A restauranteur could fall for this business

5:00 AM Saturday November 14, 2015 Colin Taylor

The historic Falls Restaurant venue at 22 Alderman Drive, Henderson.

The restaurant, cafe and function business located within a picturesque and historic two story kauri former hotel in West Auckland is for sale as a going concern enterprise within leased premises.

“This is the first time The Falls restaurant has been put on the market in 17 years,” says Dale Truong of Affiliated Business Consultants who, with colleague Paul Davis, is marketing the business for an asking price of $268,000 plus stock estimated at $20,000.

“A major drawcard for this business is its landmark heritage venue which dates all the way back to 1854 when the original hotel was constructed as a residence for the local workers at Henderson Mill,” Truong says.

“The owner Garry Bates has hosted many leading dignitaries including prime ministers and has also served special All Black breakfasts.

“However, after being in the industry for so long Garry is now ready to hand over the reins to a new owner who can create their own legacy within the grand old building.

Davis says The Falls has established itself as the perfect venue for wedding, private and corporate functions taking advantage of its setting backing onto lush gardens.  “Having multiple rooms and attractive outdoor areas the business can host and manage multiple functions at the same time,” he says.

The Conservatory and Catherine rooms combined can seat 90 or entertain 120 standing guests for cocktails and nibbles. By itself the Conservatory can seat 60 and host 100 standing guests. Michael’s room seats 20 or 40 standing; McLeod’s room seats 30 or 50 standing and the Norcross boardroom seats 12. 

Both the Michael and McLeod rooms are used for intimate dining and the Conservatory is employed for casual dining.

“The beautiful and light Conservatory room has big windows on three sides and French doors opening out onto the park and native bush which is home to the numerous tui, fantails and other native birds,” Davis says.

The cafe business operates seven days a week opening at 7.30 am offering customers espresso coffee with casual breakfast, brunch or lunch service.

The restaurant opens at 6 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays specialising in intimate functions for 10 or up to 60 seated guests.

“The Falls can cater for very different events like business workshops that progress later into a lunch or dinner; or a quick professional lunch with a turnaround time of 20 minutes for pre-ordered main dishes for 55 diners - enabling guests to be in and out within one and a half hours,” Truong says.  

“The Falls caters for occasions as varied as pre-ball nibbles, graduation dinners, product launches, wine tastings and supplier company presentations with power point presentation displayed on a sixty-five inch smart interactive television.”  

Truong says hours of trade from 7.30 am to 11 pm and a liquor licence from 8 am to 1 am give patrons access to a fully stocked bar complemented by attentive bar service.  

A large public car park is located next to The Falls with 16 spaces giving free parking for 120 minutes along with 135 pay and display spaces.

“Prior to successfully taking the reins at The Falls, Garry owned Michaels, a Henderson based BYO restaurant for a period of over a 25 years,” Truong says. “Now after owning this business for 10 years, he understandably wants to move on and pursue other interests.

“However, he is willing to give the purchasers assistance to familiarise themselves with the restaurant and business after they take possession to ensure a smooth handover. In addition, we understand the skilled kitchen and front of house staff are willing to stay on under new ownership.

“While the current lease runs out next year the landlord has indicated he would offer a new long lease for 10 to 12 years with an annual rental of around $50,000 per annum plus outgoings to the new business operator.”

Truong says a buyer with a fresh outlook and real passion for the elegant venue could push for more functions. “The key is better and more efficient marketing,” he says.

Davis says a new owner could use target marketing strategies to draw customers from the 12,000 to 13,000 business operating within the Waitakere District.

“There are an estimated 45,000 Waitakere residents within the core target market range of 30 to 55 years of age who are either self-employed or corporate professionals with incomes ranging from $60,000 to $90,000 per annum.

“More could be done through marketing techniques like emails, postcards  and flyers to generate business for special days like Valentines Day, St Patricks Day, Halloween local events, mid-winter staff ‘Christmas’ events – along with the other the more traditional holidays like Christmas, Waitangi Day and New Year. Special group pricing specials could also be offered for multiple bookings, boardroom sessions, corporate functions and business meetings.”

Paul says the Falls Restaurant has the advantage of being located in a high growth area with a population of more than 186,000 in 2010 - having increased by 10.5 per cent since the 2001 census.