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How To Buy A Bagel Shop

Find the right business that will help you earn your daily bread.

Looking for your next investment? Many entrepreneurs have found success in running a bagel shop. Bagels themselves are fast and affordable food that offers exactly what consumers are looking for — convenience.

Consumers are always on-the-go and therefore require snacks and meals that cater to their daytime rush. A bagel, being both breakfast and lunch food, is a great choice to meet these speedy demands. And, since consumers have the extra disposable income to spend on eating out, bagel shops are in a great position. 

There are many ways entrepreneurs can enter the market between starting a bagel shop from scratch and buying a franchise. However, we will focus on purchasing a pre-established business and share helpful tips for finding a shop that’s right for you. Are you ready to start rolling in dough? 

Are you fit for the role?

Owning a bagel shop requires a lot of hands-on work with food; so, you should definitely enjoy baking and cooking. And, considering that bagels are most commonly considered a breakfast food, you have to be comfortable working early mornings to prepare for the breakfast rush. Alternatively, be prepared to hire competent staff you can rely on to handle these tasks.

Bagel with fillings

And, as a small business owner, you should also be familiar with running the day-to-day operations. This includes planning workflows, managing employees, balancing the books, creating marketing campaigns, etc. 

What to look for in a Bagel Shop for sale

Qualified employees

One of the first questions to ask is whether or not any current employees will transition over with the sale. Gaining these experienced employees could be a huge benefit since they offer first-hand knowledge and support. 

But, if none of the employees are carried over, then make sure to spend time with them during the sales process. By observing the staff’s daily roles and responsibilities, you can gain valuable insight into day-to-day functions. It will also help you when hiring new employees to know what to look for in each candidate. 

Bagel shop

Current customers

Is the business serving business professionals during their morning routine, local students looking for a snack, or nearby employees during their lunch break? By identifying the primary customer segments, you can better predict consumer spending patterns throughout the year, and in turn, plan and budget accordingly.

Customer profiling will also help uncover any potential areas of growth. For example, adding an espresso machine may attract a new clientele, or offering more menu items may introduce a new client segment you are not currently serving.

Competitive landscape

Take time to observe the competition, both direct and indirect. Direct competitors are other quick-stop restaurants that serve similar foods, including bagel shops, doughnut shops, cafes, etc. Your indirect competitors will be any other business that sells food, such as fast-food chains, sit-down restaurants, even local convenience stores that offer pre-made meals.

Bagel shop

If the competition is heavy, it may be a good indicator that you’re investing in a prime location. This presents an excellent opportunity to plan ahead and scope out any competitive advantage to leverage once you take ownership. For example, you can speak with local businesses to see if they’d be interested in forming an exclusive catering contract with you.

On the other hand, if heavy competition is behind the current owner’s decision to sell, you may want to dive deeper into whether or not you can make of a success where he or she could not.

Online presence

Consumers rely heavily on local search results when making decisions—especially about where to eat. Read the business’ current online reviews, ratings, and Google My Business information. This information will inform you of what consumers are thinking—and saying—about the business.

Build your team of experts

Once you find a business you want to buy, it’s important to walk into the sales process well-informed and prepared. Hiring a business broker can help alleviate a lot of the pressures associated with business transactions. Their job is to help evaluate the business’ worth, negotiate terms and prices with sellers, and fill out paperwork.

An accountant can also be a valuable partner when buying a business. They can help you secure financing for the down payment by working with you to explore all your financial options. 

Your due diligence

Before signing the deed, take the time to truly inspect the business. Analyze financial statements and compare them to industry standards, examine the physical property and kitchen equipment to ensure it’s in working order, and review all paperwork to verify that business licenses and health permits are up-to-date.  

Does this business-type sound like the right fit for you? If so, let your research begin here at Offering a one-stop-shop for aspiring entrepreneurs to search, find, and close their next business deal. Browse through our extensive marketplace of businesses for sale, and get ready to purchase your own bagel shop near you.

Bruce Hakutizwi

About the author

USA and International Manager for, a global online marketplace for buying and selling small medium size businesses. The website has over 60,000 business listings and attracts over 1.5 million buyers to the site every month.


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