Asking “How much does it cost to open a restaurant?” is like asking how much to buy a house, or to buy a car. While there are some guidelines to consider, the actual answer is determined by so many different factors, there is no way to set an accurate price that covers all different situations. Each restaurant is unique, and the price tag for each restaurant will be unique.
When you begin to examine how much it costs to open a restaurant you first need to have a very clear idea of what, and where you want your restaurant to be. Where you locate your restaurant will be partially determined by where you are already located. That will be a big determining factor on the price of your location. In general, major metropolitan areas are more expensive. The cost per square foot in New York City area is significantly higher than what you would pay in the mid-west.
You will also have to consider the type of restaurant you want to open. This will determine the size of the dining room and kitchen you will need, the type of equipment you will have to use, and the atmosphere and décor. Setting up a dining room for a deli or a casual family-style restaurant will be less expensive than decorating the same room for formal dining.
Back in the kitchen you will need to consider the menu you are planning on serving. Will fryers, a broiler, and a stove be enough for your operation, or will you also need convection ovens, and a salamander? Commercial kitchen equipment can be very expensive, so the more pieces of equipment you need, the more it will cost you. Fortunately, some pieces of commercial kitchen equipment will last a long time. You may be able to find the equipment you need at a used restaurant supply store. This can save you quite a bit of money.
Don’t forget to figure in storage space. The more extensive your menu is, the more space you will need to store all of the necessary ingredients. Walk in coolers and freezers cost between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on the size, so make sure you have it budgeted in.
All that has been covered so far are just a few of the basics to set your building up. It hasn’t begun to get into how much it will cost to actually get your business up and running. You need to consider the legal feels in getting your business established. There are also marketing costs so your customers will be ready when you open your doors.