The dream of many people is to create their own restaurant. There are a lot of costs associated with opening a restaurant, whether it’s a corner bistro, a vegan restaurant that focuses on farm-to-table, or a neighborhood pizza parlor.
According to recent research, starting a restaurant costs on average $375,500. That number, however, will fluctuate depending on many variables Including the size of the structure, its location, the amount of equipment and materials you already have, the type of decorations you choose, and that’s only the beginning.
Begin by considering the type of restaurant you desire. Do you have any ideas for the style and atmosphere you want to create? Is it going to be a quick-service restaurant or a family restaurant? What kind of cuisine will you serve? What is the capacity of your restaurant? When do you plan to close? While some of the answers to these questions may vary as you look for a suitable location and implement your financial strategy, it’s good to have clear plans as you move forward.
Before you start looking for a location for your restaurant, put together a team of professionals to help you. You may need a lawyer to review contracts, leases, and other paperwork; an insurance specialist to ensure you have the right coverage and get the best bargains; and a bookkeeper or financial counsel to help streamline the accounting structure that your restaurant will be using.
You can either buy or lease your restaurant’s retail location once you’ve found it. The price will vary depending on where the facility is located, but reasonable rent can range between $1.00 and $5.00 per square foot. Consider whether you should renovate the space and how much it would cost, regardless of whether you buy or rent space. Outside items such as signage and open-air lighting, as well as inside features such as seats, tables, barstools, and lighting for “front-of-house,” should all be included in your budget.
For serving meals, you’ll probably require kitchen equipment, treated steel counters, cooking tools and other instruments (such as pans, pots, sifters, and knives), plates, glasses, and cutlery. You’ll need to fully equip your coolers and cabinets prior to your grand opening, so keep that in mind as well. For additional information on more of these costs, see the accompanying infographic.