April 05, 2024

18 Ways to Start a Restaurant in Australia Without Money in 2024

Starting a restaurant is exciting but hard work. You need to think about where it will be, what food you’ll serve, who will work there, and how you’ll tell people about it. Before you start, you must get the right permits and licences and make a business plan. Making your restaurant stand out and planning how to promote it are important, too. One big question is how to start a restaurant with no money? This article will give you ideas on how to find money to start your restaurant. For more help on starting a food business, check out our complete guide.

1. Launch a virtual restaurant and sell food online from your home

Virtual restaurants, also called ghost kitchens or dark kitchens, solely provide delivery or takeout without a physical store. Check out our guide if you’re considering starting one. A vital part of a virtual restaurant’s online presence is having a website. Learn how to create a restaurant website with our simple guide.

2. Start with a pop-up restaurant

A pop-up restaurant is a temporary dining spot set up in places like bars or empty buildings. Launching a restaurant in such a spot without upfront costs is advantageous, offering chefs a chance to experiment with menu ideas.

3. Go into the food truck business

Consider a food truck instead of opening a restaurant or doing home catering. Startup costs are lower, especially with a used truck. It’s an excellent opportunity for newcomers to the food industry to learn and gain experience.

4. Become a partner of a restaurant service provider

Consider partnering with a restaurant service provider instead of immediately starting a food business with no funds. For example, become an affiliate partner with UpMenu and earn by recommending their food ordering system to restaurants. Through networking and referrals, you can generate additional income for each restaurant that adopts the system, potentially increasing your savings over time.

5. Begin in a shared kitchen

Start your restaurant journey in a shared kitchen to secure funds for your startup. Shared kitchens, like us at Chef Collective Australia, offer essential resources and support to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their food businesses by providing:


CCTV-monitored, staff locker area, receiving & loading dock, shared prep area, staff break room, restrooms, mop wash, access control, lift connecting two floors, cosy dine-in space, and self-ordering kiosk.


Order pickup & processing, courier handoff, cleaning & maintenance, safety & health inspections, extraction and ventilation, pest control, waste disposal, grease trap cleaning, waste line cleaning, air conditioning cleaning, exhaust system cleaning, and fire protection and suppression system maintenance.


Compartment sink, hand sink, commercial hood, power and gas, water heating, grease trap/interceptor, cold & freezer storage, dry storage.


Gas points, power outlets, high-power lighting, cold & hot water lines, gas/fire safety system, WiFi, trash/recycle, Ethernet connections.

6. Apply for a business loan

Considering starting a restaurant without money? A business loan can be a secure option, although the process may take weeks or months. Apply early, review terms upon approval, and consider details like interest rates and repayment schedules. In Australia, you can apply for a business loan through various financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

7. Apply for business grants

Consider business grants as an additional funding option. Grants have specific requirements, so thorough research is essential to find the right fit. Be prepared for potential denials,remain resilient and continue seeking opportunities to improve your business. in Australia, seek business grants from government departments, local councils, industry associations, and private organisations.

8. Consider applying for a loan from non-bank lenders

Consider non-bank lenders for loans, a growing trend in financing. These lenders, whether traditional or non-bank, cater to the unique needs of the restaurant industry, simplifying the process. However, scrutinise the terms and conditions carefully. While convenient, it also poses risks.

9. Consider unsecured small business lending for financing your restaurant purchase.

Consider unsecured small business lending for restaurant financing, ideal for those with limited initial capital. Unlike secured loans, unsecured loans rely on the buyer’s personal creditworthiness, eliminating the need for business assets as collateral.

10: Exploring HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) in Australia

A HELOC in Australia enables homeowners to access funds based on their home equity. It’s a secured loan option suitable for financing restaurant ventures, offering variable interest rates and flexible repayment terms. Consult Australian banks for tailored HELOC options.

11. Consider Superannuation funds for business start-ups

Consider using your superannuation funds or retirement savings to start your business aspirations. Remember, using your super to start a business is a complex and risky decision. Still, it can also be a great opportunity to access the capital you need to realise your entrepreneurial dreams. 

12. Consider finding a private investor

Private investors, including business angels and venture capital firms, often invest in restaurants by purchasing ownership shares at a predetermined value. When pitching to an angel investor, a compelling restaurant pitch is crucial, given the high-risk nature of food service businesses.

13. Reviewing a peer-to-peer lending service

Explore peer-to-peer lending for restaurant financing. These platforms offer faster approvals and competitive rates compared to banks. However, note the higher risk of loan defaults.

14. Consider crowdfunding

Crowdfunding involves gathering small amounts from many individuals to support a project or business, often through online platforms or social media. Set a reasonable fundraising target and outline your restaurant idea and fund usage in your campaign.

15. Starting a home-based catering business

Start a home-based catering business to prepare food in your kitchen. Ensure compliance with local regulations, which may require using a commercial kitchen for cooking. Starting small with catering events helps assess if it aligns with your restaurant aspirations.

16. Speak to your landlord about expanding

Consider expanding your current location by discussing options with your landlord. If you find a suitable spot, approach them about enlarging the space, possibly offering shares in your restaurant for reduced fees. Ensure all agreements are clearly outlined in the contract.

17. Seek guidance from your local restaurant association

Seek support from your local restaurant association. They represent the industry’s interests and offer services like lobbying, training, research, networking, and marketing support to members.

18. Reduce operational costs

To lower costs, focus on food, labour, and rent, the main operational areas. Food costs, around 30% of sales, include ingredients and beverages. Labour, covering wages and staff, varies by size and wage laws. Rent, including space and utilities, is significant, especially in high-cost areas. Explore each area for savings, like table-side ordering to reduce labour costs and eliminate printed menus.

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