GSM featured in Casual Dining Magazine

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

Our Head of Restaurant's Ben Wilmot was interviewed for Casual Dining Magazine's December issue on finance options available to restauranteurs in an increasingly tough climate. The article also featured some kind words from one of our clients!

Read the article over on Casual Dining Magazines website, pages 34 to 39.

Read Ben's unedited article below:

At GSM Finance, we specialise in funding fit out costs to the casual dining sector to assist with new openings, refurbishment costs and expansion.

It is clear that is a very tough climate for restaurateurs who want to borrow at the moment and this is a due to a number of reasons, primarily:

The recent spate of big brands entering CVAs has terrified banks, these have occurred predominantly to allow operators to close down poorly performing sites after ill thought out, aggressive expansion plans.   What’s more, the nation’s palate has changed significantly over the last couple of years with the rise in street food and more authentic offerings - these big chains haven’t.

Rent and rate rises have obviously crippled businesses whether they are loss-making or profitable.  The lack of support from the government has been incredulous despite Philip Hammond’s recent token gesture in his budget to support small businesses.

Brexit has devalued the pound, increasing the cost of importing goods and retaining & employing staff is getting harder and harder.

The result is that is now even harder to get a bank to support a sector which it has always shied away from.  The thing is, that a bank loan is not really the best option available to a restaurateur (assuming you can even get one) and there are some much smarter options available to you.

Crowd funding is great if you’re happy to sell some equity and at early stage this makes a lot of sense as the public are still keen to get support brands they like and are not fully qualified underwriters. 

If you’re happy to pay a high interest rate, you can borrow against future sales from your card takings.  It’s a pretty straightforward way of releasing cash though you may still need to offer additional security.

Then there is leasing, which is where I come in.  This, often overlooked and misunderstood tool for funding a restaurant fit out is becoming more and more popular in the sector.  I can’t keep up with demand at the moment and here’s why... You can finance a whole fit out through our panel of lenders through either Hire Purchase or Finance Lease, the same sort of thing as you’d buy a car with.  Most people think that we can only finance tangible, removable items such as kitchen equipment or furniture.