Best Restaurant Loans for Small Businesses 2021

Online lenders provide restaurant business loans you can use toward small purchases or large investments. Compare your options.

Jackie ZimmermannJanuary 7, 2021
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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 online options for restaurant financing.


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

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Our pick for

Restaurant loans for big investments

OnDeck - Online term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

Est. APR

9.00 - 99.00%

Min. Credit Score


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


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


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


  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.

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 Restaurant Loans for Small Businesses 2021

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%.

Restaurant loans for small purchases

Running a restaurant is expensive, but not everything you need to spend money on requires excessive debt or long-term financing, especially things like replacing a small piece of equipment or making minor repairs or upgrades to the dining room. Here are some short-term loan options for these types of smaller purchases.

If you need short-term financing fast: Kabbage offers lines of credit of up to $250,000 for restaurant working capital needs.

Restaurant loans for big investments

When it’s time to expand, refurbish the entire kitchen or open a second location, look at loans that can provide a large lump sum with a longer repayment period.

OnDeck provides quick approval, using an online application process that can take as little as 10 minutes for term loans up to $500,000.

Compare more small-business loan options

NerdWallet has created a comparison tool 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 January 7, 2021

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Restaurant Loans for Small Businesses 2021