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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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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.
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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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How to Write a Small Restaurant Business Plan + Free Business Plan Template
6 min. read
Updated November 13, 2023
Free Download: Sample Restaurant Business Plan Template
Are you passionate about food and dream of opening your own small restaurant? Picture yourself creating delectable dishes, curating a warm and inviting ambiance, and welcoming guests to experience the flavors and atmosphere you’ve envisioned. To turn this dream into a successful reality, you need more than just a love for cooking—you need a well-crafted business plan. Need more guidance? Download our free small restaurant business plan template .
Crafting a comprehensive business plan is the crucial first step in your culinary journey. It will not only guide you through the intricacies of opening and running a small restaurant but also serve as a powerful tool to attract investors, secure loans, and set clear goals for your venture. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of writing a small restaurant business plan, from conducting market research to developing promotional strategies.
- Why Write a Small Restaurant Business Plan?
Imagine driving your small restaurant towards success without a roadmap—difficult, right? A solid business plan acts as your GPS, steering you in the right direction and helping you navigate the challenges that lie ahead. It enables you to define your vision, set realistic goals, and make informed decisions along the way.
Additionally, a well-crafted business plan is essential for attracting investors and securing funding. Lenders and potential partners want to see that you have a clear understanding of your market, a viable financial plan, and a strategic approach to growing your small restaurant.
- Research the market
Just as a chef meticulously selects the finest ingredients for their dishes, conducting thorough market research is key to the success of your small restaurant. It involves understanding your target market, analyzing the competition, and identifying trends that will influence your restaurant’s positioning.
Define your target market
Consider factors such as age, income level, dining preferences, and local demographics. Determine what makes your restaurant unique and how it aligns with the desires and needs of your target customers.
Analyze your competition
Visit local restaurants, explore their menus, and study their online presence. Pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses, pricing strategies, and customer reviews. This knowledge will help you identify gaps in the market and opportunities to differentiate your small restaurant.
Consider specific aspects to look for in the market research for your small restaurant:
What’s your biggest business challenge right now?
- Customer Preferences: Understand the dining preferences of your target market. Are they health-conscious, seeking exotic flavors, or interested in comfort food? Tailor your menu and ambiance accordingly to appeal to their preferences.
- Location Analysis: Evaluate potential locations for your restaurant. Look for areas with high foot traffic, proximity to complementary businesses, and accessibility for customers. Consider factors such as parking availability and competition in the area.
- Demographics: Examine the demographics of your target market. Are they primarily families, young professionals, or retirees? Understand their needs and preferences, and tailor your offerings and marketing strategies accordingly.
- Competitor Analysis: Identify your direct and indirect competitors. Analyze their menus, pricing, target market, and overall customer experience. Determine how you can differentiate your restaurant and offer a unique value proposition.
- Market your restaurant
Your small restaurant may serve the most mouthwatering dishes in town, but without effective promotional strategies, it’s like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to showcase your culinary delights and entice customers through your doors.
Consider both traditional and digital marketing channels to reach your target audience. Traditional methods may include hosting special events, participating in local food festivals, or partnering with complementary businesses in your community. Digital strategies should focus on creating an engaging website, building a strong presence on social media platforms, and utilizing online review platforms to build credibility and foster positive word-of-mouth.
When developing your promotional strategies, consider the following tips:
- Create an Irresistible Online Presence: Build a visually appealing and user-friendly website that showcases your restaurant’s ambiance, menu, and story. Leverage social media platforms to engage with your audience, share enticing food photos, and run targeted advertising campaigns.
- Implement Loyalty Programs: Encourage repeat business by implementing a loyalty program that rewards customers for their patronage. Offer incentives such as discounts, freebies, or exclusive promotions to keep them coming back.
- Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with local food bloggers or social media influencers who align with your brand to promote your restaurant. Invite them for a complimentary dining experience and encourage them to share their thoughts and photos on their platforms.
- Engage with the Local Community: Participate in community events, sponsor local sports teams or charity initiatives, and establish partnerships with neighboring businesses. By becoming an active member of your community, you’ll build brand awareness and loyalty.
