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.

For more info:

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.

The Business of Commercial Photography for Your Restaurant

Rebecca P. Watkins – The Fork & Spoon

(May 27, 2009)

Located in Plainview, Long Island – a mere 40 minutes from NYC – Brenner Photo Productions is an expansive 10,000 square foot photo studio that is a complete, full-service set up. As a one-stop, end-to-end digital photography and photo production solution, Brenner sets itself apart from competitors by providing both in-house and onsite services. What this means to the discriminating restaurant owner is top notch photography services enhanced by four state-of-the-art digital photography stations complete with Leaf and Phase-1 technology and Hassleblad cameras and optics. The photography stations are supported by an extensive Mac-driven production department, which is unparalleled in the industry. Brenner frequently shoots on assignment and on location specializing in not just food and beverages, but architectural, facility and portrait imaging. Brenner is prepared to handle the most challenging of assignments with a keen and respectful eye on the restaurant owner’s bottom line. Images can be posted on Brenner’s FTP site, where they can be downloaded, reviewed or approved conveniently in real time. 

Understanding the necessity and usage of quality, appetizing food photos is paramount to the restauranteur seeking to invite a steady stream of clientele. After all, the best representation of a great meal to come is a professional food photo that is strategically placed on a menu or marketing piece. This type of food-branding is not new in the industry but is only best-served by a select group of skilled professionals that understand the nuances of shadowing or how a plated dish should look to the consuming eye. With Jay Brenner’s funky, artful eye to detail, the end result is an appealing representation of food at its culinary best.

Alan Benasaraf, Sales & Marketing with Brenner, stresses the importance of Brenner’s flexibility for the client. If a restaurant owner or chef chooses to prepare his or her dishes at Brenner’s in-house kitchen and have the photos taken there, or if the restaurant owner chooses to have a photographer stop by an individual location for an on-site photo shoot, Brenner can accommodate. 

Brenner Photo Productions
125 Newtown Road
Plainview, NY 11803
Contact: Alan Benasaraf, Sales & Marketing


Chains Four Times More Likely to Fail – New Study Finds

Excerpt nrn…

Chains 4x more likely to fail, new study finds By ELISSA ELAN SOUTHLAND, Mich.

(May 18, 2009 )

U.S. chain restaurants are four times more likely to fail this year than they were a year ago, and as many as 40 percent of them could face cash flow problems over the next year, a study conducted by business consulting firm AlixPartners has found. (link to full article)

Restaurant Owners Twitter to New and Old Customers

Rebecca P. Watkins – The Fork & Spoon

(May 22, 2009)

Marketing a restaurant business has always been a delicate balance of expression of artistry in food, word-of-mouth, and hard dollars spent in traditional media venues. Of course the advent of the Internet has led to unlimited paths a restaurant owner can take in order to reach his or her target dining customer. And even more recently, Twittering has become a quick, somewhat personal way a restaurant owner can reach a client with few words yet still convey a nice nod of acknowledgment to loyal diners, in particular. It is not all uncommon to read what’s being served on the menu or how an owner is wrestling with the quality of his twitpics as in the case of Quinn Hatfield of Hatfield’s in Los Angeles, CA, or how Steven with Claire’s Restaurant & Bar in Harwick,VT is making farm-to-table a delicious trend, or how Chef Maher at Steel in Atlanta, GA is offering Twitter-only coupons. 

Restaurant owners, and the hands-on chef in particular, are limited to the constraints of their locations – spending more time on average than the traditional worker just meeting the demands of a regular day. Time is a commodity and having the ability to pick up a PDA and quickly reach a slew of loyal customers in a matter of seconds is priceless. It is no longer just about the quality of the food, it is about the message, as well. It is as easy as merely “following” your local restaurant on Twitter to take advantage of specials, new dishes, and what’s inside your favorite chef’s head.

National Restaurant Funding Approves Fast-Cash Deals Up To $7500 – Same Day

Rebecca P. Watkins – Fork & Spoon

(May 21, 2009)

National Restaurant Funding can same-day approve its new Fast-Cash program for restaurant owners who might not be eligible with any other type of funding. With the same day approval an anxious restaurant owner can be assured of getting funding in as few as 3 business days with little regard to credit issues. In order to qualify, a restaurant owner must be averaging at least $4500 in Visa and Mastercard sales each month and have been been in business for at least six months. For more information regarding the Fast-Cash program an interested restaurant owner must contact National Restaurant Funding’s corporate offices at: 877-440-4582 or visit their website at: