Advice on preparing to buy a restaurant business in Toronto

Are you looking to set up a restaurant in Canada’s largest city? Toronto truly is the epicentre of culinary excellence and diversity in Canada, so it’s no wonder that entrepreneurs looking to set up a Toronto restaurant business are attracted to this exciting and world-famous metropolis. Whatever cuisine you have in mind for your own Toronto restaurant, there’s plenty of opportunity to make your own special mark. And with over 4 million people living within the city limits, you’re not short of potential customers!

Buying a Toronto restaurant shouldn’t be a daunting task, as long as you prepare and familiarize yourself with the process and what’s required. Of course, you won’t want to take on the task all by yourself, and that’s why choosing a reputable restaurant broker like us is the best idea. We are specialists in our field and have years of experience in helping people just like you, to find and buy restaurants. Here we look at some ways in which you can ensure a smoother and successful buying process for yourself.

Is it really for you?

It may sound a silly question, but do you really understand and are prepared for what will be required of you being the owner and operator of a restaurant? Running and building a successful restaurant takes time and energy, and stamina. It can be all consuming and exhausting, both physically and financially; but putting in the right effort and gaining customer loyalty can be exciting and of course bring financial rewards. Talking to other restaurant owners about their experiences, and doing in-depth research will help you decide if the business is really for you, or most definitely not.

New or existing business?

Are you looking to set up a new restaurant from scratch, or are you interested in buying an existing restaurant. Buying an existing restaurant often proves to be the less expensive option, plus your purchase may come with established branding, kitchen equipment and front of house furniture, licensing permits, existing staff, a loyal customer base and more! Starting afresh will of course mean that all of these (and more) will need to be sourced and established before you begin operations.

Understand the business you are buying

When you find a potential restaurant that you are keen to buy, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with all aspects of that restaurant and how it operates. As an outsider it’s much easier to evaluate and cast a critical eye to pinpoint any issues or problems that will need ironing out, or potentially cause headaches further down the line. What could be better in gaining useful insider knowledge than visiting the restaurant incognito as a customer and getting an end user’s perspective?

Are you financially prepared?

Buying a restaurant comes with many expenses, so being fully aware of what will be financially required from you will be crucial. Do you have the capital set aside for your purchase, or will you require some kind of financing? If you will need financing, have you already gained approval from a lender? Also keep in mind that regular and unexpected expenses will come your away when you begin business: have you set monies aside for these? Careful financial planning will help keep away major headaches as you begin your new journey as a restaurant owner.

Is time on your side?

Buying any kind of restaurant isn’t an overnight task. There’s a whole series of activities that need to be undertaken and correctly addressed, by not only yourself, but multiple people involved in your restaurant purchase. Have you allowed for and planned sufficient time for all the different aspects of your restaurant purchase? How will these activities impact on your timeframe and current finances? Again, understanding and planning will help manage your expectations and also assist in keeping the stress levels down.

Being fully committed and involved

You need to be fully committed and involved when buying a restaurant. Remember, it’s your dream and your big investment, so minimizing obstacles will be key. That’s why you need to make sure that all parties involved in the purchase, as well as the seller, abide by and undertake their obligations and duties to agreed timescales. Being fully in the know about what is involved and who is responsible during your restaurant purchase will both empower you and give you confidence.

CHI is dedicated to keeping up with local and national trends in the Restaurant Industry to help serve our customers better and keep them one step ahead. If you are interested in opening, purchasing, or selling a restaurant CHI Real Estate can help. Get in touch with our team today.