Taco Bell Valuations



Taco Bell franchises are still selling near all-time highs. There have been a few headwinds, and pricing has moderated very slightly due to several reasons.

Over 15 years ago, I worked for Yum! Brands corporate. And since then, I've staked my livelihood on helping Taco Bell franchisees in the sale or financing of their businesses. I started Unbridled Capital in part to specialize in larger M&A transactions by bringing increased sophistication, financial modeling, and legal expertise while maintaining the same effectiveness, integrity, and Midwestern warmth that Taco Bell franchisees have known for me for years.

We believe we offer a unique, low priced, and much needed alternative to larger deals and to the entire Taco Bell M&A community. Despite a patchy year, Taco Bell franchisees are selling their businesses near or at all time highs. There've been a few headwinds, and pricing has moderated very slightly due to several reasons. Number one, the high volume of Taco Bell corporate refranchises. Two, commodity cost pressures and minimum wage increases across many states. Three, relative lower valuations of other franchise brands are driving eyeballs and dollars away from Taco Bell a little bit. And four, heavy Taco Bell corporate demands for unit growth among the existing franchise base.

Let me give you some very valuable points to consider in the near term for Taco Bell M&A. Taco Bell pricing is at 7 3/4 to 8 1/2 EBITDA after 3% G&A in near term remodeling discounts. Larger Taco Bell businesses are trading in the 8 1/4 to 8 1/2 range in terms of EBITDA. G&A and pricing are key drivers for discussion between buyers and sellers. Real estate is valued at 8% implied rents and 6% to 6.5% cap rates, depending on whether it is sold to the buyer of the business, to a real estate investment trust or in the 1031 market. Many larger Taco Bell franchisees are no longer buyers at these high prices, or they've recently acquired a corporate market. For the largest operators, exceeding the 250 unit cap at Taco Bell involves significant potential concessions with the brand.

And as such, we are doubling our efforts to bring private equity and family office investors into the system. I've personally spent 12 months prospecting investors, family offices and operators for the Taco Bell brand. Most franchisees underestimate the amount of time it takes to sell a business and the high hidden fees in costs. Unbridled's involvement saves bundles of time and money. It's one of the best return on investment decisions you'll ever make. It would be a quiet process if you'd like to explore a sale, but do not want a loud blast to the world. I bet you didn't know we were involved in a mountain of young business currently, and this is because most of our deal flow does not go to the open market anymore. There's no sense in risking confidentiality for most Taco Bell franchisees who won't pay current prices.

Finally, we specialize in joining franchisees with private equity or family office money. This is becoming attractive for operators wanting to grow. Ask us to tell you about it. At Unbridled Capital, we currently have about $150 million in Taco Bell restaurants for sale. I expect this number to grow quickly. We also have about 600 restaurants for sale across many different brands. Many of these deals are in the 20 to 70 unit range. We are quickly and quietly becoming one of the largest franchise investment firms in the country. It is a blessing. Please feel free to reach out any time. We'd be happy to talk valuations, timing and expectations in a sale or financing of your Taco Bell business.