Kissing money ... Goodbye!

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Kissing money ... Goodbye! Why starting a restaurant in Sydney is so expensive

A recent article in the SMH was titled "Why starting a restaurant in Sydney is so expensive" and opened with the statement that "Opening a restaurant in Sydney requires about half a million dollars in building and fit-out and the ability to swallow six months of operational losses, industry insiders say."

The article also highlighted 'typical' Sydney restaurant's opening costs.

  • • Kitchen fit-out: $100,000-$300,000
  • • Dining space fit-out: $50,000-$200,000
  • • Airconditioning, lighting, plumbing etc if required: $50,000 each
  • • Building costs: $80,000-$300,000
  • • Rental deposit: $30,000
  • • Cooking and dining equipment: $15,000-$50,000
  • • Alcohol licence and alcohol management plan: $5500
  • • Initial food and alcohol supply: $5000
  • • Utilities: $3000 a quarter
  • • Public liability and shop insurance: $4000

Source: Restaurateurs, architects and online sources plus SMH article.

Is it possible to spend less?


Here are a couple of tips to help you save money on your startup costs.

Look for a recently closed restaurant in the area you want. Even if the inside has been totally gutted you will be able to benefit from savings in plumbing costs, the grease trap and perhaps even the kitchen exhaust canopy and ducting. If you can you may have already potentially saved more than $50,000.

If you know what equipment you need and have researched this thoroughly then look to the auctions. Restaurants are closing all the time and often the equipment finishes up on the auction floor, maybe even as a 'lot'. Done correctly you have the ability to save thousands of dollars in your kitchen equipment costs.

Some of our clients have done this over the years and they literally saved up to 80% of the cost of buying new and the equipment was less than 6 months old.


Make sure that you are aware of how old this equipment actually is when you inspect it, as stainless steel appliances can look timeless. If you can find serial numbers, maybe take a minute to call the brand supplier and see if they can help ascertain the age.

The same strategy could be applied to buying your restaurant furniture, dramatically reducing these costs as well.

Operational costs

Whatever your budget is, it is unrealistic to expect that you will be profitable from day one. You do need to have money set aside to keep your restaurant operational while you build up momentum.

Additionally, you will need money to market and advertise your restaurant once you are open.

For best results, this money should be kept seperate from your building costs. Just to keep it safe!

Rent, Try, Buy

Using industry specialty finance like 'Silverchef' helps spread your establishment costs down to a weekly payment amount, rather than outlaying the entire amount up front. There are a couple of options inside the Rent, Try Buy package after the first 12 months.

Silverchef also have a 'Buy Back' program where

Let us do the hard work and source the right equipment for your Restaurant or Commercial Kitchen

Our goal at SCK is to sell you products that add value to your business.

We power your kitchen!

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Sydney Commercial Kitchens