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Sep 26, 2014
Article #257
Author: Mel Jones

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!"  

With no harsh intentions I tell them "well, real estate agents have a certain skill set relating to selling residential real estate. They have a host of unique rules and process they use and most of the rules and process are the same for every residential deal."

I'm grinding my teeth a bit when answering, not because I think restaurant brokerage is far superior than residential real estate, but rather because I'm in an industry doing a poor job of educating the public about our profession and the value we bring to transactions. . 

And to go deeper, a broker specializing in a particular industry has unique skill set often not found in any other brokerage industry. 

For example, as a restaurant broker whose been brokering restaurants for more than 10 years and has done or overseeing the sale of more than 500 restaurants, I have developed skills that few restaurant brokers have. 

These skills are unique to my business. These skills includes understanding and having deep knowledge of:

(1)  financial statements including profit and loss, balance sheet and tax returns including the ability to analyze them and formulate a value for the business based;

(2) Retail leases and all the important strategies surrounding a good lease and making sure our clients are putting themselves in the best position;

(3) Liquor license laws and processes;

(4) County health department rules;

(5) Local enterment permit rules;

(6) Qualifying the business and the buyer for an SBA loan;

(7) Negotiating with the landlord;

(8) Driving and navigating the buyer and seller through a regorous due diligence process;

(9) Negotiating with a franchisor;

(10) Seller financing security structures;

(11) The financial ratios for each type of restaurant and measuring-up the restaurant at hand to those ratios looking for opportunity.

All the while, at each step the deal could fall apart and I may end up spending 100 hours and getting not one dime for my efforts. 

So a skilled restaurant broker will have a strong understanding of each of these items, making good restaurant brokers hard to find. 

I train all my agents to be experts in these areas; hence why weve sold more than 500 restaurants!


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. 


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