News 2017

Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

Valbridge Property Advisors was in Las Vegas for the 2017 Restaurant Finance and Development Conference (RFDC). In attendance from Valbridge was Karl Finkelstein, Senior Managing Director | Charleston, Craig Huber, Senior Managing Director | Knoxville, and Chris Lantz, Senior Managing Director | Houston. This annual conference is the restaurant industry’s premier financial conference and focuses around the ‘business’ side of the restaurant industry. The conference presents tremendous networking opportunities and is popular for being a deal making event. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with representatives of investment banks, finance companies, business brokers, private equity firms, merger and acquisition specialists, real estate developers, and more.

The Keynote speakers at the conference were Chris Wallace, host of Fox News, and Bobby Flay, American chef, restaurateur, and reality television personality. Special guests included Guy Adami, Analyst on CNBC’s Fast Money and Professional Investor; Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research; and Charlie Gasparino, Senior Correspondent with Fox Business News.

Educational programs were held that featured financial, economic, operational, and developmental topics presented by restaurant industry experts. The RFDC allowed attendees to get up to speed on what’s happening in capital markets and provided the opportunity to find financing, buy or sell restaurant businesses and real estate, or locate new concepts or existing business opportunities. Conferences like these are important to Valbridge appraisers as they help them maintain and grow the expert knowledge required to deliver thorough and knowledgeable restaurant appraisals.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the restaurant industry is seeing a “gold rush” unlike any in the industry’s history from private equity firms and investors looking for the next “big thing” in upstart chains with 20 or fewer locations. Restaurant appraisal goes beyond standard commercial real estate appraising requiring a certain level of art combined with the science of financial data. At this level, it is important to have an appraiser that is up to date on the industry and conferences like RFDC offer pertinent information related to industry trends.

Appraising a restaurant involves assessing its physical assets such as the building, land, and in some cases, equipment and furniture, and examining the financial performance of the establishment such as the recent cash flow, loans, balance sheet, insurance policies, and long-term leases. In addition to tangible assets, there are other factors involved in determining value like location, employee base and ease of operation. A restaurant determined to be “turn-key” is guaranteed to command a higher sales price than one that is poorly organized or in need of an overhaul.

Valbridge Property Advisor’s Specialty Practice Group, Franchise Finance and Single Tenant, offers restaurant appraisal services for both local and national brands. Their expert, up to date knowledge can help owners of a restaurant examine all the important and complex details in valuation when refinancing or buying and selling. For more information on the Franchise Finance and Single Tenant Specialty Practice Group visit