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The dream part of the dollar-and-a-dream idea can be expensive. For many winners, it can amount to a personal project they could never afford as a working stiff. Figuring out the costs ahead of time is important. Want to start your own restaurant? According to a survey of 700 restaurateurs at RestaurantOwner.com, the average startup cost for a fine dining establishment is $550,000 if you're renting the property and $925,000 if you're buying it. About 60 percent of new restaurants fail in the first three years. About 70 percent of all businesses fail in 10 years.