owners and it breaks my heart every time one calls me and tells me he or she is burnt-out and needs out of the business now but in their final analysis, the owner talks themselves into trying to turn the business around because they think they have what it takes, but they never do. So a couple years later I get the call. Their business has declined more and they need to sell now. ... read more
Exceptions to SBA Loans: How To Get a 25 year Loan
The exceptions to the standard vanilla SBA loan are numerous. In these articles I try to educate the reader on other ways and SBA loan can be achieved. ... read more
SHOULD I HELP THE BUYER FINANCE A PORTION OF THE PURCHASE?
During tough money times, when banks aren't lending, or you don't keep good tax returns on your business that can justify getting a bank to lend, the numbers of buyers able to purchase your business are extremely limited to few unless you make the thoughtful decision to become the banker for a buyer. When one does become the bank, the number of buyers who are able to buy your business significantly increase. ... read more
SELLING RESTAURANTS CAN REPRESENT BUYERS
Buying a restaurant and/or bar is a daunting task, requiring a skilled and experienced restaurant broker to help you through the process and be successful. A skilled restaurant broker understands how to negotiate with landlords, getting you the best possible results and providing you with an exit strategy, a strategy often over seen by most brokers.... read more
SELF-SERVE BEER IS COMING! CONSIDER IT!
The restaurant business is tough enough to make money, but when the state is out to constantly pass laws to squeeze the restaurant owner's margins, the restaurant owner needs to use technology to remove cost. In California, where the minimum wage (now called the living wage), in the next few years is headed toward the $20 hour rate in many areas, restaurant owners are re-thinking how they can manage their bars. ... read more
Selling Your Restaurant - An Exit Strategy Often Overlooked!
You've been operating your restaurant for years. You never thought you were going to sell it. But now its time to sell and suddenly you realize you never thought about one very important point related to selling...... read more
Curiosity Didn't Kill The Cat, It Built Great Companies and Our Country!
One of the most underrated talents one can have is curiosity. But you'll never find universities teaching course in curiosity; yet it has created some of the largest corporations in the world and some of the great people in history. In fact, as a child, we're discouraged to be curious, often being labeled as ADD or troublemakers. Our teachers didn't know what to do with curious people. As a child I would take things apart, trying to figure out how they worked...and always having a screw or two left over when I reassembled it.... read more
HOW MUCH IS THE RESTAURANT I'M BUYING WORTH?
It seems that everyday someone contacts me from around the world wanting me to value a restaurant they're buying and practically every time they are paying way too much. Most brokers don't understand the restaurant business...... read more
The $540,000 Seller Blunder! Your Broker is Your Partner!
Providing material information regarding your personal and business situation early during the listing process can make or break a deal. It isn't the time to be proud or withhold critical information; rather your broker is your partner in the transaction (afterall he's taking a percentage of your equity) so treat him or her as a wise business advisor. ... read more
HOW TO TELL THE SEX OF A FLY
A woman walks into the kitchen to find her husband stalking flies with a fly swatter.... read more
AN ASSET IS ONLY WORTH THE INCOME STREAM IT GENERATES!
As a restaurant broker for the past 11 years, the number of times I have heard a restaurant owner say "I put $500,000 into this restaurant and I want $500,000 in order to sell it!" ... read more
OPEN LISTINGS DESTROY VALUE!
This morning I got a call from a lady trying to sell her small sandwich shop. She said she had signed a listing whereby she only pays a commission if the broker brings the buyer. ... read more
TAKE MY LISTING DOWN! THE SWAT TEAM WAS AT MY DOOR!
I get a call from an intelligent man who proceeds to tell me about his unique business. I think, sure everyone thinks his or her business is unique. But after putting down the phone, I discover he was right. ... read more
Lies, Betrayal and Back-Door Deals!
There is a pecking order in the food and entertainment business, a pecking order of honesty and integrity. The most dishonest folks tend to be strip club owners. Every word is a lie. The next are club owners where every other word is a lie. That's all you need to know for this story. ... read more
8 Things To Do To Help You Be a Successful Restaurant Owner
At some time or another, nearly everyone has this dream of taking their great recipes and opening a restaurant or food business. And there are plenty of examples of people like Debbie Fields who baked-up Mrs. Fields Cookies, At some time or another, nearly... ... read more
I'M PARALYZED AND I CAN’T GET UP - I JUST BOUGHT THIS RESTAURANT
The restaurant brokerage business is a bizarre business with unbelievable stories. Deals take more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco, never knowing how the deals are going to finish, never knowing what direction its going to take because the personalities and characters involved are so dynamic.... read more
OPEN LISTINGS - A FORMULA FOR DISASTER!
