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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan in 2023 (Step by Step Guide with Templates)
A comprehensive restaurant business plan is a framework that guides you to plan and forecast every element of restaurant management and operations.
This includes anything from your restaurant's menu design, location, financials, employee training, and a lot more.
Crafting a solid business plan is important, as it helps:
- Transform your restaurant ideas into reality.
- Boosts entrepreneurial success by 16% (Harvard Business Study) .
- Equips you to navigate challenges before they arise.
- Attracts potential investors.
“You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.” - Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla
Planning is key to restaurant success. Without a plan, you're more likely to join the 26% of restaurants that fail within a year.
Create a business plan to set yourself up for success.
Here's how to get started.
A step-by-step guide to writing a restaurant business plan
Embarking on a restaurant venture is an exciting prospect filled with endless possibilities.
However, the key to transforming your culinary dreams into reality lies in the foundation of a well-crafted restaurant business plan.
This guide will walk you through creating a winning restaurant business plan , from defining your niche to seeking expert advice.
So, are you ready to cook up some success? Let's get started.
- How to write a business plan for a fine dining restaurant
Essential components of a restaurant business plan
A well-structured restaurant business plan typically consists of the following key components:
- Executive Summary
- Market Analysis
- Restaurant Design
- Market Overview
- External help
- Financial Analysis
Delving into each section
Now, let's take a closer look at each section of your restaurant business plan and explore the key elements to consider:
1. Executive summary
A restaurant business plan should always begin with an executive summary. Why?
- 80% of venture capitalists say they read the executive summary first.
- 62% of investors say they would not continue reading a business plan if the executive summary did not capture their interest.
- A strong executive summary can increase the likelihood of securing funding by up to 40%.
An executive summary not only acts as the introduction to your restaurant business plan samples but also as a summary of the entire idea.
The main aim of an executive summary is to draw the reader (oftentimes an investor) into the rest of your business plan.
The executive summary also helps you envision the identity of your restaurant which essentially shapes the customer experience and sets you apart from competitors.
To establish a distinct identity, you need to focus on c ommon elements of an executive summary, including:
- A mission statement
- Proposed concept development
- Cuisine selection
- The overall execution
- The potential costs
- Expected return on investments (ROI)
Let's take a more in-depth look at the concept development, cuisine selection, and mission statement.
- How to write a restaurant executive summary
Selecting the type of restaurant, service style, and atmosphere is the first step towards creating a unique dining experience. Whether you envision a sample menu for a:
- cozy, intimate bistro
- bustling quick-service deli
- fast-casual restaurant
- fine dining establishment
Your concept should reflect your passion and expertise in the industry.
With a broad range of options, it’s critical to scrutinize your target market and pinpoint the most suitable choice considering their preferences and your capabilities.
When planning your restaurant design, keep in mind that it should effectively complement your chosen theme and cuisine.
Additionally, consider the potential for patio seating and the involvement of your management team in making these critical decisions.
A well-thought-out concept will not only set the stage for an unforgettable dining experience but also pique the interest of potential investors.
The cuisine you select for your restaurant can significantly influence its success.
Choosing the appropriate cuisine is vital for distinguishing your establishment from competitors and attracting your target market.
To make an informed decision, consider factors such as:
- Market demand
- Expertise and passion
- Ingredient availability
- Cultural fit
Dietary restrictions and trends
In the highly competitive restaurant industry, keeping track of current and emerging cuisine trends can be a significant advantage.
From regional delicacies to innovative fusion dishes, understanding what’s popular and in demand can help you tailor your offerings to the desires of your target audience.
By thoroughly analyzing the market and adapting to evolving tastes, your restaurant can remain relevant and successful in the long run.
Crafting a mission statement
A well-constructed mission statement communicates the purpose, values, and goals of your restaurant to potential investors and customers alike.
A mission statement serves as a guiding light for decision-makers and employees, fueling their efforts to achieve your restaurant’s objectives.
To create an impactful mission statement, consider the following steps:
- Identify the purpose of the restaurant.
- Contemplate the brand’s image.
- Account for the target audience.
- Incorporate company values.
- Ensure brevity and comprehensiveness.
Related content: How to Write a Restaurant Mission Statement
Remember, your mission statement should not only differentiate your restaurant from competitors but also resonate with your target market.
By articulating your restaurant’s unique values and vision, you’ll create a strong foundation upon which to build a thriving and successful business.
2. Company description
This is the part of the restaurant business plan where you fully introduce the company.
Start this section with the name of the restaurant you are opening along with the location, contacts, and other relevant information.
Also, include the owner’s details and a brief overview or description of their experience.
The second part of the company description should highlight the legal standing of the restaurant and outline the restaurant’s short and long-term goals.
Provide a brief market study showing that you understand the trends in the regional food industry and why the most independent restaurant investors will succeed in this market.
Here's an example of the page layout:
Restaurant Name: [Restaurant Name]
Location: [Restaurant Address]
Contact: [Restaurant Phone Number] | [Restaurant Email Address]
Owner: [Owner Name]
Experience: [Owner Name] has over [Number] years of experience in the restaurant industry. They have worked in various roles, including [List of Roles]. They are passionate about food and creating a memorable dining experience for their guests.
Legal Standing: [Restaurant Name] is a [Type of Legal Entity] registered in [State/Province].
- Generate [Amount] in revenue within the first year of operation.
- Achieve a [Percentage] customer satisfaction rating within the first six months of operation.
- Expand to a second location within five years.
- Become a recognized leader in the regional food industry.
The regional food industry is experiencing a number of trends, including:
- An increasing demand for fresh, local ingredients.
- A growing interest in ethnic cuisine.
- A preference for casual dining experiences.
3. Market analysis
The market analysis portion of the restaurant business plan is typically divided into three parts.
3.1 Industry analysis
What is your target market? What demographics will your restaurant cater to?
This section aims to explain your target market to investors and why you believe guests will choose your restaurant over others.
Comprehending your target market is key to customizing your restaurant offerings to their preferences and needs.
By diving into demographics, preferences, dining habits, and trends, you can fine-tune your concept and marketing strategy to reach and appeal to your target audience effectively.
An example of analyzing your target market
Comprehending your target market is key to customizing your restaurant offerings to their preferences and needs.
Demographics and preferences
Identifying your primary target market involves considering factors such as:
For example, a neighborhood with a high concentration of families might prefer a family-friendly restaurant with a diverse menu catering to various age groups and dietary preferences.
Conversely, a trendy urban area with a predominantly young and affluent population may gravitate towards upscale dining experiences and innovative cuisine.
Cultural and ethnic backgrounds also have a significant impact on restaurant preferences, with people from different backgrounds having distinctive tastes and customs that influence their dining choices.
By thoroughly understanding the demographics and preferences of your target market, you’ll be better equipped to create a restaurant concept that resonates with them and ultimately drives success.
Dining habits and trends
As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, staying informed about dining habits and trends is crucial for adapting your offerings and attracting customers.
For example, the rise of online ordering and delivery services has significantly influenced dining habits, with many consumers seeking the convenience of having their meals delivered to their doorstep.
Health trends have also had an impact on dining habits, with an increasing number of individuals seeking healthier options when dining out.
By staying abreast of current habits and trends, you can anticipate the needs and desires of your target market and tailor your restaurant’s offerings accordingly.
This forward-thinking approach will not only help you stay competitive but also foster long-term success in the ever-changing restaurant landscape.
- How to find your restaurant's target market
3.2 Competition analysis
It's easy to assume that everyone will visit your new restaurant first, so it is important to research your competition to make this a reality.
What restaurants have already established a customer base in the area?
Take note of everything from their prices, hours, and service style to menu design to the restaurant interior.
Then explain to your investors how your restaurant will be different.
3.3 Marketing analysis
Your investors are going to want to know how you plan to market your restaurant. How will your marketing campaigns differ from what is already being done by others in the restaurant industry?
How do you plan on securing your target market? What kind of offers will you provide your guests? Make sure to list everything.
The most important element to launching a successful restaurant is the menu . Without it, your restaurant has nothing to serve.
At this point, you probably don’t have a final version, but for a restaurant business plan, you should at least try to have a mock-up.
Add your logo to the mock-up and choose a design that you can see yourself actually using. If you are having trouble coming up with a menu design or don’t want to pay a designer, there are plenty of resources online to help.
The key element of your sample menu though should be pricing. Your prices should reflect the cost analysis you’ve done for investors. This will give them a better understanding of your restaurant’s target price point. You'll quickly see how important menu engineering can be, even early on.
The company description section of the restaurant business plan briefly introduces the owners of the restaurant with some information about each. This section should fully flesh out the restaurant's business plan and management team.
The investors don’t expect you to have your entire team selected at this point, but you should at least have a couple of people on board. Use the talent you have chosen thus far to highlight the combined work experience everyone is bringing to the table.
6. Restaurant design
The design portion of your restaurant business plan is where you can really show off your thoughts and ideas to the investors. If you don’t have professional mock-ups of your restaurant rendered, that’s fine.
Instead, put together a mood board to get your vision across. Find pictures of a similar aesthetic to what you are looking for in your restaurant.
The restaurant design extends beyond aesthetics alone and should include everything from restaurant software to kitchen equipment.
The location you end up choosing for your restaurant should definitely be in line with your business plans and target market.
At this point, you might not have a precise location set aside, but you should have a few to choose from.
When describing potential locations to your investors, you want to include as much information as possible about each one and why it would be perfect for your own restaurant concept.
Mention everything from square footage to typical demographics.
Example for choosing an ideal location
Choosing the ideal location for your restaurant is a pivotal decision that can greatly influence your success.
To make the best choice, consider factors such as foot traffic, accessibility, and neighborhood demographics.
By carefully evaluating these factors, you’ll be better equipped to maximize visibility and attract your target market.
Foot traffic and accessibility
Foot traffic and accessibility are essential factors in selecting a location that will attract customers and ensure convenience.
A high-traffic area with ample parking and public transportation options can greatly increase the likelihood of drawing in potential customers.
Additionally, making your restaurant accessible to individuals with disabilities can further broaden your customer base and promote inclusivity.
It’s also important to consider the competition in the area and assess whether your restaurant can stand out among existing establishments.
By choosing a location with strong foot traffic and accessibility, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving restaurant that appeals to your target market.
Analyzing neighborhood demographics can help you determine if your restaurant’s concept and cuisine will appeal to the local population.
Factors such as income levels, family structures, and cultural diversity can all influence dining preferences and habits.
By understanding the unique characteristics of the neighborhood, you can tailor your offerings and marketing efforts to resonate with the local community.
Conducting a market analysis can be a valuable step in this process.
To gather demographic data for a particular neighborhood, you can utilize resources such as the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and reference maps.
Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about your restaurant’s concept, menu, and pricing, ensuring that your establishment is well-positioned for success within the community.
Conducting market research will further strengthen your understanding of the local demographic.
8. Market overview
The market overview section is heavily related to the market research and analysis portion of the restaurant business plan. In this section, go into detail about both the micro and macro conditions in the area you want to set up your restaurant.
Discuss the current economic conditions that could make opening a restaurant difficult, and how you aim to counteract that. Mention all the other restaurants that could prove to be competition and what your strategy is to set yourself apart.
With restaurants opening left and ride nowadays, investors are going to want to know how you will get word of your restaurant to the world.
The next marketing strategy and publicity section should go into detail on how you plan to market your restaurant before and after opening. As well as any plans you may have to bring a PR company on board to help spread the word.
Read more: How to write a restaurant marketing plan from scratch
10. External help
To make your restaurant a reality, you are going to need a lot of help. List any external companies or software you plan on hiring to get your restaurant up and running.
This includes everything from accountants and designers to suppliers that help your restaurant perform better, like POS systems and restaurant reservation systems .
Explain to your other potential investors about the importance of each and what they will be doing for your restaurant.
11. Financial analysis
The most important part of your restaurant business plan is the financial section . We would recommend hiring professional help for this given its importance.
Hiring a trained accountant will not only help you get your own financial projections and estimates in order but also give you a realistic insight into owning a restaurant.
You should have some information prepared to make this step easier for the accountant.
He/she will want to know how many seats your restaurant has, what the check average per table will be, and how many guests you plan on seating per day.
In addition to this, doing rough food cost calculations for various menu items can help estimate your profit margin per dish. This can be achieved easily with a free food cost calculator.
- Important restaurant metrics to track
A well-crafted restaurant business plan serves as a roadmap to success, guiding every aspect of the venture from menu design to employee training.
By carefully considering each component of the plan, aspiring restaurateurs can increase their chances of securing funding, attracting customers, and achieving their long-term goals.
Remember, a restaurant business plan is not just a document to satisfy investors; it is a living tool that should be revisited and updated regularly as the business grows and evolves.
By staying committed to the plan and adapting it as needed, restaurateurs can ensure that their culinary dreams have a solid foundation for success.
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Saif Alnasur used to work in his family restaurant, but now he is a food influencer and writes about the restaurant industry for Eat App.
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Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template
Looking to open a restaurant? The key to success is a well-crafted business plan that showcases your concept, target market, and financial projections. But where do you start? ClickUp's Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template is here to help!
With this template, you can:
- Clearly outline your restaurant concept and unique selling proposition
- Identify your target market and develop marketing strategies to reach them effectively
- Provide a snapshot of your financial projections and potential profitability
Whether you're seeking investment or simply need a roadmap for your restaurant's success, this template has you covered. Start planning your dream restaurant today!
Benefits of Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template
When it comes to presenting your restaurant business plan, the executive summary is your chance to make a killer first impression. By using our Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template, you'll enjoy the following benefits:
- Clearly communicate your restaurant concept, target market, and competitive advantage
- Impress potential investors and lenders with a professional and well-structured summary
- Showcase your marketing strategies to attract and retain customers
- Provide accurate and compelling financial projections to demonstrate the profitability of your venture
Main Elements of Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template
Create a comprehensive and professional restaurant business plan with ClickUp’s Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary template.
- Custom Statuses: Track the progress of your business plan with custom statuses such as In Progress, Final Review, and Approved.
- Custom Fields: Input essential information about your restaurant, including target market, competitive analysis, financial projections, and marketing strategies, using custom fields to ensure all necessary details are included in your business plan.
- Different Views: Utilize different views such as Document Outline View, Table of Contents View, and Full-Screen View to easily navigate, organize, and present your executive summary template.
