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Sushi Restaurant Loans: Financing Options for Sushi Restuarants

Funding Options for Sushi Restaurants

What may be the first time sushi was ever mentioned in print can be found in a fourth century Chinese dictionary describing how salted fish being placed in cooked rice, caused a fermentation process. The technique of using fermented rice as a fish preservative can be traced back to Southeast Asia several centuries ago. Thus, when rice begins to ferment, lactic acid bacilli are formed. The acid, along with salt, creates a reaction that slows down the bacterial growth in fish, referencing the process known as pickling and what allows sushi to be sushi. So, over many centuries sushi has become widespread and globally distributed with advances in refrigeration and a thriving post-war economy. Additionally, the first U.S. city to embrace sushi restaurants was Los Angeles; catering to celebrities, it cemented its spot in American cuisine as we see it today. Even so, sushi restaurants continue to evolve introducing new ingredients and methods that are sure to keep food enthusiast coming back for more.

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Hence the future of the famous Japanese cuisine is emerging around such leading trends like sushi burritos, donuts, and elaborate sushi rolls. Experts within sushi based companies and restaurants are leaning away from typical starchy rice dishes and limited selections and are now shooting for innovative sushi options. Moreover, a popular trend for Sushi restaurants has been serving meals on a conveyor belt. This feature has been well-known in Japan and has now been included in U.S. restaurants within in the last few years. Also known as sushi trains, these types of restaurants serve sushi by placing different kinds of rolls and other sushi dishes on plates that move along through the restaurant past guests with the assistance of conveyor belts. Guests can pick out the dishes they want as they move by and they are later charged according to their (empty) plate selection. For example, the Los Angeles restaurant called Blue Sushi applies the conveyor belt method by then charging the guests by the color of the plates they picked out. Blue Sushi specifically costs $2.75 for yellow plates, $3.75 for blue plates and so forth. It is indeed one of the most popular and fun trends hitting the sushi restaurant market.

Additionally, Poke has made its way into American Sushi restaurants. It is a Hawaiian specialty that consists of fresh cut raw fish, sauces and other fresh ingredients served in the form of a salad. Although, the traditional seasonings used on Poke are influenced by Japanese and Asian cuisines such as soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. It has since become widely popular in the U.S. within the last few years, most notably in cities all over California and it is gradually making its way around North America. One sushi restaurant in particular called Ling & Louie’s serves Poke Tacos made with wok-seared sashimi-grade ahi, onions, and cabbage all topped with spicy aioli and Asian salsa. An example of a Poke inspired dish setting the trend in many Sushi food establishments. Lastly of the major food trends surfacing are sushi burritos, burgers, tacos, doughnuts, and fruit sushi. With the tacos, they add a bit of crunch to the mix, and chili subs in for wasabi. Some example dishes are grilled sea bass tacos with octopus, crab, and greens, or squid-ink tostadas with octopus. However, one of the more surprising trends may have to be the sushi doughnut. Reportedly invented by Project Poke in California, the doughnut-shaped rice rolls are filled with a center of sushi ingredients and topped with thoroughly placed pieces of fresh fish, avocado, and cucumber.

Then we have sushi burgers; taking the form of a traditional American burger, replacing the bun with a similar shaped sticky rice and the middle filled with lettuce, a sauce, and choice of fish. Still, the most peculiar out of the trends have to be mixing fruit with fish for an added sweetness utilizing fresh produce. Some sushi restaurants offer mango, strawberries, and even kiwi fruit, seared with a blowtorch. Meanwhile, at an establishment in Las Vegas, they serve their Poke bowls inside a whole pineapple—infusing two new trends in one. To tie in all the fresh food developments found in sushi restaurants in 2018, we cannot forget the push for even healthier options; which may seem redundant when considering consumers usually regard sushi as healthy. People have found a new way to reduce even more calories with a push for low-carb sushi. That means rice has been replaced with substitutes like cauliflower rice, a wrapping of peeled cucumber, kimchi, whey protein, egg, or spinach wraps. For consumers thinking this alternative sounds like a tragedy, on the bright side, you get a larger serving of fish. Thus, Sushi restaurants continue to evolve and gain popularity with traditional and new dishes emerging year after year.