Open listing sounds great, right? Well think again and answer these questions. Does the open listing broker have an incentive to do his deep research investing time and money into the owner's business to properly prepare it for market? Or does the exclusive right broker...... read more
SO YOU WANT TO FRANCHISE. HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT!
So I was asked by Natalie Ramos "I was hoping you may be able to give me some advice on taking her brand national through franchising..."So I was asked by Natalie Ramos "I was hoping you may be able to give me some advice on taking her brand national through franchising..."... read more
NEW REVENUE STREAM FOR RESTAURANTS!
It seems that we're always hearing about the copy-cats and when someone says "oh, I have the "Uber idea" for the restaurant business" I yawn internally, my mind starts to drift and my eyes start to get distracted by objects around me. But not this time!It seems that we're always hearing about the copy-cats and when someone says "oh, I have the "Uber idea" for the restaurant business" I yawn internally, my mind starts to drift and my eyes start to get distracted by objects around me. But not this time!... read more
WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN CREATING A RESTAURANT!
As a restaurant broker for more than 10 years, part of my job is to assess the salability of a restaurant business. To do this I actually go to the restaurant several times to experience the food, service and atmosphere. And based on what I find, I give the restaurant a score that helps me value it. ... read more
SELLINGRESTAURANTS SELLS ITS 500th RESTAURANT!
On November 3, 2014 SellingRestaurants.com sold its 500th restaurant to Brent Hoke of Seatlle Washington area. The restaurant he purchased was The Burger Joint in Goodyear, Arizona. On November 3, 2014 SellingRestaurants.com sold its 500th restaurant to Brent Hoke of Seatle Washington area. The restaurant he purchased was The Burger Joint in Goodyear, Arizona. ... read more
USING LEVERAGE (LOAN) TO BUY A RESTAURANT!
As a finance guy, I tend to be conservative when investing. It's in my DNA. I spent 22 years in corporate finance ending with a CFO role with Universal Music Group, the largest music recording company in the world. So numbers are in my DNA as well. When people talk of leverage, it can have various meanings to each investor. The purpose of this article is to show you the math related to leveraging....... read more
IT IS TIME TO RAISE MENU PRICES!
There is a change occurring in our economy now that opens the door to restaurant owners raising prices. Let's call it the perfect weather is coming. Chipolte recently increased prices for the first time in many years. And their same store sales where up 20% quarter over quarter after the price increase. What does that tell you about price increases! They don't scare away customers. ... read more
HOW TO VERIFY THOSE TAX RETURNS!
Buying a business is a huge financial investment for anyone especially when one works hard to scrape together his or her hard earned savings to buy a business. So making an intelligent purchase is key to making sure you don't make a bad investment. And it's always all about the money....... read more
SELL MY RESTAURANT OR BAR
As a broker, we're always asked, how fast can you sell my store? Of course, I smile with a grin and reply how reasonable are you going to be with your price? How good are your financials? How well have you run your business?As a broker, we're always asked, how fast can you sell my store? Of course, I smile with a grin and reply how reasonable are you going to be with your price? How good are your financials? How well have you run your business?... read more
THINK SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN'T MATTER WHEN SELLING YOUR RESTAURANT? THINK AGAIN!
I've been brokering restaurants for more than ten years. Prior to that I was a Chief Financial Officer for Universal, the entertainment company, and in particular I had the technology divisions under my watch. Those are the divisions that were suppose to be on the forefront of the digital age to make sure the internet didn't kill the music business...they failed!... read more
WHAT IS A RESTAURANT BROKER?
Any time I go to a social event, I'm often asked what do I do? So I tell them I'm a restaurant broker. Of course, the person asks what is that and I explain to them what I do. The person often responds "oh so you're a real estate agent!" ... read more
MESSAGE FOR THE MOON!
