Acquisition of a restaurant in London
A French restaurant group wanted to expand in the United Kingdom and open their first restaurant in London. Not willing to commit to a building site, they mandated French Touch Commercial as commercial estate agent in order to find and negotiate a lease transfer.
- Analyse the market positioning of the French brand to find a suitable location
- Conduct an intensive search on and off the commercial estate market to find a property
- Analyse the business operations and the profitability of the identified property in order to offer a fair price.
- Move forward discreetly in the negotiations at the seller’s request.
- Successfully carry out a three-way negotiation between the landlord, the tenant and the buyer
French Touch Commercial supported its client in the search for a new setting in England. A complicated mission as the market can sometimes be opaque when it comes to catering premises.
First of all, it was necessary to establish precise specifications corresponding to the
French operations whilst ensuring that they were well adapted to the English market. Bread, meat or even cheese, the relationship that the English have with food is different from that of the French!
Once this first step had been validated, it was time for research work. There are always several lines of work: consulting the aggregators, calling the partner estate agents, field research etc.
In the end, we were able to identify very beautiful premises in Marylebone corresponding to the search criteria including terrace, alcohol license, extraction fans for intensive use and for which the tenant was looking for a hand-over.
From there followed a long three-party negotiation between the tenant, the landlord and our client. There were many issues, starting with the nature of the lease, which had to be analysed in detail to ensure that our client would be able to work under good conditions and over the long term. It was also necessary to analyse the operational potential of the premises as well as to negotiate the list of equipment to be included in the transaction.
Last but not least, convincing the landlord to give his approval for the transaction (required in the context of a lease assignment).This was all the more complicated as a right of first refusal gave him the possibility, for an equal amount, of recovering his property, an option he initially wanted to exercise.
It was therefore necessary to negotiate firmly (without raising the cost of him agreeing to change his mind) so that he finally waived this right of first refusal and let our client finalize the transaction.
A complicated case but which ended well thanks to the expertise of French Touch Commercial and our network of various experts that we had to mobilize on the project including the solicitor, the surveyor, etc.
Are you also planning to open a restaurant in London? Please contact us!
French Touch Commercial, your real estate agent in London.