How to Use Executive Summary for Restaurant Business Plan Example
If you're starting a new restaurant and need help writing your business plan, follow these steps to effectively use the Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template:
1. Understand the purpose
The executive summary is a crucial part of your restaurant business plan as it provides an overview of your entire plan and captures the attention of potential investors or lenders. It should be concise, yet compelling, highlighting the key points of your business plan and enticing readers to learn more.
Use the Docs feature in ClickUp to access the Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template and familiarize yourself with its purpose and structure.
2. Gather relevant information
Before you start writing your executive summary, gather all the necessary information about your restaurant business. This includes details about your concept, target market, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, financial projections, and any unique selling points that set your restaurant apart.
Utilize the Table View in ClickUp to organize and track all the information you need for your executive summary.
3. Write a captivating introduction
The introduction of your executive summary should grab the reader's attention and provide a clear and compelling overview of your restaurant concept. Highlight what makes your restaurant unique, such as its cuisine, atmosphere, location, or innovative business model. This section should captivate the reader and make them want to continue reading.
Use the Whiteboards feature in ClickUp to brainstorm and outline your introduction, ensuring it effectively communicates the essence of your restaurant.
4. Summarize key sections of your business plan
In this section, provide a concise summary of the key sections of your business plan. Highlight important information such as your target market analysis, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, operational plan, and financial projections. Be sure to include key metrics and highlight the potential for success.
Utilize the Milestones feature in ClickUp to break down each section of your business plan and summarize the key points in your executive summary.
By following these steps and utilizing ClickUp's features, you can effectively use the Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template to create a compelling and comprehensive executive summary for your restaurant business plan.
Get Started with ClickUp’s Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template
Potential restaurant owners and entrepreneurs can use this Restaurant Business Plan Example Executive Summary Template to create a compelling executive summary that highlights the key aspects of their restaurant concept.
First, hit “Add Template” to sign up for ClickUp and add the template to your Workspace. Make sure you designate which Space or location in your Workspace you’d like this template applied.
Next, invite relevant members or guests to your Workspace to start collaborating.
Now you can take advantage of the full potential of this template to create an impactful executive summary:
- Use the Introduction section to provide a concise overview of your restaurant concept and its unique selling points
- In the Target Market section, describe your ideal customer demographics and explain how your restaurant meets their needs
- Detail your competitive advantage in the Competitive Analysis section, highlighting what sets your restaurant apart from the competition
- Lay out your marketing strategies in the Marketing Plan section, including online and offline tactics to attract customers
- Present your financial projections in the Financial Plan section, including sales forecasts, expenses, and profitability analysis
- Customize the template to fit your specific business model and goals
- Review and revise the executive summary to ensure it is clear, concise, and compelling
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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan
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When starting a business—no matter what type of business that may be—a business plan is essential to map out your intentions and direction. That’s the same for a restaurant business plan, which will help you figure out where you fit in the landscape, how you’re going to differ from other establishments around you, how you’ll market your business, and even what you’re going to serve. A business plan for your restaurant can also help you later if you choose to apply for a business loan .
While opening a restaurant isn’t as risky as you’ve likely heard, you still want to ensure that you’re putting thought and research into your business venture to set it up for success. And that’s where a restaurant business plan comes in.
We’ll go through how to create a business plan for a restaurant and a few reasons why it’s so important. After you review the categories and the restaurant business plan examples, you can use the categories to make a restaurant business plan template and start your journey.
Why you shouldn’t skip a restaurant business plan
First-time restaurateurs and industry veterans alike all need to create a business plan when opening a new restaurant . That’s because, even if you deeply understand your business and its nuances (say, seasonal menu planning or how to order correct quantities), a restaurant is more than its operations. There’s marketing, financing, the competitive landscape, and more—and each of these things is unique to each door you open.
That’s why it’s so crucial to understand how to create a business plan for a restaurant. All of these things and more will be addressed in the document—which should run about 20 or 30 pages—so you’ll not only have a go-to-market strategy, but you’ll also likely figure out some things about your business that you haven’t even thought of yet.
Additionally, if you’re planning to apply for business funding down the line, some loans—including the highly desirable SBA loan —actually require you to submit your business plan to gain approval. In other words: Don’t skip this step!
How to write a restaurant business plan: Step by step
There’s no absolute format for a restaurant business plan that you can’t stray from—some of these sections might be more important than others, for example, or you might find that there’s a logical order that makes more sense than the one in the restaurant business plan example below. However, this business plan outline will serve as a good foundation, and you can use it as a restaurant business plan template for when you write your own.
Your executive summary is one to two pages that kick off your business plan and explain your vision. Even though this might seem like an introduction that no one will read, that isn’t the case. In fact, some investors only ask for the executive summary. So, you’ll want to spend a lot of time perfecting it.
Your restaurant business plan executive summary should include information on:
Mission statement: Your goals and objectives
General company information: Include your founding date, team roles (i.e. executive chef, sous chefs, sommeliers), and locations
Category and offerings: What category your restaurant fits into, what you’re planning to serve (i.e. farm-to-table or Korean), and why
Context for success: Any past success you’ve had, or any current financial data that’ll support that you are on the path to success
Financial requests: If you’re searching for investment or financing, include your plans and goals here and any financing you’ve raised or borrowed thus far
Future plans: Your vision for where you’re going in the next year, three years, and five years
When you’re done with your executive summary, you should feel like you’ve provided a bird’s eye view of your entire business plan. In fact, even though this section is first, you will likely write it last so you can take the highlights from each of the subsequent sections.
And once you’re done, read it on its own: Does it give a comprehensive, high-level overview of your restaurant, its current state, and your vision for the future? Remember, this may be the only part of your business plan potential investors or partners will read, so it should be able to stand on its own and be interesting enough to make them want to read the rest of your plan.
This is where you’ll dive into the specifics of your company, detailing the kind of restaurant you’re looking to create, who’s helping you do it, and how you’re prepared to accomplish it.
Your restaurant business plan company overview should include:
Purpose: The type of restaurant you’re opening (fine dining, fast-casual, pop-up, etc.), type of food you’re serving, goals you have, and the niche you hope to fill in the market
Area: Information on the area in which you’re opening
Customers: Whom you’re hoping to target, their demographic information
Legal structure: Your business entity (i.e. LLC, LLP, etc.) and how many owners you have
Similar to your executive summary, you won’t be going into major detail here as the sections below will get into the nitty-gritty. You’ll want to look at this as an extended tear sheet that gives someone a good grip on your restaurant or concept, where it fits into the market, and why you’re starting it.
Team and management
Barely anything is as important for a restaurant as the team that runs it. You’ll want to create a section dedicated to the members of your staff—even the ones that aren’t yet hired. This will provide a sense of who is taking care of what, and how you need to structure and build out the team to get your restaurant operating at full steam.
Your restaurant business plan team and management section should have:
Management overview: Who is running the restaurant, what their experience and qualifications are, and what duties they’ll be responsible for
Staff: Other employees you’ve brought on and their bios, as well as other spots you anticipate needing to hire for
Ownership percentage: Which individuals own what percentage of the restaurant, or if you are an employee-owned establishment
Be sure to update this section with more information as your business changes and you continue to share this business plan—especially because who is on your team will change both your business and the way people look at it.
You’ll also want to include a sample menu in your restaurant business plan so readers have a sense of what they can expect from your operations, as well as what your diners can expect from you when they sit down. This will also force you to consider exactly what you want to serve your diners and how your menu will stand out from similar restaurants in the area. Although a sample menu is in some ways self-explanatory, consider the following:
Service : If your brunch is as important as your dinner, provide both menus; you also might want to consider including both a-la-carte and prix fixe menus if you plan to offer them.
Beverage/wine service: If you’ll have an emphasis on specialty beverages or wine, a separate drinks list could be important.
Seasonality: If you’re a highly seasonal restaurant, you might want to consider providing menus for multiple seasons to demonstrate how your dishes (and subsequent purchasing) will change.
This is where you’ll begin to dive deeper. Although you’ve likely mentioned your market and the whitespace you hope to address, the market analysis section will enable you to prove your hypotheses.
Your restaurant business plan market analysis should include:
Industry information: Include a description of the restaurant industry, its size, growth trends, and other trends regarding things such as tastes, trends, demographics, structures, etc.
Target market: Zoom in on the area and neighborhood in which you’re opening your restaurant as well as the type of cuisine you’re serving.
Target market characteristics: Describe your customers and their needs, how/if their needs are currently being served, other important pieces about your specific location and customers.
Target market size and growth: Include a data-driven section on the size of your market, trends in its growth, how your target market fits into the industry as a whole, projected growth of your market, etc.
Market share potential: Share how much potential there is in the market, how much your presence will change the market, and how much your specific restaurant or restaurant locations can own of the open market; also touch on any barriers to growth or entry you might see.
Market pricing: Explain how you’ll be pricing your menu and where you’ll fall relative to your competitors or other restaurants in the market.
Competitive research: Include research on your closest competitors, how they are both succeeding and failing, how customers view them, etc.
If this section seems like it might be long, it should—it’s going to outline one of the most important parts of your strategy, and should feel comprehensive. Lack of demand is the number one reason why new businesses fail, so the goal of this section should be to prove that there is demand for your restaurant and show how you’ll capitalize on it.
Additionally, if market research isn’t your forte, don’t be shy to reach out to market research experts to help you compile the data, or at least read deeply on how to conduct effective research.
Marketing and sales
Your marketing and sales section should feel like a logical extension of your market analysis section, since all of the decisions you’ll make in this section should follow the data of the prior section.
The marketing and sales sections of your restaurant business plan should include:
Positioning: How you’ll describe your restaurant to potential customers, the brand identity and visuals you’ll use to do it, and how you’ll stand out in the market based on the brand you’re building
Promotion: The tools, tactics, and platforms you’ll use to market your business
Sales: How you’ll convert on certain items, and who/how you will facilitate any additional revenue streams (i.e. catering)
It’s likely that you’ll only have concepts for some of these elements, especially if you’re not yet open. Still, get to paper all of the ideas you have, and you can (and should) always update them later as your restaurant business becomes more fully formed.
The business operations section should get to the heart of how you plan to run your business. It will highlight both internal factors as well as external forces that will dictate how you run the ship.
The business operations section should include:
Management team: Your management structure and hierarchy, and who is responsible for what
Hours: Your hours and days of operation
Location: What’s special about your location that will get people through the door
Relationships: Any advantageous relationships you have with fellow restaurateurs, places for sourcing and buying, business organizations, or consultants on your team
Add here anything you think could be helpful for illustrating how you’re going to do business and what will affect it.
Here, you’ll detail the current state of your business finances and project where you hope to be in a year, three years, and five years. You’ll want to detail what you’ve spent, what you will spend, where you’ll get the money, costs you might incur, and returns you’ll hope to see—including when you can expect to break even and turn a profit.
Financial statements: If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, include existing financial statements (i.e. profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow, etc.)
Budget: Your current budget or a general startup budget
Projections: Include revenue, cash flow, projected profit and loss, and other costs
Debt: Include liabilities if the business has any outstanding debt or loans
Funding request: If you’re requesting a loan or an investment, lay out how much capital you’re looking for, your company’s valuation (if applicable), and the purpose of the funding
Above all, as you’re putting your financials together, be realistic—even conservative. You want to give any potential investors a realistic picture of your business.
Feel like there are other important components but they don't quite fit in any of the other categories (or make them run too long)? That’s what the restaurant business plan appendix section is for. And although in, say, a book, an appendix can feel like an afterthought, don’t ignore it—this is another opportunity for you to include crucial information that can give anyone reading your plan some context. You may include additional data, graphs, marketing collateral (like logo mockups), and more.
The bottom line
Whether you’re writing a restaurant business plan for investors, lenders, or simply for yourself and your team, the most important thing to do is make sure your document is comprehensive. A good business plan for a restaurant will take time—and maybe a little sweat—to complete fully and correctly.
One other crucial thing to remember: a business plan is not a document set in stone. You should often look to it to make sure you’re keeping your vision and mission on track, but you should also feel prepared to update its components as you learn more about your business and individual restaurant.
This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
On a similar note...
How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan: Complete Guide
- January 31, 2023
- Food & Beverage
👇 Check all our resources on restaurants 👇
Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) to open a restaurant , you will need to prepare a solid business plan.
In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in the business plan of your restaurant. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded. Let’s dive in!
1. Restaurant Executive Summary
The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors.
If the information you provide here is not concise, informative, and scannable, potential lenders and investors will lose interest.
Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it will have the summary of different sections included in the entire plan.
Why do you need a business plan for a restaurant?
The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:
- Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
- Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
- Obtain a public or a private grant
How to write your restaurant’s executive summary?
Provide a precise and high-level summary of every section that you have included in your business plan. The information and the data you include in this segment should grab the attention of potential investors and lenders immediately.
Also make sure that the executive summary doesn’t exceed 2 pages in total: it’s supposed to be a summary for investors and lenders who don’t have time to scroll through 40-50 pages, so keep it short and brief.
The executive summary usually consists of 5 major sub-sections:
- Business overview : start by introducing your restaurant and the products and services that you intend offer. Mention the type of restaurant you intend to open (such as fine dining, casual dining, fast casual, ghost restaurant, café, pub, etc.), the menu and prices. Also add here the total number of customers your restaurant can host at once, its location, and some details on the surface and the design layout
- Market analysis : summarise the market where you will operate and provide a brief about the target audience, market size , competitors, etc. No need to provide granular data here, save it for the Market Overview section later on (or the appendix)
- People : introduce your restaurant’s management and employee structure. Provide a brief (no more than a couple of sentences each) of the knowledge and experience of the team. Also, speak about your hiring plans.
- Financial plan : how much profit and revenue do you expect in the next 5 years? When will you reach the break-even point and start making profits? You can include here a chart depicting your key financials statements
- Funding ask : what loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How long will this last?
Restaurant Financial Model
Download an expert-built 5-year Excel financial model for your business plan
2. Restaurant Business Overview
This is the section where you will provide details about your restaurant and the chosen business model. You must address some important questions that lenders and/or investors generally ask .
Here is a quick list of some of those questions you must address:
- What is the rationale behind you opening this type of restaurant today?
- What’s the restaurant’s location and why did you select that location?
- Why did you select the type of restaurant you want to open?
- What will be the products and services you will offer?
- What will be your pricing strategy and why?
- What will be your opening days / hours?
- How many customers can you serve at once (capacity)?