When NASA was preparing for the Apollo Project, it took the astronauts to a Navajo reservation in Arizona for training. One day, a Navajo elder and his son came across the space crew walking among the rocks. The elder, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question.... read more
The Liquor Monopoly Needs to Stop! It Isn't American!
This nation was founded on the principals of fair dealings and competition, but what most Americans don't know is that the liquor industry is a legalized monopoly where the consumers are forced to pay higher prices for their drinks because the Washington establishment...... read more
SELLING YOUR RESTAURANT USING AN SBA LOAN
The value of an experienced Business Broker in handling an SBA transaction in the selling and buying of a restaurant is invaluable, and can make the difference betwwen getting the deal done and having it fail. There are few business brokers who have the experience to handle such transactions as SellingRestaurants does. ... read more
BUYING A RESTAURANT? WHAT ARE THE SBA LOAN FEES?
Many buyers are in the dark as to what the costs will be to close an SBA loan. I recently closed an SBA loan transaction so I thought I'd itemize those costs for the buyer looking to get a business using an SBA loan.... read more
THE $50 LESSON
Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, My neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from Walking their dog. During our friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up... ... read more
FIRST TIME BUYER? HERE ARE SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR YOU!
So you have the idea of buying a business and this is your first time venture into buying one. You've made it this far in your search and found a few websites advertising businesses for sale. You look at the ads and you're a bit confused at what they all...... read more
GETTING AN SBA LOAN FOR A RESTAURANT - THE SHORT STORY VERSION
Getting a loan for the purchase of a restaurant is a challenge, but if handled by a knowledgeable broker, it becomes a very manageable process. The purpose of this article is to give the read a high level view of how the SBA process works. It is not meant to be a detailed road map to the loan per se.... read more
BUYER MEETS EMPLOYEES BEFORE THE CLOSE - MISTAKE OR NOT?
As a broker, my job is to reduce the risk of a deal failing by removing what I refer to as wild cards from the deck. One such wild card is the personalities between the employees and the new buyer and all the risks that come with such meetings. But inevitably during the deal the buyer may insist on meeting the employees. ... read more
YOU WANT HOW MUCH FOR YOUR RESTAURANT!
For those of you that know me, I'm a straight shooter type of guy. You'll always get the straight story from me. So here's a straight story. Being a restaurant broker has some wonderful highlights as well as lowlights. Most of the lowlights are surrounded by debates about the value of the restaurant particularly when the owner is skimming the cash. ... read more
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY RESTAURANT?
The most common question I get as a restaurant broker is "How much is my restaurant worth?" Nearly every one is obsessive about knowing what things are worth, from their home, to their investments, to their car and to their business. But unlike all those other assets...... read more
WATCH THAT LEASE OPTION LANGUAGE!
A lease option gives the holder of the option the right to exercise his or her right to continue with the lease for a specified period of time. The lease option is usually in control of by the tenant. A lease option is a unilateral contract, meaning one side has all the power while the other side is powerless.... read more
GROW YOUR BUSINESS - DEVELOP AN EXIT STRATEGY!
A few years ago a large restaurant owner with 18 restaurants approached me to sell his whole restaurant chain. The problem was there were no brands inside his chain. There were 18 one-off restaurants. Trying to find an investor for such a business is impossible. ... read more
A ROMANTIC DINNER
A man and a woman were having a quiet, romantic dinner in a fine restaurant. They were gazing lovingly at each other and holding hands. The waitress, taking another order at a table a few steps away,... read more
LIQUIDATED DAMAGES - WHAT ARE THEY?
Liquidated damages language are inserted into contracts to limit the liability of the party creating the harm. For example, Party A breaches the contract with Party B. If there is a liquidated damages clause in the contract, then Party B has the rights to exercise the clause and take the money specified in the clause. But it is never that simple is it! ... read more
4 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOUR CELL PHONE
For all the folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.) ... read more
PAY LESS TAXES, MAKE MORE MONEY!
Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, right? Wrong! The other day I was talking to a client who used me to sell his restaurants, twice so far. This client is young, smart, aggressive and hard working. He’d work 90 hours+ a week at each venture creating new and exciting concepts.... read more
ANGRY BLONDE BEING BLONDE!
