Turning a food pop-up into an established business

Finance for your first restaurant

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Running a food business can mean substantial financial rewards. But opening a restaurant, takeaway or cafe demands more than just hard work, dedication and skills. It needs funding too.

To succeed in the highly-competitive hospitality sector, you need premises in the right location. You need the right menu, price, and overall service experience your customers expect. You may need to invest tens of thousands of pounds to set up the business you really want - and that can prove impossible for most people.

However, there is a solution that many new business owners are using to get a start in the industry - a pop-up restaurant, or even a food truck offering street food, can be an effective first step towards building the permanent business you want.

How can a pop-up or food truck help you get started?

With a food truck selling speciality food, you can explore the demand for the type of cuisine you want to provide. Experiment with menus, discover what people are eager to eat and even perfect your cooking skills.

You can even take advantage of your mobility, and find a pitch in an area where there is a ready market for your food. Some locations may be better-suited for particular dining styles than others - a food truck lets you find where your keenest customers are to be found.

A pop-up could be the natural next stage. With your menu perfected, if you can find a vacant unit in your target location you can open a restaurant business on a temporary basis. You can refine your ideas and start bringing in the equipment you need.

Here’s the big advantage of starting out small with a food truck or pop-up - it lets you demonstrate to the banks, investors, and the world at large that you're serious about the food business and have what it takes to be a success.

It means you are already running a successful food business - and that makes it easier for lenders to make the decision to lend to you.

Lenders find it hard to lend to start-ups. With no way to demonstrate that the business will be a success, lenders see the risk they will not be repaid as too great. Having a small business that has already proved itself means they can provide the funding you need to grow it into a larger one.

The funding you need to set up a permanent restaurant or cafe

At Rangewell, we work with restaurant owners across the UK. We have an expert team with specialists in the dining industry, and our clients range from those with Michelin starred restaurants to fast food franchises.

It means we understand the challenges of setting up a successful restaurant business - and the ways to provide solutions to them.

The funding challenges you face when you are setting up a permanent business

Getting a permanent base for your business is a big step, even if you have proved yourself with a truck or pop-up.

Buying or leasing premises or taking over an existing, but tired business as a going concern will mean substantial investment. You may need to re-equip your kitchen, refurbish or even create a dining area.

This means you may require a different type of financial solution for each business need.  

These could include:

  • Funding for property
  • Funding to buy an existing business
  • Asset Finance - Leasing and Hire Purchase
  • Cashflow funding
  • Franchise funding

Funding for property

Your first step may be securing a property, ideally in the area you have identified as ideal for your business. You can lease property and, at Rangewell, we can help you find the best way to provide the deposit you need to secure the premises you want.

You might also consider buying your own premises. There are some important advantages to this:

  • You can ensure your business is safe against rent rises
  • You can build up a valuable asset for the future.  

Commercial Mortgages can be used to buy business premises or an existing business and are arranged on an individual basis. A lending manager will look at each application and will set the rate according to the risk. You may need a detailed business plan - the better your business proposition, the better the rates you are likely to be offered.

Funding to buy an existing business

You could buy an existing restaurant and take advantage of its existing customer base and the knowledge that you will have a business that is ready to run. Costs may seem high but buying an existing restaurant or catering business can present less of a risk, as the costs and profitability can be clearly predicted - which makes it easier for lenders to agree to lend.

Business Loans

There are two main types of business loans.

Secured Loans are often used to borrow large sums of money, upwards of £250,000. They are ‘secured’ because the lender will require security in case you cannot repay the loan. This could be your home, or your premises if you are the freeholder. Repayment terms can often be up to 20 years

A Secured Loan can often be arranged for 2% above base rate.

Unsecured Loans can be suitable for smaller sums, from £5000 upwards - although some lenders will only lend the equivalent of one month’s turnover with an Unsecured Loan.   

An Unsecured Loan can be arranged quickly and might be offered at 6% above base rate.

Asset Finance - bringing you the equipment you need

You may already have some key equipment from your pop-up - but with a permanent base, you will want more. Your kitchen will need ovens, refrigeration and ventilation and your dining area will need furnishing too.

