How Much Does It Cost To Open A Restaurant

Opening a restaurant can be a dream come true for many aspiring restaurateurs, but it's essential to have a good understanding of the costs involved before taking the plunge. Running a restaurant requires significant financial investment from initial startup costs to ongoing expenses. In this article, we will explore the various costs involved in opening a restaurant.

Startup Costs

Startup costs are the expenses you'll need to incur before opening your restaurant. These costs can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the restaurant's size, location, concept, and menu. Here are some of the key startup costs you'll need to consider:

Leasehold Improvements

The cost of leasehold improvements includes any renovations or improvements you'll need to make to the restaurant space to fit your concept and make it functional. This may include installing kitchen equipment, changing the flooring, and adding a new paint job. The cost of leasehold improvements will vary depending on the extent of the work needed and your chosen concept.

Kitchen Equipment

The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, and you'll need to invest in commercial-grade kitchen equipment to ensure that it's fully functional. This includes ovens, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and other equipment you'll need to prepare and serve food. The cost of kitchen equipment can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on your restaurant's size and complexity.

Furniture and Decor

The furniture and decor you choose will set the tone and ambiance of your restaurant. You'll need to invest in tables, chairs, lighting, and decor items that align with your concept and brand. The cost of furniture and decor will vary depending on your chosen style and the size of your restaurant.

Licenses and Permits

Depending on your location, you may need to obtain licenses and permits to operate your restaurant. This includes health permits, alcohol licenses, and building permits. The cost of licenses and permits will vary depending on your location and the specific requirements of your local government.

Legal and Professional Fees

You may need to hire lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to help you with legal and financial matters. This includes setting up your business structure, registering for taxes, and obtaining insurance. The cost of legal and professional fees will vary depending on the complexity of your situation.

Initial Inventory

You'll need to purchase an initial inventory of food, beverages, and cleaning supplies to get your restaurant up and running. The cost of initial inventory will vary depending on your restaurant's size and your menu's complexity.

Ongoing Expenses

After the initial startup costs, you'll need to consider the ongoing expenses of running a restaurant. These expenses can add up quickly and can significantly impact your profitability. Here are some of the key ongoing expenses to consider:


Rent is typically one of the most significant ongoing expenses for a restaurant. The cost of rent will depend on your location, the size of your restaurant, and the demand for commercial space in your area. Investing in rent when planning your budget and pricing your menu items is essential.


The cost of utilities, including electricity, gas, water, and garbage, can also be a significant ongoing expense. So you'll need to ensure that you're using energy-efficient appliances and minimizing waste to keep these costs under control.


Payroll is another significant ongoing expense for restaurants. You'll need to pay your employees, including salaries, wages, and benefits. Labor costs can be challenging to manage, as they'll fluctuate depending on your business's demand. To keep payroll costs under control, consider implementing a scheduling system that optimizes labor based on your business's needs.

Food and Beverage Costs

The cost of purchasing food and beverages for your restaurant is another significant ongoing expense. As a result, you'll need to manage your inventory carefully to avoid waste and ensure that you're ordering the right amount of food and beverages for your business's needs.

Marketing and Advertising

To attract customers to your restaurant, you'll need to invest in marketing and advertising. This includes digital marketing, print ads, and other forms of advertising. The marketing and advertising cost will depend on your business's size and target market.


You'll need to ensure your restaurant is against property damage, liability, and other risks. The cost of insurance will depend on your location, the size of your restaurant, and your chosen coverage levels.

Bottom Line

Opening a restaurant can be a costly endeavor, with startup costs ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to several hundred thousand dollars. Ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities, payroll, and food and beverage costs can add up quickly and significantly impact your profitability. However, with careful planning and budgeting, you can manage these expenses and run a successful restaurant in the long run. By understanding the costs involved in opening and running a restaurant, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your business and set yourself up for success in the competitive world of food service.