- What is the surface of your restaurant? How is the restaurant designed (incl. dining rooms and kitchen area)?
- What will be the legal structure of your company?
a) History of the Project
Any business must have two components:
- Passion & experience of the business owner
- Rationale behind starting this type of business today
Passion & experience
You may or may not have prior experience. If you have experience, speak about it and how it will help you to run your business. For instance, you may have been a restaurant manager in a popular restaurant for 6 years, and now you want to start your own restaurant and use your knowledge to run it more efficiently.
However, if you don’t already have experience, that’s fine. You must demonstrate your passion and some industry knowledge (you may have conducted thorough research).
What is your restaurant’s mission?
For example, there may not be any fine dining restaurant in your area where wealthy residents or tourists can enjoy an upscale meal experience in a sophisticated and elegant environment.
But that’s not all: your market must be suitable for your business to thrive.
For instance, if you are planning to open a fine dining restaurant in a low-income area, it is probably not going to attract many customers. Similarly, if the population of the target market has a high percentage of people preferring takeaway/delivery food options because of their busy lifestyle, a fine dining restaurant may not be a good idea.
b) Business Model
This sub-section of the Business Overview will explain your business model. Describe the following points briefly:
- Will you buy an existing restaurant and do some remodeling, or will you start a new restaurant and design it from scratch?
- Will you buy a franchise or do you plan to open an independent restaurant instead?
- The type of restaurant you want to open and why
What are the different types of restaurants?
There are multiple types of restaurants. Some of them that you may consider include, but are not limited to:
- Fine Dining : They provide upscale meal experience with several courses. The atmosphere is sophisticated and classy. They can be franchises or individually owned. Of course, they are quite expensive.
- Casual Dining : This type of restaurants serve customers at their tables and the food prices are moderate. The atmosphere is not very sophisticated. Though the décor is often unique, it can be based on the type of food a restaurant serves.
- Fast Casual : These restaurants will make your food available quickly, but the food is healthier than fast food. Also, food is cheaper than casual dining. They have a counter service (you must collect food from the counter) and the décor is more contemporary.
- Ghost Kitchens : ghost kitchens (or “dark kitchen”) restaurants do not have a storefront, a dining room, signage, or décor. They operate using food delivery partners and take orders through online ordering or phone ordering.
- Fast Food : Think of Taco Bell , KFC, Burger King, etc. The food is relatively cheap and is served quickly. Food ingredients are usually preheated or precooked, and food delivery happens over the counter or via a drive-through window.
- Buffet Style : These restaurants are similar to the Family Style restaurants but with a fundamental difference. People get to select from a selection of food that are made available against a fixed price. However, customers need to serve themselves and they are allowed to return to the buffet for as many times as they want.
c) Products & Services
Of course, the products you will offer in your restaurant will depend on the type of restaurant you are opening. A Buffet Style restaurant, for example, usually prefer specialty cuisines like Indian, pizza, home cooking, Chinese, etc. Similarly, if you are opting for a Diner, you will most likely offer fried foods (fish & chicken), breakfast items, burgers, etc. at a low cost.
It is a good idea to give a list of food and drinks that you want to sell. Depending on the scale of your operations, you may have too many menu items. It is not possible to list every item on your menu, but make sure that you are listing the most important ones. If you specialize in one or a few specific dishes, mention that, too.
d) Pricing Strategy
In this sub-section, you must explain the pricing strategy of your restaurant. If you have multiple competitors (in the same niche) in the vicinity, you cannot have huge pricing variation, especially for the similar food items. Pricing will, of course, depend on the type of restaurant you are opening, and the food items you are offering.
For example, if you are sourcing the raw materials only from organic farms that do not use fertilizers and pesticides, your menu items will have a higher price tag.
Similarly, you cannot expect to charge expensive Fine Dining-like prices if you are opening a Casual Dining restaurant instead.
Create a pricing table and ensure to provide an average price range for your products. You don’t need to provide exact pricing for each product. Use price ranges instead.
Offering a pricing table is important because your pricing strategy will allow investors to tie your pricing strategy with your financial projections .
e) Legal Structure
Finally, your business overview section should specify what type of business structure you want. Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?
3. Restaurant Market Overview
A complete understanding of the market where you want to operate is important for the success of your business.
For example, if your intentions are to open a classy Fine Dining restaurant in a low-income area, you will not attract enough customers. Similarly, if you want to open a fast-food restaurant in a place where family dining is more popular, it will be a disaster.
Therefore, you must cover here 3 important areas:
- Market size & growth : how big is the restaurant industry in your area? What is its growth rate (or decline rate) and what are the factors contributing to its growth or decline?
- Competition overview : how many competitors are there? How do they compare vs. your business? How can you differentiate yourself from them?
- Customer analysis: who is your target audience? What type of restaurants do they prefer? How regularly do they visit restaurants for dining? What type of food do they prefer? How much do they spend at restaurants on average?
a) Restaurant Industry Status Quo
How big is the restaurant industry in the us.
According to Finance Online , there were over 1 million restaurants (all types combined) in the US in 2021. The industry recovered post a 60% drop in sales in April 2020 due to the pandemic, and recorded an annualised market size of over $1 trillion dollars in July 2022 ($1,033 billion)..!
How big is the restaurant industry in your area?
Once you provide the overall picture of the US, divert your attention to the area where you want to operate. It might not be possible to find region or area-specific studies, and hence, you must estimate the market size .
For example, if there are 1,000,000 restaurants in the country with total annual revenue of $1 trillion, the average annual revenue for each establishment is around $1 million.
Therefore, if the area where you want to open your restaurant has 30 restaurants, you can safely assume that the restaurant industry in your area is worth approximately $30 million.
How fast is the restaurant industry growing in the area?
You must show the expected growth rate of the restaurant industry in your area. This information may not be available via online research papers. However, assessing the growth rate will not be difficult as you can use metrics such as the number of competitors in your area.
For instance, if there were 25 restaurants in 2018 and 30 restaurants in 2022, the average annual growth rate would be 5%.
What are the current restaurant market trends in your area?
It is vital to understand the trends of the restaurant industry in your area. Understanding trends will allow you to devise marketing strategies.
Understanding trends won’t be easy. You must conduct research and talk with your target audience. Additionally, you must also study your competitors to understand their target audience, the products they sell, etc.
Some common questions you may ask the target audience include:
- What type of restaurants do they prefer?
- At what time of the day do they prefer to visit a restaurant (breakfast, lunch, dinner)?
- How frequently do they visit restaurants?
- What type of foods do they usually order?
You can ask as many questions as you need to understand the evolving trends.
b) Competition Overview
Studying your competitors’ business models is vital. You need to understand what makes them successful or why they fail. A clear understanding of their food offerings, marketing strategies, etc., will allow you to provide a better service.
If your competitors are offering nearly the same products & services, then what is their market share and how do they market their products & services to attract new customers?
It is always a good idea to do some research (if necessary, physically visit your competitors without revealing your business intentions) and create a comparative table summarizing their product & service offerings, marketing strategies, target audience, etc.
Here is a sample table that you can use:
The table you will create will depend on what information you need and want to include based on your proposed business model.
Restaurant SWOT Analysis
Try to provide a SWOT analysis. It must be crisp and highly focused. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.
Here is a sample that you can use as a reference:
- Strength: 8 years of senior manager experience in a reputed Michelin Star Fine Dining restaurant operated & owned by a renowned chef and a master’s degree in Hospitality management, experienced senior chef with 22 years of experience
- Weakness: Startup cost, zero reputation
- Opportunities: An affluent neighborhood with a rising demand for fine dining establishments, only one fine dining restaurant in the 3-mile radius
- Threats: Increasing cost of raw materials because of geo-political turmoil restricting international trade routes
A clear understanding of your strengths and weakness along with opportunities and threats in the real market can help you to design your marketing strategy. It also helps potential investors to assess the risk and reward profile of your business.
c) Customer Analysis
This is the sub-section where you will provide a detailed analysis of your target audience.
Some important points that you must include in your customer analysis include:
- Age and gender distribution (you can get local demographic data from census.gov )
- Per capita expenditure on dining
- Frequency of restaurant visits
- Average monthly income and disposable income
- Average bill size per visit
- Average yearly or monthly spending on food at restaurants
- Type of restaurants preferred
- The expected price range for food
- Inclination towards loyalty programs & free perks
- Things they dislike about existing restaurants and what they expect to be improved
You can add as many data points as required to validate your business decision. The idea here is to display your deep understanding of the target audience and their needs, preferences, and expectations. This knowledge can help you to tailor your products & services to attract new customers and increase sales .
4. Sales & Marketing Strategy
This is the segment where you outline your customer acquisition strategy. Try to answer the following questions:
- What is your USP?
- What are the different marketing strategies you will use?
- How do you intend to track the success of your marketing strategy?
- What is your CAC or customer acquisition cost ?
- What is your marketing budget?
- What introductory promos and offers do you intend to provide for attracting new customers?
Let’s expand a bit on a few questions below:
What marketing channels do restaurants use?
A few marketing channels that restaurants typically use are:
- Word-of-mouth, recommendations,
- Local listing & reviews (e.g. Google reviews)
- Online booking platforms (e.g. TheFork , Opentable , etc.)
- Influencer marketing
- Print media, etc.
It is not necessary to use all channels. You can start by focusing on a few of them and include other marketing strategies later instead.
What is your unique selling proposition?
In other words, how do you differentiate yourself vs. competitors? This is very important as you might need to win customers from competitors.
A few examples of USPs can be:
- Organic raw materials : we source organic farm fresh raw materials from local farmers
- Authentic Indian food : prepared by a Michelin Star chef from India
- Family run restaurant : run by a family, helping families connect over delicious food
- Price : affordable food & menu for the quality vs. competitors
- Location : the restaurant is located in a busy street, thereby attracting many customers who can easily glance over the menu
- Uniqueness : you may be the only tapas-style restaurant around, in an area where people are fond of this type of restaurant
5. Management & People
You must address 2 things here:
- The management team and their experience / track record
- The organizational structure : different team members and who reports to whom?
Small businesses often fail because of managerial weaknesses. Thus, having a strong management team is vital. Highlight the experience and education of senior managers that you intend to hire to oversee your restaurant business.
Describe their duties, responsibilities, and roles. Also, highlight their previous experience and explain how they succeeded in their previous roles.
It is also important that you explain how their experiences and qualifications help you in implementing the restaurant you are proposing. If they have specialized training, achievement, and experience (such as a degree in hospitality management, 3 Michelin stars, experience in developing menus for 5-star hotels, etc.), add that information.
b) Organization Structure
Even if you haven’t already hired a restaurant manager, server, chef, head cook, busser, cashier, bartenders, and other relevant staff members, you must provide here a chart of the organizational structure defining the hierarchy of reporting.
6. Financial Plan
The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any business plan for a restaurant.
Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your restaurant is an attractive investment.
There should be 2 sections to your financial plan section:
- The startup costs of your project (if you plan to start a new restaurant, renovate your restaurant, etc.)
- The 5-year financial projections
a) Startup Costs
Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your restaurant . For a restaurant, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you open your restaurant and start making sales. These expenses typically are:
- The leasing deposit for the space (if you rent) or to buy the real estate (if you buy)
- Renovations and improvements
- Equipment & appliances
- Furniture & tableware
Of course, the startup costs depend on a number of factors, like the size of your restaurant, its location, the facilities, the menu, etc.
On average, it costs $484,000 to $685,000 to open a casual restaurant with 150 seats (2,500 sq. ft.) in the US.
Note that these costs are for illustrative purposes and may not be fully relevant for your business. For more information on how much it costs to open and run a restaurant, read our article here .
b) Financial Projections
In addition to startup costs, you will now need to build a solid 5-year financial model for your restaurant.
Your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in the business plan of your restaurant.
As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics, key assumptions used for the projections) for the appendix instead.
Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:
- How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
- When do you expect to break even ?
- How much cash will you burn until you get there?
- What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 15%) on your margins?
- What is your average customer acquisition cost?
You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:
- The number of covers (customers or orders) over time ;
- Your expected revenue ;
- Operating costs to run the business ;
- Any other cash flow items (e.g. capex, debt repayment, etc.).
When projecting your revenue, make sure to sensitize pricing, cost of raw materials (food supplies) and your sales volume. Indeed, a small change in these assumptions may have a significant impact on your revenues and profits.
7. Use of Funds
This is the last section of the business plan of your restaurant. Now that we have explained what your restaurant’s business model and concept are, what is your menu, your marketing strategy, etc., this section must now answer the following questions:
- How much funding do you need ?
- What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
- How long will this funding last?
- Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)
If you raise debt:
- What percentage of the total funding the loan represents?
- What is the corresponding Debt Service Coverage Ratio ?
If you raise equity
- What percentage ownership are you selling as part of this funding round?
- What is the corresponding valuation of your business?
Use of Funds
Any restaurant business plan should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.
Will you spend most of the loan / investment in paying your employees’ salaries? Or will it cover mostly the cost for the lease deposit and the renovation?
Those are very important questions you should be able to answer in the blink of an eye. Don’t worry, this should come straight from your financial projections. If you’ve built solid projections like in our restaurant financial model template , you won’t have any issues answering these questions.
For the use of funds, we also recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.
Search articles and guides
How to write a restaurant business plan.
Listen to this article
A small restaurant business plan is the roadmap you use to open a successful spot. As a first step to creating yours, ask your friends and colleagues to share restaurant business plan examples. Their restaurant business plan samples can inspire yours.
Once you’ve studied those examples, it’s time to start writing your own. No matter how much thought you’ve put into your concept or how many trusted colleagues have assured you of its greatness, you must write a restaurant business plan. It will prove the viability of your concept to potential investors and provide them with a clear and engaging answer to the question: “Why does the world need this restaurant?”
“The point of a business plan is to show that you’ve done your homework,” says Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla , a fine casual Greek restaurant in San Francisco that has received national acclaim since opening in the spring of 2014.
“You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.”
Quick links Branded cover Table of contents Concept Sample menu Service Management team Design Target market Location Market overview Marketing and publicity Specialists and consultants Business structure Financials
1. Branded cover
Include your logo (even if it’s not finalized), the date, and your name.
2. Table of contents
A table of contents in a restaurant business plan provides an organized overview of the document’s structure and content. It typically appears at the beginning of the plan and lists the major sections and subsections with their corresponding page numbers.
