BEST OF

Best Financing Options for Restaurant Equipment

Restaurant equipment financing can help ease the financial burden of operating your restaurant.

Jackie ZimmermannOctober 28, 2020
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Managing a successful restaurant means monitoring a lot of moving parts, including chefs, wait staff, daily specials — and your equipment.

And there’s good news: Restaurant consultant David Kincheloe notes that it’s often easier to qualify for restaurant equipment financing than other types of financing because the transaction produces collateral. When you finance an oven, you can use that oven to secure your loan.

Brand-new big-ticket items such as stoves, refrigerators or dishwashers typically last seven to 10 years, a prime length for mid- or long-term financing. Because equipment financing often comes with a high annual percentage rate, Kincheloe doesn’t recommend using it to buy smaller items (like microwaves) unless you can bundle them with a larger purchase.

Here are recommendations for restaurant equipment financing.

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OnDeck - Online term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

Est. APR

9.00 - 99.00%

Min. Credit Score

600

Pros

  • Cash can be available within the same business day.
  • Requires low minimum credit score.
  • Less paperwork than most lenders.

Cons

  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment will not save interest.
  • Requires frequent (daily or weekly) repayments.
  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.
Read full review
OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.
SmartBiz - SBA loan

SmartBiz - SBA loan

Est. APR

6.73 - 10.29%

Min. Credit Score

650

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • Faster than getting an SBA loan from a bank.

Cons

  • Must have strong financials, supported by personal and business tax returns for the past 3 years.
  • Stringent rules on use of proceeds.
  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000.
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past 3 years.
Read full review
SmartBiz’s low-cost SBA loans work best for established businesses that want to finance an expansion or refinance debt.
Funding Circle - Online term loan

Funding Circle - Online term loan

Est. APR

12.18 - 36.00%

Min. Credit Score

660

Pros

  • Cash can be available within 3 business days.
  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No minimum revenue requirement.

Cons

  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: None.
  • No bankruptices in the past 7 years.
Read full review
Funding Circle is an option for established businesses that are financing an expansion or refinancing debt.

Easily get real, personalized small business loan rates to compare — not just ranges or estimates.

It’s free and won’t affect your credit.

Get Started

on Fundera's website

Summary of Best Financing Options for Restaurant Equipment

If you’ve been in business for 1+ years

OnDeck provides capital to restaurants that are beginning to simmer but haven’t been in business long enough to reach a full boil. According to the company, roughly 12% of their financing is used in the restaurant industry, and with term loans accessible with a 600 minimum credit score, it could be a good option for restaurateurs who are still finding their footing. However, it’s important to note that OnDeck term loans max out at three years, so they’re best used for short-term equipment financing needs.

If your revenue is growing after you’ve been established for a year, you may be able to lean on StreetShares for a term loan to help get your kitchen up to par. Though the company caps loan size at a percentage of your annual revenue, it says that equipment purchases is one of the main reasons their borrowers take out a loan. To qualify, you need at least $50,000 in annual revenue and a minimum 650 personal credit score.

If you’ve been in business for 2+ years

SmartBiz helps connect you with coveted SBA loans, which have lower APRs and more favorable terms than those offered by many alternative lenders. They also have more stringent qualifications, which means they’re most suitable for established restaurant owners who are ready to invest in new, high-end gear.

For established businesses, Funding Circle also offers competitive APRs. If approved, you can get funding within a week (compared to SmartBiz, which typically takes several weeks) making it a prime option for restaurateurs looking to cash in on flash sales or equipment discounts.

Find and compare the best small-business loans

If you’re still on the hunt for small-business loan options, compare options on our small-business loan marketplace, which includes different loan types, from term loans to lines of credit. We always recommend borrowers compare multiple options to find a loan with costs, terms and features that match your needs.

Last updated on October 28, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Financing Options for Restaurant Equipment