How To Sell My Cafe Business

Selling your cafe is like 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. 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 possible price for your sale. But, once the decision has been made to sell you should also make sure you get the business on the market ASAP to attract the largest pool of potential buyers.

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Know your cafe business' benefits

There are probably many benefits of YOUR business, and you, as the owner, are the best person to text what they are! It’s best to begin advertising those benefits now while you’re keen to sell, before getting tired and disinterested in promoting it, and potentially devaluing the sale.
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:-
  • 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 as it demonstrates to the buyer that there ways that the business can grow. This could be as simple as setting up a website, or doings some catering, or even organising social events at the café. There are always other ways to attract more customers.
  • Future development of the area.

Know why you are selling.

List all of your assets included in the sale.

This is easy to do. Just list all the items that you have in your cafe, for example:
  • refrigerators
  • display fridges
  • cash registers
  • ovens
  • grills
  • hotplates
  • etc.
You may find that this has already been done 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!