The table of contents is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows readers to quickly navigate through the plan, enabling easy access to specific sections of interest. Secondly, it helps in presenting a professional and well-structured document, showing that you have carefully organized your thoughts and ideas. It also improves readability and comprehension, as readers can easily locate and refer back to relevant information
A restaurant owner contemplates the design of a new space as part of their business plan. | Credit: Getty Images
3. Restaurant concept
Describe your restaurant concept and get the reader excited about your idea. Specify whether the restaurant will be fine dining or more casual. Include an executive summary and go into detail about the food you’ll be serving, inspiration behind your concept, and an overview of service style.
Define clearly what will be unique about your restaurant and include your mission statement. This section should include a market analysis that shows how your restaurant will be similar and different from competing restaurants.
4. Sample menu
The menu is the most important touchpoint of any restaurant’s brand, so this should be more than just a simple list of items. Incorporate your logo and mock up a formatted menu design (tap a designer for help if needed).
Your sample menu should also include prices that are based on a detailed cost analysis. This will:
- Give investors a clear understanding of your targeted price point
- Provide the info needed to estimate check averages
- Show the numbers used create financial projections for starting costs
- Show investors that you’ve done the homework
- Prove you can stay within a budget
This section is most relevant for:
- Fine-dining concepts
- Concepts that have a unique service style
- Owners who have particularly strong feelings about what role service will play in their restaurant.
It can be a powerful way of conveying your approach to hospitality to investors by explaining the details of the guest’s service experience.
Will your restaurant have counter service and restaurant hostess software designed to get guests on their way as quickly as possible, or will it look more like a theater, with captains putting plates in front of guests simultaneously?
If an extensive wine program is an integral part of what you’re doing, will you have a sommelier? If you don’t feel that service is a noteworthy component of your operation, address it briefly in the concept section.
Two restaurant workers review finances for a new restaurant as part of their business plan. | Credit: Getty Images
6. Management team
Write a brief overview of yourself and the team you have established so far. You want to show that your experience has provided you with the necessary skills to run a successful restaurant and act as a restaurant business owner.
Ideally, once you have described the strong suit of every member of your team, you’ll be presenting a full pitch deck. Most independent restaurant investors are in this for more than just money, so giving some indication of what you value and who you are outside of work may also be helpful.
Incorporate some visuals. Create a mood board that shows images related to the design and feeling of your restaurant.
Whether you’re planning to cook in a wood-burning oven or are designing an eclectic front-of-house, be sure to include those ideas. Photos of materials and snippets of other restaurants that you love that are similar to the brand you’re building are also helpful.
8. Target market
Who is going to eat at your restaurant? What do they do for a living, how old are they, and what’s their average income? Once you’ve described them in detail, reiterate why your specific concept will appeal to them.
Two restaurant workers discuss a business plan. | Credit: Getty Images
There should be a natural and very clear connection between the information you present in the “Target Market” section and this one. You probably won’t have a specific site identified at this point in the process, but you should talk about viable neighborhoods.
Don’t assume that potential investors will be familiar with the areas you’re discussing and who works or lives there—make the connections clear. You want readers to be confident that your restaurant’s “ideal” diner intersects with the neighborhood(s) you’re proposing as often as possible.
If you don’t have a site , this is a good place to discuss what you’re looking for in terms of square footage, foot traffic, parking, freeway accessibility, outdoor seating , and other important details.
10. Market overview
Address the micro and macro market conditions in your area and how they relate to licenses and permits. At a macro level, what are the local and regional economic conditions?
If restaurants are doing poorly, explain why yours won’t; if restaurants are doing well, explain how you’ll be able to compete in an already booming restaurant climate. At a micro level, discuss who your direct competitors are. Talk about what types of restaurants share your target market and how you’ll differentiate yourself.
11. Marketing and publicity
The restaurant landscape is only getting more competitive. Discuss your pre- and post-opening marketing plans to show investors how you plan to gain traction leading up to opening day, as well as how you’ll keep the momentum going.
If you’re going to retain a PR/marketing company, introduce them and explain why you’ve chosen them over other companies (including some of their best-known clients helps). If not, convey that you have a solid plan in place to generate attention on your own through social media, your website , and media connections.
Using technology, like these two restaurant workers, can streamline discussions about a business plan. | Credit: Getty Images
12. Specialists and consultants
List any outside contractors you plan to retain, such as:
- General contractor
- PR and marketing
Briefly explain the services they’ll be providing for you, why you chose them, and any notable accomplishments.
13. Business structure
This section should be short and sweet. What type of business structure have you set up and why did you make that specific decision? You will need to work with an attorney to help you determine what business structure is best for you.
“Step one: write a business plan. Step two: hire a good attorney. In addition to helping me build a smart, sustainable business structure, my attorney was also a great resource for reviewing my business plan because she’s read thousands of them. She was a very helpful, experienced outside perspective for more than just legal matters,” says Charles Bililies.
14. Financial projections
Let your accountant guide you through this portion of your business plan. It is crucial that whoever you hire to help you with your finances has a wealth of restaurant experience (not just one or two places). They should be familiar with the financial specifics of starting a restaurant and know what questions to ask you.
Before creating realistic financial projections, your accountant will want to know:
- How many seats the restaurant will have
- What your average check will be
- How many covers per day you plan to do
Being conservative in these estimations is key. These three data points will be used as the basis for figuring out whether your concept is financially feasible.
Lou Guerrero, Principal at Kross, Baumgarten, Kniss & Guerrero, emphasizes, “You’ll get a lot of accountants that tell you that they’ve done a couple of restaurants, but you have to choose someone that has a deep expertise in what you’re doing. There’s nothing to gain from going with someone that doesn’t have a very restaurant-centric practice.”
A well-vetted accountant with restaurant experience will know exactly what you’ll need to have prepared to show investors.
The key projections you can expect to work on are:
- Pro forma profit and loss statement for the first three to five years of operation
- Break even analysis
- Capital requirements budget
Writing a comprehensive restaurant business plan is a crucial step towards opening a successful establishment. By seeking inspiration from examples, demonstrating your expertise, and addressing all the essential components, you can prove the viability of your concept to potential investors.
Remember, a well-prepared business plan demonstrates professionalism and a clear understanding of your goals, increasing your chances of achieving long-term success in the competitive restaurant industry.
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Writing a restaurant business plan: A Guide | CloudKitchens
In many ways, a restaurant business plan is like a detailed recipe. But instead of listing ingredients and cooking methods, a restaurant business plan provides aspiring restaurant owners an overview of their proposed establishment—and it’s as crucial as a dish’s final dash of salt.
However, writing a strong restaurant business plan can be confusing. That’s why we’re here.
By diving into how to write a restaurant business plan, we’ll discuss the detailed information you should include so you know how to start a restaurant business successfully. That way, your business plan can be as well-built as your famous chicken club—if not as tasty. So, put on your apron, pick up your pen, and let’s get to work.
What is a restaurant business plan?
Nearly all new businesses need a business plan. That’s because a business plan details a business’s structure, operation, finances, marketing strategies, and more. Without this, your business may have difficulty attracting investors. A weak plan may even prevent you from obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
A restaurant’s business plan is no exception. In fact, a restaurant’s business plan may be even more important than plans for other business types. That’s because restaurants are especially liable to fail within their first year. According to some estimates, 30% of restaurants fail during their initial 12 months.
While a carefully-considered plan alone may not help you stay afloat, a bad one can sink you faster than a vegetable in a pickling jar.
What to include in a restaurant business plan
Regardless of the business’s type, most business plans include the following:
•An executive summary •A company description •A market analysis •A marketing strategy •A financial strategy
In addition to these common sections, restaurant business plans typically include:
•A menu overview •A design plan •A location assessment •An employee plan
Let’s unpack each of these sections in more detail.
#1 Executive summary
Although the executive summary is normally at the top of restaurant business plans, it may be the last section you write. That’s because your executive summary summarizes what’s included in your restaurant business plan. In doing so, an executive summary functions like a book’s introduction, letting readers know exactly what to expect.
Writing a compelling, yet informative, executive summary is just as important as setting the right temperature on your sous vide. When investors are crunched for time, your executive summary may be the only section they read. As a result, your executive summary should be:
•Concise •Informative •Well-written
When writing your executive summary, aim to include:
•Your concept •How you intend to execute your concept •An overview of costs and benefits •Your expected profit margin
#2 Company overview
Your company overview should be longer than your executive summary. Depending on the amount of detail you wish to include, your company overview may span several pages.
This is where you’ll describe your restaurant. Here are a few items to include in your company overview:
•The restaurant’s name •The restaurant’s backstory •The restaurant’s management structure •Your goals and objectives •Your food and concept
You should also include the location of your restaurant and any legal information about franchising and trademarking. Finally, it may be worthwhile to list your background as a restaurateur and your cooking experience.
#3 Market analysis
A marketing plan, or industry analysis, looks at the market forces surrounding a new restaurant. This section is important because opening a new restaurant in an area with low demand or stiff competition could spell trouble. As a result, a strong market research analysis typically focuses on:
•The restaurant’s competition •The state of the local restaurant industry •The average revenue of similar restaurants •The average rate of restaurant closures in the area •The eating habits of the prospective customer base
You might also want to note current and expected meat and produce costs.
#4 Marketing strategy
Before the internet changed the marketing landscape, many restaurants relied on word-of-mouth, radio, and newspapers to promote their eateries. Now, restaurant management teams have a wide range of marketing strategies—from billboards to social media accounts.
Providing an overview of your marketing strategy can help you set your budget. It can also keep you focused on the marketing strategies that work best for your target clientele. In addition to detailing how you’ll promote your restaurant, your marketing strategy might also discuss:
•Meal discounts •Special promotions •Community events •In-kind donations •Partnerships
#5 Financial strategy
So, how much does it cost to start a restaurant business ? Restaurants aren’t typically built on spare change. In fact, according to some estimates, the average restaurant startup cost is upwards of $250,000—and that’s just the initial investment.
Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that even fine dining restaurants experience occasional equipment malfunctions. Some restaurants also have exorbitant food costs. As a result, knowing how you’ll pay for these expenses before they mount can give you peace of mind.
Your financial analysis should carefully outline the following:
•Potential investors •Operating costs •Equipment costs •Employee costs
Your financial strategy might also include how you’ll save on expenses. For example, you could potentially minimize your upfront kitchen costs by opting for a ghost kitchen . Thus, your financial strategy could reflect how the ghost kitchen will impact your operating costs.
#6 Menu overview
Your menu overview section might be the most exciting section you write. After all, your menu is often the focal point of your restaurant.
That said, your menu need not be totally complete. Instead, you can start menu engineering with just a general idea of your food and beverage concept. When constructing your sample menu overview section, consider the following:
•Restaurant logos •An overview of the types of service •Potential prices of each menu item •A preliminary design
Once you have a firmer grasp on your menu’s general direction, you can tinker with it as your restaurant concept continues to grow.
#7 Design plan
Your restaurant’s layout can be just as important as your menu. Do you envision a central dining room flanked by smaller dining rooms? Do you prefer mostly two-top tables or community-style tables? Using your business plan to think through your restaurant idea’s design can help you budget for tables and chairs accordingly. It can also help you plan light fixtures and table decorations.
The best design plans may also include kitchen layouts. Since a successful restaurant’s efficiency is largely measured by its kitchen’s efficiency, a well-designed layout can boost productivity. When considering your kitchen’s layout, think about the following:
•Ovens and ranges •Freezer space •Dishwashing equipment •Shelves and storage •Office space •Prep and hand sinks
#8 Location assessment
Similar to a market analysis, a location assessment measures the profitability of your restaurant based on its area. However, its focus is different from that of a market analysis.
Instead of analyzing larger industry forces like supply and demand, location assessments look at the particular characteristics of a restaurant’s environment. These characteristics include:
•Available parking •Population density •Foot traffic •Urban development •Future zoning regulations •Average rent
Location assessments can be particularly useful for restaurants in underdeveloped areas. They can give you an idea of an area’s expected growth or decline.
#9 Employee plan
Finally, an employee plan is a valuable element to add to your restaurant business plan template. In short, an employee plan anticipates your staffing needs. A sample employee plan might include the following:
•Staffing needs •Shifts and hours •Back-of-house jobs •Front-of-house jobs •Employee pay •Tip policy
The last two items are especially important. Will your employees collect individual tips, or will tips be pooled? Will gratuity already be included in the guest’s checks? Furthermore, will all employees be paid an hourly wage, or will some employees be salaried?
Your plan might also discuss how you’ll advertise jobs, your onboarding requirements, and your restaurant’s required training.
How to present a completed business plan
A recipe may contain the ingredients to make an elaborate French sandwich. But if you don't present the sandwich right, it may just look like a regular old ham on rye. The same principle applies to business plans.
In short, designing and presenting your business plan effectively is the best way to attract potential investors. Here are a few ways to make your business plan stand out:
Include charts and pictures – Many people have said that the “eye takes the first bite.” While this adage applies to the way food looks on the plate, it can also apply to the way restaurant concepts are presented. Charts and pictures can help potential investors visualize your concepts more fully.
Use a template – Business plan templates have made many restaurateurs’ lives easier. That’s because these templates can enhance the presentation of information. That said, don’t be hemmed in by a template. If your restaurant defies simple categorization, it may be helpful to take a more creative approach.
Be confident in your plan – You’ve done most of the heavy lifting by completing your business plan. Now, it’s time to be confident in your delivery. Review your plan thoroughly to anticipate any questions.
Plan your restaurant with CloudKitchens
Writing a restaurant business plan can be more time-intensive than making a risotto.
Fortunately, CloudKitchens can help take a few things off your plate—especially kitchen design, so you can start thinking about restaurant expansion opportunities.
Our ghost kitchens come equipped with commercial hoods, hand sinks, prep sinks, and gas points. As a result, you could spend less time thinking about how you’ll design your kitchen space and more time using it.
You’ve spent a lot of time writing your business plan. With CloudKitchens, you can finally get back to cooking. Now that’s delicious.
Eat. How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan (Step by Step Guide with Samples) . https://restaurant.eatapp.co/blog/restaurant-business-plan
On the Line. What is the Restaurant Failure Rate? https://pos.toasttab.com/blog/on-the-line/restaurant-failure-rate#:~:text=The%20restaurant%20failure%20rate%20is,t%20survive%20their%20first%20year
Sage. How much does it cost to open a restaurant? https://www.sage.com/en-us/accounting-software/startup-costs/restaurant/
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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan: Free Template & Tips
By Dana Krook
If you want to open a restaurant, the first thing you need to do is create a restaurant business plan. This essential document serves as a blueprint for your vision and details all the different steps you’ll need to take in order to turn your business dreams into reality.
