Are You Thinking About Buying
An Existing Restaurant?
There Can Be Many Advantages.
Meet Kevin Vasconcellos who saw the advantages when he became the new owner of The Bayside Lounge and Tavern on 125 Sconticut Neck Road in Fairhaven, Mass.
It has been a local hang out for more than 60 years.
Kevin, a resident of Fairhaven, had been looking for a restaurant/bar for years and jumped at the opportunity in purchasing it. In September 2015, he began his ownership journey.
The Bayside is your typical local bar/restaurant with pool tables, dart boards, and free entertainment.
Let’s Take a Look At The Advantages
60 years old – advantage (they have a following)
Pool tables & Dartboards – advantage (they have a market that is sports minded) making money from the games and opens the opportunity for leagues.
Live Free Music – advantage (they have a market that wants to hear music) there’s always a possibility to charge a cover if the band is a local favorite and they make a living being in bands.
The restaurant was needing some love – advantage (need to turn existing customer into eating customers again) –it may not seem like an advantage, but Kevin saw it as an opportunity. He knew if he improved the quality of the food his customers would come in more often!
In a short period of his ownership, it has become known for its menu, which offers fresh food and great pricing. The menu includes burgers, flatbread pizza, steak and cheese wraps, and fish and chips, along with chicken wings and mozzarella sticks for appetizers and fresh clam chowder and kale soup.
Vasconcellos said, “The quality is not in frozen; the quality is in fresh especially with seafood. As for meats like hamburgers, we go to Giammalvo’s every week and pick up all the meats that we use.” He added, “Our soups are made here every week. Our fish and chips have become very popular on Friday nights.”
“The word is getting out, and people are coming back for it.”
Another key to the menu, he said, is the kitchen staff, which came with the purchase of the business.“I have great employees in the kitchen that have good recipes,” Vasconcellos said.
His kitchen Manager Christine Cormier has worked in the restaurant business for more than 20 years. Can’t have a better advantage than having someone who has years of experience running your kitchen.
You need an experienced kitchen manager if you want to run a kitchen that puts out great tasting food and can maintain a profitable operation.
Kitchen manager Christine Cormier said, “the Bayside Lounge and Tavern accomplish this by only purchasing what is needed and dealing with local businesses. We shop local and shop daily. That is how we get to keep the cost down. Our meat products are from Giammalvo’s in New Bedford, and we get the seafood local as well. We only get what we need.”
The Bayside offers different forms of free entertainment daily, including card games like including Texas Holdem. A popular trivia night takes place on Thursdays, Karaoke on Fridays, bands on Saturdays.
Kevin Vasconcellos made the right decision to purchase an existing restaurant.
He was familiar with the business and knew what it needed. He has made the Bayside Lounge and Tavern even more successful, and perhaps it just might be around for another 60 years!
If you’re not as familiar as Kevin was with the restaurant he purchased and are interested in purchasing an existing restaurant in your local area, what do you need to know and do?
What vital information should you know before purchasing an up and running restaurant (turn-key business)?
Here Are Some Vital Tips
Know what you’re buying! You will need all of the restaurant’s financial records. Past inspection grades, licenses, contracts and equipment for the existing restaurant.
Are you buying the actual restaurant location and all? Examine the demographic data of the customer base, as well as the pricing, square footage, parking availability, potential for expansion, and utility set-up.
Are you buying the name of the restaurant or just the location or just the equipment?
Why is the restaurant for sale? Many times you will find the owner selling for health reasons, divorce, or want to open another business. Do your investigating before accepting the reason they give you. For example, is there a lawsuit pending against the restaurant, is a national restaurant chain nearby or being built, has there been an increase in business taxes, any construction and road work plans coming up shortly that will affect local traffic.
Choose a restaurant with a good location!
Does it have a good reputation? Buying a restaurant with a bad reputation is going to hurt you. Customers will not necessarily be aware that it is under new ownership. Look for a restaurant with a solid customer base. Many restaurants with good reputations and customer satisfaction will go up for sale because they are mismanaged financially or because the owner simply cannot continue to run the restaurant.
Get the building and equipment inspected. For all you know, the owner is selling the restaurant because some major equipment is broken down. Before you buy, always make sure the equipment is in working condition and has been well-maintained. If it hasn’t you should include those costs as you project your initial startup expenses, or negotiate the cost of repairs into the purchase price.
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