Take over a restaurant
Are you looking for the best way to take over a
restaurant? Participating in the takeover of a business that you are not the
original founder of can be a great challenge. You have the opportunity to
invest in a business that is already operating. Nevertheless, to take over a
restaurant properly, it is necessary to spend time observing points such as its
catchment area, its clientele, its turnover. All these elements will help you
to determine if it is indeed a good business!
Taking over a restaurant
audit the institution’s finances
It’s impossible to think about taking over a restaurant
without spending some time looking at its financial condition. It is essential
that you verify that the restaurant is profitable. This is what will guarantee
that you won’t take over an abandoned business on the verge of sinking!
Concentrate on :
Turnover: the seller is obliged to give you the
turnover of the last three fiscal years, which generally corresponds to the
turnover of the last three years. These are the cash receipts made by the
restaurant over the year. Be careful not to confuse turnover and margin! If the
restaurant’s charges are too high, you may not earn as much as expected.
The annual accounts: in order to be able to interpret
this information without missing important information, it is advisable to call
upon the services of a chartered accountant.
Points to watch out for :
what do changes in turnover mean?
Turnover gives a direct idea of the health of a
business. Nevertheless, it can increase or decrease. A decrease in turnover can
be due to a drop in visitors but also to a change in opening hours. An increase
in turnover is not always positive and may be due to the arrival of an
exceptional event, for example.
Location, an essential factor in the takeover of a
We can’t repeat it enough but a good restaurant is a
restaurant that attracts people spontaneously… And therefore it must have a
good location ! You will have much more opportunities to reach customers if you
are located in the city centre or in a busy shopping street rather than in a
dark alleyway that is a little off centre.
Although the location of a restaurant seems to be an
obvious and stable fact, you are never safe from an unpleasant surprise. Take
the time to find out about the following points when taking over a restaurant:
Will there be any work planned on the street?
Are there any commercial premises that have been empty
for several months?
Will some local businesses be closing?
Will other competitors open in the coming months?
The administrative steps not to be missed in order to
take over a restaurant
When taking over a restaurant, you will be confronted
with a few mandatory administrative steps. Take the time to observe the
The current commercial lease: is a possible rent
revision possible? Is the restaurant already equipped? (cold room, hotplates
Restaurant licenses: you will need to know which
licenses were held by the restaurant vendor. Some are mandatory, such as for
It is your duty to make sure that the restaurant’s
equipment complies with current standards and legislation. To take over a
restaurant, you will need to take training to obtain a business licence and
make a declaration to your town hall.
Taking care of staff when taking over a restaurant
Although you are taking over a restaurant and are now
the new manager, customers may not notice the change right away. Regular
customers are often very accustomed to the staff. Good relationships and
effective management of staff help to make the transition smoother.
Focus particularly on :
The chef of the restaurant: is he used to talking to
customers a lot? Does he have specialities in the kitchen? A transition period
can be envisaged during which two chefs are in the same restaurant for several
weeks to help the handover.
The key personnel of the restaurant: which employees
are responsible in the dining room and in the kitchen? Are employment contracts
taken over with the business?