How Much Does It Cost To Open A Hotel – Restaurantowner.com provides a wealth of information for restaurateurs and other restaurant industry professionals. we have a team of experts who are in-depth in restaurant design and rely on industry insights to guide our clients through the design process.
They created a survey that included hundreds of respondents covering many types and styles of restaurants. Although the scope of the survey is broad, it provides a good general basis for costs that can be further enhanced with the more in-depth reports available in their online database.
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Below is an example of one of our recent projects. The bar area at The Rendezvous Tap and Kitchen. This is part of a larger event and entertainment complex we are designing. I recently met with the CEO and he informed me that in less than a year they have paid their initial start-up costs and are operating deep in the dark. He said it was a result of the cost-effective design we provided that kept the initial costs down, and a great look and feel that welcomed their customers and made them feel at home. He said the design led them to the door, then it was up to the upscale kitchen and wait staff to take care of the rest. And as a loyal customer I can testify that they take great care of it! We love being part of our customers’ success stories.
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This is part two of How to Open a Restaurant, a series about the realities of opening your own restaurant in a city like Toronto. Last time we explored what it takes to develop a concept. This time it’s about financing your dream restaurant.
Being an expert in the kitchen or being willing to work weekends and holidays is not enough to open a restaurant. You need a lot of money.
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“You can have the right concept, planning the personal/client ratio, planning food costs, everything is perfect. But if you don’t have deep enough pockets, you can never put your idea into action,” said Pete Zoutis, who owns the Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant Rikkochez on the Danforth. “Funding is your number one priority.”
There’s no set price for opening a 30-seat restaurant, but $250,000 is a good estimate, he said. If not already in the bank, financing options should be explored. Some sell existing properties, others take out lines of credit, turn to crowdfunding, befriend financial backers, or a combination of these. Of course, most people think of banks in terms of getting loans, but what would it take to convince bankers to give thousands of dollars to someone who has never run a restaurant?
About four years ago, Zoutis and his wife, chef Chrystallo Nicholas, wanted to open a cozy 30-seat neighborhood eatery that would showcase Nicholas’ Cypriot cuisine, a cuisine that is underrepresented in the city’s restaurants. Among its specialties: a deliciously spiced Cypriot pork sausage called sheftalia served with deliciously sour and crunchy falafel on top of tabouleh, pita and thick hummus. There’s also a vegan-friendly summer bowl called louvi, which consists of peas, roasted pumpkin and vegetables, simply tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.
The two did their homework before signing the contract: Zoutis asked his longtime partner from a previous career in market research and brand consulting to conduct a telephone survey of a thousand Toronto residents. They were asked about their eating habits, restaurant design and menu items, typical market research questions for a new food business.
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The couple settled on a spot directly across from the Chester Metro station on the Danforth, a relatively affordable neighborhood compared to the West Side, and the area also tested well with respondents as a dining destination. The space was a cannabis supply store and before that, the Silk Road restaurant, featured in a makeover show on Restaurant Makeover. Monthly rent including taxes, maintenance and insurance is $4,500. The ventilation and kitchen systems were intact, saving several tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. The bathroom, floor and walls need to be repaired, however, countertops need to be built in for access to the kitchen, and mold needs to be removed from the bathroom. Overall, Zoutis estimates he needs $250,000 to cover start-up costs, as well as the first few months of opening, when business may be slow and additional money may be needed to cover bills and salaries.
The $50,000 he has in the bank isn’t enough, but the Zoutis own an apartment in the city in addition to a house they just paid off. He sold the apartment for about $330,000 and took out loans on his home for more than $100,000 in case of emergency. Combined with the $50,000 he had, it was enough for the couple to open their restaurant.
Enterprise Toronto is a City of Toronto program that helps small businesses, including restaurants, get started through in-person consulting or online resources. On his website, EnterpriseToronto.Desk.Com, there are webinars on starting a business, as well as a list of in-person seminars on topics such as financing, legal advice and marketing for small businesses (seminars range from free to $10 or 25 USD ). Zoutis himself attended several seminars and conducted some free one-on-one counseling sessions, saying they gave him a better idea of what he and his wife were dealing with.
Enterprise Toronto itself cannot fund businesses, but its website lists several funding options, such as Local Investors (a group of wealthy individuals who fund startups in exchange for shares in the company), the Government’s Funding Program Canadian small businesses and microloans (loans that are generally less than $50,000).
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Crowdfunding through sites like GoFundMe and Indiegogo could also be an option for restaurants, says Chris Rickett, manager of Toronto’s economic and cultural development division. That’s because traditional sources of financing, such as banks, are hesitant to finance independent restaurants, especially from inexperienced owners, he said. Zoutis looked at the grant programs, but found that many of them were giving $5,000 here and $10,000 there, which he said is a good amount of money for people who want to develop food products, but not enough to take over the lease of the restaurants.
Early adopters of crowdfunding found success when it was still considered a new way to open a restaurant and get noticed in the news. In the fall of 2015, chef Dave Mottershall opened Loka Snacks on Queen Street West after raising $41,000 from diners who pledged food and swag in exchange for their donations. In 2014, Matthew Kershaw and Erin Dunham opened The Mule in Hamilton after raising over $100,000 on Indiegogo.
Now, the crowdfunding scene is much more saturated. On GoFundMe, there is a page asking for $160,000 to help a family pay bills and reopen their Indian restaurant in Bloordale after it suffered extensive water damage from a neighbor’s fire (no donations since the page was created in January). Another page asked for $5,000 to start a Dominican food truck, raising $200 since February 2018. A page for the old Detroit Eatery, which was destroyed in a fire in January, however, has raised more than $26,000 of their $30,000 goal (plus another $800). on the page). second GoFundMe) after its closure made headlines across the city.
If there are no properties for sale or nibblers on GoFundMe, how likely are banks to lend to the types of businesses that have a notoriously high failure rate?
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The Canada Small Business Financing Program is a government-sponsored loan offered by a bank. Up to $1 million can be awarded, of which $350,000 goes toward equipment purchases such as tools, fixtures and furniture, and renovations. According to Joseph Pisani, director of franchise financing at Bank of Montreal, the average restaurateur gets $300,000 from this loan.
But the chances of seeing money are higher if the proposed restaurant is a franchise or chain, Pisani says. Because of a chain, so be it
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