Questions For Restaurant Sellers – Free Checklist

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Checklist for Restaurant Owners Selling a Business

When planning to sell your restaurant, there are numerous details to consider to ensure a smooth and successful transition. This checklist covers a comprehensive range of questions and areas that need attention, with a focus on leveraging the services of Tampa business brokers to maximize your business’s value. You would be wise to state with a restaurant valuation, but don’t rely on the lies in the marketplace, so-called experts, and “industry guideline”. You business sale is to valuable to not have the facts and the power of real knowledge.

Business Overview and Operations

  1. Business Hours:
    • What are your regular business hours?
    • Do you offer any special hours or events (e.g., brunch, happy hour, late-night dining)?
  2. Products and Services:
    • What types of food and beverages do you offer (e.g., full-service meals, breakfast, lunch, casual dining, liquor)?
    • Do you offer any special services (e.g., catering, private events, delivery)?
  3. Business Processes:
    • Do you have a systems manual detailing daily operations?
    • Are work orders, estimates, and invoicing electronic?
    • Can the office see real-time updates from the kitchen and front-of-house staff?
  4. Customer Base and Market:
    • Who are your typical customers (e.g., local residents, tourists, business clients)?
    • What percentage of your revenue comes from top customers?
    • Which geographic areas do you serve?

Financial and Performance Metrics

  1. Financial Health:
    • What are your average receivables and payables?
    • Have you had a business valuation done recently? (Consider using Tampa business brokers for accurate valuations.)
    • What is the working capital requirement for your business?
  2. Revenue and Profitability:
    • What is your revenue growth projection over the next 3-5 years?
    • How do you manage prime costs (food and labor costs)?
    • Are your menu prices consistent with current food costs to maintain profitability?
  3. Employee Information:
    • How many employees do you have?
    • Do you offer benefits such as health insurance, paid holidays, and vacation time?
    • Are there key employees who will stay after the sale?
    • Do you have employment contracts in place?

Marketing and Customer Relations

  1. Marketing Strategies:
    • What marketing channels do you use (e.g., SEO, email marketing, social media)?
    • Do you attend industry shows and educational events to stay current?
    • How do you utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp to engage customers?
  2. Customer Retention:
    • Do you have a customer database and loyalty program?
    • What types of promotions and entertainment do you offer to attract repeat business?
  3. Competitive Landscape:
    • Who are your major competitors in the region?
    • What is your company’s competitive advantage?

Operational Details and Assets

  1. Operational Efficiency:
    • Do you have systems and processes in place for efficient operation?
    • How do you handle inventory management?
  2. Technology Utilization:
    • What technology do you use for daily operations (e.g., POS systems, reservation management)?
    • Do you use any specialized kitchen equipment or software?
  3. Equipment and Inventory:
    • What is the market value of your kitchen and dining equipment?
    • Do you have a detailed equipment list and salable inventory?

Legal and Compliance

  1. Licenses and Certifications:
    • Do you hold the necessary licenses and certifications (e.g., liquor license, health department certifications)?
    • Are there any special licenses required for operation?
  2. Litigation Status:
    • Do you have any history of litigation? (A clean record can be a significant selling point.)
  3. Contracts and Agreements:
    • Are there any binding contracts with customers or suppliers?
    • Do you have non-compete agreements in place?

Preparing for Sale

  1. Reason for Sale:
    • Why are you selling the business?
  2. Growth Opportunities:
    • What are the potential opportunities for growth (e.g., increasing marketing efforts, expanding services)?
    • How can the business expand its services or geographic reach?
  3. Exit Strategy:
    • What are your plans for transitioning ownership smoothly?
    • How will you communicate the sale to employees and customers?

Working with Tampa Business Brokers

  1. Valuation and Listing:
    • Have you contacted Tampa business brokers for a professional business valuation and listing?
    • How will you market the business to potential buyers?
  2. Confidentiality:
    • How will you maintain confidentiality throughout the sale process?
    • Have you prepared nondisclosure agreements for potential buyers?
  3. Negotiation and Closing:
    • Are you prepared for negotiations with buyers?
    • What are the expected closing costs, and how will you manage them?

Additional Considerations

  1. Seating and Capacity:
    • What is the seating capacity of your restaurant?
    • Do you have different seating arrangements for various types of events?
  2. Impact of COVID-19:
    • How did COVID-19 impact your business operations and revenue?
    • What measures did you implement to adapt (e.g., takeout, delivery, outdoor seating)?
  3. Licensing and Compliance:
    • Do you have all necessary licenses and permits up to date?
    • Are there any compliance issues that need to be addressed?


Preparing your Florida-based restaurant for sale involves thoughtful planning and consistent effort. By getting a business valuation, securing recipes, creating training videos, delegating responsibilities, maintaining revenue and profitability, and implementing additional strategies, you can significantly increase your restaurant’s value. For more detailed advice and assistance, reach out to Tampa business brokers. We specialize in helping business owners prepare for a successful exit by enhancing their business’s value. Remember, a well-prepared business not only commands a higher price but also ensures a smoother transition for both you and the new owner. For more guidance, contact Florida business brokers today and take the first step towards a successful business sale.

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