9 Tips for Writing a Great Restaurant Business Plan
“Open for business.” That’s every restaurant owner’s dream.
If you’re ready to open a restaurant, and you’ve pictured it in your mind for years, what’s your next step? It’s time to create a business plan.
This can guide you through your journey of opening a restaurant, and it can help you secure investors.
To get you started, take a look at these nine tips for writing a great restaurant business plan. Include the following items for the most thorough plan and the best results.
#1: The Cover Page
This is the very first page of your business plan, and if you’re presenting it to investors, you want to make sure it gives a good first impression.
Your cover page should be colorful and include your logo, any other branding, your contact information, and the date. Do keep it professional and make sure it includes all pertinent info.
#2: The Table of Contents
Make it easy for people reading your business plan to refer to specific sections easily by proving them with a complete table of contents.
#3: The Executive Summary
This is where you’ll introduce your restaurant and your concept by providing an overview. This should include your business name, location, your general restaurant concept, an outline of what’s in your business plan and your mission statement.
This is the perfect place to mention any experience you may have in the restaurant industry and why you’re qualified to open the restaurant. Sell yourself in the executive summary.
#4: Your Restaurant Concept
Next up is a description of your restaurant concept. This is the perfect place to describe why you chose this concept, and why you think it will be successful. This is your chance to get your readers excited.
You’ll want to spice up this section to really get your investors on board. Consider these items in this section:
- The concept of your restaurant – fast food, casual, or fine dining.
- Explain your service concept and style.
- You might really describe your mission statement here.
- Include some description of your ideas for interior design including color scheme, décor and more.
- Briefly touch on your menu.
- Include visuals if necessary, to describe your proposed layout of front and back of house.
- Include any technology you’ll use, especially if it’s new and exciting.
#5: A Sample Menu
An integral part of your restaurant, this is where you’ll explain your menu from appetizers to desserts.
Your menu is core to the concept of your restaurant and your brand, so be sure to be detailed here, including pictures if you have them.
You want to include your full menu if you have it planned out. Ask for some design help if you need it from a graphic designer to make your menu look professional and inviting.
In addition, include pricing information based on your detailed cost analysis. This helps give investors an idea of your target prices points so they are more able to look at your financial projections.
#6: The Market Analysis
You can’t beat the competition if you don’t know who they are. So, this section is for your market analysis.
Three items belong in this section:
- Competition: Who are they, and how will you separate yourself form the. Dig deep in this section to really lay out how you’ll get people to move from the competition to your restaurant. Know what the competition is doing, and how you’ll do it differently.
- Target Audience: Who is your audience? Is it families, single people, or a wealthy demographic because you are a fine dining establishment? In order to provide quality marketing, you need to answer these questions. You also want to know the dining habits of your target market so you can meet their needs.
- Marketing Strategy: Describe what methods you will use to promote your restaurant. This should be a complete plan including your website, digital marketing, and any print media. If you have someone hired to take care of this, spell it out here so your investors know you have a plan.
#7: The Staff Breakdown
How many people do you need to run your restaurant? What types of positions will you hire?
Describe the exact number of people and positions you need including your management team.
You can also include your hours of operation in this section.
#8: Your Service
What is your service style? Will you have counter service, wait staff, a buffet, or something different? Will you have a bartender, wine steward, or self-service soda machines?
In addition, describe your approach to hospitality and customer service here so your investors will know how you intend to handle the overall guest experience.
#9: Financial Analysis
The financial section is one of the most important parts of your business plan because it shows you where you’re going and if you can meet your goals. (tweet this)
You may need to hire some professional help for this section – consider an accountant well-versed in the restaurant industry.
You’ll find that this section can really help you as well as your investors determine your potential profitability.
To help your accountant, he or she should know the following:
- How many seats your restaurant has
- The average check per table
- Your menu prices
- An estimate of the number of diners for each day and each meal
- Rough food cost calculations
Why develop a business plan for your restaurant? Wouldn’t it just be easier to skip it and move forward?
You need a business plan because it is the beginning of your restaurant. It guides you and informs your decision making and your marketing strategy. (tweet this) In addition, you’ll find:
- It gives you a roadmap to follow.
- The plan helps you secure investors.
- Studies show it works. In fact, one study says a business plan doubles your chance at success.
- It helps you set goals and reach them.
So, if you’re thinking a business plan seems like a lot of work, you’re right. If you’re thinking it’s vital to your success, you are again correct.
Without a plan of how you’ll succeed in a crowded industry, you’re flying blind. So, follow the nine tips outlined here for writing a great restaurant business plan and get started today.
You’ll soon find yourself putting a sign in the window saying, “Open for business.”
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