- Offer Special Events and Promotions: Organize themed nights, live music performances, or chef’s tasting menus to create a unique experience for your customers. Launch limited-time promotions, such as happy hour specials or seasonal menu offerings, to drive foot traffic during slower periods.
- Financials and pricing
To run a successful small restaurant, you must master the delicate art of balancing culinary excellence with financial acumen. Start by estimating your startup costs, including equipment purchases, leasehold improvements, licenses, and initial inventory. Be sure to account for ongoing operating expenses such as rent, utilities, employee salaries, and ingredient costs.
Pricing your menu items strategically is essential to ensuring profitability. Analyze ingredient costs, consider portion sizes, and compare prices in your local market to determine competitive yet profitable pricing. Conduct a break-even analysis to determine the number of customers you need to serve to cover costs and start generating profits. Regularly review your financials and adjust your pricing as needed to maintain a healthy bottom line.
Consider these financial aspects when developing your small restaurant business plan:
- Budget Allocation: Determine how you will allocate your budget across different areas of your restaurant, such as kitchen equipment, interior design, marketing, and staff training. Prioritize investments that will have a direct impact on customer experience and operational efficiency.
- Revenue Streams: Identify multiple revenue streams for your restaurant. This may include revenue from food sales, catering services, private events, or partnerships with local businesses. Diversifying your revenue sources can help stabilize your cash flow.
- Cost Control: Develop strategies to control costs without compromising quality. Efficient inventory management, negotiation with suppliers, and staff training on waste reduction can contribute to cost savings.
- Sales Forecasting: Create a sales forecast based on your market research, pricing strategy, and seating capacity. Consider seasonal fluctuations and special events that may impact your restaurant’s performance.
- Set milestones and goals
In the culinary world, milestones and goals are as important as the perfect blend of flavors in a signature dish. Setting milestones and goals for your small restaurant allows you to track your progress, stay motivated, and celebrate achievements along the way.
Consider both short-term and long-term goals for your restaurant. These goals may include increasing monthly revenue, expanding your customer base, earning positive reviews, or even opening additional locations. Break each goal down into specific action steps and establish timelines for their accomplishment. Regularly evaluate your progress, make adjustments as needed, and celebrate the milestones you reach.
- Tips to run a small restaurant business
Once you’ve written your plan, you’ve taken the first step towards turning your culinary dreams into a thriving small restaurant! By crafting a well-rounded business plan, conducting thorough market research, developing effective promotional strategies, understanding your financials and setting meaningful goals, you’re on your way to success.
Remember, running a small restaurant requires dedication, creativity, and perseverance. Continually adapt to the evolving tastes and preferences of your customers, stay ahead of industry trends, and maintain your passion for creating exceptional dining experiences. With a well-crafted business plan as your guide, your small restaurant can become a culinary destination that delights and satisfies customers for years to come.
- Download your free small restaurant business plan template
If you’re ready to start your own small restaurant business, you can download our free small restaurant business plan template from our library of over 550 sample business plans . Get started today, and discover why businesses that plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t.
See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan
Makenna Crocker is the Social Brand Manager at Palo Alto Software. Her work focuses on market and social trends, educational content creation, and providing entrepreneurs with small business tips and tools. With a master’s degree in Advertising and Brand Responsibility from the University of Oregon, she specializes in generating a strong and responsible brand presence through social media and sharable content.
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Restaurant Business Plan Template
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Updated January 09, 2023
A restaurant business plan defines the concept, operational strategy, and business goals of a restaurant. The plan can serve as both a blueprint for day-to-day internal activities and a pitch for potential funding sources. Typically, a restaurant business plan should include:
- Mission and vision
- Legal structure
- Hours of operation
- Management structure and key personnel
- Industry analysis and competitor research
- Marketing strategy
- Funding needs and financial projections
Maintaining an updated business plan benefits restaurants by formalizing the business identity, outlining a roadmap for the future, and keeping all interested parties aligned.
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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan [Free Template]
Start creating your restaurant’s business plan with BentoBox’s free business plan template.
