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What To Expect After Selling a Restaurant

Nov 7, 2016
Article #356
Author: Mel Jones

After selling 600+ restaurants and bars I often get asked what can a business owner expect after escrow closes?

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. 

Second the buyer must move the previous owner out of the business as soon as possible because those loyalties cross into previous customers as well. In every deal, there are customers as well as employees who will tell the previous owner how things have changed and not for the good, etc. These are usually not true and are based on people insecurities about change.  

Finally, there are often bad seeds in the employee pool. Those need to be identified quickly and that person need to be sat down and converted to the new owner or let go. A bad seed can pollute the entire staff. 

If you're the previous owner, expect to hear these rumors and trust me, they are usually false. If your the new owner, act fast to cut off the bad seeds and for God sake, don't buy a profitable business and go in there and change every thing!  That usually doesn't workout well!


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 attended 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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