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Restaurant Loans for Small Businesses in 2023

Online lenders provide restaurant business loans you can use toward small purchases or large investments. Compare your options.
By Jackie Zimmermann
Last updated on September 20, 2021
Edited byKim Lowe

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Though the cadence of a busy kitchen and the sizzle of a hot grill may fuel the excitement of running a restaurant, restaurateurs are familiar with the pitfalls: broken equipment, customer gripes and employee turnover. But the financial requirements, in particular, can be overwhelming, even for the savviest business owners.
That’s why running a restaurant often requires funding, whether from investors, business credit cards or small-business loans. Compare these options for restaurant financing.

How much do you need?

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Here are 4 restaurant business loans

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Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Max loan amount
Min. credit score
Next steps

SBA 7(a) loan

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Best for Restaurant loans for expansions or large expenses

$5,000,000650

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OnDeck - Online term loan

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5.0/5

Best for Restaurant loans for working capital

$250,000625

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Bluevine - Line of credit

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5.0/5

Best for Restaurant loans for purchasing inventory

$250,000625

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OnDeck - Line of credit

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5.0/5

Best for Restaurant loans for purchasing inventory

$100,000625

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Here are 4 restaurant business loans

Best for Restaurant loans for expansions or large expenses

U.S. Small Business Administration

Max Amount

$5,000,000

Min. Credit Score

650

Best for Restaurant loans for working capital

OnDeck

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Best for Restaurant loans for purchasing inventory

Bluevine

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

625

OnDeck

Max Amount

$100,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Our pick for

Restaurant loans for expansions or large expenses

SBA 7(a) loan

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Max Loan Amount
$5,000,000
Min. credit score
650
Est. APR
9.75-12.25%
7(a) program participants include specialized lenders like Live Oak Bank and big-name traditional banks like Wells Fargo.
Lowest interest rate

Max loan

$5,000,000

Min. Credit score

650

Apr range

9.75-12.25%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

7(a) program participants include specialized lenders like Live Oak Bank and big-name traditional banks like Wells Fargo.
Read Review

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Our pick for

Restaurant loans for working capital

OnDeck - Online term loan

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review

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Max Loan Amount
$250,000
Min. credit score
625
Est. APR
29.90-97.30%
OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$250,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

29.90-97.30%

Based on loans originated in the half-year ending March 31, 2022

OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.
5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review

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Our picks for

Restaurant loans for purchasing inventory

Bluevine - Line of credit

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review

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Max Loan Amount
$250,000
Min. credit score
625
Est. APR
20.00-50.00%
Bluevine's line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$250,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

20.00-50.00%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Bluevine's line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.
5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review

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OnDeck - Line of credit

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review

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Max Loan Amount
$100,000
Min. credit score
625
Est. APR
29.90-65.90%
OnDeck offers a fast line of credit for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who need to manage cash flow or buy inventory.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$100,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

29.90-65.90%

Based on loans originated in the half-year ending March 31, 2022

OnDeck offers a fast line of credit for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who need to manage cash flow or buy inventory.
5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review

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How Much Do You Need?

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Types of restaurant business loans

  • SBA loans: These government-backed loans provide the lowest rates among small-business financing and the longest repayment period. SBA loans are best for expansion or large expenses. To qualify, you need strong personal and business finances.
  • Working capital loans: These loans typically provide short-term financing to help run your day-to-day restaurant operations. Online lenders can providing working capital loans quickly and often have less stringent qualifications than banks.
  • Equipment financing: If you're looking to purchase large items like an oven or dishwasher, you can turn to restaurant equipment financing. This type of financing can be easier to qualify for than a traditional small-business loan because the equipment serves as collateral.
  • Inventory financing: You can turn to this funding option to buy food for your restaurant. Inventory financing can come in the form of a term loan or a business line of credit.
  • Business credit cards: You can use business credit cards to fund your small restaurant purchases. Though your line of credit may be lower than you’d get with a loan, it’s a solid option for recurring expenses, and you’ll be able to earn rewards, such as cash back, on your purchases. If you have strong credit, a business credit card can offer competitive APR between 12% and 22%.

Compare more small-business loan options

NerdWallet has created a round-up of small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged factors including lender trustworthiness, market scope and customer experience, and arranged the lenders by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.
Last updated on September 20, 2021