Going to Market with your Concept



By Maya Norris

No matter how sound and profitable a small, growing restaurant chain is, sometimes it just doesn't have the resources to move to the next level. One option is to sell to a larger company that has more capital and expertise. Chain Leader spoke with operators who have sold their restaurant concepts about the best ways to prepare for the sale before and during the transaction.

Steele Platt, CEO, Yard House, Irvine, Calif.

Make sure you're picking the right person to buy your company. A lot of buyers have different objectives. So you have to make sure that your new partner matches philosophically and morally and thinks in a similar way that you do and the seller doesn't do it just for the money.

I could have chosen from three or four different people that wanted to purchase Yard House. One of them was in the restaurant business. And I didn't want that one because I felt it would affect the integrity of our concept based on old business methods in the restaurant business.

One reason I chose TSG [Consumer Partners LLC, a San Francisco-based private-equity firm] was they've never been in the restaurant business. So they have to rely on us to make sure that the concept retains its original architecture. And what they provide to us is what we needed, and that's that higher intellect, different level of thinking and structure and things like that.


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