“Buying hotels, bars, restaurants, breweries, café, bakeries, pastry shops or any other food stores : a matter of figures ?”


“Buying hotels, bars, restaurants, breweries, café, bakeries, pastry shops or any other food stores : a matter of figures ?

Take over a restaurant or buy a hotel is a complex operation that should never happen in a rush. Once the target has been identified, the use of a lawyer or accountant must allow to rely on a realistic social and financial audit to ensure the success of the project.

Whether investing in the restoration or purchasing an hotel, any project of taking over requires the use of professionals and specialists of the CHR. It is often the real estate agents, who are aware of the evolutions of the market locally, who will intervene at first to guide the research of future buyers. Especially if they are not familiar with the region in which they wish to settle down. CHR lawyers and accountants also have well-stocked client portfolios that can lead to transactions. In bordeaux Métropole, the Century 21 AOI-PRO agency has specialized in welcoming newcomers to an area undergoing economic redeployment. “We operate a little like project managers with a transversal offer that allows purchasers to choose among our various services, according to their anteriority in the CHR, their journey, their skills. The takers are very movable today. We regularly see people arriving from Nantes, Paris or Strasbourg, “says Fabrice Nikitine, manager of the local network to which the agency belongs. A relocation that the usual bankers of these potential buyers do not necessarily favor, worried about the idea of ​​financing a restaurant 800 km away. “How could someone be offered a business without getting local financing ? Our contacts know the sector, the ratios, the criteria of commercialism and the buyer expects from us peace of mind “, observes Antonin Alonso, manager of the agency AOI-PRO. To attract buyers, real estate agents do not spare their efforts. On the model of franchise networks, they even set up a partnership with design offices able to design an identity, an original layout and a bright atmosphere: “We have the capacity to produce a 3D representation of the to defend our operation with our buyers in front of the banks. In a project of repurchasing, financial analysis is a chosen field for accountants and specialized lawyers, each keeping however, their prerogatives. Based on the analysis of balance sheets, income statements and performance indicators, they will be able to determine a range of value and check if the price displayed is consistent. At the accounting firm NSK Fiduciaire, Gaétan Mangeon advises to stay careful: “Clearly, a gourmet restaurant is more complicated to buy. Especially if the cook is the owner. The location, compliance with the standards, the state of dilapidation of the equipment, the qualification of the seniority of the staff must be taken into account. They can lead to 20% difference more or less according to evaluation methods. ”

If the turnover of the restaurant or the hotel is included in the evaluation, it has for limit not to take into account the profitability. It is rather the gross operating surplus that will be examined in great details before applying a coefficient appropriate to the business sector. The “banker’s method” attempts, to value the business by measuring the part of finance that the purchaser will be able to devote to the refund of his loan over seven years, considering his initial contribution (30 to 40 %). “Finally, the buyer is not committed by the margin rate of his predecessor, but, for cons (on the other hand), he is committed for the rent and all operating costs that must be in the range of the market. If there are significant discrepancies, it is noticed immediately and, in this case, it is necessary to know the reasons, “notes the accountant. An opinion shared by Sophie PETROUSSENKO, CHR specialist and lawyer of Umih-Ile-de-France (Cabinet PETROUSSENKO). “We can easily detect irregularities in reading the balance sheet and one of the roles of the lawyer is to warn the acquirer by pointing out any inconsistencies. But, in my opinion, the acquirer must also go to the establishment sought to see firsthand the flows and the reality of the clientele, before the compromise is effective. It is better to hurt a little the susceptibility of the seller than to achieve a catastrophic transaction, “insists the lawyer.

Depending on whether you buy a company or a business, the reading of the file by the banking institutions will differ. In the first case, in the first case, you buy titles which value includes that of the business, but also the assets and liabilities of the company. In the second, you will acquire the business only. Banks will generally prefer the second option, considered less risky, accompanied by collateral pledge. If you agree with the seller, it is your lawyer who will draft the transfer deeds and will realize the sequester of the sale price with CARPA. “Finally, the essential role of the lawyer is to plan everything in order to secure the transaction and that no one can challenge the validity of the act,” concludes Sophie PETROUSSENKO.” This text is taken from “the magazine des comptoirs” N ° 212, publication de November 2017 – January 2018.