Vicki, a blonde, suspects her husband of cheating on her, so she goes out and buys a gun. She goes home and finds him unexpectedly in the arms of a redhead. Vicki becomes uncontrollably angry...... read more
THE SCOTTISH COW
The only cow in a small town in Ireland stopped giving milk. Then the town folk found they could buy a cow in Scotland quite cheaply. So, they brought the cow over from Scotland. ... read more
DEAD DUCK...CAT SCAN AND LAB REPORT $150!
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."... read more
INSPECT THAT RESTAURANT OR LOSE YOUR BUTT!
All too often a buyer steps into a restaurant business only to find that coolers are not holding their temp and the HVAC system is failing in the middle of the summer heat. This can kill a restaurant business before it gets off the ground draining the new owner of much needed working capital for marketing and advertising their business. ... read more
OPEN LISTINGS - BAD IDEA!
"OPEN LISTING" It sounds great to a business owner who's listening to a broker say "hey, just sign here and there is no obligation unless we bring you a buyer..." ... read more
HOW TO SMELL A RAT LEASING A RESTAURANT
In this weak economy, there are lots of commercial real estate foreclosures, properties behind in real estate taxes and even massive IRS and State liens on a property that unless the buyer/new tenant does his or her homework they could face huge financial losses. These are facts landlords won't tell the buyers/new tenants about in hopes of collecting large sums of money from the buyer and leaving the buyer/new tenant high and dry when the bank forecloses. ... read more
WHEN TO SELL YOUR RESTAURANT OR BAR
All too often I see restaurant and business owners get crazy about getting "their money" back from the restaurant or business they've invested in. They get some crazy idea that someone is going to bail them out like the banks and auto manufacturers were bailed-out. Well it doesn't happen.... read more
SellingRestaurants Appear on VetsOnRadio.com
SellingRestaurants and Mel Jones shall appear on VetsOnRadio.com to help recruit our veterans into the restaurant brokerage business as well as the restaurant business. Tune in on www.vetsonradio.com Wednesday May 29, 2013 at 10am!... read more
CYPRUS TAXING DEPOSITS! THAT'S NOT NEW!
I'll keep this short and sweet. Today there is all this talk about Cyprus' debt issues and the fact the governmetn wants to "tax" deposits! Heck Ben Bernanke been doing this to every American deposit in the coutry and we all sit around and let him get away with it. Why!... read more
BE A DOG!
Trying to forget the past and only focus on the present is a challenge for most. Everytime I think about this concept I'm reminded by a story that I'd like to share. Imagine putting your spouse or partner into the trunk of a car along with your dog... ... read more
HOW'S YOUR DAY GOING? BEEN TO A BAR LATELY?
Paul was sitting at the bar staring at his drink when a big, trouble-making biker full of tatoos and wearing a black leather jacket swaggers in and steps up next to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig and menacingly says, "Thanks, whatcha going to do about it?" ... read more
MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT!
As a clear illustration of how smart our agents are trained, we recently closed a tough deal. The buyer was financially weak in the sense he had saved $70,000 to buy a restaurant, but it was a BIG restaurant he wanted to buy. He had the operational experience to run it, but not the working capital nor the high credit score that this landlord would want. ... read more
WE PRIDE OURSELF ON BEING THOROUGH!!
Today I was at a followup listing appointment at a pizza place in Gilbert Arizona. The seller are two men, one young the other middle age. Good guys! They bought the pizza business from me earlier this year. It was a pure asset purchase, or another way to say it a cost avoidance purchase, the aviodence of the cost of building one from scratch. ... read more
WE ARE GETTING SBA LOANS! CALL US!
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KNOW WHEN TO SELL YOUR RESTAURANT!
You've heard the cliché "buy low, sell high" but we rarely take heed of such a cliché. Instead and for whatever reason, we ignore the signs that our business is in a decline. And before we know it, we've destroyed huge amounts of value by waiting too long to see the signs. ... read more
A PIRATE WALKS INTO A SPORTS BAR...
sell my bar with a pirate ship. Sell my sports bar in california. ... read more
HOW MUCH IS A RESTAURANT WORTH?
We all ask ourselves every time we buy something of material value "is this the best price I can get?" or "am I paying too much for this?" We do it for car purchases, home purchases, hotels, car rentals, etc. So why would it be any different for business purchases? Except the difference is there are huge markets in those other products to determine a value such as hotel prices, car rental prices and home purchases... ... read more
GOLDEN SALOON
Golden Saloon Sunil comes home completely drunk one night. He lurches through the door and is met by his scowling wife, who is most definitely not happy.... read more
LET'S NATIONALIZE THE LEGAL INDUSTRY!
