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!
Nevertheless, it gave me an enormous head start over all brokers because I knew what was coming when I built the most sophisticated website technology in the business.
And in the past few years restaurant owners are getting more and more tuned into the effect the internet can have to their business, in particular the websites that allow customers to post reviews such as Yelp and Google.
Too often these reviews are staged or worse yet, a disgruntled employee tries to stick it to their former employer. So the restaurant owners needs to always be one step ahead in order to help them sell their business.
You may ask what do bad reviews have to do with selling your restaurant business? Every thing. Buyers want to know that your running a good business and too many bad reviews tells a different story then what you'd want the buyer to read.
I know that companies like Yelp tend to manipulate the information being posted about your business by leaving good reviews off and putting bad reviews up. I can't pretend to understand their algorithms, nor do I know how to manipulate them either.
But what I do know is the restaurant owner needs to take these reviews seriously, especially if they want to sell their business. Buyers do look at them and make judgments.
I would suggest the owner promote getting good reviews from the customers. The more reviews, the better. Give the customer a free desert for a good review.
So Yelp and Google reviews matter. They must be managed. They must be taken serious because it will cost you money when you sell.
Mel Jones is one of the premier restaurant brokers in the nation having published hundreds of articles on buying and selling a restaurant and bar business, selling thousands of restaurants in CA., WA and AZ and building one of the most copied business models in the brokerage industry. Mel started SellingRestaurants in 2004 with the one simple concept, give the buyers the information they need to make intelligent buying decisions without being pestered by a broker or hiding information, prepare the business for market by researching key details that make or break deals and educate the buyer on the buying process to create an intelligent buyer. Prior to SellingRestaurants, Mel was a Chief Financial Officer for Universal Music Group, the largest music company in the world. There he participated in more than $11.5 billion of merger and acquisition transactions. He also work for top companies such as Nestle Foods, USA. He hold a Bachelors in Business Administration Finance as well as attened Law School at Gonzaga University. Give Mel a call at 480.274.7000 or e-mail him at [email protected] if you have any questions.