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Do These 4 Things Before You Sell a Thai Restaurant

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Selling A Business

Fresh and healthy Thai cuisine options aren’t just for Thailand and the coastal cities in California and New York anymore. The popularity of Thai food has spurred these restaurant businesses to take off in the United States. However, after years of steady growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the food service industry. Whether these challenges or your life circumstances have you considering exiting your business, ensure you’re prepared with these professional tips to sell a Thai restaurant.

Top Considerations Before Listing Your Thai Restaurant for Sale

Southeast Asian cuisine, sushi restaurants, and Thai fusion restaurants have risen in popularity over the years. Before you list your Thai restaurant for sale, find out the essential steps in preparing your business for a seamless transition of ownership.

1. Consider Your Exit Strategyclose up of hands of patrons enjoying food in a thai restaurant

The first step in any sale is to consider how you, as the business owner, will leave your Asian restaurant. Take some time to determine your goals for the future and how they will impact the new ownership. Consider questions that potential buyers will ask to understand how the restaurant will function without your presence. At a minimum, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How soon do you need to leave the business? Are you able to assist the new owner in getting acclimated?
  • Are your plans for the future dependent on the sale of your Thai restaurant?
  • Will your staff stay on board with the new owner?
  • Are you interested in a specific type of prospective buyer?
  • How will the transfer of ownership take place?

These questions will keep you on track and help potential owners develop expectations for how the business will run in your absence.

2. Organize Your Documents

Prospective Thai restaurant buyers will want to review a variety of paperwork from your restaurant. Besides providing a clear picture of the business’s annual cash flow and revenue, prepare documents that outline leasing terms or real estate information.

3. Prepare Your Restaurant

Even if you have a great location and a profitable Thai restaurant, there are likely still improvements that will make your business even more attractive to the right buyer. The selling process takes an average of six to nine months. Make the most of that time by ensuring that your eatery is in tip-top shape.

Look at your restaurant through the eyes of a potential new owner evaluating a business opportunity, and minimize the effort it will take them to get up and running. Update any outdated decor, repair any damages, and clean grease traps and appliances.

If you’re not in a prime location with high traffic, consider pushing take out on your social media and work to set your restaurant apart. Showcase high-quality dishes or expand your menu to include trendy Thai fusion cuisine, sushi, or Vietnamese. Lastly, if you haven’t already, consider applying for your wine license or liquor license. These improvements can showcase your business as a great opportunity and potentially increase your asking price.

4. Get a Valuation for Your Thai Restaurant

As the current owner, it’s natural to have an emotional connection to your business. The time and sweat that you’ve put into building it can cloud judgment regarding a fair price. Plus, valuing a business is complex. Working with a professional, third-party service will help you ensure that your asking price is equitable.

With those steps complete, you’re on your way to listing your business for sale. While you can list independently, you’ll likely find yourself competing with a slew of other Thai restaurants for sale. Instead, consider hiring a broker. Professional business brokers have the experience to ensure that your Thai cuisine business gets in front of the right prospective buyers and can help you every step of the way.

If you’re ready to list your Thai restaurant, consider enlisting the help of your local Sunbelt Business Brokers office. We have the largest network of brokers in the industry, so you can rest assured that your business sale is in good hands. Let us take care of the business transfer process while you focus on running your own business.


Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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