The left is always concerned about equality and fairness - a standard mantra in fact - so why hasn't anyone on the left started to push for nationalizing the legal profession? It is the poor that suffer the most from lack of adequate legal representation in criminal as well as civil cases.... read more
BETTER TO GET SOMETHING FOR YOUR BUSINESS
In the past 8 years we've sold more than 500 restaurants and we run across all sorts of restaurant owners who are in trouble with their business. If you are missing rent payments and you have vendors pounding on your doors, and missing payroll, it is probably already too late for you to try to sell. But if you sense you're on the edge and about to default on the rent and stop paying vendors or not make payroll, then be smart about selling.... read more
Neil Armstrong Passes Away
For all of us baby boomers who watch Neil set foot on the moon on that warm summer day in July 1969, meeting the goal that President Kennedy has set some 9 years earlier, it was a said day for us on Sunday. It was the Pinnacle of what our nation accomplished when everyone worked together for a common goal. And Neil Armstrong could have stolen the show and been one of those casualties of fame and power but instead, he chose a quiet life and decide to go teach engineering at a university. ... read more
EXIT STRATEGIES FOR RESTAURANT INVESTORS
As a restaurant broker who has been selling restaurants since 2003, I meet and talk to hundreds of restaurant owners each year, read hundreds of leases, review hundreds of tax returns and financial statements and I can't tell you how rare it is to see a well thought through exit strategy putting the restaurant owner in the front seat when selling or getting out of their restaurant obligations.... read more
SELLINGRESTAURANTS - WE HELP OUR CLIENTS!
At SellingRestaurants, we pride ourselves on providing our client quality service. We thoroughly understand each of our clients needs and situation and we thoroughly understand their restaurant business....... read more
PREPARE YOUR RESTAURANT FOR AN INSPECTION
Today I'm reminded how critical it is to prepare your restaurant for a buyer's inspection. There are few things more critical during the early stages of a deal than making your restaurant shine and giving the buyer a great impression of what they are buying....... read more
HOW TO BUY A RESTAURANT OR BAR
The business brokerage industry has an image problem because there are so many brokers not qualified to sell restaurants let alone businesses. But at SellingRestaurants ourt agents are trained to do one thing, sell restaurants and bar. ... read more
BEWARE ARIZONA RESTAURANT BUYERS!
It is unfortunate that I have to write this article, but SellingRestaurants' has a fiduciary duty to educate consumers, making them aware of unethical business brokerage practices so as to avoid those brokerage houses that practice them. I can't tell you the names of those houses, but if you read and study the below information you can avoid what several of our clients have endure dealing with these unethical brokerage house, and there are several of these houses in the Phoenix area.... read more
WE'RE NOT SELLING A HOUSE HERE MARTHA! WE'RE SELLING YOUR RESTAURANT!
The other day, I closed a deal in Sacramento, a Mexican Restaurant called Mas Mexican Restaurant in Roseville, CA. The owner of the restaurant, Randy Paragary, was talking to me during the closing and said "Mel, you earned every penny of your commission. ... read more
YOUR RESTAURANT CAN BLIND YOU
Have you ever been too close to a situation that required action and in hindsight you wish you would've done it different or you wish you would've made a completely different decision? I know I have and in those cases I wish I would of had a good adviser next to me, and adviser with the experience and wisdom to help me through the situation. ... read more
BUYING A RESTAURANT BECAUSE YOU CAN COOK!
At some time or another, nearly everyone has this dream of taking their great recipes and opening a restaurant or food business. And there are plenty of examples of people like Debbie Fields who baked-up Mrs. Fields Cookies, or Famous Amos (AKA Wally Amos) who made a fortune manufacturing and marketing his cookies into grocery stores, or Fred Deluca who in 1965 borrowed a $1,000 and opened a sub shop in Connecticut that eventually became Subway. ... read more
NEIGHBORHOOD BARS - A GREAT PURCHASE
Every one is looking for some safe harbor investment; one that is recession proof and safe. If this is you, you ought to look at buying a bar. Not a club! But a good old fashion neighborhood bar.... read more
OBAMACARE DESTROYS VALUE FROM MIDDLE CLASS
The new health care bill passed by Congress and signed into law this week will single-handedly destroy billions of dollars of value for restaurant owners.... read more
RESTAURANT OWNER'S GAMBLER'S MENTALITY
As a retaurant broker I often get the honor of flying at 50,000 feet giving me a great view of the landscape and the nuances of the restaurant business. And over the years I've noticed restaurant owners and gamblers have a lot in common. ... read more
GREAT CHEFS EVEN FAIL!
