hat's the one category of business you've heard guest after guest say they wouldn't touch?

That their search to buy a business was broad, they'd look at anything but that.

Well today's guest Jarett Berke was no different when he told a local accountant:

Bring me deals, but no restaurants.

Well let Jarett's story be but the latest example that you should set aside your prejudices when looking at businesses to buy.

When Jarett did that — who himself had to be convinced to even take a look — what he saw was a great business.

We spend a lot of time today on what Jarett saw that made Lou's, a main street institution in a New England college town, so appealing, so differentiated in a sea of restaurants.

Jarett Berke with the team of Lou's
Jarett Berke with the team of Lou's

Some of these features are specific to the restaurant business: Lou's had multiple lines of business including a bakery & catering; family-friendly hours; employees with families as opposed to young singles; and it served no booze.

But some of the positive features are generalizable, criteria that demonstrate value in any business you might encounter:

  • above-average margins for its category;
  • longevity;
  • brand;
  • and valuable real estate.

Six years later, and Jarett's analysis is holding firm. Things are going very well indeed at Lou's, including having survived Covid.

See what you can incorporate from Jarett's analysis into your own search, and remember not to judge a business by its category.

Please enjoy this conversation with Jarett Berke, owner of Lou's in Hanover, New Hampshire.