The restaurant business plan is a crucial first step in turning an idea for a restaurant into an actual business. Without it, investors and lenders will have no way of knowing if the business is feasible or when the restaurant will become profitable. Business plans span dozens (or even hundreds) of pages, and due to the stakes that lie within the document and the work required to write it, the process of writing a restaurant business plan can threaten to overwhelm.
That’s why BentoBox has created a restaurant business plan template for aspiring restaurant owners. With section prompts for business plan essentials like financial projections, market analysis and a restaurant operations overview, this template makes creating a business plan significantly more manageable.
Included is a professionally designed, customizable version of the template on Google Docs. Restaurants can download the template below, make a copy and tailor it to their specific concept. For design inspiration, download here .
Restaurant Business Plan Template
Download the Free Restaurant Business Plan Template from BentoBox
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Restaurant Business Plan Template [Free Download]
Turn your vision into a reality with this 15-page restaurant business plan template..
What You'll Get with This Restaurant Business Plan Template:
- An editable business plan template for restaurants – free download!
- Instructions and tips to help you learn how to write a restaurant business plan
- 9 customizable sections, including an executive summary, marketing plan, and financial analysis
Whether you’re opening a brand-new restaurant or you’re taking a current concept in a different direction, a restaurant business plan template can help you put your ideas in writing. And fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. We created a free, downloadable 15-page template to help you kickstart your restaurant journey and make it easy to secure that crucial investor funding.
Share your contact information in the form above to get started, or keep reading to learn more about why you need a business plan and how to use this one.
What Is a Restaurant Business Plan?
A restaurant business plan is an essential document that provides an overview of a restaurant, its goals, and how those objectives will be achieved. This includes everything from the kind of food you’re going to serve and the management team you plan to hire, to how you’ll promote your new business.
In other words, a business plan helps you organize your ideas, articulate your business strategy, and secure investor funding.
Why Do You Need a Restaurant Business Plan?
There are so many documents involved in running a restaurant. Why should you add writing a business plan to your plate?
Well, a business plan is beneficial for a number of reasons. Specifically, it can help you:
- Organize your ideas into a clear and concise narrative
- Articulate your business strategy, including your financial projections
- Secure investor funding
- Set goals and stay accountable to business partners and employees
Going through the exercise of writing a business plan is just as important as having the finished document handy.
What You’ll Get with This Restaurant Business Plan Template Free Download
Our free restaurant business plan template comes with nine fully customizable sections, including:
- The title page
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Market analysis
- Marketing plan
- Operations plan
- Financial analysis and growth plan
Each section of the business plan template for restaurants also includes helpful prompts and instructions to help you determine what to include.
For instance, the executive summary section details how to craft a restaurant mission statement, how to articulate your proposed concept, and tips for outlining how you’ll execute your business plan.
The financial analysis and growth plan section of this small restaurant business plan template gives you a list of all the important financial projections you’ll need to include to show that your business is a viable investment opportunity. This section is especially important if you’re considering restaurant expansion , as you need to demonstrate that your current operation is profitable.
How to Use This Business Plan Template for Restaurants
Here’s how to get started with your new restaurant business plan in 10 easy steps:
- Fill out your contact information in the form above and click “Submit.”
- Click the “Download” button on the next page to save the business plan document to your device.
- Open the document in Word, Pages, or your word processor of choice.
- Read the instructions for the overall document.
- Then, go to a section you want to customize.
- Read the section instructions in red italics.
- Highlight the red italics and replace them with custom content.
- Once you’ve finished filling in each section, delete any remaining red text, as well as the cover page and this instructional page.
- To print your template, click “File”, then “Print.”
- To save the template as a PDF, click “File”, then “Save As,” then “PDF.”
Get this restaurant business plan template free download today to turn your business dreams into attainable goals.
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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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Restaurant Business Plan
You have cracked the recipe for good food & great ambiance and are planning to start a restaurant, fantastic!
Whether starting a cozy corner cafe, a theme-based fine dining restaurant, or growing an existing one, you will need a restaurant business plan as a roadmap for your business success.
But writing a business plan is complex, isn’t it? That is why we are here with our comprehensive restaurant business plan template to help you in writing yours.
- Highlight the concept of the restaurant along with the ambiance, types of cuisines, customer base, and USPs of the restaurant in the plan.
