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 Professional Advice Needed on easing out.

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Corn Dog Queen

  • Total Posts: 9
  • Joined: 6/28/2005
  • Location: Thunder Bay , MN
Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Thu, 08/11/05 11:34 AM (permalink)
Hello fellow foodies,
I am looking for advice on how to go about easing out of the business.
Brief background, family run catering business with a strong (good) reputation, we're in our fourth generation and it's time for me to let go. My son is not going to be taking over and I still want to have the summer concession business if at all possible.
We have a fully equipped catering kitchen, walk in freezer, walk in fridge, 2 gas/electric convection ovens and 3 double oven units with assorted tops. Three 4'x8' work tables, a showcase refrigeration unit, 1 double deep fryer and other chopping tables and work tables.
We have over 30 chaffing dishes, with hundreds of inserts, coolers, proofers,full commercial dish washing set up, commercial BBQ's, and alto sham and much more.
Here is what I am hoping to accomplish, Work the concession trade for the 3 months in the summer, but have someone else work this kitchen to it's full potential.
We also have all necessary concession equipment.
I do not want to sell the business at this time because we would never realize it's worth, and need an income for the 7-9 months left over from concession work.
It is a beautifully set up kitchen with dishes, glassware and cutlery etc enough to cater out for over 1000 people.
I am physically not wanting to do this anymore and because our winters are harsh I like to get away.
I guess my primary question is - how do I go about finding an interested party to come in and use the faciliites (full use of everything) to conduct their own catering / food service operation for an agreed price. I realize I can advertise - but not sure how to begin to go about it, and do I need to involve my lawyer ? Really just wanting to cover expenses of the building sitting here, and maybe a little bit of revenue for income.
Have any of you out there leased places similar, or leased out ?
Do you think I am being realistic or just dreaming ?

Any comments would sure be very much appreciated.
Really any seed of thought on this may help me find my way.
I've been in this business since age 6 and I'm now 51, love it but tired.
Thanks

 
#1
    nvb

    • Total Posts: 468
    • Joined: 12/5/2004
    • Location: dfhbgmhmy, MN
    RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Thu, 08/11/05 5:06 PM (permalink)
    Several people around here lease their restaurants. Good and bad associated with it, though. The good is you're letting the place make you some money without the work. The bad is no one will take care of it as well as you.

    Number one thing is to have a solid contract and hefty deposit (if you can get it). You will need a lawyer to secure a good contract, though. You'll need to have a clause that allows you access so you can run your catering business, or you may have to pay the tenant for use. Works both ways from what I understand, but renting it back seems to keep the tenant happier because they don't feel "invaded" when you need the kitchen.

    Another consideration would be the name of the place. One place near me keeps the same name from tenant to tenant. It's kind of a joke because one tenant will do well and next one will turn out crap, and it's all under his name. But keep in mind that people will be leery of a place that keeps changing its name, and between tenants it'll be up to you to keep it running.

    As far as finding a tenant you can advertise in local and major newspapers around. There's usually not a shortage of folks wanting to try their hand at this kind of business as long as it's affordable. Even some real estate folks will broker deals for a piece of the action.

    Good luck!
     
    #2
      Corn Dog Queen

      • Total Posts: 9
      • Joined: 6/28/2005
      • Location: Thunder Bay , MN
      RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Fri, 08/12/05 12:19 PM (permalink)
      Hey Slick, nice name by the way,
      thanks for the response. I realized immediately that a lawyer is necessary, but if I can do most of the work and have it as close to what I want it would great.
      I really want to step aside from the catering altogether, the concession equipment can be housed in a separate trailer I have for storage and my cube van that we use to transport everything, freeing up the building totally for leasing party.
      As far as the name goes, what do you think about this - there is signage on the building, do not want them to use our business name, but they could add their identity to building and have full dibs on any calls that come for catering through my yellow page ad. Making it clear to customers that it will be them that is carrying out the jobs.
      I know that last little bitty is a bit tricky. Guess it depends on how professional a tenant I hope to get.
      We could run it on a trial basis the first while then go from there, see how it works out. Food professionals fall in love with this space instantly, it's that nice, I love it too, just had enough.
      I'm hoping it leads into a nice semi-retirement feature that will create revenue for me to live. Then if someone comes up with the right price to buy me out, well.....................
      It's got me a tad excited with the possibilites, sure hope I can find a good match.
      Still open to all seeds of thought on this matter.
      Only one more corn dog gig left this season and then it's all over till next year.
      Thanks again and look forward to all your words of wisdom.
       
      #3
        bassrocker4u2

        • Total Posts: 534
        • Joined: 11/12/2003
        • Location: new holland, PA
        RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Sun, 08/14/05 6:36 AM (permalink)
        my wife and i are in a similar situation. we have been trying to sell our place for a year now. problem is, its too small for the corp boys with all the money, and the potential young couples that want it havent the dough to buy it. just today, i noticed a new section on ebay for selling businesses. i am thinking seriously about listing there. maybe you should too. nothing to loose of not sold, and they only charge a max of 250.00 when sold. presently, there is a pizza shop there and seems to be going good for the owner.
        what do yall think?
         
