Aspiring restaurant owners take the first steps toward achieving their dreams in new Food Network series Buy This Restaurant premiering Wednesday, February 5th at 9 p.m. ET/PT. With the help of commercial real estate expert Keith Simpson, each hopeful restaurateur searches to find the ideal space to launch their new business. In each episode, Keith shows each novice three different properties that could work for their restaurant concept and helps them visualize how the space can work for their business. From a turn-key operation complete with supplies but little room for creativity to a vacant, dilapidated space that needs renovation but has tons of potential, Keith helps the newbies secure the foundation to run the restaurant of their dreams.
“Owning a restaurant is the new American dream and we wanted to capture the exciting, yet crucial first steps of launching that dream into reality,” says Bob Tuschman, general manager and senior vice president, Food Network.
In one episode, Keith helps Texas native, Joanie, find the best space to launch her new juice business. Currently operating out of a mobile trailer, Joanie is looking for a brick and mortar that will not be a huge financial risk. Keith pushes her outside her comfort zone by showing her a variety of spaces in Austin including a bar and restaurant on popular 6th street, a former music store and an abandoned Thai restaurant. Each property is more different than the next but with Keith’s skilled eye he is able to map out the transformation so Joanie can envision her future and make the final decision that will determine the success of her business. In another episode, Keith heads to Minneapolis to guide Kelly and her sister Lisa as they search for the perfect space to launch their café. Keith shows these first-time buyers a charming café in a lakeside community, a busy downtown coffee shop and a rundown bakery in the suburbs. Kelly and Lisa are overwhelmed as they make one of the biggest decisions of their career.
Keith Simpson is a commercial real estate expert specializing in restaurant businesses and properties. He began his career in the UK as a chef in 1973 graduating from a London college for Hotel and Catering. His career led him to graciously cater for the British Royal Family which developed his taste not only for fine wine but also his desire to share food with others. Keith purchased his first restaurant in California in 1996 and in 2006–at the height of the economy–he sold it for over three times what he paid. This initial deal piqued his interest in real estate and Keith became a full-time restaurant broker. Over the course of his career, Keith has owned three restaurants and one catering company in addition to his many successful property deals. His deals run the gamut from small family-owned pizza joints to fine dining establishments. Keith resides in Sacramento, California.