Starting a gourmet restaurant? Check those startup costs first!

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For the foodie and restaurateur, opening a gourmet restaurant is an attractive business opportunity. Although the costs of establishing a restaurant can be daunting, the industry continues to flourish in the era of the chef-run restaurant.

Statistics from the National Restaurant Association show that the restaurant industry generated sales of 3 billion in 2018, an increase from the 9 billion seen in 2015. Additionally, in 2020 the industry is expected to receive billion in income from private equity investments and venture capital.

With such a booming industry, it’s no surprise that more aspiring restaurateurs are being enticed to join the foray – but how much does it cost to open a fine dining establishment?

Let’s explore the start-up expenses, as well as other potential costs, of launching a successful restaurant.


start-up costs

Creating a dining experience is no small feat. There are many costs associated with starting a fine dining restaurant, some of which may surprise you. From rent and kitchen equipment to decorating, business insurance and even marketing, here’s a quick rundown of the start-up costs involved.

Article Cost
Rental / rent for the restaurant space ,000 – ,000 / month
Design and construction of space ,000 – ,000
Commercial grade kitchen equipment ,000 – ,000
First-house supplies/furniture ,000 – ,000
Decoration / design elements ,000 – ,000
Business insurance ,000 – ,000
POS System Setup ,000 – ,000
Initial supplies (e.g. food, drinks, etc.) ,000 – ,000
Marketing and Advertising 0 – ,000
Total estimated cost ,000 – 0,000

So! With the right investments, hard work, and determination, you can open your own fine dining restaurant with an expected total cost of between ,000 and 0,000.

Rental / rent for the restaurant space

The lease/rent cost is a crucial factor when calculating the cost of opening a fine dining restaurant. A wide range of variables, including location, size, features, and amenities, impact the rate per square foot of retail space.

According to the National Restaurant Association, the average rent for a restaurant in the United States is .62 per square foot. This rate will vary greatly depending on the state you are in. New York is the most expensive at .17 per square foot, followed by Hawaii (.43/sq.ft.), Connecticut (.93/sq.ft.), Colorado (.84/sq.ft.) , and California (.27/ft.).

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Also, depending on the type of restaurant, rental costs can vary significantly. For example, the average rent for a fast food restaurant is significantly lower than the average rent for a casual or fine dining restaurant. According to the same survey, the average rent for a fast food restaurant is .04 per square foot, while the average rent for a casual or fine dining restaurant is .19 per square foot.

When considering restaurant rental space, it is important to test the condition and quality of the space. Is the space in a commercial or residential building? Does the rent include CAM (maintenance of common areas) fees? Is the space in a high traffic area or a hidden gem?

These are all important questions you need to ask yourself before signing a lease for restaurant space. In addition to the average rent for restaurant space, there are a few other factors to consider. For example, does the rent include the cost of CAM (maintenance of common areas), what type of lease is signing (triple net, modified gross, etc.) and the length of the lease.

When it comes to restaurant rentals, it’s important to be prepared to ask questions and negotiate terms. Doing your research ahead of time will go a long way to ensuring you find the right space for your business and that you get a fair lease rate.

Space design and construction

Designing and building a space for a fine dining restaurant can be an extensive and expensive process. From architect and contractor fees, to fittings and furniture, to set-up and operating costs, the entire process can add up quickly. According to a recent report by the National Restaurant Association*, the average cost to design and build a space for a fine dining restaurant was 1,359 (US dollars), and the total cost to open and run the restaurant for the first year was an average of ,372,409 (US dollars).

When it comes to outfitting and outfitting a space for a fine dining experience, costs can vary widely. Equipping the kitchen space, for staff and customers, is often the most expensive part of the process. This can include everything from large commercial-grade kitchen appliances and ovens, to smaller items like cookware and utensils. According to the same survey, the average cost to outfit a kitchen for a full-service restaurant operation was 0,820 (US dollars).

In addition to kitchen items, restaurants must also provide seating and tables to accommodate their customers. The cost of purchasing furniture and seating for a fine dining restaurant can vary depending on the type of equipment used and the number of customers who will be seated. In some cases, the cost of furniture and seating can exceed the cost of kitchen items. The average cost to provide a fine dining restaurant was 2,400 (US dollars).

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In addition to the cost of fitting out and equipping the restaurant space, contractors, architects and other related costs also consider the total price. The survey revealed that the average construction cost for a fine dining restaurant was ,880 (US dollars). This includes expenses such as contractor and architect fees, design fees and administrative fees.

Although the cost may seem high, investing in high quality design and construction of a fine dining restaurant space can be a significant investment in the future of the business. A well-designed and named restaurant can create an inviting atmosphere that will help draw in customers and distinguish the business from the competition. With the right investment, a fine dining restaurant can be a success for many years to come.