Today my family and I ate at a wonderful Eygptian restaurant that makes the BEST hummus I know. And the chef follows it with fantastic food as well. But despite the great food and service, the owner is struggling and needs to sell the restaurant. I'm telling you the food is out of this world...... read more
HIGHEST GROSSING RESTAURANTS IN THE U.S.
If you're in the restaurant business than you'll fall on your face to think of a restaurant gross $59 million a year...... read more
WATCH THAT LEASE PLAN AN EXIT STRATEGY
Setting yourself up for an exit strategy when you sell your business is paramount whenever entering into a new lease. But don't think that the other broker, who really represents the landlord, is going to design a lease with a good exit strategy. So you need to take care of yourself, or give us a call to help you.... read more
USE SELLINGRESTAURANTS.COM TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS?
As a broker, I have we have a fiduciary responsibility to put your business in the best possible light and get you the highest possible price for your restaurant business. We take this duty serious. Most of the time we're right with commanding a higher price for your restaurant business and sometimes we're not.... read more
WHY USE A RESTAURANT BROKER TO BUY A RESTAURANT?
It sounds so simple, doesn't it? Just place an ad in the paper to sell your restaurant, find a buyer for your business and close the deal. ... read more
ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO BUY A RESTAURANT?
Being a qualified buyer is key to successfully closing a business purchase. There are several variables at play when trying to qualify and the qualification process is nothing like trying to qualify a person to purchase a home. There are factors realting to you and factors relating to the business that needs to be analyzed. First and obvious is whether the buyer has the money to purchase the business....... read more
BUY A BUSINESS USING YOUR IRA and 401K
Although thousands have discovered this golden opportunity, some of the savviest investors are still unaware of this remarkable funding option: You can utilize your IRA monies before retirement age to purchase a business without incurring early distribution penalties....... read more
RESTAURANT FOR LEASE AND RESTAURANTS FOR SALE
If you've thought about buying or selling a restaurant, bar of club, then you've come to the right place to start. We have hundreds of listings in many states. We're professionals that know our industry and know how to sell. ... read more
THE SMART MONEY IS BUYING RESTAURANTS
There is an interesting trend going on in the restaurant and bar selling business. This week we started seeing investors enter the restaurant/bar market. ... read more
THERE'S A GOLDEN NUGGET IN THAT PILE OF RUBBLE
Today I was thinking of what makes a smart investor/buyer of a business. I concluded it was the investor/buyer recognizing an undervalued business when they saw it of course. But what does that mean? ... read more
HOW MUCH RENT SHOULD I PAY?
So you want to buy a restaurant. Having sold more than 350 restaurants in the past 5 years I’ve seen my share of sad stories in the restaurant business. Every day I get calls from restaurant owners whose dreams of owning and running a restaurant have been crushed by the recent weak economy...... read more
LOOKING FOR A RETAIL LEASE...USE CAUTION!
As a restaurant broker, we often get restaurant owners whose business is in trouble on many fronts but the primary reason for the trouble is the bad lease they got themselves into. ... read more
NO SUCH THING AS A PROFITABLE BUSINESS FOR SALE...NOT!
I’ve been brokering businesses for 6 years now. Prior to doing this I was a buyer of businesses as some of you may know. After a two year search, I gave up and decided to open SellingRestaurants. I often get buyers who are skeptical about buying existing businesses and who are skeptical about a business’ profit....... read more
SELLINGRESTAURANTS HITS 25,000 MEMBERSHIP LEVEL IN 5 YEARS
In less than five years after launching www.sellingrestaurants.com, SellingRestaurants has hit a major milestone of hittting the 25,000 membership mark and growing at more than 600 per month! No other brokerage in the world has achieved.... ... read more
SR Syndicates its Listings, Gaining Market Share!
