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Best Restaurant Equipment Financing Options of 2024

By Rosalie Murphy, Lisa A. Anthony
Last updated on February 28, 2024
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 8 minutes

Restaurant equipment financing can help you buy appliances, cash registers and other essential equipment for your restaurant, cafe or fast-food business.

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Financing your restaurant’s refrigerators, furniture and other equipment with a small-business loan or line of credit can help spread those costs over time, freeing up cash to pay employees and buy supplies.
Dedicated equipment loans — which use the financed equipment as collateral — can be a good choice if you need fast funding or can’t qualify for low-cost bank or SBA loans. Whether you have a relatively new restaurant or an established operation with strong financials, compare all your options. The best financing choice will offer the most favorable rates and terms for your business.
Here are our picks for restaurant equipment financing options.

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 7 restaurant equipment financing

LenderNerdWallet RatingMax loan amountMin. credit scoreNext steps

National Funding - Equipment Financing

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4.5/5

Best for Fast equipment financing for restaurants

$150,000600

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Triton Capital - Equipment financing

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4.0/5

Best for Equipment financing for restaurant owners with bad credit

$250,000575

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SBA 7(a) loan

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Best for SBA loans for restaurant equipment

$5,000,000650

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OnDeck - Online term loan

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5.0/5

Best for Fast restaurant equipment term loans

$250,000625

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Funding Circle - Online term loan

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4.5/5

Best for Restaurant equipment term loans with no minimum revenue requirement

$500,000660

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Headway Capital - Line of credit

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5.0/5

Best for Low revenue business lines of credit for restaurant equipment

$100,000625

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Bluevine - Line of credit

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5.0/5

Best for Fast business lines of credit for restaurant equipment

$250,000625

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Here are 7 restaurant equipment financing

Best for Fast equipment financing for restaurants

National Funding

Max Amount

$150,000

Min. Credit Score

600

Best for Equipment financing for restaurant owners with bad credit

Triton Capital

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

575

Best for SBA loans for restaurant equipment

U.S. Small Business Administration

Max Amount

$5,000,000

Min. Credit Score

650

Best for Fast restaurant equipment term loans

OnDeck

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Best for Restaurant equipment term loans with no minimum revenue requirement

Funding Circle

Max Amount

$500,000

Min. Credit Score

660

Best for Low revenue business lines of credit for restaurant equipment

Headway Capital

Max Amount

$100,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Best for Fast business lines of credit for restaurant equipment

Bluevine

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

625

I'M INTERESTED IN:

Our pick for

Fast equipment financing for restaurants

National Funding offers equipment financing up to $150,000 that may be available in as little as 24 hours if approved. You can apply if you’ve been in business for at least six months.

National Funding - Equipment Financing

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Borrowers who can't qualify for more traditional loan options might consider National Funding for fast access to capital.

Max loan

$150,000

Min. Credit score

600

Borrowers who can't qualify for more traditional loan options might consider National Funding for fast access to capital.

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Our pick for

Equipment financing for restaurant owners with bad credit

Triton Capital only requires a credit score of 575 for its equipment financing loans. The loans have flexible repayment terms and can fund in one to two business days.

Triton Capital - Equipment financing

4.0
NerdWallet rating 

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Triton Capital offers fast equipment loans up to $250,000 for businesses in a range of industries.
4.0
NerdWallet rating 

Max loan

$250,000

Min. Credit score

575

Apr range

5.99-34.99%

Triton Capital offers fast equipment loans up to $250,000 for businesses in a range of industries.

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Our pick for

SBA loans for restaurant equipment

SBA 7(a) loans offer up to $5 million that can be used for restaurant equipment financing. SBA loans offer lower rates, but typically have longer processing times and may require collateral.

SBA 7(a) loan

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7(a) loans are issued by private lenders and backed by the SBA. They offer long repayment terms and low interest rates.
Lowest interest rate

Max loan

$5,000,000

Min. Credit score

650

Apr range

11.50-15.00%

7(a) loans are issued by private lenders and backed by the SBA. They offer long repayment terms and low interest rates.

