Australia is fast becoming a mecca for luxury dining and retail. This is especially in the wake of current projections that forecast economic growth to approach 3% by the conclusion of 2018. Melbourne and Sydney in particular continue to be front runners in this sector as global, luxury retailers continue to jostle for real estate in retail hotspots across the two capitals.

Increases in foreign tourism to Australian shores mean more people with stronger buying power. The currently low Australian dollar allows visitors to spend more on luxury goods and fine dining. The likes of Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana are all currently scoping Australian sites keen to find the perfect commercial real estate for sale or lease to sell their premium goods.

Food icons such as Heston Blumenthal and Atlas Dining have set up shop in Melbourne. The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards were recently hosted in Melbourne, with Attica again taking out the prize for best in Australasia.

So if you’re considering investing in this sector yourself, now could be the time. Although it might seem like a straightforward exercise to find a restaurant for sale and buy it, proper research will be necessary to find a location and operation that will suit you as an investor. Firstly, determine what type of relationship you’ll have to the venture – owner operator, silent partner, or perhaps involvement in only the corporate side of things. This should be considered as you develop a business plan for your restaurant venture.

An existing business can be a great option as a built in client base and good reputation may be bought at the same time, but it’s important to determine why a business is for sale in the first place and see proof of this. Looking in the books to get a sense of a restaurant’s current financial situation is the best way to do this.

You’ll also need a bunch of additional information that will help you to determine if the asking price will be worth it. Knowing any current liabilities such as outstanding employee benefits and the state of the current premises can save big lump sums down the track. The state of a lease and whether it transfers is also important so you have an affordable place to operate out of in the short to medium term.

Another option that suits many investors is to purchase a franchised outlet. Although the big names tend to be in fast food such as McDonalds and Subway, there is a surprising variety of eateries that you could become a franchisee of. The benefits of owing a restaurant from a well-run franchise include support and immediate access to support networks and established marketing channels and strategies. You’ll also typically have access to good training before you take over and ongoing resources that will help you to top up your skills as you progress.

So assemble your business team, get planning and get yourself out there to visit some places in person.

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