Home Selling in Waterford>Question Details

Greg Broadbe…, Real Estate Pro in Mystic, CT

What is the best way to sell a waterfront restaurant in CT that wont allow you to disclose the name?

Asked by Greg Broadbent, Mystic, CT Tue Aug 14, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

13
I'll be more direct this time. Your seller is standing in the way of making a sale. Share my post with him if you want to, since this my opinion and not yours. He is reducing the pool of potential buyers, restraining you from putting forth your best marketing efforts... and ultimately to no avail, the employees are not stupid, they will sooner or later learn that the property and business is for sale.

Like you said, if you describe any part of the business, they figure out which restaurant it is. The seller does not realize that he has made a demand upon you which is not in his own best interests. If it absolutely imperative to him that the perception of discretion be maintained then he should realize that the illusion of anonymity will cost him in the net price he will get for his business. It puts him in a weaker negotiating stance with potential buyers. and and . he won't really be anonymnous, he'll just be pretending that he is.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Interesting dilemma, Greg. Would your client allow the disclosure of the restaurant's name, location and type of cuisine if a prospective buyer was willing to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)? If so, an experienced attorney should be able to assist you through such a process.

The other idea that struck me was how about using a satellite image from Google Maps? Depending upon how much detail you or your client wanted to reveal, you could indicate to a prospective buyer the general geographic location along the waterfront. Give us an update on your progress with this intriguing listing. I'll be watch for more details...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2007
Vicki Masell…, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
Contact
The owner has deliberately chosen privacy and discretion as being more important than making an all out effort to market the property to all conceivable buyers.

Owner may have excellent reasons for doing so. - He / She doesn't want to upset the staff or patrons. Knowing it is for sale might cause good employees to start circulating their resumes. Losing key staff could even devalue the business at a fine restauraunt.

Owner should acknowledge to you that he is blocking these potential buyers 1. Patrons, Chefs, Townfolk, and others who hold the restaurant in high regard, were not looking to buy A restaurant, but don't want to miss the opportunity to own this one. 2. People who assume the least from what information is available to them. From what you have told us so far. A waterfront restaurant could be 300 seats breakfast lunch and dinner 1500 meals a day. with full bar dance floor, dining on the deck and a pier... or it could be a 12 seater crab shack, with paper plates and squeeze bottle tartar sauce. If seller allows you to describe it adequately, anyone who reads the ad and knows the area will be able to figure out which restaurant it is. If seller doesn't allow you to describe it...Hey, what about pictures, You aren't going to use pictures are you? So his intentions to be discreet will be thwarted. His employees WILL find out. ... unless you don't market it at all and don't show it.
Your seller is maybe asking you to find some interantional businessman that will by it sight unseen? You could tell him you've received a couple of inquiries from Nigeria but you don't think they are serious.

How much of a discount from value is he willing to trade off because he / she wants her / his privacy and discretion 20%, 30 % - He is asking you to market the restaurant with anchor tied around your waste.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Hi Greg: I think target marketing this property to existing restaurant chains, restaurants that you know are growing or up and coming, commercial developers or investors would be a good start. Best of luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2007
Profit! Statistics. Waterfront. You shouldn't need the name until after you have qualified a serious buyer and they have signed a non-disclosure agreement.

My guess, is your target market is not going to be a local (ie the same town). It might be NYC or interior CT. As a business owner, this is reasonable for a seller to ask and for a buyer to expect.
Good luck,
Ruth
Web Reference: http://www.oak-park-il.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
It would be nice to have a Cracker Barrel, Chart House(Annapolis,Dobbs Ferry, Newport), even Gossmans (Montauk, NY) in our area...depending on location can you direct market with photos and a satellite view as Ted Shoop suggested. I would suggest going to the food and beverage type trade shows at the Javitts NYC and networking. Print a descriptive detail and price as an overlay on the satellite view on the back of your business card. Hand them out while networking. Make sure you have a two year listing agreement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
As an explanation to my previous answer, the intent was to indicate that an investor is more concerned about the income potential based on history rather than the physical presence. Therefore, your marketing can be tied to the financials initially. These would have to be handled with a confidentiality agreement and then if there is interest you would then have to address how to show & deal with employees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
It is all about the income. A well-informed buyer, a lender and appraiser all will want to see at least the most recent 3 years of auditable financial information with reported income and expenses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
I don't know which area of CT you are in, but around Stonington, there are only a certain number of people that are interested in restaurants. If I were you I would find agents that have sold restaurants in the past, fax them a confidentiality agreement, and then tell them about it. Another agent is most likely going to be the source of your buyer anyway...may as well put them to work!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 28, 2007
Greg,
I've nothing to add, but am extremely interested in your outcome. There was a similar situation in my office last year which was never fully resolved because the owner ended up selling to a relative... Please re-post as you come across solutions or email me directly. Thanks! Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
Well I didn’t include a lot of information here because I had a legitimate question. To be honest, as soon as I describe any part of it people know which restaurant it is, its well known. I don’t know if that breaks our contract or will get me in trouble with the owner but can that be my fault? I neither confirm or deny if they are correct. I have never sold a restaurant and am trying to learn along the way. As for including details here, I am not trying to market the property, although if anyone was interested I guess I wouldn’t pass on the opportunity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2007
That, I couldn't really tell you. My first thought was the annual restaurant convention but that is in Chicago and I don't think it would be effective. I would suggest classified ads in trade magazines or online industry sites, but again, I don't know what they would be. My father was looking to invest in a Cabaret in NYC but I don't know how he got hooked up with them. He has since passed away, so I can't ask. I sold businesses in Atlantic Beach, NC with no experience other than passing my Real Estate exam. But years later, selling non-real estate businesses in IL, IN and FL, I encountered different laws. I would find a successful "Business Broker" both in real estate and out of real estate and ask for some mentoring advice. Also, just do some Google searches as if you were a buyer. What do you find?
Web Reference: http://www.oak-park-il.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
But where are the best places to advertise something like this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer