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.
We’ve outlined the best restaurant financing options online.
Restaurant loans: Compare your optionsIn the table below, scroll to the right to see all lenders.
For more details based on purchase needs
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 $100,000 for restaurant working capital needs.
- Pro: No minimum personal credit score requirement (but Kabbage does check your credit)
- Con: High interest rates compared with some options
If you want competitive rates: StreetShares offers lines of credit and term loans of up to $100,000 with APRs starting at 9%. However, the company limits your borrowing to 20% of your annual revenue, making it a good fit for smaller, less expensive purchases.
- Pro: Only need $25,000 in annual revenue to qualify
- Con: Funding capped at 20% of your revenue
- Loan amount: $2,000 to $100,000
- APR: 24% to 99%
- Loan term: Six or 12 months
- Funding time: A few minutes to several days
- Read our Kabbage review
- Loan amount: $2,000 to $100,000 for term loans; $5,000 to $100,000 for lines of credit
- APR: 9% to 40%
- Loan term: Three to 36 months
- Funding time: One to five days
- Read our StreetShares review
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.
If you want the lowest rates and longest repayment term: SmartBiz provides Small Business Administration loans through its online platform, connecting you with the lowest rates among online alternative lenders.
- Pro: Low rates between 8% and 8.7% APR
- Con: Application process is longer and requires more documentation compared with other online options
- Loan amount: $30,000 to $350,000
- APR: 8% to 8.7%
- Loan term: 10 years
- Funding time: As quickly as seven days but typically several weeks
- Read our SmartBiz review
If you want faster funding and competitive rates: Bond Street can provide funding in as fast as three days. The lender offers APRs between 8% and 25%.
- Pro: High maximum borrowing amount of $1 million
- Con: Requires a minimum credit score of 640 to qualify, which is higher than other lenders
If you have or want to solicit financial backers: Able Lending offers a loan of up to $1 million that friends and family can contribute to as backers, along with the lender. The lender also offers loans that it solely funds. Restaurants are one of the top business types Able Lending finances, the company says.
- Pro: Good for borrowers with a strong social network
- Cons: Takes time and effort to line up backers; funding time is dependent on how quickly backers commit funds
- Loan amount: $10,000 to $1 million
- APR: 8% to 25%
- Loan term: One to three years
- Approval time: Average of three to four days
- Read our Bond Street review
- Loan amount: $25,000 to $1 million
- APR: 8% to 25%
- Loan term: One to five years
- Funding time: Up to seven days for Able-funded loans; up to one to two days after full backer contribution for Able Growth loans
- Read our Able Lending review
If you’re looking for quick approval: OnDeck uses an online application process that can take as little as 10 minutes for term loans of up to $500,000.
- Pro: Requires a minimum personal credit score of only 500 to qualify (but most borrowers have 660 or higher)
- Cons: Paying the loan back early won’t save you any money; interest rates can be high if you have a lower credit score
- Loan amount: $5,000 to $500,000
- APR: 9% to 99%
- Loan term: Repaid daily or weekly for three to 36 months
- Funding time: As fast as 24 hours but typically a few days
- Read our OnDeck review
Want to compare more financing 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.
Updated April 7, 2017.