Restaurant Spaces - Buying vs Leasing

Restaurant Spaces - Buying vs Leasing

Looking to establish your new restaurant business, or expand your current operation with another location?
Unsure whether to start by looking for an existing restaurant for sale, or lease a shell space and build from scratch? There are many pro's and con's to consider with each method - here are some tips to consider:  

Buying an existing restaurant (The Why?):

  • Favourable Lease Rates

  • Save money on build out costs

  • Reduce Permitting time with the City

  • Transfer Permits & Licenses

  • The Quickest Way to open your concept

    Things to consider when buying an existing restaurant: 

  • Old buildings may contain demolition clauses or short-term leases, be sure to evaluate lease terms prior to reviewing a restaurant purchase.

  • Important to understand what limitations you may have to the current layout versus your ideal layout. Manipulating major items will result in the need of a lengthy building permit process. 

  • It is important to evaluate that current permits & licenses are up-to-date and accurate. 

  • Recommended to visit with general contractors and experienced consultants to ensure previous work done is up-to-date with current building codes and municipal requirements

  • We suggest getting an equipment servicing company to check out equipment condition to determine any repairs/work needed on equipment. 

    Leasing a shell space (The Why?)

  •  Longer lease terms with options to renew

  • Tenant improvement allowance to build your way 

  • Design your ideal layout & floor plan 

  • Avoid paying rent during permitting time by structuring an educated lease deal  

    Questions to consider when leasing a shell space: -

  • What is the term of lease you require, and what options to renew would be available to you?

  • What is the total build out cost? 

  • How long will it take to receive a building permit? Understand soft costs of consultants, architects and permitting.

  • How long will it take for construction & build out? 

  • Does the plaza or building have any restrictive covenants or lease exclusivities?

  • Any demolition clauses or redevelopment plans for the area to consider?

    Visit to review listings for current business sales across the Lower Mainland. We represent many growing restaurant brands across British Columbia. You may also set up a free consultation to discuss Buyer & Tenant Agency and having Restaurant Agents set up a dedicated search to assist you with finding an ideal business. If you are a landlord looking to lease out an existing space suitable for a restaurant, please contact us to discuss.    


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