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Opening a restaurant is the dream for many Americans. After all, running your own business is aspirational, and a restaurant allows you creativity and the ability to make something truly your own. Additionally, opening a restaurant benefits many more than just the restaurant owners themselves. An estimated 11% of all employment opportunities in Tennessee, for example, is sourced from restaurants and other food service jobs.

However, opening a restaurant can be tricky, and often requires a lot of capital to begin with. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can open a restaurant for less money. Let’s dive into them below!

1. Buy A Former Restaurant

The restaurant industry is competitive, and in many ways, it is not only less expensive but easier to buy a former restaurant. Used restaurants may come with much of the equipment that you would need to buy when opening a restaurant “from scratch”. If you aren’t able to buy a closed restaurant and re-open it with your own branding, you can still seek out used restaurant equipment.

2. Try A Soft Opening

Much of the cost associated with opening a restaurant has to do with advertising. You need to get as many people interested in your opening as possible. A good way to get attention for your restaurant without spending quite as much on advertising is by having a soft opening. Not only can this get the attention of locals, who will ideally spread the word of mouth about your restaurant; it also allows you to identify and work out any minor issues before the official opening.

3. Utilize Social Media

Again, you can cut down on your advertising costs in a big way if you’re resourceful. Use free social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your restaurant. You may also want to use Facebook rather than paying for an official, individual website; these websites often aren’t necessary for restaurants, as diners rely on social media for reviews.

4. Wait On Your Liquor License

Liquor licenses are expensive and can take time to acquire. While waiting, serve beer and wine. You can collect a good deal of money from these products while saving both time and money.

Remember: the restaurant industry is competitive but potentially accessible. The more you save money while opening, the easier it will be for you to maintain them.