SellingRestaurants has syndicated its listings on three other websites gaining more eyeballs than any other broker with no broker even a close second! Joining in the syndication are WeSellRestaurants, WABrokers and SellingStores... ... read more
BUYING A RESTAURANT? GET SMART ABOUT LEASES!
Today we had a deal where the landlord is demanding 10% of the sales price of the lease...... read more
SO YOU WANT TO BUY - HOW TO BUY A RESTAURANT
There isn't a day that goes by where many business buyers call me wanting to purchase a restaurant or bar yet they have no idea where to or how to start. Learn how to buy a restaurant. ... read more
INVESTORS BEWARE OF A DEVELOPER SHELL GAME
SellingRestaurants has sold nearly 500 restaurants since 2004. In this time I’ve seen a lot of shady transactions and unethical business deals. One of the classic ones I’ve seen is where a developer builds retail space and then goes out an purchases a second rate franchise to place in the retail center. ... read more
CALIFORNIA HAS GONE EXTREME LEFT...HURTING RESTAURANT SALES
I was born in California, Los Angeles to be exact. I grew-up in North Hollywood. For those who don't know, North Hollywood isn't the land of milk and honey. Its a rough neighborhood today and was back in the 60's and 70's. So I'm not some silver spoon guy whose parents paid for my college. ... read more
BROKERS MUST EMBRACE THE INTERNET
10 years ago I was laid-off as a Chief Financial Officer of Universal Music Group’s internet technology divisions, after nearly ten years in the entertainment business...... read more
GOLF GAME BETWEEN MOSES AND JESUS
Moses and Jesus were playing golf and they had a third wheel playing with them. Moses walks to the tee box - and being that's he a bit old swung and hit the ball...... read more
CAVEAT EMPTOR...BUYER BEWARE!
All too often I get calls from buyers who don’t understand the dangers of venturing into buying a restaurant business without using a professional restaurant broker. Unfortunately, we’re often and wrongly categorized with general real estate agents or even general business brokers...... read more
SELLINGRESTAURANTS REACHES 40,000 MEMBERSHIPS
After 8 years of being in business, SellingRestaurants reaches a major milestone of 40,000 members. These are buyers and business owners who have joined our website to receive both educational information and listing updates. ... read more
CELL PHONE ETIQUETTE
After a tiring day, a commuter settled down in her seat and closed her eyes. As the train rolled out of the station...... read more
SELLINGRESTAURANTS GOES MOBILE!
SellingRestaurants becomes the first full service brokerage company to develop a mobile website for the convenience of its clientele. "It is clear that our society is becoming more and more reliant on mobile devises to access the internet and surf the worl-wide-web looking to buy a business. At SelingRestaurants...... read more
CALIFORNIA’S LEGAL SYSTEM NEEDS REFORM - Article #1
Its unfortunate that I’m writing this article, but I’ve always been one that fights for reform and fights for doing what’s right. Our legal system in California is designed for attorney to maximize their income while stealing the income of hard working average Americans.... read more
BUYING A RESTAURANT, NOT AN EASY TASK!
There's a reason why buying a restaurant, bar or club is referred to as a buying process. Each deal has its own unique personality and each with new challenges. ... read more
WHAT DOES BULK SALE MEAN?
HISTORY About the turn of the 20th century communication systems and travel made it difficult for creditors to thoroughly check debtor's credit history. Traveling distances between the sales office and debtor made it difficult to visit each customer to check up on them on any regular basis. What seems like a small distance today of 50 miles was a 2 day trip 100 years ago. So visits from creditor were far and few between. ... read more
KEEP THE MONEY IN YOUR COMMUNITY
How often do you go to chain restaurants like B.J.'s, Mortons, PF Changs, Claim Jumpers or chain retail stores like Safeway, CVS, Wallmart, Costco and whatnot? Did you know you could help your local economy...... read more
HOW BADLY DOES CALIFORNIA TREAT SMALL BUSINESS?
People I speak to about California's unfriendly small business environment are often shocked to discover what that state puts small business owners through...... read more
HOW TO CREATE 10's OF THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIA JOBS NOW!