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Our pick for

Fast restaurant equipment term loans

For restaurants that have been operating for at least a year with minimum annual revenue of $100,000, OnDeck offers term loans up to $250,000. OnDeck provides a streamlined application process, and funds may be available within the same business day.

OnDeck - Online term loan

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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

35.40-99.90%

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

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Our pick for

Restaurant equipment term loans with no minimum revenue requirement

Funding Circle offers online term loans up to $500,000 with terms up to seven years. Applicants need to have been in business for at least two years but there is no minimum revenue requirement.

Funding Circle - Online term loan

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Funding Circle is an option for established businesses that are financing an expansion or refinancing debt.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$500,000

Min. Credit score

660

Apr range

15.22-45.00%

Funding Circle is an option for established businesses that are financing an expansion or refinancing debt.

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Our pick for

Low revenue business lines of credit for restaurant equipment

For businesses with lower revenue and lower-cost financing needs, Headway Capital offers lines of credit up to $100,000 with a minimum annual revenue requirement of only $50,000.

Headway Capital - Line of credit

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Headway Capital offers a fast and flexible line of credit for borrowers who may not qualify for more traditional options.

Max loan

$100,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

35.00-80.00%

Headway Capital offers a fast and flexible line of credit for borrowers who may not qualify for more traditional options.

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Our pick for

Fast business lines of credit for restaurant equipment

Bluevine offers lines of credit up to $250,000 that can be funded quickly — in as little as 12 hours. You will have to sign a personal guarantee, and payments may be required on a weekly basis.

Bluevine - Line of credit

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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%

Bluevine's line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.

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How Much Do You Need?

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Where to get restaurant equipment financing

A variety of lenders offer financing options that can be used to purchase equipment for your restaurant.
  • Banks and credit unions. Generally, you’ll find the most competitive interest rates and terms at traditional financial institutions. However, banks and credit unions typically require you to have multiple years in business and excellent credit.
  • SBA lenders. If you can’t qualify for a bank loan then an SBA loan — offered through traditional banks and other lenders, but partially guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration — may be a good alternative. However, good credit and multiple years in business are often required.
  • Online lenders. If you don’t qualify for a bank or SBA loan or you need funding quickly, loans offered by online lenders and equipment financing companies may be the right fit. Although online loans typically have higher interest rates and shorter terms than a bank loan, they tend to have more flexible qualification requirements.

How to choose restaurant equipment financing

Choosing the best business loan for your restaurant starts with finding out what you can qualify for, then finding the option with the best rates and terms. Here are the restaurant equipment financing options — business term loans, lines of credit and equipment loans — to consider and the situations where they may make the most sense for your business.

Equipment loans for restaurants

Equipment financing is a type of business loan that uses the equipment you’re buying as collateral. This is a form of asset-based financing, which can be easier to qualify for than debt-based forms of financing like lines of credit.

Equipment financing is best if:

  • You have bad or fair credit. Equipment financing can be easier to qualify for than other business loan options since lenders use the equipment as collateral — if you fall behind on payments, they can just repossess the assets.
  • You need an expensive piece of equipment fast. Equipment lenders may process your application in a matter of hours and get you funding in a few days. If your walk-in breaks down, for instance, an equipment loan could get you a replacement fast, while still giving you a long repayment term for the pricey purchase.

Consider these equipment financing options for restaurants.

  • If you’re investing more than $150,000: Triton Capital offers equipment loans of up to $250,000. Its restaurant equipment financing loans can have APRs start at 5.99% with terms as long as five years. The lender says you can be approved for a loan in two to four hours and have financing in hand within one to two business days.
  • If you are a startup: National Funding offers restaurant equipment financing to entrepreneurs with as little as six months in business and a FICO score of
    600
    or more. You can borrow up to $150,000 and receive an answer to your application in as little as 24 hours.

Term loans for restaurant equipment financing

With a business term loan, you’ll receive all your funding in a lump sum and then repay your loan on a regular schedule over a set period of time. Business term loans generally range in size from $5,000 to $5 million or more.

