Running a successful restaurant or pub requires a great deal of hard work and commercial acumen, not to mention determination. Whilst the entire hospitality industry struggled during the pandemic, independent restaurants were the hardest hit by Covid-19, with many having to look for ways to pivot their offering to stay afloat.
Yet, even before the pandemic, restaurant owners had to be adaptable and resourceful to thrive in an oversaturated market, with rising costs, staffing shortages and fierce competition. To establish themselves as contenders among high street chains, restauranteurs must provide the best possible experience to every diner, and welcome customer feedback that could improve their offering.
While it's predicted that pent-up demand and growing consumer confidence will see businesses recover quickly, and even encourage new venues to open, restaurants need to evolve to meet people’s changing expectations and habits as customers continue to work from home and move out of big cities.
Having stable cash flow is a great starting point, as it means restaurant owners have the capital they need to make changes to their offering, such as ensuring their space is covid-secure or expanding their outdoor dining area. Whether you're looking for business finance to open a new restaurant or start a delivery service, here's a look at how Fleximize's restaurant finance can help your business thrive in the 'new normal'.
Finance options for your restaurant
It’s easy to underestimate the costs involved in running a restaurant. Not only do business owners need the funding to acquire suitable premises, but there might also be considerable renovation work to be completed before opening. And that’s before you consider the cost of employing, training and paying staff, sourcing ingredients, purchasing kitchen equipment, producing menus and paying the bills.
Beyond the day-to-day necessities, it’s increasingly important to invest time and money into your marketing efforts in order to win new customers and encourage regular visits. As some diners may feel anxious about eating out even after lockdown has ended, restaurants also need to consider any additional costs for adjusting their venue in line with Covid-19 safety regulations, such as expanding into outdoor spaces.
At least for the first few years, many restaurants struggle to cover all of these expenses with their own revenue, particularly as the challenge of seasonal trade often inhibits good cash flow management. It’s important that they have access to flexible funding which can help with typical running costs or vital improvements.
For those seeking a small business loan for restaurants, it’s worth considering that most high-street banks have very strict lending criteria. The unpredictability of the hospitality industry, and the banks' reluctance to lend to a restaurant that’s been operating for under two years, means it can be tricky to get a loan unless you’re an established business with a consistent, high-performing revenue history.
This is why restauranteurs often turn to alternative lenders like Fleximize when they require hassle-free assessments and speedy lending decisions, with loans deposited in as little as 24 hours. If you're wondering how to get a business loan for a restaurant, we cover all the key details below.
Restaurant finance with Fleximize
At Fleximize, we know that restaurant businesses need to move quickly to stay ahead of their competition, and in their customer's favour. Our quick online application process means that we can offer the speed, ease, and flexibility that restaurateurs require. Here are the other perks of Fleximize’s restaurant funding:
- Restaurant business loans of £5,000 – £500,000
- Competitive interest rates starting from 0.9% per month
- Quick and easy online application with minimum paperwork
- Approval and deposit in as little as 24 hours
- Interest charged on a reducing balance, not the total loan amount
- Top-ups and repayment holidays with all loans
- No hidden fees or early repayment penalties
- Exclusive discounts on industry-leading business services from our B2B partners
We don’t apply the strict criteria of banks, meaning we’ll happily consider you for funding even if you have a less-than-perfect credit history. As long as you’ve been trading for a minimum of six months, you’re more than welcome to apply. This means that even if you have a restaurant startup, our business loans may be able to provide you with the cash flow you need to thrive.
What can I use a restaurant loan for?
With Fleximize’s funding solutions, you can access the finance you need to turn your business vision into a reality. Our loans can be used for purposes such as hiring new staff, moving premises, or investing in digital technology, but we can support your restaurant's growth in many different ways.
Hiring new staff
Employees are the bedrock of any hospitality business. Whether it's your head chef, barback, or maître d’, hiring the right staff will ultimately determine the quality of your customer experience. However, with the current UK staffing crises across the hospitality industry, recruitment drives are particularly difficult and come at a price. On top of salary, you also need to account for any agency fees, paid advertisements, training, new equipment, pension contributions, the list goes on.
Our restaurant finance can provide the funds you need to attract and nurture new talent, leading to excellent reviews, high customer retention, and greater brand appeal. In the current climate, ensuring you're putting your all into recruitment drives will not only help you stand out from the crowd as an employer, but will also ensure you're attracting talent that will foster great customer experience.
Expanding your premises
To keep up with growing demand, you may look to expand your current premises to seat more guests, open up a heated outdoor dining area, or move to a new site entirely to keep up with changing demand. In light of the pandemic, it’s likely that customers will increasingly expect larger dining spaces, particularly in outdoor areas, to feel safe and comfortable. Adapting your venue to accommodate these changes is essential to reaching your business’ full potential, but both renovation and relocation are sizeable expenses for small business owners.
With Fleximize, you can get the funding you need to purchase your ideal restaurant or refurbish an existing one to expand your premises and welcome more customers.
Investing in digital
For restaurants, as with most other sectors, leveraging digital technology has become imperative to meeting the demands of your customers and gaining new audiences. Since the start of the pandemic, more and more businesses have embraced technology to promote their brand online, communicate with customers virtually, and provide new services like home delivery and paperless-menus or table-ordering apps.
From creating a social media page to developing a robust online ordering system, digital transformation is a long-term project that requires ongoing investment. With flexible features like loan top-ups, meaning you can secure extra funds if new costs arise, our restaurant funding can provide the working capital to develop your business and keep up with changing customer expectations.
How Fleximize's restaurant loans can be used in practice
The video below features Norfolk-based restauranteur, Shelly Dickinson, who turned to Fleximize for a quick cash boost in order to launch a local marketing campaign just in time for Cromer Carnival. Despite being a relatively young business, with a trading history of six months at the time of applying, Shelly secured the loan she needed to finance her radio and print advertising efforts, and well as some essential refurbishments.
Shelley Dickinson, owner of Shelley's Pie & Mash Shop in Cromer, Norfolk, used a Fleximize loan to pay for local advertising and new kitchen fixtures
Apply for restaurant finance today
We’ve supported the growth of numerous restaurants, from local curry houses to well-known franchises. Applying for bar and restaurant financing with Fleximize couldn't be simpler - just complete our short online form to get started. Alternatively, you can take a closer look at our funding options or check how your repayments might look using our business loan calculator. For any other enquiries, you can give us a call on 020 7100 0110.