* Source: National Restaurant Association. (2020, March 19). State of the Restaurant Industry 2020: Financing and Capital Trends. Retrieved from

Commercial grade kitchen equipment

A well-equipped kitchen is an essential part of any successful wing restaurant. Commercial-grade kitchen equipment is the backbone of any professional kitchen, and no restaurateur should skimp on quality. Investing in commercial-grade kitchen equipment can pay off in the long run; Not only will they last longer, but they can also handle heavy workloads.

The cost of commercial-grade kitchen equipment varies widely depending on the size and scope of equipment needed. Although there is no set price for a full kitchen, the most recent statistics show that there is an average cost of commercial kitchen equipment for a restaurant of ,000. Of that, ,000 is for major equipment, such as ovens and grills, while ,000 is for basic dish storage, storage supplies, and other ancillary items.

Aside from the base cost of the equipment itself, there are additional costs that should be considered when it comes to opening a fine dining restaurant. The installation of the equipment, as well as the associated delivery and repair costs, can easily add up. Additionally, many chefs also recommend supplementing basic kitchen equipment with quality small weeks, such as cutting boards and specialty utensils. The cost of these small wares can range from ,500 to ,000 and beyond.

Investing in quality commercial grade kitchen equipment is an absolute necessity for any restaurateur looking to open a fine dining establishment. Although the cost may seem daunting at first, it is a necessary expense as it will result in quality, efficiency, and the product in the long run. Those who skimp on gear can now face costly repairs and replacements down the road.

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First-house supplies/furniture

Opening a fine dining restaurant requires a substantial capital outlay, including the materials and equipment needed to supply the home neighborhood. This includes all tables, chairs, tablecloths, utensils, glasses and other catering sets that customers must have available to enjoy their meal. According to recent market research from the National Restaurant Association, the average cost of these front-of-house supplies and furnishings for a fine dining restaurant is ,228 USD . This cost does not include any kind of decorative accessories such as flower displays, wall hangings and other ornamental items.

Specifically, the average breakdown of supplies and furniture for a fine dining restaurant looks like this:

  • Tables: ,100 USD
  • Chairs: ,000 USD
  • Lappers:: 0 USD
  • Curtains: 0 USD
  • Utensils: ,200 USD
  • Goggles: $ 600USD
  • Plates: ,000 USD
  • Serving trays: 0 USD

It’s important to consider all potential overhead costs when considering start-up expenses for a fine dining restaurant. First-home supplies and furnishing costs can be substantial and should be accounted for when budgeting for a new restaurant.

Decoration / design elements

When it comes to opening a gourmet restaurant, decoration / design elements play a very important role. As such, it’s no surprise that they can take a significant chunk out of the starting costs. This may include items such as custom furniture, drapery, lighting, artwork, and other decorative items.

According to research in 2020 conducted by OpenTable, the average decor/design element cost for a new fine dining restaurant can range from ,000 to 0,000 USD . Factors likely to play into this cost include:

  • Size of Restaurant – The larger the space, the more furniture, lighting, drapery and artwork required.
  • Restaurant type – A high-end restaurant may require more luxurious and expensive materials.
  • Location – Some locations may require additional furnishings and decorations to comply with mandatory fire codes.
  • Designer – Using a professional designer can add to the overall cost, but they can go a long way in making the space look beautiful, modern, and polished.

Whether you design the restaurant yourself or hire a professional, it’s important to keep an eye on the budget to make sure it stays within your assigned parameters.

Business insurance

When starting a fine dining restaurant, one of the key considerations is protecting your business from the potential risks associated with owning a retail establishment. Commercial insurance is an important investment for any business, but especially for a restaurant, which has a higher risk of customer liability claims. It’s important to choose comprehensive coverage that meets your business needs.

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First, it’s important to remember that the cost of business insurance policies varies greatly depending on the coverage selected by the business owner, as well as the size of the restaurant, its location, and the coverages chosen. Generally speaking, business liability insurance typically costs from 0 to ,500 per year, with an average cost of ,500 to ,000 per year depending on the company. Additionally, employers can expect to pay an average of ,500 to ,000 per year for workers’ compensation insurance.

Home insurance Covers the physical assets of the restaurant against theft, fire and other losses. Typical property policies cover buildings, fixtures, restaurant equipment, furniture, and other assets. On average, many businesses can expect premiums of ,000 to ,000 per year for coverage that protects the business against losses due to criminal activity, vandalism, and natural disasters.

Business Interruption Insurance Covers a business if it has to temporarily close due to an insurable event, such as a fire. This type of policy helps cover income and expenses that would otherwise be lost in the event of an interruption caused by an insurable event. The cost of this policy can range from ,000 to ,000 per year, depending on the company.

Product Liability Insurance Covers a restaurant against customer claims related to food or drink served in the establishment. This type of coverage helps protect the business from customer claims in the event that someone claims to have fallen ill after eating at a restaurant. Product liability insurance typically costs 0 to ,000 per year.

