No Kids Allowed – by Ron Ruggles – NRN

July 14, 2011

The case this week of a Pittsburgh-area restaurant planning to ban children under the age of 6 has produced widespread attention, even though the foodservice industry has seen cases like this arise with the periodic regularity of baby feedings.

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When Banks Aren’t Lending to Restaurants – What’s the Next, Best Option?

June 7, 2010

The Fork & Spoon, Atlanta, GA

Anyone can attest that lending to small business, especially restaurants, has been a virtual nightmare since the upheaval of the credit markets, over 16 months ago. Recently, an Atlanta area restaurant owner asked the sixty-four thousand dollar question, “when is it going to get better?” Shrugs abound. Well, sort-of. There’s still plenty of money available to lend to restaurant owners, it’s just that lenders and private equity groups are looking for any excuse to say “no.” Expectations are high on both ends of the spectrum, so much so, that bringing both the borrower and the lender together, even on the same planet, is often an enormous challenge.

“What we have found,” says Rebecca P. Watkins, CEM of National Restaurant Funding, “is that with ever-tightening guidelines on what is expected in order to get funding, small business owners still have a strong belief that the same rules that were in place in 2007 for borrowing exists today.”

However, those rules of very lax guidelines and “stated income” are no longer the norm. Even bridge loan funders insist on seeing a history of at least 3 years of financials. There must be 100% collateral in place for most loans, barring the SBA Express loans and Merchant Cash Advances. It is not a new way of lending, rather a systematic, less risky method of vetting a deal from all angles.

When loans are absolutely out of the question, a restaurant owner is limited on how he or she can infuse a business with working capital. There just isn’t a magic, fairy godmother lender out there that will swoop down from the heavens and bestow a credit-challenged, earning-declined restaurant with a working capital loan at prime-plus rate and no collateral. Most restaurants are under capitalized, at any given moment, by 2% to 20% and most launched their operations with a deficit in cash and struggle for years, if the location can stay open, to rebound.

“A viable alternative,” says Watkins, “is a merchant cash advance, and we’re still getting those done with relative ease and minimal paperwork requirements.”

While most small business owners have faced a nationwide trend drop in sales of 20% in the last year and a half, some restaurant owners have been able to increase cash flow by thinking smart and shedding unnecessary expenses. Sometimes scaling back isn’t enough to kick the business into high gear, though. That is where the injection of working capital, thought out intelligently, and factored in with a growth goal in mind, comes to the rescue of limping, often ailing businesses.

Funding sources, such as National Restaurant Funding provide professional analysis and expert advice to help restaurant owners get the funding they need. Watkins insists that businesses are still being funded, everyday, it just involves patience on the part of both the borrower and the lender to grasp the bigger picture.

“If a deal makes sense we can get it done,” says Watkins.

Contact: National Restaurant Funding –

National Restaurant Funding – SBA Express Loans

May 27, 2010 Atlanta, GA

National Restaurant Funding is pleased to offer SBA Express Loans. See our newest commercial:

National Restaurant Funding 2010 Video

Restaurant Outlook Improving

Improved restaurant results expected for 1Q – Sarah E. Lockyer (Nation’s Restaurant News) – excerpt

NEW YORK (April  19, 2010) Restaurant companies releasing first-quarter results in the weeks ahead are expected to report improved sales trends, continued cost controls and a heightened sense that an industry recovery has begun, according to securities analysts.

While severe winter weather hurt sales trends at many chains in January and February, consumer spending increased in March, leaving many in the industry with a bit of spring fever. Companies including Brinker International, California Pizza Kitchen and Yum! Brands already have said first-quarter results were better than expected just months ago.

Analysts said they expect the majority of restaurant companies to beat earnings expectations for the first quarter and to increase corporate profit guidance for the remainder of 2010.

“We expect mostly positive restaurant earnings over the next two weeks,” Joe Buckley, securities analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a note to investors on Friday. “Strengthening sales trends and favorable costs – lower food [and] labor costs benefiting from low employee turnover, and lingering benefits from cost reduction or cost control programs – are a solid combination for earnings.”….

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National Restaurant Funding Announces New SBA Funding Partners

by: The Fork & Spoon

December 1, 2009

National Restaurant Funding, a brokerage-based company of Restaurant Funding Specialists, announces 2009 fourth-quarter formed SBA lending partnerships to help ease the burden of seeking credit for its clients. Through its alliances with nationwide lending partners, National Restaurant Funding is now capable of dipping into a lower threshold funding amount for its clients seeking to open a new location, expand their businesses, acquire functioning restaurants, lease or purchase equipment, build out, or for working capital.

Itself held hostage to a tight credit market, National Restaurant Funding has weathered the year-long credit crisis, focusing primarily on quick, attainable, short term funding products to help ease the cash flow of its clients. “We have had to piecemeal most of our deals this past year; drawing working capital from one source, equipment leasing from another, and often relying on hard money loans just to get the doors open for a client. To say that we have had to be creative on a client’s behalf would be an understatement,” says Chief Executive Member, Rebecca P. Watkins of National Restaurant Funding LLC. “However, this tough economic time has only served to strengthen our resolve to better serve our clients. We are beyond excited to see the lenders slowly opening their doors to our type of client; typically an individual owner with fewer than ten locations.”

With restaurants, as employers, having such a huge impact on the GDP, Watkins feels that restaurants make sense even in harsh economic times. “Merely opening one full-service restaurant in a neighborhood can provide upwards of 30 to 40 jobs. And while we may be spending less per household on dining out; we’re still in love with the idea of service, quality and a great meal at our favorite restaurant,” remarks Watkins.

