David Steele, the founder and managing partner of the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group in San Francisco, jokes that his role is creating restaurants – not investing in them.
“A lot of people assume because I have a background in finance that I’m a rich guy who wanted to buy my way into the restaurant industry,” says Steele, who is also the CEO of One Wealth Advisors, an independent advisory firm. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that I’m a restaurateur, not a restaurant financier.”
While many financial experts advise against investing in one-off concepts, Steele says such an arrangement can be successful.
Start by asking if you want to be an active or passive investor. “It is critical that you make that differentiation,” he says. That’s because most single restaurant investors are lifestyle investors who like the cache of owning a restaurant.