The Complete Guide to Buying a Cafe
Practical Advice to Get it Right

Meeting The Owner

This is a preview to the chapter Meeting The Owner from the book The Complete Guide to Buying a Cafe by Craig Reid .
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When you have decided that you are interested in the café you should make an appointment to meet the owner(s). This is usually arranged by the business broker. The business broker may or may not attend. It is better to meet the owner of the café on their own if possible as they are likely to be more honest. Business brokers tend to put “spin” on the owner’s words and shield them from difficult questions. However, always direct your questions at the owner and watch their body language if the business broker answers for them. Once the broker has arranged a suitable time for you to meet, you will start to get organised for the meeting.

The Grilling


The purpose of the meeting with the owner is not just to ask questions about the café – it is to find the truth about the café. Consider your role to be like a lawyer cross-examining a witness on the stand.

Tips:
• Ask as many questions as you like. If your questions are reasonable, you should expect answers.
• Not answering questions is a sure sign of the owners hiding something
• If there are two owners, try to arrange two separate meetings with them and ask the same questions to see if their responses differ!
• Take a second person along as the note taker. This allows you to maintain eye contact with the owner and to watch what is happening around the café. The second person may hear things differently to you.
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What else is in the chapter 'Meeting The Owner'?

Key Questions

The owner may be nervous, so begin with something easy to allow them to relax. You could ask them to walk you through their typical day in 5 minutes, so ...

General Questions

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Financial Questions

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Staff Questions

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Supplier Questions

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Trade Questions

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Competitor Questions

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Marketing Questions

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Maintenance Questions

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Premises Questions

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Licensing / regulatory questions

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Key Question Template

You can use the following blank template to enter the owner’s answers to the questions. Tip: photocopy for re-use! ...

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