However, if you’ve never written a business plan before, the process can seem a little intimidating. So to help you get started, we’ve put together a complete guide to writing a business plan for your restaurant. In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What is a business plan?
- How and when to write a restaurant business plan
- The 7 sections of every business plan
- A free restaurant business plan template
What is a Restaurant Business Plan?
A restaurant business plan is a written document that outlines your business goals and how you will go about achieving those objectives. Put simply, a business plan acts as a written roadmap for a new restaurant from a financial, operational, and marketing perspective. Additionally, a restaurant business plan is also an important document for attracting outside financial investments – especially if you do not have an existing track record.
Though the length of a business plan varies from business to business, this type of document usually spans 15 to 20 pages. All business plans also tend to have the same basic elements, including an executive summary, a detailed description of the business, its services, and its products, a market analysis, an operations plan, and a financial analysis.
Why You Need a Business Plan
As mentioned above, a restaurant’s business plan is a very important document, because it serves as a step-by-step guide for bringing your new business to life. By putting all the necessary information in your business plan, you’ll be able to clearly navigate each stage of the journey – from construction to daily operations.
Your business plan is also essential for raising money from investors. Opening a restaurant is expensive and often you’ll need capital from outside investors. Your business plan can help to convince investors to provide you with funding by showing them that you have a well-throughout plan for success and a sound financial strategy.
Download this customizable restaurant business plan template to create a professional business plan for your new venture.
How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan: The 7 Sections Your Business Plan Template Should Include
While no two business plans are alike, they all include a few common elements. Below, we’ll explain the process of writing a restaurant’s business plan, including the seven key sections to include and what to write in each. You can also follow along and start filling out your own business plan – digitally or on paper – by downloading our restaurant business plan template .
1. Executive Summary
Look at any restaurant business plan example and you’ll see that it starts with an executive summary. The executive summary for a restaurant business plan introduces your new business and serves as a summary for your vision. The goal of this section is to provide an overview of what will be discussed in your business plan and to entice readers (likely investors) to want to know more.
In your executive summary, be sure to touch on your restaurant mission statement , your proposed concept, and how you’ll execute your business plan. You should also list any business partners and, if you’re targeting investors, detail the funding requirements.
And while this section is important, remember to keep it concise. Aim for 600 words max to encourage your reader to dive further into your business plan.
2. Business Description
A business description section should follow your executive summary. The purpose of this section is to provide your reader with a high-level overview of your restaurant idea and to answer key questions that investors may have, such as the business concept, service model, and ownership structure.
Describe your restaurant concept in detail by providing information on the following:
- Business structure: Is your restaurant a sole proprietorship, partnership, or something else?
- Concept: Define your concept and what makes it unique compared to other restaurants. Be clear on the defining theme for your restaurant and what type of cuisine you will serve. Do you have any restaurant names in mind? Include them here.
- Service Model: Explain what level of service you will offer – whether that’s limited service, full service, or something in between.
- Menu: Include a small sample menu in your business plan and explain the inspiration behind the menu.
- Design and Layout: Provide an overview of your restaurant interior design and layout. Touch on key elements such as plateware, lighting, uniforms, and more.
- Management and Ownership: Provide more information about yourself and the management team you’ve assembled for your new restaurant, highlighting any relevant experience that will aid in your success.
Keep in mind that this section can easily come across as a bit dry and mundane – especially for investors who have read dozens of business plans. Think about how you can make your business idea stand out with passionate language and unique details.
3. Target Market and Market Analysis
Whether you’re buying or leasing , this section is where you describe the specific location of your new restaurant and the current market conditions. In addition to general information about your target market, you also want to explain your unique positioning in the market, your ideal customer profile, and how you’ll make your restaurant stand out.
In this section, you’ll clearly define:
- Location: Explain the location (or prospective location) of your new restaurant and why you chose that specific area.
- Target Audience: Include both demographics and psychographics.
- Market Need: Describe the market need your restaurant will satisfy. Maybe you’re a coffee shop appealing to millennials who crave immersive coffee experiences.
- Positioning and Strategy: Descibe how you’ll meet your market need. Using the coffee shop example, you may choose to provide guided tours of your roastery or host workshops on making coffee.
- Competition and Opportunities: This includes both direct and indirect competition. Research the market by visiting your competition, seeing how they do things, and pinpointing what you can do better. You can then lay all this information out for investors by sketching out a SWOT analysis .
- Competitive Advantage: List your competitive advantage. Start by looking at your competition and see where you fit in.
- Market Trends: Find statistics to prove there’s demand for your concept. For example, a simple Google search for coffee demand in the U.S. yields ample results.
4. Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan section details the restaurant marketing ideas , strategies, and tactics you’ll employ to get the word out about your restaurant. This section should go into detail about how you plan to market your restaurant, and after you open.
For instance, you might want to hire a PR team to drum up excitement ahead of your grand opening. And then after you open, you might want to leverage local food influencers to grow your social media presence.
5. Operations Plan
Your operations section is where you get into the nitty gritty of how your restaurant will operate once you’re up and running.
In this section, include details about:
- Your Team: Who will be working at your restaurant? If you haven’t filled any positions yet, simply list the roles that need filling.
- Supplier Relationships: List your suppliers across various categories like food, alcohol, cleaning services, and more.
- Technology: What’s the best restaurant POS system for your venue? Will you be using third-party food delivery apps or a direct online ordering system ?
- Insurance: Ensure you follow mandatory restaurant insurance requirements and research any other special coverage you may need.
- Licensing: Licenses you’ll probably require include a business license, liquor license , music license, sign permit, and food handler’s permit.
6. Financial Analysis and Growth Plan
Your financial analysis is one of the last sections of your business plan, but it’s also one of the most important sections. In fact, many investors may skip straight to this section to determine how viable your idea is and whether your business is an attractive investment (or not).
Make sure you complete a financial forecast that includes the following:
- Pre-opening or startup costs (you may need to get some restaurant startup quotes )
- Financing, loans, and other funding
- An investment plan and budget (using a restaurant budget template may be helpful)
- A sales forecast
- A projected profit and loss (P&L) statement
- A break-even analysis
- Expenses and expected cash flow
Adding an appendix section is optional, but highly recommended. This section is a great place to include charts, plans, graphics, pictures, a detailed budget, or any other material investors may find useful.
In your appendix, you may want to include:
- A sample menu
- Blueprints or pictures of your restaurant floor plan
- Additional financial charts and figures
- Design mockups
Ready to get started? Grab the template!
9 Tips for Writing a Great Plan
Now that you understand what key elements to include in your restaurant’s business plan, let’s look at 9 tips for writing yours.
1. Use a Business Plan Template
Before writers start writing, they usually have a basic outline that acts as a template – a starting point – for their idea. By following the same approach when writing your business plan, the entire process will be much smoother. And lucky for you, we have a free restaurant business plan template available to help you get started.
2. Create a Detailed Outline
Using our template, create an even more detailed outline. Make your way through all the sections of your business plan and jot down key points under each section.
3. Embrace the “Good Enough” Mindset
As you move through the sections of your plan, you may get stuck and have nothing to say. If this happens, make a note to come back to it later and move on. You can always include more detail after you’ve done more research.
4. Research to Find Statistics and Inspiration
You will need to research to find statistics to back up your arguments, with specific sections requiring more research than others (i.e. the “Market Analysis” section). You may even want to find a sample restaurant business plan that will spark your creativity and give you ideas on how to better present yours.
5. View Your Plan as a Work in Progress
Writing a business plan takes time as you get a grip on the details and fine-tune your message. The key is to embrace this process and view your business plan as an ever-evolving document you can add to over time.
Ready to kickstart your restaurant business plans?
6. know who your audience is.
Who are you writing for? Investors? Just you and your staff? Your audience will dictate the contents of your plan, the level of detail, and what language you’ll use.
If you’re writing for investors, your plan will need to be more detailed than if you’re writing for internal stakeholders. And because investors may have limited knowledge of restaurant terminology, avoid industry jargon and instead use plain English. It’s helpful to look at another restaurant business plan example to see how these types of documents are written.
7. Use Visuals, Charts, and Tables
Use images, graphics, tables, and charts to explain complex ideas, add color to your document – both literally and figuratively – and present specific information.
8. Summarize Each Part of Your Business Plan
After you’ve completed a section of the plan, write a short summary that highlights the critical details and key takeaways of that section.
9. Write Your Executive Summary Last
An executive summary for a restaurant business plan summarizes your entire document so you should try to write it last – after you’ve covered all the details.
The Importance of Business Plans in the Restaurant Industry
Writing a restaurant business plan is essential – even if you already own a restaurant. A business plan acts as a blueprint you can follow, reduces stress, and boosts investor confidence. And when you start with a restaurant business plan template , the process moves that much faster.
Dana is the former Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.
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Restaurant Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide + examples
Dreaming of opening a 🍴 restaurant? Passion, creativity, and delicious food are key. But for long-term success, a business plan is essential too.
Are you dreaming of owning your own restaurant? Picture the sizzle of a hot skillet, the laughter of satisfied guests, and the fulfillment of sharing your culinary creations with the world. But before you dive into this flavorful adventure, there’s a crucial ingredient you can’t overlook: a winning restaurant business plan.
What is a business plan for?
A business plan is a vital document for every restaurant owner. It provides a roadmap for success, helps secure funding, guides financial and operational decisions, mitigates risks, and facilitates effective communication.
Just like any other business, a restaurant needs a well-crafted business plan to ensure its success and sustainability. Without a business plan, you risk operating in the dark, making decisions on a whim, and facing unexpected challenges that could have been avoided.
Investing time and effort into creating a solid business plan sets your restaurant on the path to achieving your culinary dreams and exceeding customer expectations.
Create Restaurant’s Business Plan in these 9 steps:
✔️ 1. Start with an executive summary ✔️ 2. Describe your concept ✔️ 3. Conduct Market analysis ✔️ 4. Define your management and organization ✔️ 5. Give a sample “yummy” Menu ✔️ 6. Create design and branding ✔️ 7. Provide a Location ✔️ 8. Establish Marketing plan ✔️ 9. Define Financial plan
1. Executive summary
The executive summary is like the appetizer of your restaurant business plan – it’s the first bite that leaves a lasting impression. Its purpose is to capture the essence of your entire plan and entice time-crunched reviewers, such as potential investors and lenders, to delve deeper into your vision. It’s worth noting that the executive summary should be the final section you write.
To craft a concise and captivating summary, it’s crucial to highlight key points, including your unique concept, target market, and financial projections. Additionally, bear in mind that the executive summary sets the tone for the rest of your plan, so it’s essential to make it irresistible and leave readers yearning for more.
When it comes to the executive summary of your restaurant business plan, brevity is key . You have only one page to capture the attention of readers, but don’t worry, it’s definitely doable. Here’s what your executive summary should include:
- Restaurant concept : What does your business do?
- Goals and vision : What does your business want to achieve?
- Restaurant differentiation : What makes your menu/concept different, and what sets you apart?
- Projected financial state : What revenue do you anticipate?
- The team : Who is involved in the business?
2. Describe your concept
In the world of restaurant business plans, there’s a section that holds immense importance. It’s the one that answers two fundamental questions: Who are you, and what do you plan to do?
This is the section where you fully introduce your company, and it deserves special attention. Share all the important details that paint a vivid picture of your unique business. Include the restaurant’s name, location, and contact information. Additionally, provide relevant details such as the chef’s background and what makes your restaurant stand out in the market.
Curious about concept creation? Watch our short video featuring a summary of an example restaurant concept below! 👇
Now is your opportunity to showcase your vision and establish a unique identity for your restaurant. Utilize this section to highlight what sets you apart and capture the reader’s imagination.
3. Market analysis
Market analysis helps you understand your potential customers, competition, and overall restaurant market trends. It’s like having a crystal ball to shape your restaurant’s success.
When it comes to your potential market, you want to know how many people are hungry for what you’re serving. Sounds exciting, right? To estimate this, you’ll gather data on your target customers, like their age group or preferences, and combine it with industry trends. It’s like finding the perfect recipe to satisfy their cravings.
Now, let’s tackle the competition. Every restaurant has rivals, even if they’re serving a unique dish. It’s crucial to identify direct or indirect competitors and understand what makes you stand out. Are you offering affordable prices, a one-of-a-kind experience, or catering to a specific niche? Highlight your “secret sauce” that sets you apart from the rest.
Market analysis for restaurant’s business plan
Market analysis also involves a SWOT analysis. Don’t let the jargon scare you. It simply means evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Think of it as a superhero assessment for your restaurant. Identify what you excel at, areas for improvement, potential market opportunities, and external factors that could impact your success.
Example of SWOT analysis for a restaurant
Remember, market analysis is like a compass guiding your restaurant’s journey. It helps you make informed decisions, attract investors, and stay ahead of the game. So, embrace the power of market analysis, and let it shape the destiny of your delicious dining destination.
4. Management and organization
Effective management and organization are critical for success in the restaurant sector. This section of your business plan introduces the talented individuals who will lead your restaurant to new heights.
Outline your legal structure, whether it’s an S corporation, limited partnership, or sole proprietorship, providing key information for stakeholders.
Showcase your management team using an organizational chart to highlight their roles, responsibilities, and contributions. Their expertise and guidance are crucial for seamless operations and exceptional customer experiences.
With a strong management team in place, your restaurant is poised for success. They are the driving force behind your journey to greatness. Let’s meet the key players who will make it happen!
Streamline your operations and optimize your financial performance With resOs , you can efficiently manage reservations, track inventory, analyze sales data, and streamline your overall workflow. Get your FREE plan
5. Sample “yummy” Menu
In the restaurant industry, your menu plays a main role as the core product. Include a section in your business plan that highlights key details about your menu offerings to engage readers.
If you offer a diverse range of dishes, provide a brief overview of each category. Alternatively, if your menu focuses on specific specialties or signature dishes, provide more detailed descriptions for each item.
You can also mention any upcoming menu additions or unique culinary creations that will enhance profitability and attract customers.
