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How to sort through restaurant listings

Sorting through commercial real estate listings to find the perfect restaurant can feel like a tall task. Compared to buying a home, there are a lot more details to factor in than simply the size, price, and location. In the realm of restaurant real estate, there is a wide range of transactions and ownership types to be aware of.
As a restaurateur, you likely have an idea of what you’d like your future business to look like. When the time comes to browse listings of available restaurants, there will be a lot of options to sort through. With that in mind, making your restaurant search more efficient starts with having a solid idea of what you’re looking for.
In this blog post, we’ll break down the key categories of restaurant real estate listings to help you find a property or business that fits your goals.
Starting your own restaurant? Check out these helpful resources from our blog.

  • The Essential Restaurant Start-up Checklist
  • The Case for Converting an Existing Restaurant Rather Than Building Your Own
  • Finding the Next Great Neighbourhood Spot

Understanding Restaurant Purchases

If you’re looking to buy an existing restaurant (rather than build your own business from scratch), it’s important to understand what it is you’re actually purchasing. In the instance of buying an independent or standalone eatery, it’s typically just the business.
While your purchase may include a variety of assets, furnishings, and other add-ons, it won’t include the actual real estate in which the restaurant is currently operating unless otherwise specified. Real estate-wise, a restaurant purchase usually involves taking on the business’s existing lease. That said, some restaurant listings do include property – more on that later.
New to the world of commercial real estate? Click here to check out our helpful glossary of common terms you may encounter in your entrepreneurial journey.

Franchise Restaurant

A franchise restaurant is a type of restaurant that operates under a structured agreement. In this arrangement, the franchisee (buyer) is granted the right to use the branding, business model, and operational standards of an established brand (the franchisor).
Franchises can come with a lot of perks, but they’re not for everyone. One of the main things to consider when deciding whether or not to invest in a franchise is not having complete control over your brand and methods of operation.

Business with Property

In commercial real estate terms, a business with property refers to a listing where not only that business itself is being sold, but also the physical property or real estate where it’s located. This could be a large lot with surrounding green space, a cozy building in an urban area, or anything in between.
As a restaurateur, you’ll want to closely consider if this type of investment matches your goals. Owning a restaurant with property can offer certain advantages, such as greater control over the space and potential value appreciation. However, it also entails new responsibilities like ongoing maintenance and other ownership-related costs.
Looking for more restaurant real estate resources? We’ve carved up some helpful tips on our blog. Check it out.


  • How to Find a Restaurant For Sale in Toronto
  • Want to Open an Eatery in Cottage Country? Read This First
  • 5 Must-read Books For Aspiring Restaurateurs

Looking for a blank slate?

If you’d rather build your own restaurant from the ground up rather than purchase an existing business, you’ll still need to explore commercial real estate listings. When it comes to finding the perfect blank slate to bring your restaurant to life, there are two major transaction types to be aware of – for sale and for lease.
Both of these listing types have their unique advantages and potential drawbacks. Before heading to the market you’ll want to closely analyze your business goals and financial resources to determine which type of transaction will suit you best.

Working with an experty?

The most efficient way to find a business or commercial space that matches your criteria is to work with a restaurant real estate agent – like us, Carve Real Estate. As professional experts, we can help you filter through the options to find the right fit. Thanks to our wide professional network, we can even help you discover opportunities not listed on the public market.
Once finding your future restaurant, we’ll guide you through a smooth and low-stress purchase.

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