The question “how much does it cost to open a restaurant in Australia?’ isn’t always easy to answer as there are many factors involved. But we can conclude that on average, restaurant owner usually spends around A$650,000 establishing a restaurant.

Budgeting Guide for Opening a Small Restaurant in Australia

Every kind of business requires a budget plan. A restaurant is no exception. Any business person, especially those in the hotel industry or seeking to set up a small restaurant in Australia, needs to know the fundamental costs they will incur. A budget plan is important since it prevents the owners from overspending.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Small Restaurant?

Opening a small restaurant in Australia may sound expensive without a budget plan, yet it is not. In your restaurant startup cost checklist, there are those expenses that you must consider such as restaurant site, renovation, equipment, décor, and permits.

1. Restaurant Site

There are many factors to be considered when choosing a restaurant site in Australia. No restaurant owner wants to set up their business where there is no flow of customers or their target audience. At the end of the day, there should be a profit. The size of the site should also be considered concerning the size of the restaurant. The amenities available around, such as parking space, should also be considered. It is wise to have many options to choose from so that you can select one based on your budget.

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2. Renovation, Equipment and Décor

Starting a restaurant needs a lot of renovations, especially in the kitchen and guests areas. Since you are opening a new restaurant, the costs of equipment and renovations must be considered. In Australia, the competition is very high, so the finishing should be attractive to customers. The cost of renovations and equipment could go up to A$15,000.

Some business owners prefer working with interior designers to enhance the creativity of the désign. This could be expensive, but for a small restaurant, you can come up with the designs to save on cost. Good lighting, attractive colours, and some plants in the restaurant will look good. Choose an interior design that is in line with your brand. Interior designers charge different rates.  You may have to pay between A$77 and A$100 per hour. The prices will be higher for bigger names. Those who have been featured in magazines or a large-scale project.

Restaurants can require very large investments on the venue’s design and interior fit out. On average, restaurant fit out cost in Australia is between A$150 and A$2,500 per square metre, with costs varying according to the quality of materials used, construction costs, and other factors.

3. Manpower

This includes salaries, wages, taxes, commissions, and permits. A small restaurant will require a maximum of 8 employees. The salaries of each employee will vary according to the kind of work they are given and the experience level. Each employee can earn about A$4,000-5,000 per month. For you to be on the good side of the government, you require permits.

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4. Marketing and PR

Australia is a very digitised country. Therefore, social media will be an effective strategy to market your restaurant. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will cost you very little to promote your restaurant and reach your audience. Roadside advertising, banners and print media are also very helpful. Both marketing and PR expenses could amount to A$15,000 per year. Of course, you can adjust your budget at any time if things change.

5. Contingency

Things can go wrong during renovations. You may discover you need materials that you had not budgeted for. It is very important to have extra capital for such emergencies. Contingency rent can also be a business saver, and it should preferably cover six months. Have at least A$50,000 for these unexpected costs.

Here are some tips to help you avoid overspending:

. You should only use technology that is useful for the restaurant. It is best to use an online ordering system to save on money.

. Consider buying second-hand equipment with minimal wear and tear which will cost less than new equipment.

. Invest in energy-efficient equipment.

. Consider bulk-purchasing and buying foodstuffs in instalments to avoid food spoilage.

. Try to plan your menu daily to maximize profits.


How much does it cost to open a restaurant? Is a question many ask, in Australia is a huge commitment which requires insight into the start-up and running costs. The hospitality industry is very competitive, hence you require skills on how to manage expenses and maximize on profits. If you are thinking of opening a small restaurant, having a budget plan should be the first step. Without a budget plan, you can end up mismanaging your funds.

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