Running a Restaurant/insurance


Opening up a small hole in the wall cafe.  Doing proforma.  What would be a target for insurance on the concept and a rough targeted projected monthly utility cost.  Love this site.  thanks  jeff

Hi Jeff,

To give you an informed answer, I would need to know more.  Are you leasing the building?  If so, your insurance costs for the building will be limited to the contents rather than the structure.  But you will also need liability insurance.  Worker's Compensation insurance.  Lost earnings insurance for your business is optional, but a good idea.  Health insurance for employees (maybe, maybe not).  There are SO many variables that it is really hard to give you a number to budget.  Insurance premiums vary from state to state and location to location.  If you serve alcoholic beverages, it will impact your liability insurance, so there is another variable.

For a small cafe, only looking at insuring the contents and basic liability (assuming your worker's comp, etc.) will be included in a different category, I would estimate $600 monthly.  Of course, that is simply a baseline starting point.

As to the utilities, those can also vary greatly.  The very best way to estimate your utility bills for your business plan is to contact the utility companies and ask for historical billing info on the address where your cafe will be.  Most utility companies can provide you with the last twelve months' bills or at least an average monthly bill based upon the last twelve months.  Either way, this is the best method.

Jeff, we work with many, many independent restaurant start-ups across the country.  If there is anything we can do for you, please contact me.

Best of luck!

David Foster
Foster and Associates
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster


We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing etc.


I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 42 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry)

Attended Drury College, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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