National Restaurant Funding serves restaurateurs with a pragmatic approach to each deal. If it makes sense to lenders then a deal often gets fast-tracked through the system. While a top-notch credit score is often the key to a successful deal completion for a client, National Restaurant Funding consults from a knowledge-based approach of knowing its clients; having a background in the restaurant and hospitality industry, and often using that skill set to help close the deal with a funding partner on a client’s behalf. National Restaurant Funding has its corporate offices in Atlanta, GA and in Anderson, SC and serves restaurant owners nationwide.

To Contact National Restaurant Funding:

National Restaurant Funding LLC 2413

Northview Ave Anderson, SC 29625

Corp: 877-440-4582

Today’s Restaurant Announces March 2010 Georgia Edition

December 3, 2009

by The Fork & Spoon

Florida based Today’s Restaurant, the Fooodservice industry newspaper, with long held ties to Florida and Texas Restaurant professionals has announced its launch into Georgia’s rich restaurant market with a hardcopy and online edition coming in early March, 2010.

For more information regarding the much anticipated Georgia edition, contact the corporate offices of Today’s Restaurant at 561-620-8888. Ad space is being reserved now.

The New Face of Restaurant Funding – When Banks Won’t Lend

by Rebecca P. Watkins, Chief Executive Member

National Restaurant Funding LLC

October 8, 2009

Today’s restaurant owner is restricted to just a handful of funding products to meet the demands of cash flow. Since the credit markets began their crunch in earnest in the fall of 2008, the choices an existing busy restaurant owner has for funding his or her restaurant has become downright satirical. The once reliable sources of credit cards, small commercial business loans, even once guaranteed merchant cash advances have all become increasingly more difficult to obtain and have since put the fledgling restaurant owner in a daily position of fighting for his or her business life.

The need for worthwhile, best-rate funding is being bemoaned on all levels, from the vendor who cannot get the next great piece of equipment to the merchant because of funding constraints, or the marketing firm that continues to provide services to the restaurant owner despite being owed for previous campaigns, or to the restaurant owner, himself. The current band-aid approach to funding does not necessarily serve the long-term interest of the restaurant owner, but is the current state of affairs as banks continue to cherry pick their deals.

However, restaurant owners, at the least, can expect to be subject to higher rates and lower payback terms, thereby spreading the risk to all parties involved in a funding transaction. The funders are no longer willing to overlook a weak credit score and stated income. Those days are long gone. Moreover, independent restaurant owners no longer stand alone in the quest for much-needed funding. Franchisees, who had always fallen back on their corporation for support in lean times have fallen prey to the credit crisis, as well.

What’s a strapped restaurant owner to do? Piece-milling funding has become the new wave as more financial institutions seem less interested in traveling down a long, arduous path to payback terms than in years past. Restaurant owners who are fortunate enough to get the doors open do have some limited choices available for funding as long as they get some time under their belt. With less than a year in business a restaurant owner can expect to be confined to equipment leasing, to some vendor credit extensions, and to some forms of merchant cash advances.  These three options are a fair trade when considered that seven out of every ten restaurants fail within the first three years of business. After a benchmark year in business, a restaurant owner can then expect to utilize his business as collateral and then be considered for some short term loan products, as well. Again, keeping in mind that credit score does play a critical role in approval.

Still, there is no one magic bullet for funding. The government has launched SBA programs that lenders are just not participating in, and while the funding institutions are taking a wait and see approach, restaurant owners are struggling with quick-fix, high rate funding products simply because there is nothing else available. The days of long term commercial funding for restaurants has come to a screeching halt. So, as the credit markets continue to freeze out viable business owners, those cottage funding sources such as merchant cash advance companies, equipment leasing companies, and short term loan funders can be seen as the only funding sources that currently serve the busy restaurant owner.

Contact Information:
Rebecca Watkins

National Restaurant Funding Launches “Grand Opening” Cash Advance Products

National Restaurant Funding Launches "Grand Opening" Cash Advance Products

July 14, 2009 – Rebecca Watkins

National Restaurant Funding is pleased to offer its newest funding products; a “Grand Opening Cash Advance”, which is paid back as a small daily draft from credit card batches, and a “Start Up POS Purchase Advance”, which is also paid back as a small daily draft from an owner’s credit card receivables. The Grand Opening Cash Advance can be used for virtually any reason related to the restaurant, while the POS Purchase Advance is used solely for the purchase of POS equipment, software and installation.

Most restaurants are under-capitalized by 2% to 20% from the moment the doors open and it is often a struggle to make up the difference, sometimes leading to a restaurant’s failure. Now, with the offering of these two products, restaurant owners can be assured of additional funding resources. When traditional funding products are evaporating daily, its is comforting to know that funders are still working to provide timely funding products for restaurant owners. Both of these products are ideal to individual restaurant owners and franchisees, but may not go in alongside one another.

For more information regarding National Restaurant Funding’s products and services, please contact its corporate offices at: 877-440-4582.

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SBA Arc Loan – Just Around The Corner

Rebecca P. Watkins – The Fork & Spoon

(June 3, 2009)

America’s Recovery Capital Loan Progam or “Arc” for short, will be available sometime in the month of June, 2009 and is designed to provide short-term relief to small businesses facing tough, financial hardships. Limited to just one Arc loan per business, the maximum amount of $35,000 is intended to provide debt relief for a viable business that might be suffering from one of the following issues: declining sales in revenue, difficulty in making loan payments on existing debt, difficulty in paying employees, difficulty in purchasing materials, supplies & inventory, and paying rent or other operational expenses.  

Borrowers whose loans are already severely delinquent or whose past performance or future cash flow indicates that the business is not viable are not good candidates for an ARC loan. More information regarding the SBA Small Business ARC Loan will be made available as details unfold.