Restaurant Business Loans: Find the Capital to Grow

2 min read • Aug 08, 2012 • Tyson Steele

Restaurant business loans help you get the capital you need for your restaurant to grow. This could include remodeling a building, purchasing restaurant supplies, or buying commercial equipment.

Unfortunately, in today’s lending world, loans are more difficult to get than they were 5 or 6 years ago. When the economy collapsed in 2008, restaurants were hit hard, and banks became hesitant to assume the risk of lending.

Despite these concerns, there are still ways to beat the game and find loans for your restaurant.

Restaurant Loans: Traditional Vs. Alternative

restaurant loansThere are two main types of lenders: 1) Traditional (i.e. banks and credit unions) and 2) Alternative (cash advance providers, factors).

For long-time restaurant owners, traditional lenders offer the best rates and terms for restaurant business loans. The main types of traditional loans are term loans, lines of credit, and business credit cards.

Some downsides to a traditional loan, however, are that banks are slow to finance and strict about who actually qualifies. To get working capital faster, alternative lenders are a better option. For a restaurant, a popular alternative financing method is a merchant cash advance. Basically, this allows you get upfront cash from a merchant cash advance provider, who then deducts a percentage from your future credit card sales. (See credit card factoring)

Restaurant Business Loans for Startups

Starting a restaurant is hard, and getting a bank loan is even harder. In fact, this type of financing is one of the hardest to get. If you are starting a restaurant in today’s shaky economy, you’re going to have to fight. First off, you’ll need to have a substantial amount of collateral, a large down payment, proven restaurant experience, and a next-to-perfect credit score. Unfortunately, few fit this profile, but if you are one of those entrepreneurs with truly mind-blowing ideas, landing a loan is a cakewalk.

Franchise Restaurant Loans and Restaurant Acquisitions

Starting a franchise is perhaps the best alternative to starting your own restaurant. Because franchise restaurants have a track record of performance and an established market presence, banks are more willing to give you a restaurant business loan. (See, franchise financing.)

You can also buy a non-franchise restaurant with a business acquisition loan, though this has its own loops to jump through.

Where to Find Restaurant Business Loans

If you’ve ever gone to a bank for a loan, in all likelihood, you’ve probably been turned down. But this doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for a loan! For most part, while one bank turns you away, another bank is looking for a borrower just like you. It’s just a matter of finding the right one.

To avoid the long process of going from bank to bank, let Lendio do the heavy lifting and find a loan that works for you. Lendio’s loan match tool evaluates your needs and connects you with lenders that want to finance you. Create a free profile and find a restaurant business loan today.


Tyson Steele