6. Design and branding
When it comes to starting a restaurant, don’t underestimate the power of design and branding. They’re the secret ingredients that can make your establishment truly stand out. Think about it – when customers walk through your front door, what do they see? The right design and branding can instantly captivate their attention and make them feel right at home.
So, take some time to envision the overall aesthetic and mood you want to create.
Do you imagine a cozy and rustic setting or a sleek and modern vibe?
Let your creativity shine through! Include captivating photos of similar restaurants that inspire you and give potential investors a glimpse of your vision.
And don’t forget about your logo! If you’ve already designed one, proudly showcase it in your business plan. It’s the visual representation of your restaurant’s personality and will help establish brand recognition.
resOS’ customizable interface for your booking system
Stand out in the competitive restaurant industry with resOS’ customizable booking management system . Personalize every aspect of the interface to reflect your restaurant’s unique brand identity. Seamlessly integrate your logo, colors, and visual elements, creating a cohesive and immersive experience for your guests. With resOS, you have the power to revolutionize your restaurant’s image and leave a lasting impression.
Details matter too! Share your plans for specific design elements , from the choice of furniture to the color palette that will adorn your space. The more you paint a vivid picture, the more investors and customers will be enticed by your unique ambiance.
For a restaurant, location can make or break the business. Occasionally, a restaurant concept is so good that people go out of their way to find it. But, more realistically, your location needs to be convenient for your target market. If it’s hard for your customers to get to you, hard for them to park, and not something they notice as they drive by, they’re unlikely to check your restaurant out.
In your business plan, make sure to discuss the potential locations that you hope to occupy, assuming you haven’t already secured the location. Explain why the location is ideal for your target market and how the location will help attract customers.
Unlock the potential of your restaurant’s location and streamline reservations with resOS. Our platform offers seamless integration with Reserve With Google , allowing customers to easily discover and book tables directly from Google search results and maps. By enabling this feature, you’ll maximize your restaurant’s visibility and attract more diners with just a few clicks. Experience the power of location-based reservations with resOS .
Be sure to explain the complete costs of your location and what kinds of renovations will be necessary to open your restaurant.
8. Marketing plan
In today’s competitive restaurant industry, it’s important to showcase your marketing strategy to investors. They want to know how you’ll create buzz and keep it going before and after your grand opening.
Create a winning business plan with a strong marketing focus. Our Restaurant Business Plan Steps Graphic (👆 see above) is your visual guide, including key marketing strategies. Download or save for later and plan your path to success.
Whether you’ve enlisted a top-notch Marketing company or have a solid ready-to-go marketing plan, highlight your chosen path. Discuss the unique strengths of your selected agency and why they stand out, including their notable clients. Alternatively, showcase your in-house plan, leveraging social media, your website, and valuable media connections.
A well-crafted marketing plan holds the key to differentiating your restaurant and attracting customers. Prepare to tantalize taste buds and offer an exceptional dining experience. Stay in tune with the latest restaurant industry trends, leverage effective marketing tools, and optimize your online presence.
Lastly, integrate a robust restaurant booking system to streamline reservations and enhance the overall customer experience. With these strategic elements in place, success is within your reach.
9. Financial Plan
Financial analysis is a crucial part of your restaurant’s business plan. It helps investors assess the profitability of your concept and whether it’s a worthwhile investment. In this section, you’ll outline how you plan to allocate your funds in the first year and provide projections for costs and revenues.
Here are the 🔑 key components to include:
Investment Plan: Explain the initial investment costs, such as kitchen equipment, furniture, employee wages, legal fees, marketing expenses, and working capital. This shows how you’ll use your funds effectively.
Profit and Loss Projection: Estimate your restaurant’s costs and sales figures in the profit and loss statement. Consider factors like the size of your establishment, your target market, and the existing competition in your chosen location.
Break-Even Analysis: Show investors the monthly revenue you need to achieve to cover all your expenses and reach profitability. This analysis considers overhead costs, operational expenses, and factors that may affect revenue fluctuations throughout the year.
Claim your FREE plan on resOS today! Ready to revolutionize your business management? Join resos.com for FREE and take control of your operations. ✅ Seamless calendar integration ✅ Customizable booking forms ✅ Automated reminders ✅ Real-time availability updates Don’t miss out! Sign up now at resos.com and experience stress-free scheduling. Your time is valuable, so claim your FREE plan today!
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Key Writing Tips for a Restaurant Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Creating a successful restaurant business requires a lot of planning and careful thought. Aside from a business plan, you’ll also need an executive summary. Regardless of the kind of business, you plan on putting up; this document is crucial in getting the attention of investors. If you’re unfamiliar with putting together a summary, it’s best to look at an executive summary for a restaurant example .
This article will share a great executive summary example that can serve as your guide. We will also cover the key sections of an executive summary and provide some actionable tips to write an effective one.
What is an Executive Summary?
An executive summary for a restaurant business plan is a brief, one or two-page overview of your business . It highlights the most important points of your plan and the strategies you’ll need to employ for success.
The summary should also include information on who you are as a business, what you can offer customers, and how you will be profitable. This can convince more people to invest in your concept.
Things to Include in Your Executive Summary for Restaurant
A business overview is a snapshot of your company that introduces your business, what you do, and why customers should care. It can be used to introduce your company to potential investors or partners or as part of a broader marketing strategy.
To better understand the business overview, here’s a brief example of a burger business:
At our burger restaurant, we serve fresh, made-to-order burgers and fries. We use only the freshest ingredients, and our food is prepared in-house. Our menu offers a variety of burger options. And we have something for everyone – including vegetarian options and a kids’ menu.
When writing a business executive summary for a restaurant, it is important to include information about the products served. It allows investors or other interested parties to get a sense of your culinary offerings. You can add unique names to your menu items too. For example, try writing “The Burgers of the Universe” and “The Ultimate Veggie Burger” to appeal to different customer segments.
Who are your target customers? What are their needs? What is your unique selling point? Which steps will you take to ensure that your customers are satisfied with your service? These are some of the questions that your executive summary should be able to answer.
This part of your restaurant executive summary is about your new business’s ownership structure. You must include what type of business ownership you are creating and how you will set up your management team.
Staffing and Employment
When you have outlined your restaurant’s ownership and management structures, you can begin to give details on your staffing requirements. You can describe what your staffing needs are, such as:
- How many servers do you need
- Kitchen staff requirements
- Any employees you already have on staff, such as a manager or chef.
When writing a business executive summary for a restaurant, it is important to include your success factors. This will help potential investors or partners understand what makes your restaurant profitable and why they should invest in it.
Some key success factors could be your unique menu, excellent customer service, or strong branding. Whatever the case, highlight what sets your restaurant apart from the competition and why it is poised for success.
Regardless of how you organize your restaurant finances, your executive restaurant summary should include the following:
- How much capital do you have
- Breakdown of your startup costs, such as new kitchen equipment, lease payments, renovations, or licensing fees.
- A projection on how long it will take for your restaurant to become profitable
- How much money your business expects to spend every day and every week?
- Forecasts based on existing data or competitor data.
- A list of recurring expenses, such as overhead, labor, and food costs.
- Start with a well-crafted executive summary that will impress potential investors and partners from the get-go. This overview should introduce your business, its goals and objectives, and a snapshot of the current market landscape.
- Ensure your writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand – even for those unfamiliar with the restaurant industry.
- Supply concrete data and evidence to support your assertions whenever possible (elevating investor confidence in your venture).
- Don’t go into too much detail. Focus on highlighting key points most relevant to showcasing why opening this restaurant is a lucrative investment opportunity.
- Finally, proofread/edit your work before submission – nothing turns off potential investors more than sloppy grammar or typographical errors!
Executive Summary for a Restaurant Example
A new Italian restaurant named “Cucina” is set to open in the downtown area of New York City. The cuisine will focus on classic dishes from regions throughout Italy, emphasizing fresh ingredients and simple preparations. The owner/chef has spent years traveling throughout Italy, developing relationships with local farmers and purveyors. Guests can be assured they’re getting the most authentic experience possible. In addition to regular dinner service, Cucina will also offer a weekend brunch featuring popular Italian breakfast items. This includes espresso and pastries and heartier fare like frittatas and Eggs Benedict.
We have chosen an excellent location in the city’s heart, close to other popular restaurants and tourist attractions. Our modern decor with touches of traditional Italian style will set us apart from the competition. We anticipate a busy opening period as word spreads about our delicious food. Financial data shows that there is potential for profitability within the first year of operation if key marketing strategies are put into place .
A business plan is never complete without an executive summary. This is a beneficial tool for you to convince investors to invest in and support your business.
Refer to the executive summary for a restaurant example and tips in this article to help you get started. By writing a clear, compelling executive summary, you will position yourself and your business for success!
Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.
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Restaurant Executive Summary Example
A restaurant executive summary example is the solution to business plan problems this template is perfect whether you are trying to attract investors, sell your business, or produce financial reports..
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- Plan : business
Planning to open your own restaurant or eatery? This restaurant executive summary template will give you all the details you need to know before embarking on this exciting journey. Use it as a reference sheet while looking for investors, communicating with a potential partner, or writing up an effective business plan. This template is for a coffee shop executive summary that can be used for writing about any restaurant or eatery. It provides a great foundation for your restaurant, including important aspects like location, opening hours, and special features. A coffee shop executive summary is written in an investor-friendly tone. It includes information such as the restaurant's description, financial performance, marketing, and future plans. The template can be customized to fit any type of restaurant and can play an important role in investment decisions. The restaurant executive summary is a great place for a business plan writer to start, as it provides a template that can be referenced and then greatly expanded by including the history of the eatery and its unique qualities. At the same time, this table quickly summarizes financial information
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Restaurant Business Plan Template
Restaurant business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your restaurant business plan.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners with how to write a restaurant business plan to help them start or grow their restaurants.
Below is a restaurant business plan template to help you create each section of your business plan.
Restaurant Business Plan Example
Executive summary, business overview.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is a new restaurant and steakhouse located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The menu of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will include bistro-type dishes that are authentically created and crafted by acclaimed Chef Peter Logan. It will be located in the trendy part of town, known as the Plaza District. The restaurant will be surrounded by classy art galleries, live theater, high-end restaurants and bars, and expensive shopping.
Owned by emerging restaurant operators Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette, Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse’s mission is to become Oklahoma City’s best, new restaurant for patrons to celebrate their next big event, have a nice date night, or gather with friends or family for a fun evening while dining over finely crafted entrees, desserts, and cocktails.
The following are the menu items to be offered by Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse:
- Soups & Salads
- Gourmet sides
- Wine, Beer & Spirits
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will target adult men and women between the ages of 21 – 65 with disposable income in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Within this demographic are millennials, young professionals, newlyweds, young families, more established families, and retirees. Because of the pricing structure of the menu, the patrons will likely be upper middle class to the wealthy population of Oklahoma City.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is owned and operated by fellow Oklahoma City natives and culinary enthusiasts, Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette. Both come with a unique skill set and complement each other perfectly. They formerly worked together at another OKC fine dining establishment and made a great team for serving guests delectable food and wine while ensuring the highest level of customer service.
Chef Peter will manage the kitchen operations of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse, while Anastasia will oversee front of the house operations, maintain and ensure customer service, and manage all reservations.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is seeking $300,000 in debt financing to open its start-up restaurant. The funding will be dedicated for the build-out and design of the restaurant, kitchen, bar and lounge, as well as cooking supplies and equipment, working capital, three months worth of payroll expenses and opening inventory. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Restaurant Build-Out and Design – $100,000
- Kitchen supplies and equipment – $100,000
- Opening inventory – $25,000
- Working capital (to include 3 months of overhead expenses) – $25,000
- Marketing (advertising agency) – $25,000
- Accounting firm (3 months worth and establishment/permitting of business) – $25,000
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is a new restaurant and steakhouse located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will serve a wide variety of dishes and beverages and will cater to the upper middle class to wealthier population of Oklahoma City. The menu of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will include bistro-type dishes that are authentically created and crafted by acclaimed Chef Peter Logan. It will be located in the trendy part of town, known as the Plaza District. The Plaza District is one of Oklahoma’s trendy neighborhoods and is considered the “it” area for newlyweds, millennials, professionals, and young singles. The restaurant will be surrounded by classy art galleries, live theater, high-end restaurants and bars, and expensive shopping.
Owned by emerging restaurant operators Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette, the restaurant’s mission statement is to become the best new steak restaurant in OKC. The following are the types of menu items Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will serve- shareables, steaks, soups, gourmet sides and salads.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse History
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is owned by two Oklahoma City natives, Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette. They have both worked around the country in fine dining establishments and have a combined twenty years in the restaurant industry. Upon working alongside each other at another fine dining establishment in Oklahoma City, the two of them became good friends and decided to venture into owning their own restaurant.
Chef Peter is the kitchen guru and critically acclaimed chef, while Anastasia manages the front of the house and is a certified Sommelier. Together, with both of their expertise and knowledge, Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is destined to become Oklahoma City’s next big restaurant.
The Restaurant industry is expected to grow to over $220 billion in the next five years.
Consumer spending is projected to grow. The Consumer Confidence Index, a leading indicator of spending patterns, is expected to also grow strongly, which will boost restaurant industry growth over the next five years. The growth in consumer confidence also suggests that more consumers may opt to segment their disposable income to eating outside the home.
Additionally, an increase in the number of households earning more than $100,000 annually further contributes to the industry growth, supporting industry operators that offer more niche, higher-end products. This group is expected to continue to grow in size over the next five years.
The urban population represents a large market for the industry. Specifically, time-strapped individuals living in urban areas will likely frequent industry establishments to save time on cooking. The urban population is expected to increase, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.
Demographic profile of target market, customer segmentation.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will primarily target the following customer profile:
- Upper middle class to wealthier population
- Young professionals
- Households with an average income of at least $75k
- Foodies and culture enthusiasts
Direct and indirect competitors.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will be competing with other restaurants in Oklahoma City. A profile of each competitor is below. The Press Located in the trendy area known as the Plaza District, The Press has reimagined our favorite foods of the surrounding regions through the lens of home.
The menu consists of appetizers, soups, burgers and sandwiches, bowls, main dishes, sides, desserts, and a large selection of alcoholic beverages. The Press serves craft beer, domestic beer, wine spritzers, house cocktails, wine, and mimosas. They also offer brunch. The menu of The Press is affordable with the most expensive dish being $16. The wine menu is also not pretentious as the wine is sold either by the glass or bottle, with the most expensive bottle being $52 for the Gruet Sparkling Brut Rose. Oak & Ore Oak & Ore is a craft beer and restaurant in OKC’s Plaza District. They have a 36-tap beer selection and offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free dining options. Oak & Ore offers a rotating, 36-tap selection of their favorite brews from Oklahoma and around the world. Each beer is thoughtfully paired with a craft beer-inspired dining experience.
