How Much Money Does It Take to Start a Small Restaurant in New York City?

  • The economy plays a huge role in how much you’ll need for start-up costs. Rents and salaries usually sway with economic conditions. Your initial start-up costs can vary widely; no two restaurants and business plans are the same. Each area in New York is vastly different as well. For example, start-up costs for a small Brooklyn restaurant were $450,000 for one restaurateur featured in Forbes and closer to $120,000 for a small eatery in the Brookside neighborhood. According to successful New York restaurateur David Chang, expect to pay anywhere from an average of $300,000 for a small, comfortable restaurant in the city and up to $10 million for a four-star establishment. Once you find space and sign a lease, you’ve got to consider renovations to update the kitchen and dining room. Equipment, staples, food and salaries for the first few months come out of your initial investment. Advertising, signs and marketing are important items that need to be included in your start-up budget. And just like most any construction project, costs usually exceed your expectations.