For some, owning a restaurant is a dream come true. Though restaurants are tons of work, they can also offer immediate gratification for those that love the work. Starting a restaurant is hard enough if you have the money to open it in the first place. But for those that have no money to back it up, the task at hand can take a little bit of creativity and tons of good hard work.
Start a Restaurant with No Money
Write a business plan. The plan should include the amount of money that you'll need to make weekly, monthly and yearly. It should include your overhead, or what it costs to run the restaurant. This includes paying staff, rent, utilities, cost of food and advertising.
Apply for a small business loan. Use the information that you gathered from writing the business plan to apply for enough money. Go to a bank with which you have done business in the past. Take time to fill out all the paperwork and include all the information requested. You should already have be knowledgeable of your income in order to fill out the forms.
Approach friends and family who you think might be interested in helping you. Present them with your business plan. Assign an amount of interest that you are willing to pay for the loan.
Approach a wealthy friend to be your partner in the business. Tell him that when the restaurant gets off the ground you'll pay him a certain amount in order to become a partner in the business.
Advertise cheaply. Once you have established loans to open the restaurant, it's time to advertise--and the cheapest way to do that is online. Build a website by either enlisting the help of a website-designing friend or by building your own using inexpensive website design software. Start a free blog about the restaurant. Send out specials about your restaurant via email throughout the week. Use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to advertise your restaurant.
Host tasting menu dinners at the restaurant to give people the incentive to come for dinner.
Host free wine or beer tastings once per week.