On last night's Food Network episode of "Buy This Restaurant," expert restaurant broker, Keith Simpson came to Boston, Mass. to help best friends, Matt and Andrea find a cool restaurant space to combine their passion for ethnic food and live music. Keith will be showing them three spaces, and only one will be their choice.
Matt’s lifelong dream was to have his own restaurant. Their concept is to make Lebanese pies with delicious fillings, basically a pita bread and different fillings, of sautéed vegetables and meats and other varieties of foods. Their budget is $150,000, and after several hardships in Matt’s life, he needs a fresh start. Right now, Matt’s only income is his dog walking service, and Andrea, a musician is buried in student loans, so they really need this restaurant to work.
The first place they checked out was located in a section of Boston known as Jamaica Plain, which is right in their wheelhouse and fits their budget. Recently, it was a fried chicken place. The asking price is $75,000 with rent of $2,200 a month. There is an inch of grease on all the equipment and the place smells. The business was doing about $250,000 a year and only closed a week ago. Keith knows how first-time buyers react, but he will give them the information they need and pros and cons. When Keith showed them the potential, buy using his tablet, they forgot about the grease and saw what could possibly be their future. With $75,000 for the equipment, $27,000 for rent and about $40,000 for repairs, the all in price for the first year would be $140,000, leaving them $10,000 for working capital and start-up costs. By doing some of the work themselves, it could save them $20,000 and Keith forecasts they would recoup their investment in as little as a year.
The next restaurant is a pizzeria in Newton, just outside of Boston. Keith suggests they keep it just the way it is. The entire business is for sale, including the menu, a complete turnkey place that could be up and running in three days. Inside it is lovely and spacious, but it is a pizza place. Before they eliminate the idea, Keith shows them that the current owners grossed $325,000 a year and they could incorporate their pies into the business. The cost is $85,000 and the rent is $1,750 triple net, where they will be responsible for all the property taxes, all the insurance, and are responsible for the building. With almost 1,300 square feet of space, it is a great starter restaurant, with a renovation of only $15,000, their all-in first year cost of $120,000 will leave them with $30,000 for start-up and working capital.
The last place was a highly successful wings and sandwich shop in Watertown, another town outside of Boston. Keith suggests that if they go with this concept, they tilt their thinking more towards take-out in the hustle-bustle neighborhood. They even got to meet with the owner, Jonathan O’Connor, who told them about the customers and community support. The asking price is $90,000 and the place is very small. The rent is $1,150, and they would be buying the business too. With a rent of $14,000 a year, and an all-in first year price of $130,000, leaving $20,000 and a one-year recoup, it is also a great idea.
After sleeping on their decision, the next day, the stuck with their hometown and went with Jamaica Plain and the abandoned fried chicken joint. After doing much of the renovations themselves, they saved about $20,000. The restaurant is called Aurum, which means gold.
Keith advises viewers to check here to see how the cafe is doing since he brokered the deal. Subsequent episodes will air starting Wednesday, so if you liked what you read, please Subscribe, and you will never miss another post from this Television Examiner. Thanks!