What is the cost of opening a restaurant is one of the most often asked questions, but it is the hardest to answer, because it very much depends on what you want to open. Here are just a few of the variables that will make the number go up or down by a huge amount:
And that list is only for starters! Actually, the last question may be the biggest variable.
It is possible in some places to buy an existing restaurant that is closed down or barely surviving for a song, and with proper management turn it around and prosper handsomely.
On the other hand, the cost of opening a restaurant that is currently only a gleam in your eye is much, much higher. If you want to start with an empty lot and build from there, you can rarely get it done for less than several hundred thousand dollars.
There are also some common sense differences: fast food places generally cost less than family style or upscale establishments; self serve costs less than having a wait staff; high traffic locations are more than rural locations, and so on.
The only accurate way to judge is to start with a fairly firm idea in mind of what kind of place you want and where it will be located.
Then, you can begin comparing that with the competition that is in place to see what kind of business they do, what rent they are paying, and what other basic costs they have.
Using our Restaurant Business Plan financial spreadsheet software, you can then begin to very accurately forecast the cost of opening, running and growing the business, as well as figuring what your profits will be for all your hard work.
This topic is way too big to cover in one small article. So we have lots more resources to help you figure out what you are going to need to get it done.
You can also see exactly how our financial software takes literally everything into account in helping you determine the cost while still being ridiculously simple and easy to use even if you know nothing about accounting or restaurants.
Then you can skim through the sections below to help you find info on equipment, designers, contractors, POS systems and more that will all be part of your startup costs.
We also have an extensive restaurant articles section that covers things like finding a location and how to negotiate a lease which will be a large cost component of your expenses.
And finally, if you have questions specific to your situation, just contact us and we're happy to help. All of our products offer unlimited support but even before you buy you are welcome to reach out to us with questions and we'll do our best to answer them as specifically and accurately as possible.
The only way to find the exact cost to open a restaurant like you want however is to use the software to find all the numbers you need and then it will give you a specific dollar amount. Then, we will help you raise the money you need so you can actually open!
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