Some Ways Restaurants in Oregon Are Trying To Stay Afloat

The year 2020 has hit all of us hard, regardless of where we live and work. Whether you’re a bus driver, a teacher, a writer, or any other profession—your industry has been altered in major ways over the last year. That being said, one industry that has been especially impacted has been the food service industry. Restaurateurs across the United States and, indeed, the whole world have been scrambling to change their whole business structure and restructure their indoor seating arrangements. Over the summer and fall, things were somewhat manageable in the warmer areas of the United States since outdoor seating made it possible to keep doors mostly open. Now, though, with winter here, many restaurants are finding themselves quite stuck.

Colder regions, like the Pacific Northwest and the New England areas, have been hard-pressed to stay afloat during these uncertain times. Nevertheless, restaurants in Oregon towns, like Eugene or Salem, do have options available. There are ways to maintain your real estate investment in a restaurant property by both raising your income and saving on costs. If you’re a restaurateur in Salem, Eugene, Portland, or any other Oregon area who is looking for ways to make it through what’s looking like an especially long winter, read on.

Contact lenders who can give you a hard money loan.


One thing that all entrepreneurs need in order to keep their businesses afloat, no matter where they are around the U.S., is more income. More capital means that you can invest in an updated infrastructure, keep your business relevant, and even put money into marketing so that your loyal diners don’t forget about you while they’re sheltering in place. If you’ve contacted a few lenders from traditional financial institutions and have been denied a loan for various reasons, you should know that borrowers have other options, such as hard money loans.

If you own the real estate property in which your restaurant resides, or even if you own your own home, you may be eligible for a hard money loan. Hard money is not gold bouillon, it’s money like any other lender would give you. The difference is that, in this case, you don’t need a pristine credit history to become a borrower. A hard money loan is secured by an asset that you own. That is to say, you promise to repay the loan, and if you don’t, the hard money lender has rights to your property. This may sound risky, but it’s kind of like any other loan. Not repaying your mortgage would result in major penalties and financial problems as well, right? The real difference when it comes to a hard money loan in Oregon is that it’s much simpler to obtain. This is why many restaurateurs on the northern West Coast are turning to hard money as a source to get them through some unusually tough times.

One word—biodiesel.


The West Coast, and especially the Pacific Northwest, is known for being an eco-conscious region, and for good reason. With climate change ravaging the planet and rising sea levels, we all should be doing all we can to minimize pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

One way to be eco-friendly that’s both good for the planet and likely to attract more customers is converting your cooking oil into biodiesel or renewable fuel. This may sound quite involved, but it really doesn’t have to be, especially when you can partner with a biodiesel producer in Eugene, OR to pick up the cooking oil from your grease trap and turn it into biodiesel for you. You can boast to your diners that you’re lowering the carbon emissions of the whole region by 85 percent and investing in sustainable practices. And it’s easy—the biodiesel producers will pick up your cooking oil from your front door.

People are careful about how they’re spending their hard-earned dollars in this volatile economic climate, and they’ll be happier to spend money at a restaurant that’s aware of minimizing cooking oil waste and contributing to the betterment of the planet with biodiesel.

Water quality is key.


You’re eco-conscious, which means you probably want to minimize plastics in your restaurant. That makes sense, but is serving your diners tap water, otherwise known as city water, really a good solution? Water quality is key here. You don’t want someone eating your delicious food and then discovering that their glass of city water has a weird odor or any number of contaminants.

One solution that Oregon-based restauranteurs are opting for is installing a water filtration system. A whole house water filter with an activated carbon filter built right in can rid your tap water of contaminants and allow you to feel comfortable serving regular glasses of water to your customers. In this way, you’ll avoid plastic water bottles (which also saves money) and have peace of mind in the knowledge that the water filter has removed all the harmful contaminants that were in your water.

Use your real estate in creative ways.


One way to improve finances that are being used by entrepreneurs around the U.S. is to use their space in unconventional ways. For example, if you have a gorgeous indoor space, you could rent it out for photoshoots, film shoots, and the like. You could also create partnerships with other restauranteurs and community leaders, such as churches, to host a food pantry outside your space, especially when the need is so great these days. Afterward, maybe the church wants to use your space for a Bible study group. All these little bits of income add up and can amount to being the best way to avoid foreclosure. Plus, you’ll be making connections with other members of the community that may prove to be invaluable when all this craziness is in the past. Sure, there will be more viruses, but we’re only as strong as our human connections. Working together can be good news for everyone.

Whether you’re in Eugene, Salem, Portland, or any other place in Oregon, it’s a tough time to be the founder of a restaurant. That being said, it’s not impossible to stay afloat during this long winter. Consider the options above as suggestions of the first thing to try. Remember, the entire process is a journey, so take it one day at a time.