Most restaurant owners can attest that having ample cash flow is key.

Without enough working capital, it can be challenging, if not impossible, to run a successful restaurant. Due to this, many restaurant owners find it beneficial to apply for a restaurant loan!

There are many ways to utilize a small business loan, but it’s crucial that you review your business plan and consider the areas of your restaurant that need improvement. From purchasing new equipment to hiring additional staff members, we’re going to share the top ways that business owners in the restaurant industry use financing!

How to Use a Restaurant Loan

1. Update Your Restaurant’s Interior

If your restaurant’s interior has seen better days, it might be time to give it a much-needed makeover.

Take time to evaluate your restaurant’s interior to determine what needs to be updated. Perhaps your walls need a fresh coat of paint, or the tables and chairs look out-of-style or worn. You might even want to hire an interior decorator to help you unveil a fresh new look.

Whatever the investment might be, having restaurant financing will make it possible for you to afford these costs.

2. Repair, Lease, or Purchase Equipment

When it comes to equipment like ovens, freezers, and dishwashers, your restaurant can’t afford to go without.

If a crucial piece of equipment is broken or outdated, it can be challenging to properly cook for your customers. So, if you have equipment that is broken, barely functional, or needs to be updated, you should consider applying for a loan. Having this equipment will make it easier to run your restaurant and could affect its long term success.

3. Invest in Restaurant Technologies

Are you aware of the latest technological advancements in the restaurant industry?

If not, it might be time to check them out! Using your loan, you can streamline tedious tasks and improve your overall operations. For example, you could invest in cloud-based restaurant management software, a modern Point-of-Sale system, scheduling tools, and other types of technologies. Having these advancements can help you better handle day-to-day tasks, so you can focus on other areas of your business.

cloud-based restaurant technology
Learn more how cloud-based restaurant technology is changing the industry.

4. Hire More Staff 

When patrons visit your restaurant, they’ll quickly notice if you’re understaffed, and it might make them think twice before dining at your establishment in the future.

So, if you’re faced with not having enough waiters, cooks, hosts, or other employees, it might be worthwhile to use your term loan to hire more staff members. Your team says a lot about your business, so make sure you’re hiring enough employees who can ensure that your restaurant runs smoothly!

5. Purchase Inventory

There’s nothing worse than having a patron order something off your menu, but not being able to cook it because you’ve run out of a certain ingredient.

If this happens frequently, but you can’t afford to increase your inventory orders, you might benefit from restaurant financing. With your loan amount, you can make sure that you’re purchasing enough inventory to properly run your restaurant.

In addition, you may be able to add new dishes to your menu.

6. Expand Your Restaurant

If your restaurant’s sales are booming, why not take advantage of this momentum?

Using your additional working capital, you can either expand your current location, or open another restaurant. In addition, you might want to think about offering catering services, or even starting a food truck! The possibilities are endless.

How to Apply for a Restaurant Loan

Now that you’re inspired on how to spend restaurant financing, you should start researching lenders and preparing to apply. We’ve compiled a few quick tips below to get you started:

  • Research lenders
    • Conduct research on lenders that provide restaurant financing.
  • Review their application process
    • Make sure you fully understand the lender’s requirements and overall process. For example, find out what their business credit score requirement is, the financial information you’ll need for your application, and how long the process typically takes.
  • Be available to the lender
    • Once you submit your application, make sure to keep in touch with the lender. They might call you to ask for additional bank statements or other financial documents, so being responsive can help you receive your financing faster.

Are You Ready to Pursue Restaurant Financing?

Having additional financing be advantageous to restaurant owners, and there’s so many ways to use it. With more than 660,000 restaurants nationwide, you must consider how you can improve your business, so that you can outshine the competition.

Once you have a restaurant loan, you’ll be able to invest in your restaurant’s future, however you see fit!

Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to companies across the U.S.