The food menu of Oak & Ore offers starters, salads, wings, fried chicken, sandwiches, tacos, banh mi, and sides. They also have a selection of kids dishes so the whole family can enjoy comfort food while sampling one of their delectable beers.
The Mule OKC The Mule is a casual, hip restaurant offering a large beer and cocktail menu plus sandwiches and more. Located in the constantly growing and buzzing hub that is the Plaza District, The Mule takes the timeless favorite and contorts it into a whole menu of wild offerings.
There is also a fantastic assortment of soups offered and The Mule shakes up a seasonal list of cocktails designed by their bar staff. During the winter months, patrons can stave off the cold with their versions of hot toddies and buttered rum. For the beer drinkers, they always have a reliable line-up of fresh cold brews on draft, as well as a wide selection of can.
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse offers several advantages over its competition. Those advantages are:
- Gourmet dishes elegantly prepared to the finest standard.
- Selection of steaks sourced from local Oklahoma farms.
- An exclusive and unique wine menu that includes a wine selection of all price points.
- Highly sought after location: Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will be located in the trendy and attractive neighborhood known as The Plaza District.
- Trendy, welcoming, and energetic ambiance that will be perfect for a night out or a celebration.
The marketing strategy for Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is as follows: Location Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse’s location is a promotions strategy in itself. The Plaza District is a destination spot for locals, tourists, and anyone looking for the trendiest food fare in Oklahoma City. The Plaza District is home to OKC’s most popular bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, and boutique shopping. The millennials, young professionals, and foodies will frequent Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse for the location itself.
Social Media Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will use social media to cater to the millennials and Oklahoma City residents. Chef Peter and Anastasia plan to hire an advertising agency to take professional photographs of the menu items and location to create appealing posts to reach a greater audience. The posts will include pictures of the menu items, as well as upcoming featured options. SEO Website Marketing Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse plans to invest funds into maintaining a strong SEO presence on search engines like Google and Bing. When a person types in “local fine dining restaurant” or “Oklahoma City restaurant”, Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will appear in the top three choices. The website will include the full menu, location, hours, and lots of pictures of the food, drinks, and steaks. Third Party Delivery Sites Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will maintain a presence on sites like GrubHub, Uber Eats, Doordash, and Postmates so that people looking for local food to be delivered will see Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse listed near the top.
The company will hire the following:
- 4 sous chefs
- 2 bartenders
- 2 hostesses
- The company will hire an advertising agency and an accounting firm
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse aims to open in the next 6 months. The following are the milestones needed in order to obtain this goal.
7/1/202X – Execute lease for prime location in the Plaza District.
7/2/202X – Begin construction of restaurant build-out.
7/10/202X – Finalize menu.
7/17/202X – Hire advertising company to begin developing marketing efforts.
8/15/202X – Start of marketing campaign
8/22/202X – Final walk-thru of completed restaurant build-out.
8/25/202X – Hire team of sous chefs, servers, and bussers.
9/1/202X – Decoration and set up of restaurant.
9/15/202X – Grand Opening of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will be owned and operated by Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette. Each will have a 50% ownership stake in the restaurant.
Chef Peter Logan, Co-Owner
Chef Peter Logan is an Oklahoma City native and has been in the restaurant industry for over ten years. He was trained in a prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked in some of the nation’s most prestigious fine dining restaurants. His tenure has took him from the west coast to the east coast, and now he’s back doing what he loves in his hometown of Oklahoma City.
Chef Peter will manage the kitchen operations of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse. He will train and oversee the sous chefs, manage inventory, place food inventory orders, deal with the local food vendors, and ensure the highest customer satisfaction with the food.
Anastasia Gillette, Co-Owner
Anastasia Gillette was born and raised in Oklahoma City and has garnered over ten years in the restaurant industry as well. While in college, Anastasia worked as a hostess at one of the area’s most prestigious restaurant establishments. While there, she was eventually promoted to Front of the House Manager where she oversaw the hostesses, servers, bussers, bartenders, and reservations. Her passion always led to the beverage portion of the restaurant so she obtained her Sommelier certificate in 2019. With her wine education, Anastasia is able to cultivate an interesting and elegant wine selection for the restaurant.
Anastasia will oversee front of the house operations, maintain and ensure customer service, and manage all reservations. She will also be in charge of the bar and wine ordering, training of front of the house staff, and will manage the restaurant’s social media accounts once they are set up.
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue drivers for Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will come from the food and drink menu items being offered daily.
The cost drivers will be the ingredients and products needed to make the menu items as well as the cooking materials. A significant cost driver is the fine dining equipment, serving dishes, and beer and wine glasses. Other cost drivers will be the overhead expenses of payroll for the employees, accounting firm, and cost of the advertising agency.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is seeking $300,000 in debt financing to open its start-up restaurant. The breakout of the funding is below:
Cash Flow Statement
Restaurant Business Plan FAQs
What is a restaurant business plan.
A restaurant business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your restaurant business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your restaurant business plan using our Restaurant Business Plan Template here .
What Are the Main Types of Restaurants?
There are many types of restaurant businesses. Restaurants can range in type from fast food, fast casual, moderate casual, fine dining, and bar and restaurant types. Restaurants also come in a variety of different ethnic or themed categories, such as Mexican restaurants, Asian restaurants, American, etc. Some restaurants also go mobile and have food trucks.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Restaurant Business Plan?
Restaurant businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. Another option for a restaurant business is to obtain a small business loan. SBA loans are a popular option as they offer longer loan terms with lower interest rates.
What are the Steps To Start a Restaurant Business?
1. Develop A Restaurant Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed restaurant business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your restaurant business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your restaurant business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Restaurant Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your restaurant business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your restaurant business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Restaurant Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your restaurant business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your restaurant business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful restaurant business:
- How to Start a Restaurant Business
Where Can I Get a Restaurant Business Plan PDF?
You can download our free restaurant business plan template PDF here . This is a sample restaurant business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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- Writing Tips
How to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan
- 19th November 2023
An executive summary is the part of a business plan that gives an outline of the main plan. So to write an executive summary, we first need to read the business plan carefully and understand its key points. These key points are what we will condense to form the executive summary. It’s important to ensure that the executive summary can stand alone because plenty of users will read only that and not the main business plan. We could say that the business plan is the original TL;DR (too long; didn’t read)!
But first, let’s take a quick look at what goes into a business plan so we can focus on the sections we need for our executive summary.
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a document that sets out a business’s strategy and the means of achieving it. The business plan usually contains the following sections:
How to Write an Executive Summary
The executive summary covers the same headings as the main business plan but not in so much detail. This is where our editing skills come to the fore!
The following six steps explain how to approach writing the executive summary.
Consider the Audience
Who will be using the summary? The business plan might be issued only to a very specific group of people, in which case, their needs are paramount and specialized. If the business plan is going out on wider release, we need to think about what a general reader will want to know.
Check That It Makes Sense on Its Own
Make sure the summary can be read as a stand-alone document for users who won’t read the whole plan.
Use Formatting Effectively
Make good use of formatting, headings, numbering, and bullets to increase clarity and readability.
Keep It Brief
One page (or around ten percent of the total word count for a large document) is great.
Try to avoid jargon and use straightforward language. Readers of the executive summary might not have business backgrounds (for instance, if they are friend and family investors in a small start-up business).
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Proofread the Executive Summary
The executive summary will very likely be the first – and perhaps the only – part of the business plan some people will read, and it must be error-free to make a professional impression.
● Consider the audience .
● Ensure that the executive summary can stand alone.
● Use formatting tools to good advantage.
● Keep it brief.
● Keep it simple.
● Proofread it.
If you’d like an expert to proofread your business plan – or any of your writing – get in touch!
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- Business Plans Handbook
- Business Plans - Volume 07
- Restaurant Business Plan
BUSINESS PLAN BUTCHER HOLLOW BAR BQ
1020 Allen Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63104
The proprietors of this new restaurant plan to take advantage of their market research, which indicates there is a great interest and very little competition in a specific area of St. Louis for a barbecue restaurant.
- THE COMPANY—PRESENT SITUATION
Market analysis—customers, competition, marketing strategy—advertising, promotion & public relations.
- PRICING & PROFITABILITY
SUMMARY & USE OF FUNDING
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ will be an eat-in, carry-out restaurant, specializing in evening and weekend leisure dining. St. Louis is recognized as one of the prime barbecue markets in the country. The Soulard neighborhood, future home of Butcher Hollow, is known as one of our area's most popular and successful nightlife hubs.
What makes Butcher Hollow Bar BQ special as a business proposition? New restaurant openings are known to be risky. What have we done to neutralize these risks and assure success?
First, we have identified an unfulfilled market for our exceptional product. Careful research has demonstrated a 66% positive response by a representative sampling of our primary and secondary geographical markets. We have learned that people living in Soulard and Lafayette Square, or within reasonable driving distance, would patronize a good eat-in or carry-out Bar BQ restaurant in Soulard if one were available. Further research of the population demographics of this area reveals a lifestyle most conducive to eating out often, as frequently as three times per week.
Management has also identified a very viable commuting market that frequents the Soulard area, availing themselves of the many attractive restaurants, bars, and bistros. These customers travel there from downtown employment, stadium events, and other entertainment centers such as Union Station, Laclede's Landing, and Kiel Auditorium. Many look forward to a stop in historic Soulard. Butcher Hollow Bar BQ will be a welcome addition to this ambiance, offering to the area a delectable barbecue fare not currently available.
Many thousands of people also work in an near the Soulard area and often unwind after work at one of the many bistros. Butcher Hollow intends to be part and parcel of this scene, offering superb Bar BQ, frosted steins of beer, along with convenient carry-out. Relaxed patio dining is also planned for use during pleasant weather.
Tom and Helen Carter bring both experience and formal training to the food service field. Tom operated the successful Tom's Cafeteria in the garment district for some eight years. Both he and Helen have a wealth of experience in food service and hospitality management.
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ also has a sound marketing plan directed at our three identified markets. Viable market, good promotion, and an excellent product, backed up by sound and experienced management will go a long way to assuring success of the business venture.
Our anticipated capitalization consists of a budget of $45,000, including $15,000 owner's equity along with $30,000 borrowed capital. Owner's equity derives from joint savings of Mr. and Mrs. Carter.
The operating plan provides for proprietor withdrawals of $1,000 per month for the first 12 months of operation. Mrs. Carter will continue her employment as Assistant Front Desk Manager at the Crest Downtown Hotel.
Careful and conservative projections anticipate a first year net of $12,000 on sales of $113,000. It should be noted that the first year P/L reflects certain initial sales promotional activities that, while burdensome during that period, are expected to yield long-term results.
Our second year projected profit is $30,500 on sales of $146,000 yielding a 38.1% return on investment.
THE COMPANY— PRESENT SITUATION
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ, a proprietorship, will be a husband and wife operated business. Both Tom and Helen Carter will bring with them experience in food service and related hospitality fields. The concept of Butcher Hollow Bar BQ is to offer a limited but highly popular menu, aimed at a clearly defined market. It is expected that at least 50% of the business will be carryout. An outside beer garden facility is also planned for nice weather. Barbecue will, of course, be prominent, but other dishes known to have great appeal in the area will also be featured.
The business will be situated in the Soulard neighborhood. This is a high profile rehabbed community with a high concentration of residential units occupied by young professionals as well as established neighborhood blue-collar workers. The Soulard neighborhood is well known for its social scene consisting of many small bars, restaurants, and bistros. The focal point is Soulard Market, an open-air produce market some 200 years old and a national historic landmark. Many people are attracted to the area for its ambiance, and its establishments cater not only to neighborhood people but to customers commuting to suburbia from downtown employment and stadium events.
Mr. and Mrs. Carter's start-up capital consists of $15,000 derived from savings. Mrs. Carter will continue her present employment as assistant front desk manager at the Crest Downtown Hotel, and will work weekends at Butcher Hollow. Mr. Carter will be employed full-time from start-up and has resigned his job as food and beverage manager of Holiday Inn Southtown.
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ will originally target the leisure and recreational dining market. This will heavily emphasize Friday, Saturday, and Sunday business. For the first 12-month period, it is expected that the business will remain closed on Monday, opening from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Sunday. In addition to the local trade, these hours allow us to capture the afterwork commuter as well as those stopping off after the ballgame for barbecue and a beer.
Fridays present a special market. In addition to the normal influx of Friday evening business, Butcher Hollow will be catering to the known habit of working people to treat themselves special for lunch on Friday. Featured dishes will be the soon-to-be-famous Butcher Hollow Bar BQ or the special Jack salmon and spaghetti platter available only on Friday. The latter is known to be very popular for lunch or dinner in South St. Louis, and along with the Butcher Hollow special sauces, can attract a great deal of business.
Saturdays and Sundays, both afternoons and evenings, present great opportunities for the leisure dining trade, and our menu and carry-out promotions will be designed to maximize these opportunities.
The Soulard area also is known as a great business lunch community. While barbecue is not a good lead item for business lunch, other speciality items can be added at a future time when the lunch trade is targeted. Initially, we do not intend to compete for lunch business except on Friday when most Soulard restaurants are hopelessly overloaded. A special luncheon menu is presently being refined for possible inclusion with an expansion of hours during our second year.
Tom Carter will head the husband and wife team of Tom and Helen Carter, as he devotes fulltime to the planning, installation, and start-up of Butcher Hollow Bar BQ. Tom, 43, holds an Associate Degree in Food Service Management from Forest Park Junior College. Upon graduation, he entered his chosen field as assistant chef at Bevo Mill under the original management of Chef Ulrich. He stayed at Bevo for 8 years, gaining experience in all phases of experience in food preparation and kitchen management. When Bevo Mill closed in 1975, Mr. Carter, using a small inheritance coupled with an SBA loan, acquired an existing cafeteria in the St. Louis garment district. He renamed the operation Tom's Cafeteria and operated it for 8 years until 1983. Tom's Cafeteria specialized in breakfast and lunch for workers in the garment and shoe trade along Washington Avenue just west of downtown St. Louis. Mr. Carter was hands-on in all phases of the business management. This business prospered and he was able to retire the SBA loan in the allotted five-year period. However, due to a decline in the garment and shoe business in the immediate area, the building in which Tom's Cafeteria was located closed down, and Tom lost his lease. Because of the decline in the area, he did not seek to relocate but obtained employment as assistant food and beverage manager at the Holiday Inn Southtown. The close-down of Tom's Cafeteria was orderly and all debt was retired as agreed.
