If you’re in the food business, you know that one of the most important things is having a great location. But what if you can’t afford the high rent prices? Or what if you need to expand your restaurant but don’t have the capital? In this article, we’ll explore how to get a restaurant loan so that you can keep your business growing.

The different types of restaurant loans

There are several different types of loans available for restaurants, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of restaurant loans:

SBA Loans: SBA loans are government-backed loans that offer low interest rates and long repayment terms. However, they can be difficult to qualify for and the application process can be lengthy.

Equipment Financing: Equipment financing can be a good option if you need to purchase expensive equipment for your restaurant. You’ll be able to get a lower interest rate than with a traditional loan, and you won’t have to put up any collateral. However, you’ll still need to make regular payments on the loan and if you default, the lender could take possession of the equipment.

Business Credit Cards: Business credit cards can be a good way to finance small purchases or everyday expenses. However, they typically have high interest rates and can be difficult to qualify for if you have bad credit.

Personal Loan: A personal loan can be a good option if you have good credit and can qualify for a low interest rate. However, you’ll need to put up collateral for the loan, and if you default on the loan, the lender could take possession of your property.

Which type of loan is right for you will depend on your individual needs and financial situation. Be sure to compare different loans before you decide which one is best for your restaurant. 

How to qualify for a restaurant loan

When looking to apply for a loan, the first thing you’ll need to do is put together a business plan. This will help you articulate your vision for the restaurant, as well as show lenders that you have a solid understanding of the restaurant industry. You’ll also need to have some skin in the game – most lenders will want to see that you have some personal investment in the business.

Once you’ve put together your business plan and saved up some money for a down payment, you can start shopping around for loans. SBA-backed loans are a good option for restaurants, as they often come with lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. However, these loans can be harder to qualify for, so you may want to explore other options as well.

If you have good credit, you may be able to qualify for a conventional bank loan. These loans tend to have higher interest rates than SBA-backed loans, but they may be easier to qualify for. You can also look into private lenders, which may be willing to work with you even if you don’t have perfect credit but you’ll likely need to pay a higher interest rate.

No matter what type of loan you’re seeking, be sure to shop around and compare offers before making a decision. And remember, the most important thing is to have a strong business plan. Without one, it will be difficult to convince any lender to give you a loan.

The best lenders for restaurant loans

There are a number of great lenders out there that can help you get the financing you need. Here are a few of the best options to consider:

  1. SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration offers a variety of loan programs that can be used for restaurants. These loans typically have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms than other types of loans, making them a great option for businesses with solid credit.
  2. Bank Loans: Many banks offer loans specifically for restaurants. These loans can often be tailored to your specific needs, so it’s worth talking to your bank about what options might be available.
  3. Online Lenders: There are a number of online lenders that specialize in restaurant financing. This can be a great option if you don’t qualify for traditional bank financing. Be sure to compare interest rates and terms before choosing an online lender.
  4. Private Investors: If you have good credit, you may be able to find private investors who are willing to lend you money for your restaurant. This can be a great option, but it’s important to carefully consider the terms of any loan agreement

It’s important to compare interest rates and terms before you decide on a loan. Once you’ve found a few potential lenders, the next step is to fill out an application. Be sure to include all pertinent information about your restaurant, such as your business plan and financial projections.

How to use a restaurant loan

Once you’ve been approved for a loan, be sure to stay on top of your payments. Missing a payment can damage your credit score and make it difficult to get future loans. If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your lender immediately to work out a solution.


If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, you’ll need to find a loan to help get your business off the ground. Here are some tips to get the most from your restaurant loan:

  1. Shop around for the best rates and terms. There are many lenders out there who are willing to finance restaurants, so you’ll need to compare offers to find the best deal.
  2. Make sure you have a solid business plan. Lenders will want to see that you have a well-thought-out plan for your restaurant, including financial projections.
  3. Be prepared to put up collateral. Most lenders will require some form of collateral, such as real estate or equipment, to secure the loan.
  4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. You may be able to get a better interest rate or terms if you’re willing to negotiate with the lender.

Following these tips will help you get the most from your restaurant loan and give you the best chance for success in your new venture.


  • Courtney Simons

    Dr. Courtney Simons has served as a food science researcher and educator for over a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and a Ph.D. in Cereal Science from North Dakota State University.