Is this the Year You Buy a Restaurant?


Is this the Year You Buy a Restaurant?

With huge changes going on in the hospitality industry in 2021, some people who are made redundant or otherwise lose employment will be considering joining the ranks of restaurant owners.  Those of us in the trade would if given the chance warn them of the hard work, long hours and probably argue against this particular business.  However, how many when pushed would really want to do anything else?  Being an owner/manager of a restaurant is one of those businesses that is without a doubt a way of life.  A way of life that when it comes to it many of us would not change.

To anyone thinking of joining the ranks of catering business owners and owning a restaurant the main piece of advice is to gain experience before taking the leap.  Those who have a catering background will know what to expect, but remember the business is very different when it is your business.

However, there is no getting away from it having the keys to your first restaurant is a heady experience.

So with all the problems that 2020 brought us, the hardship could bring opportunities to those wanting to open a restaurant or indeed existing restaurant owners in a position to expand.

However the forecast for the second half of 2020 was not good for the restaurant industry as a whole, income was expected to be 53% of the normal income based on the preceding years.

Not only did the lockdowns cause problems across the four nations of the UK, but they created a change of habits for many consumers who would have previously eaten out a lot more.  Additionally, social distancing measures hit the industry hard, being able to seat less covers per session and also things like having to close early all impacted.

If you want to proceed and open a restaurant then there may be some bargains out there as some owners throw in the towel.  But, do your homework; they may be giving up for more than just Covid-19.  There could be other reasons:

  1. The location
  2. The condition of the building and costs of repairs
  3. Aged equipment in need of replacement
  4. Reputation

So, let’s have a look at these:

Location is always going to be crucial when opening a restaurant, it is not just a case of open it and they will come.  The location has to be the right one for the type of restaurant you are opening.

Condition of building:  Get a full survey report and if you still want to go ahead, and then use it as a bargaining tool.  All the repairs will also delay your opening date.

Even the best quality catering equipment will not go on forever, so if it’s in poor condition, factor in refitting the kitchen.

Reputation is a key component in making a living by owning a restaurant.  Check out the reputation of your chosen business carefully.  If it is really bad and your intention was to take it over as a going concern.  Think again, in fact run away as fast as you can!

Give all of the above careful consideration before getting to far into the purchase or too far into the dream.  Wherever you end up buying, I hope it’s lovely and serves you well.  You’ll need restaurant insurance and that is something that the specialist team at catering insurance can help you with.

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