Business term loans are best if:

  • You have strong qualifications. Good credit, strong revenue and several years in business may help you qualify for a low interest rate, long term and manageable payments.
  • You’re an existing business. Term loans are generally suited to restaurants that are expanding, opening a second location or moving into a new space. They generally don't work as startup business loans for new businesses.

Consider these options if a term loan seems right for your restaurant.

  • If your restaurant is well established: SBA loans have lower APRs and more favorable terms than those offered by many alternative lenders. They also have more stringent qualifications — for example, you’ll typically have to have been in business for at least two years. That means SBA loans are most suitable for established restaurant owners who are ready to invest in new, high-end gear.
  • If your business is relatively new: OnDeck provides capital to restaurants that have been in business for at least a year. Its term loans are accessible with a minimum credit score of
    625
    and annual revenue of $100,000. However, it’s important to note that OnDeck term loans max out at
    24
    months, so they’re best used for short-term equipment financing needs.
If you want funding fast: Online lenders can often get you funding within a week — compared to an SBA loan, which typically takes several weeks. You’ll generally pay a higher interest rate in exchange for that speed. But for established businesses, Funding Circle also offers competitive APRs, making it a good option for restaurateurs who need quick cash to take advantage of flash sales or equipment discounts.

Business lines of credit for restaurant equipment financing

A business line of credit works similarly to a credit card — you can withdraw funds as you need them up to your limit, and then pay back what you’ve used over time. As you pay down your balance, you can draw on your line of credit up to the limit again.

Business lines of credit are best if:

  • You can handle a short repayment period. The money you borrow with a line of credit may have to be repaid in as little as six months, so they're better suited to relatively smaller purchases, like a new restaurant point-of-sale system, for example. Also, weekly payments instead of monthly may be required.
  • You’re unsure of how much funding you need. With a line of credit, you have the flexibility to spend money as needed whether that’s when equipment is installed or as other expenses arise. You’ll pay interest only on the funds you draw, and after you pay down your balance, you can withdraw funds again.

Consider these line of credit options for restaurants.

  • If your revenue is currently low: Headway Capital's line of credit is available to business owners with $50,000 in annual revenue. So if you’re looking to expand a smaller business, like a pop-up shop or food truck, into a brick-and-mortar location, this may be a good option.
  • If you need financing right away: Bluevine's line of credit can fund in as little as 24 hours. It has a minimum credit score requirement of
    625
    — so if you’re struggling to qualify for financing, it might be a good option. Bluevine requires at least
    24
    months in business and monthly revenue of at least $40,000.

Restaurant equipment leasing

Equipment leasing is another option for restaurant owners who may not qualify for traditional financing or who expect an appliance to have a short shelf life. Like equipment financing, you’ll make a monthly payment. But when the lease ends, the lender will take the equipment back or you may have the option to buy it from them.
When evaluating your application, leasing companies will consider factors, like your length of time in business and personal credit score. But since leases are less risky than loans — the lender can simply repossess the equipment if you fall behind on payments — you may find it easier to lease the equipment you need. Leasing may also make sense if the equipment becomes obsolete quickly and you’ll need to replace it in a few years.

Find the right business loan

The best business loan is generally the one with the lowest rates and most ideal terms. But other factors — like time to fund and your business’s qualifications — can help determine which option you should choose. NerdWallet recommends comparing small-business loans to find the right fit for your business.
NerdWallet writer Rosalie Murphy contributed to this article.
Last updated on February 28, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates small-business loan products from both traditional and online lenders.
We collect over 30 data points on each lender, taking into account features we consider to be small-business friendly, including: transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to business credit bureaus and responsible lending practices.
Each small-business loan option on this list meets the following criteria: - Maximum loan amount of at least $100,000. - Transparent rates and repayment terms. - Funding available within two weeks of applying. - Personal credit score requirements of 660 or below. - No more than two years in business required.

Wondering if you qualify?

It’s possible to get a business loan even if you have bad credit. Bad-credit business loans are available from alternative sources, like online or nonprofit lenders.

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