- Utilize tools for SWOT analysis to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for making informed decisions.
- Craft an impactful executive summary that outlines your restaurant’s concept, marketing approach, financial outlook, and team expertise to attract potential investors and partners.
- Conduct thorough market research to understand market trends, consumer preferences, and the needs of your target market.
- Analyze the competitive landscape, and identify direct & indirect competitors, to develop strategies that maintain your restaurant’s competitive advantage.
- To ensure efficient daily operations, provide in-depth operational plans that incorporate staffing, additional services, inventory control, and customer service.
- Create realistic financial projections for sales revenue, expenses, and profit forecasts while considering contingencies & emergencies.
Why is a restaurant business plan important?
Crafting a restaurant business plan is daunting but its significance cannot be underestimated. It is essential to drive your business toward success.
In the competitive atmosphere where there are 700,000+ restaurants in the USA, having a proper plan will help you get funding and better adaptability in a constantly changing business environment.
Even if funding isn’t a primary concern, a plan provides the restaurant owner or manager with clear direction on how to create actionable strategies for reaching business goals.
Your business plan will also help solidify the viability of the restaurant’s idea and concept.
In short, think of it as a guide for running all the aspects of the business smoothly.
How to write a restaurant business plan: Step-by-Step Guide
Since we are talking about a restaurant business plan; let us walk you through this restaurant business plan outline step-by-step without any delay:
1. Executive summary
An executive summary is the first section and the most significant section of any business plan. It captures the essence of your whole plan summarizing it for a quick understanding of your business.
Think of it as a sneak peek for the readers that draws their attention to the entire restaurant business plan.
You should start your summary with a compelling introduction with the name of your restaurant. It should also focus on the essence of your restaurant concept.
Give a brief overview of your unique selling points, emphasizing what makes your restaurant special. It might be the signature dishes, innovative ambiance, prime location, or some new cuisine experience.
Apart from the above essential points, your executive summary should include:
- Mission statement
- Vision statement
- Execution structure
- Potential costs
- Expected return on investment
Many readers will read the executive summary before making a judgment, so if this is all they read, make every word count.
Also, SBA advises to include financial projections in your executive summary if you’re using your business plan to request funding.
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2. Company Overview
Company overview is a part where you fully introduce your restaurant business including legal business structure, location, and your restaurant’s proposed concept.
Here you have the liberty to be a little more creative in describing your restaurant in the whole business plan.
Here are some points to incorporate in the company overview:
- Detailed vision and mission statement
- Type of restaurant (fine dining, small restaurant, bistro, cafe, etc.)
- Legal business structure
- Service style
- History and background of the restaurant (if existing)
- Owners’ names and qualifications
- Cusinies & menu highlights
- Restaurant size and seating capacity
- Operating hours & meal plans
- Related service availability (delivery, catering, etc)
Mainly emphasize the chosen location because easily accessible locations with high foot traffic will attract more walk-in customers. And if you haven’t decided on a specific location yet, then mention the type of place you are looking for to give an idea about it to your readers.
Besides, mention the short-term and long-term goals of your restaurant business in the later part of the company description. Along with that mention regional industry trends and your USPs.
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3. Market analysis
The market analysis section provides you with a clearer picture of your target market, competitors, and industry trends.
Based on the above details, one can make informed decisions while creating strategies. Therefore, make this section precise and concise to understand.
Here are some steps to follow to write an engaging market analysis section of the restaurant business plan:
- Define your customer base: Identify and describe whom you are going to serve. Make a consumer base after considering the demographics, location, and concept of your restaurant.
- Competitive analysis: List out the names of other restaurants in your location and do the SWOT analysis. You can get the competitive advantage of your restaurant this way.
- Market trends: Discuss any shift in consumer behavior like healthy choices, an increase in vegan food consumption, or technological breakthroughs that might affect your restaurant.
Consider conducting market research, TAM-SAM-SOM analysis , and SWOT analysis to get insights for this section.
Remember, this section helps your readers and potential investors understand your target market, restaurant market overview, market size, and growth potential, so make sure you play your cards right.