        #4
          Scallion1

          • Total Posts: 418
          • Joined: 7/20/2004
          • Location: Yonkers, NY
          RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Sun, 08/14/05 8:50 AM (permalink)
          hey bassrocker, long time no see.

          a couple of thoughts: you definitely need an attorney, and you probably need an accountant to help you figure out what's your best move. i know, all too well, how much these services cost, but it's a lot less than it'll cost you if things get screwed up.

          this has been discussed before, but i'll repeat: make sure, as long as you have any connection with another party, that you get copies, every quarter (or six months) of PAID TAX BILLS and PAID INSURANCE BILLS. And put in that contract that failure to produce these bills in a timely fashion is a default on the contract, which could result in eviction and loss of deposit.

          also specify what you're selling; do you wish to retain ownership of the equipment? who's responsible for maintenance and replacement?

          make sure that the buyer/lessor has all appropriate health permits.

          run a credit check.

          try to make them sign personally, to whatever degree possible.

          this may all seem harsh, or like overkill. i'm from new york city, and i've fought with some bigtime lawyers. maybe things are more friendly and trusting in thunder bay, but better safe than sorry. this is business, and your first objective is to maintain the safety and value of this very valuable asset. do your due diligence, make sure the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted, get certified checks for the first payments, GET THE RECEIPTS FOR TAXES (INCLUDING SALES TAX AND WITHHOLDING) AND INSURANCE WITHOUT FAIL. after all this is done, you can be as friendly as you want to be.

          good luck,
          bill the cynic
           
          #5
            nvb

            • Total Posts: 468
            • Joined: 12/5/2004
            • Location: dfhbgmhmy, MN
            RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Sun, 08/14/05 10:13 AM (permalink)
            Bill makes some good points and I agree with them, but it's not a perfect world out there and you may have to make some adjustments because of credit and so-forth.
            quote:
            As far as the name goes, what do you think about this - there is signage on the building, do not want them to use our business name, but they could add their identity to building and have full dibs on any calls that come for catering through my yellow page ad. Making it clear to customers that it will be them that is carrying out the jobs.
            I know that last little bitty is a bit tricky. Guess it depends on how professional a tenant I hope to get.


            The separate sign should work okay as long as it's clear who is whom. The catering end of it will be tricky. I quess you could make sure the tenant had that written into their catering contract and used it for every job. You'll have to make that assement when you get a tenant, though.

             
            #6
              Scallion1

              • Total Posts: 418
              • Joined: 7/20/2004
              • Location: Yonkers, NY
              RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Sun, 08/14/05 11:15 AM (permalink)
              Thanks, Slick. I agree that the financial situation of the prospective buyer may make some adjustments necessary. However, I wouldn't budge a millimeter on the subject of tax and insurance receipts.

              I had a friend who sold his business, had to take it back when the purchasers went belly-up in a year, and found that they hadn't paid sales tax or withholding. The gummint revenooers put liens on the property and he worked for a year without making any money because he had to satisfy the liens.

              Caveat vendor.

               
              #7
                bassrocker4u2

                • Total Posts: 534
                • Joined: 11/12/2003
                • Location: new holland, PA
                RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Mon, 08/15/05 10:09 AM (permalink)
                all great tips. thanks! well, i just listed on ebay. i prefer to sell out right, no financing. cut all strings and ties...
                how about you, corn dog queen? gonna list?
                only bad thing about ebay is the short time listing is allowed to run. they claim 30 days for a business, but only gave me 10.
                we will see what happens, probably a waste of dough..hehehe
                 
                #8
                  bassrocker4u2

                  • Total Posts: 534
                  • Joined: 11/12/2003
                  • Location: new holland, PA
                  RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Mon, 08/15/05 9:56 PM (permalink)
                  finally got my thirty days, and a good listing. yall wish me luck, and bid, if ya want....
                  http://cgi.ebay.com/restaurant-for-sale-bbq-business_W0QQitemZ4399895902QQcategoryZ15825QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

                   
                  #9
                    kland01s

                    • Total Posts: 2835
                    • Joined: 3/14/2003
                    • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                    RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Wed, 08/17/05 4:28 PM (permalink)
                    I'm not in the bizz but I got a coupon for this place in the mail today. I'm not real certain of this concept or if it's even viable, the location near me is in very upscale area where both parents work, commute into the city and have hectic lives. I just thought it might give you an idea of using your kitchen in some way like this.


                    http://www.dinnerbydesignkitchen.com

                     
                    #10
                      Corn Dog Queen

                      • Total Posts: 9
                      • Joined: 6/28/2005
                      • Location: Thunder Bay , MN
                      RE: Professional Advice Needed on easing out. Wed, 08/17/05 6:29 PM (permalink)
                      Greetings, I have already investigated the meal plan concept, this space is perfect for that idea. We even travelled to Minneapolis to attend a session of a similar business called Let's dish. I was excited about it in the spring, then the concession work consumed my working spirit, and now that it's dropping off so is my enthusiasm. My strengths are not marketing by any means, I'm a great pot washer however.
                      So now I feel it's time to let someone with a more aggressive nature and a youthful capacity run with any and all of these ideas, just pay me for the space and equipment, with a possibility of percentage, (whichever greater kind of agreement, within reason of course)
                      I have a bite right now, and am hopeful it's a match.
                      So very many particulars to consider and I'm taking note of each and every one.
                      E Bay ? haven't ever used it, and feel that we are so isolated geographically that it wouldn't be attractive, not sure?????
                      I'm hoping to get a handle on proper legal lease agreements and create one as close to what an agreeable outcome would be for both parties, have the lawyer and accountant advise me then take it slow by way of length or release time of the lease.
                      If I find I have regrets or can fine tune it - there will be that option down the road.
                      I'm still very interested in all of your ideas and concerns.
                      I'm hungry and there's nothing to eat here !!
                       
                      #11
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