From time to time, bakery owners decide to sell.
Purchasing an existing bakery may be the perfect route for you to become a Great Harvest franchisee. When current owners have made the decision to sell, we help facilitate the process for both buyer and seller. Although we're always sad to see franchise owners leave Great Harvest, we also welcome the arrival of new franchisees (who bring new ideas and loads of enthusiasm with them)!
What are the Advantages of Purchasing an Existing Great Harvest Location?
Purchasing an existing Great Harvest store (referred to as a "resale") can present numerous advantages for the buyer, including:
• Inheriting an established customer base
• Brand recognition
• Generating cash flow from day one
• Equipment savings relative to buying all new machinery
• Trained team of employees
• A known location
• Recognized ties within the community
Why Are These Bakeries for Sale?
Franchisees sell their stores for all sorts of reasons. The top reasons bakeries change ownership are: retirement, lifestyle fit, and unforeseen personal predicaments (read more about that here). Do some bakeries fail? Some have, but it’s less common than other reasons for selling. Where failure occurs, it is almost always related to financial mismanagement (read more about contributing factors to failure here). For this reason, Great Harvest encourages accurate and timely financial reporting in order to catch any problems early on and reduce the likelihood of failure.
What Do I Need to Know About Purchasing An Existing Bakery for Sale?
The application and approval process for someone purchasing an existing bakery is very similar to that of opening a new store. The major differences are listed below:
• Bakery Financials: All financial information (including price) must come from the seller. Since the "for sale" status of a Great Harvest bakery franchise is typically confidential, we ask that you not call the store directly. Instead, for bakery owner contact information, please contact us here.
• Liquid Cash Needed: If pursuing a bank or Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, a typical requirement is 20% of the purchase price from liquid, unencumbered cash.
• Initial Fee: Transfer transactions do not vary by territory size. Instead, there is a flat $15,000 fee. A laptop computer is not included with this fee.
• Training: As with opening a new bakery cafe franchise, each person signing the Franchise Agreement must complete the Great Harvest University (GHU) online coursework.
The remaining training (which is required by a minimum of one person on the Franchise Agreement) includes:
o 5 days of Made-To-Order School in Montana;
o 5 days of hands-on production training during Baking Fundamentals School in Montana;
o 5 days of Bakery Cafe School in Montana;
o A minimum of five days of seller training in the store being purchased.
For further information about pre-opening training and support, visit our training page. After the transfer of ownership has taken place, we will send a trainer to spend two to seven days with you at the purchased location, and follow-up with a second week of on-site training approximately three to five weeks after the initial training. Further training and ongoing post-tracking support are also included.
• Timing: The average length of time to complete the purchase of an existing Great Harvest bakery is three to six months.
• Continuing Fees: Buyers will sign our current Franchise Agreement with a 5% Royalty and 2.5% Marketing Fund Fee or assume the seller's Franchise Agreement. For more details, please contact us here.
To see a complete list of existing Great Harvest bakery franchises for sale, please use the form below.