4. Sample Menu
The most vital step in launching your restaurant business is the menu. A well-curated menu design will sell itself for your restaurant. Even if you are a new restaurant, then present the sample menu with the name and logo of your restaurant on it.
The menu will showcase all the unique offerings your direct competitors might not provide. Not just the list of cuisines but the pricing is also crucial. This way potential investors and readers can understand your restaurant’s target price point.
Plus your menu should be in sync with target customers; for example, a restaurant near the university should contain more beverages and delicious food options for brunch as students prefer those things more.
Consider your menu as a part of branding, choose the same theme for the menu as for the restaurant.
5. Restaurant Design
Restaurant design is the part where you can show your restaurant concept to potential investors and readers practically. Moreover, create a mood board to explain things smoothly.
Utilize this section to show the uniqueness of your restaurant, and how it is different from competitors.
Explain how your design represents your restaurant’s branding and visual identity. Furthermore, mention how your target market will enjoy and appreciate the ambiance you plan to provide.
Note that restaurant design is one of the key elements to running a successful restaurant, so match the theme and cuisines accordingly.
In this section, you also have to provide a detailed description of how many seats are going to be there along with the floor plan of your restaurant.
6. Management Team
As the name suggests, the management team section of your restaurant’s business plan introduces restaurant owners, key executives, and the management team. It also incorporates the experience, qualification, and restaurant industry knowledge of every individual who is on the team.
A strong management team section can be essential to weigh authority and help potential investors be confident about your restaurant’s idea and vision.
You might consider including the following information in the management team section:
- Business owner or founder’s information
- Executive chef and culinary team
- Front-of-house manager
- Operations and back-of-house team
- The organizational structure of the team
Showcase how each member fits and what roles & responsibilities they will play. You should include a resume-styled summary for each person in the restaurant’s management section.
7. Operations Plan
The operations plan section outlines the daily business processes and activities centered on achieving the restaurant dream and objectives described in the rest of the plan.
A detailed operations plan helps you and your team define your responsibilities, daily tasks, and short-term goals you need to achieve, keeping track of your long-term objective.
Here are a few key elements to include in your operations plan section:
- Staffing and training
- Operating hours
- Operational process
- Tools and equipment
- Inventory control
- Technology and software
- Quality control measures
- Customer service policies
Remember it should incorporate all important daily tasks. Also, an operations plan is a living document, you can change it often according to the change in the dynamics of the work.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Operations Planning
8. Marketing Plan
Even with great food, prices, and ambiance, you won’t attract enough diners without marketing.
Thus, a well-crafted restaurant marketing plan is necessary to spread awareness and build a strong brand presence.
The marketing plan can help you streamline your marketing efforts and create impactful and effective marketing campaigns while keeping track of the projected budget and maximizing return on investment.
Hence, this is the section in which you give an idea to your potential investors about how you will acquire new customers and retain existing ones. This section should include:
- Target market and their dining habits
- Branding and positioning
- Marketing strategies (website, social media accounts, etc.)
- Marketing Calendar
- USPs of your restaurant (unique ambiance, amiable staff, new cuisines in the local area)
- Your marketing goals
- Customer retention strategies (loyalty program, giving coupons or discounts on bulk orders or events)
Even if you are going to hire a PR agency for marketing, then mention it and the reason why you chose them.
After taking care of marketing, let us move further to finances.
Read More: Step-by-Step Guide to Restaurant Marketing Plan
9. Financial Plan
The financial plan is the most crucial and demanding section of any business plan. It is one of the deciding factors for potential investors, banks, or any financial institute to invest in your restaurant business.
This section of your plan details your restaurant’s financial information and how it will reach its financial goals or how much revenue potential it has.
Here are key components and statements that you should include in your financial plan section:
- Pro forma profit and loss statement
- Break-even analysis
- Balance sheet
- Sales forecast
- Detailed cost analysis
- Cash flow projections
- Business ratios
- Funding request
- Tax considerations
- Exit strategy
Before you create financial projections, know how many seats the restaurant will have and what services you plan to provide. This will help you in making realistic financial projections if you are going to start a new business.
Also, if you are asking for funding, then mention where you will utilize your funds.
