Restaurant Startup Cost Checklist

Get the answer to the #1 question all aspiring restaurateurs ask: How much will it cost to open my restaurant?
A group of pan stacked delicately on top of each other, A chef smiling in the kitchen, A chef cooking a dish in a sizzling pan
A chef cleaning his kitchen

Get a grip on finances

  • Itemize fixed and fluctuating expenses
  • Determine your break even point
  • Calculate how much financing you need

Budget Like a Restaurant Pro

Break down your restaurant startup costs

There are two kinds of restaurant startup costs: one-time expenses like construction costs, equipment purchases, and permit fees; and recurring expenses like restaurant rent, payroll, and food costs. The startup cost calculator helps you budget for both by simplifying the breakdown of the cost of a restaurant, taking all your specific expenses into account.

Determine how much money you’ll need to open your restaurant

Chances are, you’ll need financing to open your restaurant. Potential investors will want to know how much funding you’re seeking, and how much you’ll be able to contribute. The restaurant startup cost calculator will forecast your initial capital requirements and factor in how much you can personally bring to the table.

Set an operating budget

An operating budget is your plan for generating revenue and incurring expenses. It’s a key requirement for your restaurant business plan and is typically in effect for a full fiscal year. An operating budget can easily be calculated like this:

Restaurant Budget = Sales – Costs (food, labor, fixed overhead)



Using the restaurant costs checklist allows you to establish estimates for these figures so you can prepare a proper operating budget as part of your restaurant business plan.

More Startup Cost Questions?

You’re not alone – every aspiring restaurant owner needs answers to critical financial questions like:


  • How much will I need for restaurant construction/renovation?
  • What should I budget for restaurant equipment?
  • What restaurant payroll expenses should I anticipate?

Two women looking at an iPad together

The Restaurant Startup Cost Checklist is your must-have tool to calculate all startup costs. It can help you get a full picture of your restaurant expenses, such as: purchasing a commercial space or finding a place to lease; furnishing and decorating the site; procuring kitchen equipment; buying dishware/glassware/silverware; installing a POS system and other technology; obtaining permits, etc.


By determining these costs in advance, you get a better idea of what to expect and what to prioritize. If you discover, for example, that too much of the budget is allocated to seating solutions, you might shop around to lower those costs. Then, you can invest the difference in more important areas where you need the funds.


Ultimately, knowing all of your restaurant startup costs upfront can help you determine where you can save and where you need to spend more, giving you more control over your startup expenses.

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Restaurant Startup Costs Calculator

Use this tool to forecast your restaurant costs and revenue.