The restaurant industry has attracted entrepreneurs from all walks of life to try their hand at restaurant management and ownership. While this business endeavor can be attractive, it’s also a challenging venture that has a variety of hidden obstacles.
Research shows that one in every three restaurants closes its doors for good within the first three years of business. Because crafting a successful restaurant from the ground up can be an extremely difficult endeavor, many would-be restaurateurs are turning to franchise purchases.
Purchasing an already successful business can alleviate the stress and some of the responsibility inherent to a restaurant venture. However, a foray into the world of franchises isn’t always as easy as one might expect.
Before purchasing a franchise restaurant, do your research and keep the following facets of the process in mind.
Accessing the Right Finances
Purchasing a franchise restaurant isn’t cheap, and you’ll need to ensure you have your finances in order before shopping around. In general, it’s much less costly to buy a franchise in lieu of starting your own restaurant, but there are still plenty of expenses to take into account.
If you’re not investing personal capital, be sure to research financing options available. Many would-be franchise owners look towards small business loans. Due to the proven business model a franchise provides, traditional lenders may be more willing to approve a loan for this type of restaurant endeavor.
If you’ve struggled to acquire traditional funding, you may need to consider less conventional methods of fundraising. Some pursue restaurant crowdfunding avenues, while others look towards private investors on sites like Sofi.com. If you’ve never had experience in business before, a franchise can be a fantastic way to start. Unlike startups, lenders are more willing to work with you because the given business has proven success.
Buying a franchise can be a complicated process, and if you have no prior experience in this industry, it’s important that you take your time, do your research, and hire legal help to ensure you’re doing everything above the book.
The restaurant industry is subject to strict governing policies, and restaurant owners are tasked with staying abreast of current laws and regulations. Many restaurateurs put legal counsel on retainer during the first year of business to ensure the process goes off without a hitch.
Due to the vast amount of permits you’ll be expected to acquire, it’s important to give yourself a wide window of time to handle all the details. You’ll be tasked with acquiring zoning permits, and of course food permits. If you’re planning on serving alcoholic beverages (especially if they’re considered a key facet of your chosen franchise), you’ll need to acquire a liquor license—this process is often easier said than done.
“Thanks” to competition and low inventory of alcohol permits, many franchise owners and restaurateurs find it difficult to access the license they need. Luckily, modern advancements in this arena mean franchise owners can access services that make the process easier.
In metropolitan areas where competition is high, many are turning to brokerage services like License Locators, Inc. to source their liquor permits. Keep in mind that the most extensive liquor licenses can cost easily over a hundred thousand dollars, so be prepared to spend a significant chunk of change on this restaurant expense.
How to Go About Choosing a Franchise
Don’t jump on the first franchise you see because it happens to be your favorite restaurant. Put plenty of research and time into examining available franchise restaurant opportunities.
The best investments are those that offer solid support systems. Professional franchises will provide you with numerous resources that can make the process easy from start to finish. As you navigate your first franchise endeavor, this support can be invaluable. Choosing a popular franchise like McDonald’s with years of success and profitability will leave you better equipped to handle the business transition.
Owning a franchise business means taking on a great deal of responsibility. From staffing to capital flow, furniture purchases to vendor sourcing, you’ll have your hands full for the foreseeable future—but the rewards for your efforts can be great.
If you’re looking for a hands-on investment that offer plenty of potential for profitability, consider a franchise venture.