How To Sell Your Cafe

Selling your cafe is not dissimilar to selling any business, however cafes are often owner operated and owners are working long hours and trading 7 days a week (sound familiar!). As much as you are busy, the time you now put in to selling your business will pay off. Many café owners have already decided to sell, long before they put it on the market for sale.

A good business should ALWAYS BE FOR SALE especially for the right price! It is often best to sell when your business is ‘on the up’, or prior to your busy season. When selling for a good reason, you are often in a better negotiating position to get the best price possible for your sale. But don’t beat yourself up if you are not ready, perhaps timing is more the issue. No matter what the reason, the decision has already been made!

Know the benefits of your cafe business.


No matter what the reason, you probably already know why! Don’t make the mistake of putting it off so far ahead that it doesn’t get done. The last thing you want is to keep the business longer than you wanted because more often than not you will get tired and lose interest in the business and possibly have less profits.

  • Years of trading - (this can include your time and any previous owners).
  • The specialties of your café; like special foods, recipes, your service, your point of difference!
  • Talk about your staff, the cleanliness of the shop, the type of customers.
  • The benefits of the location like: ‘great foot traffic’; ‘surrounded by other excellent businesses’, or very reasonable rent!
  • Talk about your competition, if you don’t the prospective buyer will!
  • Further potential is also worthwhile including as it demonstrates to the buyer that there are other things they can try. This could be as simple as setting up a website, or doings some catering, or even organising social events at the café. No matter what the business, there are always other ways to attract more customers.
  • Future development of the area.

Know the Reason why you are selling.


No one knows the business better than you but the first rule of thumb “It is the BUSINESS you are selling and NOT YOU!” Prospective buyers don’t want to hear how hard it is for you, or how hard it has been to get the business to where it is, or even how good YOU are!
They want to know about the BUSINESS. So make a list of all the benefits of your Café. Things like:-

List all of your assets.

This is easy to do. Just list all the items that you have in your cafe, right from refrigerators, to display fridges, to cash registers, ovens, grills, hotplates etc. You may find that this has already been done, as you may have a depreciation schedule in your financials. Some cafes also have certain equipment like a coffee machine that is leased, so these should be included on your list with any financial commitment details. Tip: Check with your accountant.