Opening a fine dining establishment is very capital and labor intensive. The upscale restaurant business plan must provide for every contingency. Experienced restaurant managers, kitchen staff and food servers must be as excellent as the food.

Research and planning is the key to successfully operating a restaurant that offers fine dining. The location of an exclusive restaurant is as important as the menu. The interior of an upscale restaurant should be professionally design by an interior designer that caters to upscale dinner guest.

Kitchen Equipment

How much it costs to start a posh restaurant depends not only on the dishes; the finest pots, pans and kitchen equipment can be quite costly. A single espresso machine is more than $5,000. Food processors and other kitchen equipment in a chic restaurant can cost $100,000.

The ingredients used to prepare food in a fashionable restaurant are more expensive than those of a neighborhood restaurant or a restaurant franchise.


People who eat at fine dining restaurants expect valet parking. Chic restaurants are generally not located in working class neighborhoods. It can be very expensive to to transform vacant land into a parking lot.

Paying the parking staff at a fancy restaurant can run several hundred dollars per day. No parking lot can exist without insurance. The cost to insure a parking lot--not to mention the restaurant itself--is expensive.

Fine Food

Restaurants must deal with food-cost issues. Exclusive restaurants serve fine foods prepared by well-paid chefs and cooks.

Fine foods are often flown in from locations outside of the state or country. The cost of fine food served in a fancy restaurant can be three times greater than that of a restaurant franchise. A steak dinner at a franchise may run $25.00, while a steak dinner at an upscale restaurant can cost twice as much.

Fine Wine

Those opening a fine restaurant must invest in good--and expensive--wine that may not sell for years. It is conceivable that a bottle of wine could cost up to $200. A fancy restaurant may have $50,000 tied up in wine.

Fine wine must be kept in ideal conditions. The cost of maintaining these ideal conditions could run thousands of dollars a months.

The Bottom Line

It takes a lot of money and a lot of well-trained people to operate an exclusive restaurant. The staff must be paid even when business is slow. Elegant restaurants spend a lot of money training food servers, chefs and cooks.

Fine linen for a restaurant could cost up to $10,000. Fine wine is served in expensive crystal stemware. The interior of a posh restaurant is refined like a fine art gallery. A single place setting can cost more than $100 each. The china and crystal alone can cost $20,000. Furniture for a fashionable restaurant can cost $50,000.

Rent or a mortgage payment to open a fine dining restaurant could represent upwards of $10,000 per month and up to $3,000 to move in. The total cost to open an upscale restaurant could be as much as $500,000.