Types of Sushi Restaurant Loans

There are many financing options for sushi restaurants looking to obtain capital for business operations offered by thousands of business lenders. These loan uses include acquisitions, expansion, working capital, real estate purchases and refinancing, operating expenses, debt consolidation and debt refinancing among others. Below we will take a look at the major funding options for sushi restaurants looking for a business loan.

Bank Restaurant Loans

Bank business loans are the most cost-effective form of business financing. Additionally, bank business term loans are often the longest terms available for small businesses such as Sushi restaurants. Bank term loans for Sushi restaurants are used for just about any use, including acquisitions, purchasing real estate, working capital, hiring employees, equipment purchases, etc.

Rates 5-15%
Terms 1-30 years
Funding Amounts $50,000-$5,000,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs


Bank Line of Credit

Bank lines of credit are a form of preapproved financing for small businesses (including sushi restaurants) that allow the business to draw of funds without having to seek further approval from the lender. Bank lines of credit are mainly used for working capital and other operating purposes.

Rates 8-12%
Terms 1-3 years
Funding Amounts $10,000-$500,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs


Unsecured Line of Credit

An unsecured line of credit is like a bank line of credit, in that once you are approved, you don’t have to seek further approval from a lender to access the funds. The difference between a bank line of credit (which is often secured) and an unsecured restaurant line of credit is that the unsecured line of credit won’t need collateral such as business and personal assets. But to qualify for an unsecured Sushi line of credit, you’ll need exceptional personal credit.

Rates 0% for 12 months
Terms 1-2 years
Funding Amounts $10,000-$500,000
Collateral Not be Required
Fees Medium costs


SBA Restaurant Loans

There are many sushi restaurants (and other small businesses) that have good credit, good revenue and are profitable, but are still unable to get approved for a loan from conventional business lenders. A good option for a sushi restaurant that is facing this scenario would be to apply for a loan administered by the Small Business Administration. A SBA loan isn’t a loan provided by the government, instead the loan is originated by a bank or other conventional lender, and the U.S. government agrees to cover most of the lenders’ losses should the sushi restaurant fail to fully-repay their loan. By offering this loan guarantee it should, in theory, encourage lenders to provide financing to small businesses they normally wouldn’t lend to.

Rates 5-8%
Terms 3-25 years
Funding Amounts $50,000-$5,000,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs


Restaurant Equipment Leasing

There are multiple options available for sushi restaurants looking to obtain equipment for their restaurants. While some restaurant owners may look to obtain a loan to purchase their business equipment outright, other sushi restaurant owners may look to lease their business equipment. An advantage of leasing equipment over purchasing is that the business doesn’t need to pay the full-cost of the equipment upfront to obtain it.

Rates 8-20%
Terms 1-10 years
Funding Amounts $10,000-$5,000,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs


Restaurant Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance is a quick way to obtain working capital without having to produce much paperwork. A restaurant cash advance (often referred to as a MCA loan) is the sale of future revenue to a funding company in exchange for an immediate lumpsum of cash at a discount to the funder. Often, a sushi restaurant will look to sell future merchant credit card revenue in exchange for cash, but there are also ACH options that allow you to sell future business bank account revenue. When future merchant credit card sales are purchased by the funding company, they will collect repayment by taking a percent of each day’s credit card sales. When a sale of revenue of business bank accounts are made, repayments happen through Automated Clearing House transactions each business day from the business bank account.

Rates 1.10 – 1.50
Terms 3-24 months
Funding Amounts $2,500-$500,000
Collateral Not required
Fees Medium costs


As you can see there are plenty of loan options available to sushi restaurants seeking financing for their business. With such an array of funding options available, its important to know your options, and weigh the benefits vs the cons to make sure you get the most affordable financing available. If you’re a sushi restaurant owner currently looking for financing and need help understanding your options, please reach-out to one of our funding specialists, and we’ll help you get the best financing available.

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About the author
Domonique Cox

Domonique is a Minnesota native that earned her bachelors from The University of Arizona with a degree in English and Film Studies. Though books and writing are not her only interest, you can find her engaging in nutritional sciences, environmentalism, vegan cuisine, filmmaking, old school dancing, tennis, running, sound engineering, and enjoying satirical dark comedies or listening to the poetic lyrics of Bob Dylan. She is now based in Los Angeles as a content writer for GUD Capital where she spends her spare time honing her writing and directing skills. 

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