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Web links buyers, sellers of restaurants

In the foodservice dot-com jungle, two low-budget ventures that connect restaurant sellers with potential buyers via classified ads on the Internet are attracting an increasing number of listings and drawing thousands of visitors each month.

The Ithaca, N.Y.-based, is a low-overhead operation founded by the son of a restaurant broker.

Jacob Zimmerman, currently a sophomore majoring in hotel management at Cornell University, launched in September 1999. According to him, his first listings came from his father, Steven, owner of the Restaurant Realty Co., a San Francisco-based brokerage. Zimmerman said his Web site, which currently features 320 restaurants for sale, “gets 40,000 page views and 4,500 to 5,000 unique visitors a month….

Zimmerman said his site is “focused on search engine marketing.”

Whatever the statistics on ad response may be, some sellers have had success advertising their businesses on the sites. has relationships with several California brokers, including the Restaurant Realty Co. and Santa Barbara-based Frank Marino-RE/MAX, and the majority of its listings come from brokers, Zimmerman said. He added, however, that sellers are welcome to list directly.