Independent restaurants are increasingly using merchant cash advances in an attempt to keep ahead of the competition posed by chains and franchises, according to financial services provider 365 Business Finance.
The funder revealed a 100% rise in demand for its services this year to date, as restaurants and pubs seek cash advances to expand, refurbish, redevelop and invest.
The firm’s managing director, Andrew Rapahely, said he believed the current state of the casual dining sector – which saw 120 closures in London alone last year – was a driving force behind this increase.
He said: “Gone are the days of 2015 and 2016 when there were three new restaurant openings for every closure. Many new concepts have failed, whereas the tried-and-tested businesses have fared much better.
“The need for business funding has increased due to rising costs and a requirement to take a competitive edge – be that through expansion, redevelopment and refurbishment, or investment in staff and training. The closures of homogenous chains in the casual dining sector, such as Prezzo, Carluccio’s and Jamie’s Italian, have given the independents an opportunity to get a stronger foothold in the sector.
He added that independent restaurants could gain an advantage due to the fact their customers value the personal approach, knowing that their food is locally sourced and that the “restaurant is part of the community, not a corporate machine.”
The firm claimed that many restaurants and pubs are turned down by high street banks or are required to secure loans against their business or property, supply business plans and commit to lengthy terms.
Conversely, a merchant cash advance from 365 Business Finance is designed to match businesses’ cash flows, with repayments taken as a small percentage of debit and credit card sales, so they only pay back the funding when they are paid by customers.
Joel Braham, founder of The Good Egg restaurant, said, “The merchant cash advance from 365 Business Finance helped a huge amount. Cash is key in this business, when you’re buying food and have set payment terms, you have VAT costs, PAYE increasing with more staff – on any day there’s a huge amount of money going in and out of the business, so keeping on top of that can be hard. You can prepare for these things but there are some times when you need help and I think the merchant cash advance is great.
“It was straightforward to set up – all the hard work is taken care of for you and you get your card payments in your bank account in exactly the same way. If you can demonstrate that your business is operating and generating card sales, then it’s a simple, short process.”
365 Business Finance is a direct financial provider, offering a merchant cash advance product to small and medium sized businesses across the United Kingdom that are looking for unsecured business funding of up to £200,000.