We hope that this sample restaurant business plan will provide you with an idea for writing a successful plan.
Restaurant Industry Highlights 2023
- Growth forecast : National Restaurant Association predicted US restaurant sales to reach $898 billion in 2022 which would further grow by 4% yearly to reach $1.2 trillion by 2030.
- Technology is everywhere : Automation is helping staff maximize their efficiency by handling orders, deliveries, and communication effectively.
- Sustainability & ethical sourcing : Eco-friendly practices such as minimizing food waste, avoiding single-use plastics, and ethical plus local sourcing are encouraged by customers.
- Delivery is the new deal : People prefer deliveries over dining out as they are time-saving. So, there is an incline in the number of delivery apps and delivery services providing restaurants.
- Kiosks are the preference : The number of people who prefer ordering and paying through kiosks is increasing due to the convenience.
How to Refine & Present a Restaurant Business Plan
Once you have written your entire business plan, it is time to read and re-read it and make it error-free. You have to be confident about every aspect of the plan before you present it in front of your audience.
Moreover, alter your plan to suit different audiences to enhance your communication. For instance, keep your plan professional and include all the growth potential, profitability, and ROI data when you present your restaurant business plan for seeking funding.
Also, when you present your restaurant business plan to potential partners or vendors, emphasize collaboration benefits and how it can help in their individual growth.
Apart from the above points, make sure your plan has various engaging visuals, interactive elements, and enhanced storytelling to present all the data interestingly. Thus, make a digital presentation of your plan to incorporate all the above things clutter-free.
Once you are confident, it is time to email your plan to the people already on your mind. And give a pat to yourself for finally taking that step.
Download a sample business plan for a restaurant
Ready to kick-start your business plan writing process? And not sure where to start? Here you go, download our free restaurant business plan pdf , and start writing.
This intuitive, modern, and investment-ready template is designed specifically for restaurants. It includes step-by-step instructions & examples to help in creating your own restaurant business plan.
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Related Restaurant Resources
- Restaurant Marketing Plan
- Restaurant Financial Plan
- Restaurant Operations Plan
- Restaurant Industry Trends
Discover how Upmetrics can help you write a business plan
With Upmetrics, you will receive step-by-step guidance, customizable templates, 400+ sample business plans , and AI assistance to streamline your business planning process.
In fact, if you are not adept with finances, the financial forecasting tool Upmetrics provides will help you create realistic financial forecasts for 3 or more years.
Whether you’re starting a new venture or looking to grow one, Upmetrics offers the resources and insights you need to develop a successful & professional business plan that aligns with your goals.
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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a restaurant business plan.
A solid business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful restaurant business. It helps to get clarity in your business, raise money, and identify potential challenges while starting and growing your business.
How to get funding for your restaurant business?
There are several ways to get funding for your restaurant business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:
- Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
- Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
- Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought startup options.
What is the easiest way to write your restaurant business plan?
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of restaurant business plan samples and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .
Can a good restaurant business plan help me secure funding?
Indeed. A well-crafted restaurant business plan will help your investors better understand your business domain, market trends, strategies, business financials, and growth potential—helping them make better financial decisions.
What's the importance of a marketing strategy in a restaurant business plan?
Marketing strategy is a key component of your restaurant business plan. Whether it is about achieving goals or helping your investors understand the return on investment—an impactful marketing strategy is the way to do it!
Here are a few pointers to help you understand the importance of having a marketing strategy:
- It provides your business an edge over your competitors.
- It helps investors better understand your business and growth potential.
- It helps you develop products with the best profit potential.
- It helps you set accurate pricing for your products or services.
About the Author
Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more
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Food and Beverage Business Plan Templates
Written by Dave Lavinsky
The food, restaurant, and beverage industries are characterized by intense competition and rapidly changing consumer trends, making a well-structured business plan an essential tool for success. Such a plan serves not only as a blueprint for launching and operating a business but also as a crucial instrument for attracting investors, guiding managerial decisions, and navigating market dynamics.
