RE: Owner Finacing
If I were you, the very next thing I'd do, and I mean like tomorrow, if you haven't already done so, is to make sure the seller paid his taxes. A lien out of the blue will make you real unhappy, regardless of how much you lower the food cost. And after that check for outstanding vendor debt.
In both cases, you're much better being proactive and contacting the creditor to work something out (assuming, of course, that you can't get the seller to clean up his mess).
Regarding food cost:either way, as other posters have noted, if it's still in the 47% range, don't worry about it, because you won't be in business long. But what I think is critical is to find out WHY it's so high. Waste is one thing, but if shells of beef or 5 lb blocks of frozen shrimp are walking out the back door, you might even consider closing up for a week, AFTER you've hired a new staff, to clean house. Theft is epidemic; "everyone's doing it, why shouldn't I?" is the mindset.
The other thing is underreported sales. If the checks for 10% of your tables (those from cash-paying tables) don't get into the system because servers are tossing them so they can keep the boodle, that too will kill your food cost, by attacking from the other end of the equation. And, again, if this is going on - and the only way to know is to spend a week in the kitchen watching and accounting for every order - you may have to clean house, because it might mean that at the least the servers are in cahoots with the bartender or cashier, and may very well be doing a tapdance on your bank balance with the kitchen as partners.
I did a lot of expediting years ago, in very busy places (e.g., Tavern on the Green), and my rule, with the total backing of the Chef and GM, was that NOTHING left the kitchen without a dupe, except for bread. NOTHING. Works wonders for food cost.