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Restaurant & hospitality loans 3 min read

How to get the most out of your lender meeting to secure financing

You can grow your restaurant or hotel business with customized financing solutions, so know what your lender can provide - and what you'll need to provide them.

Jacob Mancini is Assistant Vice-President, Restaurant & Brewery Finance and CWB Franchise Finance. This content was originally published in Western Restaurant Magazine.

Dedicated restaurant and hotel franchisors who remain laser focused on growing their businesses must be at their proactive best. Cravings for dine-in meals at restaurants, the desire for leisure travel, emerging categories of spenders and the ceaseless need to control costs are upward trends. They're driving these specialized entrepreneurs to continue how they understand shifting consumer spending behaviours and their own finances amid an unsettled Canadian economy.
For a sector that in recent years contributed over $100 billion CAD annually to the economy, while creating jobs for more than 1.9 million Canadians, navigating the ups and downs ahead is crucial challenge — but it's a challenge that's much easier to overcome with the support of a full-service lender that knows your industry and provides the capital required to achieve your goals. 
If you’re looking to secure financing for your restaurant or hotel franchise in 2023, there’s a lot you can do to streamline the process with your financial partner. Follow this quick how-to to get started.

What should I look for in the right lending partner for my business?

Find a partner that specializes in your industry and understands your business’ nuances and needs. Whether you have a restaurant squeezed by seasonality, supply limitations or soaring costs, or you’re a hotel managing through acquisitions, construction or remodeling, a full-service lender that advises and adapts financial support to the ebbs and flows of your operation is a long-term advantage.

Look for a financial partner that has full-service ability and will continue to provide back-end support when your loan is funded. The best partners will not only find the best financing solution for your business, but will also proactively address business opportunities and common concerns on your path to success.

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How should I prepare for my meeting?

A little work up front will save you a lot of time later. Firstly, think about what you want to accomplish — focus on what will have the largest impact on your business’ current situation and set aside other priorities for a future discussion. From there, map out how you can be clear and realistic about achieving goals. Identify what you want to accomplish, how you think you can do it, and ask how your financial partner can be part of the plan to help you get there.

Any potential financial partner will ask for background on you and your business, so be ready to talk candidly about the opportunities and challenges that are ahead of you. Underscore how you see financing can help to address the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that characterize your business.

What information are specialized lenders looking for?

Your finance specialist will require several pieces of information to get started. Not to fear — you will likely have most of these materials already on hand. Some additional information may be requested to help your team get more familiar with your business and plans. While additional information may be required, the general expectation is that you should be ready to provide:

  • Financial statements
  • A trailing 12-month detailed income statement
  • Year-to-date income statement current balance sheet
  • An outline of your loan request
  • A corporate entity ownership summary, showing ownership structure and/or corporate organization chart (including ownership percentage of all entities)
  • Your resume/biography of key principals and guarantors, including a summary of your business’s operating history
  • Three-year detailed projections and projection assumptions

CWB Franchise Finance

Financing solutions for leading hotel and restaurant brands in Canada
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What should you expect to discuss with a specialized lender?

A specialized lender monitors trends to identify stressors and opportunities — from there, they can provide a more qualitative and comprehensive view of the industry. By proactively offering the below insights on your business, you can potentially streamline your lender’s review and expedite financing.

Industry and segment:

Trends within the Canadian industry, existing or potential stressors, and broader segment trends driven by changing economics and consumer preferences. 

Brand and concept:

Your “brand lifecycle” and positioning, as well as the plan for reinvestment and rejuvenation. From there, what is the involvement and support structure of the franchisor, management and ownership? Is there an evolving succession plan in place?

Store and operations:
Detailed metrics for same-store-sales, traffic counts, margins and unit economics – considering both old and new measures of profitability and stability of ownership.


Regardless of the economic conditions or the state of consumer trends, savvy restaurateurs and hoteliers will always be aware of the financing options available to them. When it comes time to secure the financing your need - a task that at first feels daunting - can be expedited by identifying a financial partner that knows your industry, preparing for your first meeting and knowing what you’ll need to provide.