After eighteen months at Holiday Inn Southtown, Tom was promoted to manager of food and beverage, a position he held until he recently resigned to devote full-time to Butcher Hollow Bar BQ.
Helen Carter, 38, also has extensive experience in food service and hospitality fields. As a young person, she started working in fast-food operations, and while attending the University of Denver, School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, she worked in a variety of food and beverage service capacities, usually as waitress or hostess, and on one occasion for about a year in food preparation. Circumstances did not permit her to obtain her degree, and she returned to St. Louis. She obtained employment at the Crest Downtown Hotel and is presently assistant front desk manager.
Tom and Helen Carter have been married for 14 years. Tom is working full-time to start up Butcher Hollow Bar BQ. Helen is assisting in her off-duty hours and will work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday upon opening. This will not conflict with her present employment, and she intends to continue on at Crest Downtown until Butcher Hollow Bar BQ has reached the point of requiring and being able to support her full-time services.
Barbecue is, of course, the lead item at Butcher Hollow Bar BQ. The Butcher Hollow Bar BQ comes as the result of many years of experimenting and refining different recipes and techniques. The sauce is a special recipe that has been lovingly developed by the proprietors and tested hundreds of times on willing guests, both at home and at food establishments where the Carters have presided. The technique itself is also special, calling for extra effort, but yielding terrific results. The Butcher Hollow Bar BQ people know how to put out production volume without losing any of the delightful, delectable texture and tastes that will bring the customers back time and again.
Our plan calls for opening with a fairly limited menu, featuring barbecue ribs, barbecue pork steaks and barbecue chicken halves. Also offered will be Jack Salmon (Whiting) with spaghetti. These will be available as plates, which will include entree and two side dishes, or as sandwiches. The Jack Salmon will be offered with our delicious barbecue sauce on the side.
Another speciality of wide appeal will be our meatball and spaghetti platter, served with a knockout garlic cheese bread. All of our sauces are homemade—the spaghetti sauce a private Old World recipe, and the meat balls, our own sensational mix of meat and spices.
Another offering will be a side dish of golden parmesan potatoes, a delicious accompaniment to barbecue that has received many raves. Some people like to make a meal of them by themselves. We also have special recipes for potato salad and slaw. Our intent is to bring as much effort and expertise to our side dishes and sauces as we do our entrees. This will make the food at Butcher Hollow Bar BQ extra special and keep the customers coming back for more. Nothing mundane or ordinary will be served.
We also have a nice array of entrees that we are holding in reserve, or that we may feature as weekly specials, one at a time. These recipes come from a special private collection that have been refined over many years by the Carters.
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ will not be served in an ostentatious setting. The Soulard neighborhood lends itself to nice, storefront cafes, and in this type of setting, barbecue can be best enjoyed. Checkered tablecloths and pitchers of beer set the scene for good times, good food, and enjoyable surroundings. A bricked patio with picnic tables and yellow lights permit a beer garden annex in pleasant weather and, of course, carry-out customers are made especially welcome in a comfortable alcove. We expect a significant part of our business to be carry-out because barbecue is traditionally eaten at home.
Soft drinks, wine coolers, and draft beer are the beverages of choice at Butcher Hollow. We anticipate eight tables for four, four tables for two, four booths accommodating four to six, and two tables for six, for total seating of eighty-four.
The name Butcher Hollow is intended to conjure up a relaxed, rustic mood, nothing fancy, and not associated with a specific theme. Our decor will generally be mixed and matched chairs and furnishings with a goodly amount of Americana thrown in. Much of this will be derived from the near-antique collectables that the Carters have been accumulating over the years in anticipation of this type of establishment.
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ has identified four distinct target markets which will comprise our customers. They consist of:
- Primary residential population of the Soulard and Lafayette Square neighborhoods.
- Secondary residential population of the Near South Side and South St. Louis proper sections.
- Commuting population that works downtown and travels through Soulard, often stopping for a refreshment on the way home. Accesses to highways 40, 44, and 55 are found in our immediate area and lend themselves for easy access. Additionally, spin-off crowds from stadium events and Kiel Auditorium also are markets that will avail themselves of post game or post concert recreational dining or carry-out. The planned new arena and downtown football stadium complex can only add to the customer mix. The near proximity of Union Station and Laclede's Landing also provide traffic through our area, which we intend to entice with our delectable Butcher Hollow Bar BQ.
- Another market is the working population of the Near Southside, which offer great opportunities for Friday lunch and after-work gatherings. Anheuser-Busch, Monsanto Chemical, and Ralston Purina are three of many large employers having upscale workers with disposable income for leisure activities.
To obtain consumer feedback for our idea, a telemarketing survey was instituted in the fall of 1995 for the purpose of polling the primary and secondary residential population to learn their reaction to an eat-in and carry-out barbecue-style restaurant. Twelve hundred complete conversations were conducted by telephone in the zip codes of 63104, 63118, 63110, and 63116. Among the key questions asked were: If there were a good barbecue restaurant in the Soulard neighborhood, would you patronize it either for eat-in or carry-out? Sixty-six percent responded affirmatively, and their answers were further tabulated as follows:
22% once a month or more frequently 56% every couple of months 12% a couple times per year 10% about once a year
About 75% indicated a preference for carry-out.
Profile of Customer Base
The demographics of the four zip codes comprising the residential population of our primary geographic target market reveal characteristics very supportive of a viable customer base for Butcher Hollow Bar BQ. Our primary area consists of some 52,500 households, with a median adult age of 42 years. Approximately 22% have incomes of over $50,000, with 36% having income of $30,000 to $49,000. Statistics published in the July 1995 edition of Eating Out , a leading trade journal, reveal that families with median incomes of over $30,000 and median ages over 40 eat out two to three time per week, among the highest in any category.
With approximately 50% of our primary residential target market falling within this profile, and coupled with the response to our in-house survey revealing 66% of those surveyed indicating a predisposition to patronize a good barbecue-style eat-in or carry-out restaurant, we feel that we have identified a location that is most amenable to the product that we will be providing.
Additionally, 25% of our business is expected to come from persons commuting from downtown employment, shopping, cultural and sports activities. While en route their residences in South County and West County, many people often stop in Soulard and the adjoining neighborhood of Lafayette Square to partake of the local amenities.
Another 25% is expected to come from people employed in the immediate area but living elsewhere. Some of the larger employers are:
Many workers from these firms are known to frequent the establishments of Soulard after working hours, with Fridays being a high point in the week.
St. Louis is known as one of the major barbecue consuming areas of the country. Indeed, we lead the nation in the per capita consumption of prepackaged barbecue sauce sold at the retail level. Barbecue restaurants have traditionally been very popular in St. Louis as well. Two of the most popular are situated in the Affton area, just outside of what we consider our secondary market.
One of these restaurants, Phil's Bar BQ, is a second-generation establishment, tracing its roots back to North St. Louis with some fifty years of continuous operation. Roscoe McCrary reigns supreme in North St. Louis, a distinct market in itself, with Mr. McCrary's Bar BQ being both well known and highly sought by consumers from all over the metro region. McCrary's Bar BQ is often preferred fare in the post game St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse and is widely regarded as being among the best.
Suburban St. Louis County has become home for several very popular barbecue restaurants. Charlotte's Rib attracts a large following in the Ballwin/Manchester area and Damons for Ribs, a national chain, has recently opened a second location to complement its Crestwood restaurant.
KC Masterpiece Bar BQ has expanded its sphere of influence all the way from Kansas City to our own West County suburbs. Reports are that the initial store is doing excellent business with customers waiting on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Without a doubt, barbecue is popular in St. Louis. But, until the arrival of Butcher Hollow Bar BQ, South St. Louis and the Near South Side have had no convenient purveyor.
The closest place is a church-sponsored barbecue carry-out operation of long standing in the six hundred block of South Broadway that is open 24 hours a day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only, and does a land-office business, although offering no amenities.
During the annual Mardi Gras Festival and the St. Patrick Day celebrations, many of the restaurants and bars of Soulard erect temporary barbecue pits to cater to the heavy foot traffic. It is easy to observe that these are among the most popular stops with the celebrants. Often people congregate 3 and 4 deep around the stands, clamoring for service, as the delectable smoke and fragrance waft into the surrounding air. Butcher Hollow Bar BQ feels there is a demonstrated need for a good barbecue eat-in or carry-out restaurant in Soulard, and we intend to fill that need.
Opening a new food establishment is often seen as one of the more risky business ventures because of the known high rate of failure of new restaurants. The proprietors of Butcher Hollow Bar BQ feel that we have effectively minimized these risks by careful market research and by bringing considerable food service management and entrepreneurial experience to the project.
Tom and Helen Carter are well-trained both by formal education and by many years of experience in restaurant service and management. Additionally, Mr. Carter was owneroperator of a successful restaurant for eight years in St. Louis during which he retired a $25,000 SBA loan in a timely fashion.
As this Business Plan will reflect, careful planning and preparation have gone into the concept and the execution of this plan. Positive consumer reaction, favorable demographics, and strategic location combine to assure Butcher Hollow Bar BQ a viable market.
Another risk that is effectively minimized is that of surviving what is sometimes known as the starvation period for many start-up businesses; i.e., the first six months to a year while customers become aware of your establishment. While the Business Plan calls for a proprietor's draw of $1,000 per month, this is of course contingent upon conditions. With Mrs. Carter maintaining her present position of employment and both she and Mr. Carter working at Butcher Hollow, the new business can operate with a minimum of payroll load, thus minimizing a significant cost factor for all new businesses. As she continues working at the Crest Downtown Hotel, the household living expenses can be met by her salary.
Traditional casualty risks will be covered by Business Owners' insurance, ample to cover all assets and with a $500,000 public and product liability umbrella.
Butcher Hollow Bar BQ has a three-pronged marketing strategy aimed at our three identified target markets.
As we expect 50% of our business to come from the residential population of our primary and secondary areas, we will be promoting Introductory Specials through ads in two heavily circulated community newspapers, the South St. Louis Journal and the Riverfront Times . The Journal will feature primarily family carry-out oriented ads, with coupons worth $1 off or a free 24 oz. soft drink, or similar promotions. The Riverfront Times , which has saturation distribution throughout the area, primarily in food and beverage establishments, is widely read by the young, upwardly mobile professional person, a consumer category recognized for their prominent discretionary and leisure spending habits.
The commuting traffic will be targeted with a billboard advertisement strategically positioned to capture the attention of southbound vehicles leaving downtown employment, stadium, and entertainment events. The cost of this advertisement is budgeted for $9,000 for the first 6 months and is intended to prime the pump and attract first-time customers. It is an investment in the future and is not expected to be immediately cost effective, but will pay-off for the long haul as we attract and keep customers.
Our third target group is the local employee population who we intend to attract for Friday lunch and after-work eat-in or carry-out business. For the lunch trade, we intend to initiate mailings to the various firms throughout the area.
The mailings will include menus and our fax number to make use of the proliferation of office fax machines to place lunch orders. For the larger companies, we will obtain lists of departments to facilitate these mailings reaching the workers that want to order. We also will make use of occasional Comp Cards, which are complimentary lunches when used with an order exceeding a set dollar amount. With each carry-out lunch, we will include a flyer touting Butcher Hollow Bar BQ as a great stop after work for barbecue and beer or for our splendid carry-out offerings.
The Carters intend to be members and participants in the Soulard Merchants Association, which is a group of about fifty local businesses, most of whom are in food and beverage service. The area is promoted twice each year, once with a giant Mardi Gras parade and festival and then at St. Patrick's Day. Butcher Hollow Bar BQ intends to maintain a high profile during both festivities and become a well established and popular addition to the Soulard scene.
PRICE & PROFITABILITY
The price formula to be employed at Butcher Hollow Bar BQ will be based on a food cost of 30% for most food items with a 25% food cost for soft drinks and 50% for beer and wine coolers. Retail prices are across the board, carry-out or eat-in, with the paper cost of carry-out being offset by the savings in service inherent to take-out food.
The pinnacle attraction at Butcher Hollow BQ is the full slab rib platter, priced at $13.00 and including two side dishes and bread. Many people will order half slabs at $7.50 per plate or $5.50 per sandwich. Our other entrees, Half Chickens, Pork Steaks, and Jack Salmon are priced at $7.50 per platter and $5.50 per sandwich accordingly. Meatballs and spaghetti with garlic cheese bread will be $7.50.
Both our barbecue sauce and our spaghetti sauce are special recipes and are very important to the overall delectability of the finished product. Extra sauces will be available in individual portions or by the quart, priced with a 50% food cost.
We expect our aggregate food and beverage cost to average about 44% and we will monitor this figure closely. We will be utilizing modern computer data entry on all of our food purchases. Recipes are preprogrammed to extrapolate the updated finished cost per portion, thereby enabling management to keep a constant check on food cost percentages, adjusting pricing as needs dictate.
As our financial forecast will indicate, we anticipate first-year sales of $113,000 with net operating profits of $12,300. We would find this acceptable in view of the anticipated "starvation period" that accompanies all new openings and the one-time expenditures of advertising and promotion that is booked in for the first six months. Our monthly break-even point is $6,700, a very reachable $1,500 per week.
Profits for the second year are expected to reach $30,500.
[*For detailed derivation of these calculations, refer to Twelve Month Proforma, Financial Projections.]
In order to open Butcher Hollow Bar BQ, management has determined that capitalization of $45,000 will be required. These funds will be allocated as follows:
Equipment & Fixtures are listed in the schedule on the following page. Our Business Plan anticipates that capitalization will be funded as follows:
The proprietors equity is derived from savings. It is projected that borrowed capital would be drawn over a period of 60 days preceding Grand Opening, through the first 180 days of operations. Grand opening is targeted for May 1, 2000.
This page left intentionally blank to accommodate tabular matter following.
TWELVE-MONTH PROFORMA CHART 1
TWELVE-MONTH PROFORMA CHART II
THREE-YEAR PROJECTED INCOME STATEMENT
CASH FLOW PROJECTION
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