When an economy is in recession, our politicians must get creative in order to help small business create jobs. On creative solution for California is to reduce the minimum wage for full service waiters at every restaurant in the state. Every restaurant owner knows that a server earns an hourly rate that is grossly higher than the minium wage in tips. I've heard average as low as $25/hour to as high as $400/hour depending on the restaurant. Nevetheless, the minimum is well about the state's minimum wage. ... read more
ARIZONA RESTAURANT BUYER'S BEWARE!
There are a lot of great points about doing business in a state that, compared to most states, is business friendly, but there are risks that one must know before buying a business in Arizona. ... read more
SBA LOANS FOR RESTAURANTS - HOW TO QUALIFY
In recent months, the federal reserve bank has drastically reduced interest rates which has in turn reduced the prime rate. The prime rate is the basis banks use to determine the interest rates charges to borrowers. Most SBA interest rates are prime + 1% to 2.5%. Today's (April 2008) prime rate is 5.25%, down from 8.25% a year ago...... read more
SECURING A SELLER NOTE
The financial markets are facing some of the most challenging times never seen before in generations, making buying a business a tougher proposition than just 18 months ago. During these times, lenders go to the extreme, as though their parent had just scolded them, and hunt for any possible reason to decline business purchase loans.... read more
IT'S THE DARKEST JUST BEFORE DAWN
Perhaps you've heard it before "it's the darkest just before dawn." This phrase is used to describe the hope that is coming after a period of hopelessness. Times where it seems the world is ending; where fear paralyzes the masses and stops them in their tracks while the masses, like sheep, follow their fear sheppard to the wolves. ... read more
IS RESTAURANT BUYING SEASONAL?
I'm often asked if there is seasonality to the buying and selling of restaurants. The answer always surprises many people...... read more
LEASES FOR RESTAURANTS ARE COMING DOWN
The tide has changed in the retail rental market. Rents are coming down and at a fast pace. ... read more
DON'T GUARANTEE THAT LEASE!
Leases can be huge liabilities for restaurant owners. Most leases are personally guaranteed by the tenant. This means, the tenant guarantees the rent will be paid through the whole term of the lease, even when the business is closed and not making money. ... read more
LET US FIND A RESTAURANT FOR YOU TO BUY
If you're frustrated with the business brokerage industry as I was, then you've got hire us to find you a business and to represent you in the purchasing process. ... read more
HOW CALIFORNIA CAN STREAMLINE BUYING RESTAURANTS
Before the economy took a dive, closing restaurant and bar deals in California would typically take 60 to 120 days. If it was a simple deal, perhaps 40 days. If it was a complex deal that included an SBA Loan and or a franchise, perhaps it was 4 to 6 months.... read more
CELL PHONE RANSOM - A THEFT GONE WRONG
Today I met a client in Mid-Town. If you know mid-town Sacramento, there are parking meters everywhere. So he had to pull some quarters out of his pocket and in doing so he placed his cell phone on the top of the central time ticket machines. He forgot it.... read more
CALIFORNIA POLICIES MAKE BUYING A RESTAURANT CHALLENGING
As if business wasn't tough enough in the Golden State, then comes the ABC and the BOE to make it tougher. As the State of California tries to grab revenue from any and every possible source, they hinder the business of selling businesses. ... read more
WATCH OUT FOR THAT LEASE!
I was talking to a property manager in the Sacramento region about a foreclosure that is talking place on one of his properties where we had several lease space listings we were trying to fill.... read more
IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT BUYING A RESTAURANT
SellingRestaurants AGENCY RELATIONSHIP: SellingRestaurants represents Sellers. Anything the Buyer gives or tells the Agent, assume our Seller receives the same.... read more
RETAIL BUSINESS SALES WEBSITE LAUNCHED
SellingStores was launched in October 2007 when the the founder of SellingRestaurants, Mel Jones, noticed many of the SellingRestaurants buyers who where not so much interested in only buying a restaurant, bar and club...... read more
QUALIFY A BUYER BEFORE GETTING INTO CONTRACT!
Qualifying a business buyer is key to successfully closing a deal. There are several variables at play when trying to qualify a business buyer and is nothing like trying to qualify a person to purchase a home.... read more
HOW TO SECURE A BUSINESS LOAN
As the financial markets change for buying a business and lenders increase the qualification requirements for business buyers, there is a drift toward the seller's replacing the banks in terms of financing the business purchase. ... read more

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