Asset Finance lets you spread the cost of equipment - or assets - while those assets are already working for you. There are several types of Asset Finance:

Hire Purchase

Hire Purchase lets you hire assets until you have paid for them. It can be a simple way to spread the cost of items that you expect to give long service. HP agreements generally last between 12 and 72 months and require a 10-20% deposit, plus fixed monthly instalments.

Leasing

Leasing is much like a rental agreement. You pay a monthly charge to use the asset. With some arrangements maintenance, repairs and registration will be the owner’s responsibility, giving you use of the asset without any of the costs of ownership.

Our Asset Finance team can help you lease or Hire Purchase almost any type of asset, new or used. We can often even undercut the funding offered by equipment suppliers.

Cashflow Funding

Cashflow is a major challenge for every business, and it can be crucial to the survival of your restaurant business, especially if a lot of your trade is seasonal.

Revolving Credit Facilities

Revolving Credit Facilities offer a line of credit with an agreed limit that you can call on when you need it. You only pay for the money you take out, so it can be a cost-effective way to access funds in the short term.

Merchant Cash Advances

Merchant Cash Advances are ideal if you take payments through a card terminal or PDQ machine. The lender works with your payment company and can provide you with an advance which is repaid by automatically deducting a small proportion of revenue every time a customer pays by card.

Franchising

With an independent café or restaurant, you may face stiff competition.

Franchise Finance could give you the option to work with one of the leading chains, letting you offer a familiar brand and enjoy support with marketing and buying, while still allowing you to be your own boss.

REAL EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE CAN DO

  • Find the most competitive funding to allow a new restaurant to equip its kitchen

  • Source a commercial mortgage to let a popup operator buy the freehold of his city centre premises

  • Find the most competitive finance to allow a truck-based caterer operator to open a permanent site in an upmarket riverside development

  • Find funding for equipment that undercuts the 0% deals offered by dealers.

We help you capitalise on your experience

At Rangewell we are ready to help you take the next step from food truck to pop-up to permanent restaurant or cafe.

Simply call us now to investigate your options.

I needed a full range of equipment. Asset Funding gave us a solution that was within our reach.
We wanted a high street location. Rangewell helped us to get the commercial mortgage to secure it.
French-Asian fusion seemed a step too far for lenders - but once I had proved it with a pop-up, I found the funding I needed.

Helping you build your profits

Finding the funding that right for you

There are many types of business finance available. We can help you find the type that suits your restaurant plans.

Repayments that can fit your operating budget

Whatever the scale of your food business, we can find finance with repayments scaled to your turnover.

Scaled for your needs

We can provide finance at any scale, from a single piece of kitchen equipment to a complete, start-of-the-art catering facility with refrigeration, environmental and cooking facilities.

Funding is secured on the assets themselves

Asset funding avoids risk to your other assets. If you found the repayments became a problem, the lender could simply repossess the equipment.

Tailored funding

We can tailor funding to your needs - with the most appropriate solution for each funding need - we call this ‘jigsaw’ funding - it can save you money.

Better than 0% supplier finance

Some suppliers may offer 0% finance deals on their equipment. Call Rangewell to understand how we can help you pay less than with these ‘interest-free’ deals.

Download Rangewell’s free and detailed guide to Finance for Catering Businesses

Rangewell Ebook - Download Rangewell’s free and detailed guide to Finance for Catering Businesses
  • What are the types of finance available to catering businesses and which do you need?

  • What is Asset Finance and how does it give your business an advantage?

  • Why it’s important to find the product and lender that’s right for your circumstances

  • The hidden costs of 0% finance and how we can help you pay less for your equipment

  • What you need to know about debt finance to make the right decision for your business

  • How to arrange finance - what paperwork will you need?

  • Key business finance terms explained

  • Download now

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Getting the right funding arrangement is essential

There are many forms of business finance available. Getting the most appropriate type for your particular needs is essential to avoid excessive costs.

The costs of Asset Finance

Asset Finance will mean repayments from month one. If your business does not take off you may experience a cash flow issue.

Long-term financial commitments

You may not be able to exit a finance arrangement once it has been set up.

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