5 Expenses I Wasn’t Prepared For When Opening My Restaurant

These are 5 expenses I wasn’t prepared for when opening my restaurant, let’s just get right into it.


I did not understand the cost of permitting.

This one also isn’t just about money, but the time it takes. Now I know this is going to differ from state to state and city to city, but Los Angeles did not make anything easy. It was costly and took 6 months to get all approvals to even be allowed to swing a hammer, and that was expedited.

This will cost you time, and a lot of money if your lease wasn’t well negotiated.

Hood System

On top of a $50K install to run the ducts and install the hood system, I had to also purchase a hood system, something I don’t know anything about.

My GC was not helpful through this purchase and in the end I have one of the noisiest hoods on the market in my restaurant today. Oh, and it was another $16K for the whole unit.



Now not everyone is going to run into this problem, but I went pretty big on the concept and lighting inside the restaurant.

For the design and lights alone it cost a lot more! Like $13K more. This was also an expense that was not clearly communicated throughout the whole process.


Hand sinks, mop sinks, prep sinks, bathroom sinks, faucets, sprayer, toilets, purse hooks, coat hooks, mirrors, and urinals all add up! Don’t forget tables, stools, and chairs!

Be prepared, if you’re doing a full build-out, to make sure you budget all the fixtures.

Small Ware

Spatulas, cambros, 1/6 pan, 1/3 pan, hotel pans, skillets, stockpots, garbage cans, mops, brooms it alllllll adds up. It’s in the small things that you forget what you need.

Make sure you put together a detailed list when budgeting of EVERYTHING, BIG AND SMALL, that you will need.


Love, crust, and pizza dust,

Alex Koons

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