This guide discusses the sales process for Ben and Jerry’s franchisors who are planning their exit strategy. Specifically, we discuss how to value your restaurant and the various steps involved in the sales process.
About The Ben and Jerry’s Franchise
Ben and Jerry’s has become a well-known brand due to their ice cream and other desserts and treats. Many investors who are interested in the food and dessert space are intrigued by the prospects of owning a Ben and Jerry’s franchise restaurant. Owners must also abide by their franchise agreement, which may place certain limitations upon selling and have requirements as to who is allowed to purchase. Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly owned autonomous subsidiary of Unilever (Business Reference Guide).
How to Value a Ben and Jerry’s Restaurant
The valuation process for Ben and Jerry’s restaurants involves a detailed look at your financials, including your seller’s discretionary earnings (SDE), along with industry multiples (rule of thumb data). The rule of thumb data for this franchise is as follows:
- Ben and Jerry’s restaurants sold between 2.20 and 2.90 times the Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE)
- Ben and Jerry’s restaurants sold between 2.76 and 5.94 times the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA)
- Ben and Jerry’s restaurants sold for approximately 0.43 times the annual net sales
The goal of this market approach valuation method is to determine how much prospective buyers are willing to offer on the market. In other words, the purchase price that is considered fair. Your broker should also consider other factors that influence value, such as your location, unique advantage, local reputation, and reason for selling.
How to Sell a Ben and Jerry’s Restaurant
The sales process for your Ben and Jerry’s restaurant may not look like any other sale as no two sales are the same, and you should personalize your sales approach. However, the common steps are:
- Market-based valuation
- Document preparation
- Confidential marketing approach
- Due diligence map
- Sale closing
- Ownership transfer
Your valuation plays a crucial role in your strategy and negotiating leverage. It is not always the right decision to go to market as soon as possible. If your valuation is not quite where you desire and there is a possibility of raising your valuation, then it may be best to wait before going to market. In other instances, particularly if you are satisfied with your Ben and Jerry’s restaurant’s value, going to market immediately may be the best decision.
You should also collect your legal and financial documents before you go to market as well. This helps ensure a speedy and successful sales process. Although you should speak with your broker about the complete list of documents you need to gather, the list likely includes:
- The franchise agreement with Ben and Jerry’s
- Tax returns
- Profit and loss statements
- Balance sheets
- Business license
- Employee lists
Confidential Marketing Approach
Your broker will use a confidential marketing approach that ensures news of your sale does not become public as this could otherwise jeopardize your value and the success of your business operations. This is done by leveraging private contacts, databases, and networks, along with the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and blind listings when necessary. This stage ends with a signed letter of intent (LOI) from a buyer you feel is best able to help you reach your exit strategy goals.
Due Diligence Map
A due diligence map is a timeline and a list of steps that are included in the due diligence process. Through the use of a due diligence map, you can help ensure you move to close as quickly as possible without long delays or setbacks. During due diligence, you will need to provide a list of documents and answer a series of questions the buyer provides.
Lastly, you will close the sale. This involves notifying Ben and Jerry’s of the change in ownership at your location. It also involves a final review of the purchase agreement and attaining final signatures. You will also confirm the payment has been sent and will start the process of transferring ownership of your Ben and Jerry’s franchise restaurant.
In some cases, this stage continues beyond the closing table. Training and assistance with the transition may be involved to ensure there are no major complications post-sale. Of course, much of the transfer also takes place at closing. Notably, this includes an update to all legal information regarding the Ben and Jerry’s restaurant. It may also involve an update of the lease and insurance policy. The buyer will also need access to the POS equipment and other online systems the restaurant uses daily.
Sell Your Ben and Jerry’s Restaurant With Confidence
Sigma Mergers and Acquisitions understands the complexities of selling a Ben and Jerry’s franchise restaurant and helps you navigate them. In other words, we make the sales process easy and stress-free, while also maximizing your sales price and helping you reach your other sales goals. So, why wait? Get started today with a free, no-obligation consultation by contacting us.
Scot Cockroft is the Owner & President of the #1 ranked Business Brokerage, Business sales and M&A firm in Texas. Scot has been named Named Deal Maker of the Year by Dallas Business Journal.
He is committed to a “different” type of business brokerage firm, one that is NOT about a sales pitch but, rather, results! In short, a business brokerage firm that is committed to performance-based compensation. Scot believes in these principles as well as a candid honesty with clients. His candid style often takes buyers and sellers by surprise, but is often what assures successful connections between the two.
Feel free to reach out!