You want to finally fulfill your dream of opening your own restaurant, but you don't have the necessary small change?
Then you'll find some helpful information here on the topic of "financing in the restaurant business". In Germany, there are hundreds of programs to support businesses and the self-employed. These can also be combined in different ways to obtain the greatest possible financial assistance.
It always starts with a financial plan, which helps you to list and sort your expenses. To get a better impression of the most important components of such a plan, we have explained this in more detail below.
For the financial plan, it is recommended to divide the costs into "One-time" and "Recurring or monthly". The cost items under monthly can be adjusted by experience and always updated.
Expenses that need to be incurred on a one-time basis include things like kitchen utensils, restaurant furniture, dishes and miscellaneous glassware, a cash register system, a counter, dishwashers, etc.
Monthly expenses include things like insurance (e.g., business liability insurance or contents insurance), water, electricity, GEMA, GEZ, personnel costs, food and beverages, cleaning supplies, decorative items, etc.... Value-added tax and sales tax should also be considered in the cost breakdown.
Since the costs of running a restaurant can vary depending on location, size, staff, style of catering (upscale, with or without food, etc.), it is difficult to give an all-inclusive sum needed to start a restaurant.
With the help of a good financial plan, you can get a little closer to your dream of owning your own restaurant or bar.
Now that you know how much money you need, it's time to consider where the money will come from.
In addition to the classic way, through loans from a bank, there are other options. Because a loan from the bank is usually only obtained by showing equity and other safeguards for the investing bank.
That's why we've put together a few more interesting ideas on how you can afford your own restaurant or bar!
However, there are also banks that support start-ups through various offers, where no equity is required. For example, the KfW funding - Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau - which offers the "ERP-Gründungskredit - StartGeld", a loan secured by the EU under the COSME program. This is a loan of a maximum of 100,000 € at an effective interest rate of currently 1.87% per year (as of 26.04.2021).
If you are on the search for Beteiligungsgeber*innen, the KfW has particularly for it also a offer.
Interesting for houses, which already exist at least five years, is in addition the KfW entrepreneur credit: It offers the option of borrowing up to 25 million euro at at present 1% interest - and if requested with 50% release from liability.
Our tip: for a successful start-up, it makes sense (and is attractive to banks) to prepare a professional business plan (also forecasts profits, required expenses, etc.).
Subsidies from the federal government
In addition to the classic loans, there are also various subsidies from the federal and state governments, e.g. through grants, loans or guarantees. These can be different subsidies, e.g. consulting or investment subsidies.
Since available subsidies can differ depending on the federal state and also change in content, you look up possible offers and assistance of your federal state best here .
Advantages of state subsidies are
- mostly low interest rates
- fixed interest rates for up to 20 years
- repayment-free credit periods
- substitution of collateral
- in some cases also the use of non-repayable subsidies
Another option is to obtain credits or loans through the brewery you trust. To do this, you enter into a cooperation with the brewery, which on the one hand consists of credits or loans at acceptable interest rates and is usually supplemented by a supply of glasses, outdoor signage, etc. of the brewery. Thus, money can be saved for glasses and the like.
On the other hand, the restaurateurs commit themselves to buying only the brewery's products. Depending on the brewery, this can apply to beers or also to soft drinks and other products, which means severe restrictions and less product variety for the bar. In addition, the drinks are sold at a fixed price that has been set in advance.
Our tip: It makes perfect sense to obtain quotes from several different breweries and compare them. The advice of a lawyer can be advantageous in this contract model.
Another perspective is microloan funds, which are more suitable for low amounts.
The whole thing runs through the Federal Ministry and pursues the goal of making it easier for small businesses and founders* to access small loan sums.
For this purpose, sums of up to 10,000€ at 7.9% are possible with an initial application. The use of the funds is strictly limited to entrepreneurial needs.
As soon as the borrowers* pay the repayments for six months without any problems, there is the possibility to increase to a maximum sum of 25.000€ by a further loan! No matter how you do it, the microloan is limited to a four-year term.
Crowdfunding and personal loans
Depending on how much money you need, it would also be an option to look for interested sponsors* who would like to invest in your idea for the restaurant/bar. If you have friends or acquaintances who have the financial means to provide you with a personal loan, this is always worth a try.
There is also the possibility of a crowdfunding platform, but for this you need a certain reach and awareness to reach many potential donors. Most innovative ideas with sustainable concepts or well-known gastronomy businesses are supported. The unique selling proposition of your restaurant or bar and your marketing skills are crucial.
Our tip: If you want to try crowdfunding, get in touch with local media that should draw attention to your campaign. Innovative start-ups in your own region are particularly popular for support.
Get in touch with your IHK. Especially for founders there are many programs that the IHK organizes and implements. There are, for example, the IHK's start-up days or the opportunity to take advantage of expert start-up advice. In addition, the IHK can provide extensive information on various subsidies and also knows which subsidies are most useful, can be combined, etc.
Our tip: Leasing and installment payments are a good way to make ends meet, especially in the beginning. Installment payments are particularly suitable for kitchen equipment, for example.
As you can see, there are various ways to finance your own restaurant or bar.
Which way of financing is the right one for you, you have to decide according to which economic resources you already have and which conditions you are willing or able to accept.