How to avoid the pitfalls of buying a hospitality business

When evaluating a café, bar or restaurant purchase, prospective buyers are often quick to review income and patronage expectations in preparation for meeting with the bank.

However, a critical area that’s often overlooked is the condition of the premises and its contents. If you commit to buying a venue that doesn’t comply with council regulations or has questionable equipment, it could create unnecessary headaches, and quickly impact your business’ bottom line.

It’s wise to do a thorough inspection of the condition of the premises, its fixtures and fittings and its plant and equipment so you really know exactly what you are buying. The resultant information can:

  • Identify the potential outlay of funds needed for repairs, upgrades and compliance to local government regulations
  • Allow you to re-negotiate the price / contract terms
  • If you want to renovate or change the menu, you may be up for unexpected costs (upgrading of services, infrastructure etc.)

We’ve witnessed firsthand many costly situations that could have been easily avoided, or at least planned for, including:

  • Auction-bought equipment that doesn’t work
  • Unsafe tradeworks and service installations
  • Outstanding immediate requisitions from Environmental Health / Council
  • Renovations stalled by outstanding non-immediate requisitions from Council

“Business opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one around the corner” Richard Branson

You can engage Hiller to assist you with your condition assessment. We use our 30 years’ experience in hospitality to provide you with detailed reports. All of our condition assessments are conducted by our team of licenced builders and supervisors, kitchen and bar design consultants, qualified chefs and hospitality equipment specialists. We are conversant with the Australian & New Zealand Food Authority Regulations and Local Government by-laws pertaining to food premises and we know what to look for when it comes to wear and tear on equipment and fixtures.

Our standard condition assessment service includes:

  • Site visit and compilation of asset list and condition
  • Visual check of equipment and fittings
  • Basic investigation of provision and condition of services and infrastructure:
    o   Hydraulic – Gas, Water, Drainage
    o   Electrical
    o   Refrigeration and Exhaust systems
    o   Ceilings and Walls, Floors and Finishes
  • Report of site findings and recommendations

We’ve undertaken condition assessments for hotels, resorts, restaurants, cafes and a variety of other venues that provide food and beverage services.

Contact us on 1300 161 350 to book a condition assessment and we’ll help you evaluate your next purchase.