POS System Setup

For those planning to open a fine dining restaurant, one of the biggest expenses that will be encountered is the cost of setting up a point of sale (POS) system. A point of sale system is what restaurants use to process debit/credit card payments and keep track of sales, inventory, and customer relationships. The cost of setting up a POS system can vary depending on the type of system you choose and the number of terminals needed. According to Merchantsavvy’s 2019 POS System Buyer’s Guide, the setup process for a four-terminal system for a fine dining establishment can cost between ,049.99 and ,925.99. Depending on the equipment the restaurant needs, this cost may be lower or higher.

In addition to the cost of purchasing a POS system, there is also the cost of software licenses, installation fees, and other services that will need to be paid. These costs are usually between 0 and ,500. Some restaurants may also need to purchase additional hardware such as scanners, cash drawers, and printers. These items will cost between 0 and ,000 for a four-terminal system. Companies should also factor in the cost of staff training and onboarding, which can range from 0 to ,000. Finally, there are also ongoing costs associated with the POS system, such as maintenance costs, charges for cloud storage and technical support, charges for software updates, and other charges that vary from POS system to POS system. .

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All in all, setting up a POS system for a fine dining restaurant can be quite expensive. However, the long-term benefits of having such a system are well worth the cost. A POS system can help streamline operations, save time and increase customer satisfaction. For these reasons, any restaurant owner who is serious about launching a successful fine dining establishment should consider investing in a point of sale system.

Initial supplies (e.g. food drinks, etc.)

One of the biggest expenses for any new fine dining restaurant is the initial offering fee. According to a 2018 report by Statistica, the average initial supply costs for a new restaurant depend on the type and size of the restaurant, the popularity of the dishes and types of beverages served, and the size of the initial food and beverage order. drinks.

The National Restaurant Association estimates that initial procurement investments for a single fine dining restaurant can range from ,000 to ,000. In terms of specific products and supplies, food and beverage costs alone can range from ,000 to ,000.

When considering the cost of initial supplies, it is important to consider the full range of purchase costs and prices. Food and beverage costs will vary depending on the type of cuisine served, style of service and market costs. Other costs to consider include:

  • Food and beverage costs for initial actions (Can vary from ,000 to ,000 depending on your menu and variety of food and beverage items you serve)
  • Costs of small goods and kitchen equipment (Can vary from ,000 to ,000 on average depending on the size of the restaurant)
  • Furniture and accessories (Can vary from ,000 to ,000, depending on style and quality)
  • Technology needs (Can range from ,000 to ,000 depending on the type, brand, and amount of technology you choose to implement)
  • Promotional materials (can range from 0 to ,000 on average)

The cost of initial supplies for a fine dining restaurant can add up very quickly, and it’s important to keep an accurate and up-to-date ledger of all costs. However, with thoughtful budgeting and smart buying decisions, you can still achieve success and maintain financial stability.

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Marketing and Advertising

Marketing and advertising is an essential aspect for successful restaurant operations and for the introduction of new restaurant concepts. Over the past two years, the average cost has increased disproportionately for restaurant marketing and advertising, with an increase of 10.3%, from ,513 per month in 2017 to an average of ,896 per month. months in 2019, according to the latest statistics from Statista .

The most essential element of advertising is the development of a well-designed logo and slogan, both of which represent the identity of the business. Given the time and effort involved, the associated costs can vary significantly. It is common to expect a price range between and ,000 depending on the scope of work required. Logo design professionals typically charge between and 0 per hour, with the average logo design taking 12 to 16 hours to complete. Cost can also be a factor when considering other advertising mediums such as newspaper, radio, and television commercials.

It is also important to create digital marketing campaigns. A digital marketing strategy, which uses tools such as web design, web hosting, social media management, and search engine optimization (SEO), will help solidify an online presence for a fine dining restaurant and is also essential for creating a clientele. However, the costs may not be suitable for all businesses, as monthly costs for some digital marketing tools can range from to even 00.

Other important factors to consider when creating a budget for marketing and advertising are website maintenance, design, and hosting. Depending on what a fine dining restaurant needs, there may be one-time costs such as web development, or additional formatting and coding, which can cost an additional ,000 to ,000. Many companies also choose to offer customer loyalty programs, promotional offers, and email marketing campaigns. The average monthly marketing budget can include a combination of these costs which are also essential to consider.


With the right funding, planning and creativity, starting a successful fine dining restaurant is not an impossible feat. Keeping track of costs and studying the same is essential to ensure profitability. Ultimately, the initial investment, although considerable, should be treated as an investment that is reflected in profits.

Considering the expenses detailed in this article, it can cost anywhere from ,000 to over 0,000 to build a full-scale fine dining establishment depending on location, size, and design. For more personalized assistance, it is recommended that a qualified accountant analyze individual budget needs.