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Business Loans for Restaurants
Whether you're planning to open a new restaurant, expand operations or renovate your existing space, you need working capital to fulfill your vision. The restaurant industry also comes with continuous expenses, such as marketing efforts and hiring staff. At the same time, your cash flow may be uneven as your business goes through busy and slow seasons.
Restaurant financing can help. A line of credit or business term loan can help you smooth out cash flow, purchase supplies or finance new kitchen equipment.
Grow your restaurant business with OnDeck.
OnDeck Line of Credit
A revolving credit line you can draw from 24/7 to receive funds within seconds.*
- Credit limits from $6K - $100K
- Flexible repayment terms of 12, 18 or 24 months
- Great for smaller ongoing expenses
How to use a restaurant business loan.
Business loans can fund growth opportunities for new restaurant owners and experienced restaurateurs alike. Here are some scenarios where business financing might make sense.
Starting a new business
The restaurant industry is highly competitive compared to other types of businesses. You may not be able to break even during the initial months of starting up. Many restaurant owners apply for a restaurant loan with repayment terms that suit their financial needs. Taking out a loan can keep your business afloat until it can generate a dependable revenue stream.
Renovating or remodeling
Renovating your space is a great way to attract and accommodate more customers, but it involves major expenses you may want to avoid covering with personal funds. A small business loan can help cover these expenses, depending on your eligibility and renovation plan. Your loan application may ask you to explain what you are trying to accomplish and how the funds will increase your revenue.
Creating new revenue channels
If you are a startup restaurant looking for ways to drive growth and create multiple revenue channels, you are not alone. Some common ways of creating new revenue streams include selling packaged goods, purchasing a food truck and providing catering services. For that, working capital loans may be of use. Once you find success with your packaged goods or catering vertical, the additional revenue could help pay for the loan.
Buying new equipment
Although restaurant equipment is meant to last, it's usually not cheap. In addition to kitchen equipment, remember that your building needs certain equipment — such as an HVAC unit and water heaters — to ensure a comfortable environment. You may need to look into loan options (or other types of business funding) to handle the cost of your equipment purchases.
Lenders can provide business equipment loans based on your credit history and financial statements. In case of bad credit, you can explore alternative lenders specializing in lending to small business owners.
Providing working capital
When your restaurant business is in its initial stages or passing through an economic downturn, supporting your operations can be a huge challenge. If you are struggling to break even, let alone make profits, you can seek a business loan to keep your business afloat. Such loans are given out on the basis of your business track record and potential growth. If you have a solid plan but lack working capital, there are loan products tailored to your unique circumstances.
Types of loans available for restaurants.
It’s important to understand different restaurant financing options so you can choose the right one for your business needs.
A business line of credit gives you access to flexible, revolving funds when you need them for your restaurant. With a line of credit, you borrow what you need, pay down the balance and the funds are replenished so you can use it again without reapplying. Many restaurant owners find a line of credit helpful to bridge cash flow gaps, manage payroll and purchase the inventory they need to keep their kitchen running.
Many lenders offer business term loans for small businesses like restaurants. Term loans are usually offered by banks, credit unions and online lenders. Generally, the process of getting a business term loan from an online lender is much quicker than a traditional bank. Many restaurant owners will use a term loan to improve their kitchen space or dining area, purchase inventory, or replace kitchen equipment like an oven or freezer.
Business credit cards work similarly to personal credit cards, and some even offer rewards. This borrowing method is ideal for managing occasional small business expenses. Experienced restaurant owners often use these cards alongside other funding methods. Establishing a robust credit history and maintaining a good personal credit score can lead to more diverse loan opportunities for restaurant business owners.
Equipment financing is another way to finance the purchase of business equipment besides just using a loan or line of credit. Any tangible asset used in business operations can be considered business equipment. For restaurant owners, this can mean an oven, deep-fryer, commercial refrigerator or even kitchen shelving units.
As a business owner, the financing option you're likely most familiar with is a traditional bank loan. A bank loan typically requires collateral to secure the loan, and the application process tends to take several weeks. The length of the loan can be anywhere from 2 - 20 years. While the interest rates on a bank loan can be attractive, restaurants may find it difficult to meet stricter bank requirements for a loan. Restaurant owners may also find the process too slow for their cash flow needs.
Although the SBA is not a lender, it can help business owners secure financing through participating banks and credit unions (among others). The SBA Loan Guarantee Program looks for borrowers who might not otherwise meet the more rigid criteria required by a bank. If your restaurant is an established business with a few years under its belt and your personal credit score is above 680, this could be an option for your business. However, the application process tends to take several weeks, so restaurant owners may find this too slow for more immediate needs.
It's hard to predict rental dynamics in real estate. A commercial real estate loan protects you from the uncertainty of rising rents in the future and allows you to make structural changes to the property without butting heads with the landlord. From the lender's standpoint, a commercial real estate loan is the safest bet because the property itself is collateral that will cover the loan in case of a default.
Are we a match? Check our minimum requirements.**
personal FICO® score
business annual revenue
Business funding that moves at your speed.
Complete the application.
Our streamlined process is designed to be completed in just minutes.
Get a decision.
We’ll let you know if you qualify for our term loan, line of credit or both. If approved, you can then choose your loan amount and repayment terms.
Receive your funds.
Sign your contract and get funds as soon as the same day.†