Explore our collection of business plan examples spanning the spectrum of the food and beverage sector, including fine dining restaurants, fast-casual eateries, food trucks, and specialty beverage companies. Each plan is carefully constructed to address key factors such as market analysis, menu design, supply chain management, marketing strategies, and financial forecasting. These comprehensive plans provide invaluable insights for entrepreneurs and business owners, highlighting the importance of detailed planning in achieving operational excellence, customer satisfaction, and sustainable profitability in the dynamic and demanding world of food and beverage services.
Bar, Brewery and Wine Business Plan Templates
Bar Business Plan Brewery Business Plan Distillery Business Plan Lounge Business Plan Mobile Bar Business Plan Nightclub Business Plan Sports Bar Business Plan Wine Bar Business Plan Wine Shop Business Plan Winery Business Plan
Beverage Business Plan Templates
Bottled Water Business Plan Bubble Tea Business Plan Coffee Roaster Business Plan Coffee Shop Business Plan Coffee Shop Business Plan PDF Tea Shop Business Plan
Food and Restaurant Business Plan Templates
Bakery Business Plan BBQ Business Plan Butcher Shop Business Plan Cafe Business Plan Catering Business Plan Cookie Business Plan Cupcake Business Plan Delivery Service Business Plan Diner Business Plan Donut Shop Business Plan Fast Food Business Plan Food Delivery Business Plan Frozen Yogurt Business Plan Ghost Kitchen Business Plan Hot Dog Cart Business Plan Ice Cream Shop Business Plan Internet Cafe Business Plan Juice Bar Business Plan Luxury Picnic Business Plan Meal Prep Business Plan Pizza Shop Business Plan Restaurant Business Plan Restaurant Business Plan Sample PDF Subway Business Plan Sandwich Shop Business Plan
Food Truck Business Plan Templates
Coffee Truck Business Plan Food Truck Business Plan Food Truck Business Plan PDF Ice Cream Truck Business Plan
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Restaurant Business Plan Template
Download our template and start creating your restaurant business plan.
Updated September 22, 2023 Reviewed by Brooke Davis
Your restaurant business plan is an outline of your future success. A well-formulated plan helps put the big picture together no matter how good your restaurant ideas are.
A business plan helps prove the viability of your thoughts and can provide investors with the information they need to sign on to your project. Investors need to know how you will run your restaurant in a competitive market and how you will overcome any challenges.
Your business plan lets you provide a framework for yourself and others to get your restaurant off the ground. Lack of preparation and a proper plan is one of the leading reasons new restaurants fail within their first year.
Learn how to write a restaurant business plan and avoid many common pitfalls of new business owners. Legal Templates has a free restaurant business plan template to help you get started.
Why You Need a Business Plan for Your Restaurant Business
How to write a business plan for a restaurant, restaurant business plan example.
Too many new restaurant owners fail to put together a business plan. You may think you don’t need one because you know what you want to do. Without a proper business plan, however, you’re moving into a difficult process without a strong framework for success.
When you want people to invest in your business, you need to be able to demonstrate future success. A concrete and carefully detailed business plan is a must. A well-crafted plan increases the likelihood that you will secure investors.
A business plan aims to help you achieve your goals at each stage of your business development and operation. The program will cover operational details, regulatory compliance, hiring practices, and other essential details.
A business plan can also help you turn your vision into tangible goals others can see. With this in a detailed plan, you will be more likely to create a successful and long-lasting restaurant.
Many people don’t know how to start a restaurant business plan without help. A good plan hits the essential details and outlines your vision for the restaurant’s future. However, you don’t have to do this from scratch. A restaurant business plan example can help you get started and know what to include in your plan.
1. Executive Summary
An executive summary is a brief overview of your company. It will outline why the community wants your food and needs your restaurant. This summary section will focus on your intended reader, whether that person is yourself or a potential investor.
An executive summary is a place for brief details rather than an in-depth and fact-heavy outline. Many people consider this the essential part of the plan, as it will outline why the restaurant will succeed.
The executive summary is your chance to capture the reader’s attention. Many people will decide whether to keep reading your plan, so getting off on the right foot is essential. Your executive summary will include information like:
- How will your restaurant be competitive
- The type of food you will serve and a menu
- The target demographics for the restaurant
- An implementation plan
- Outline of competition you will face
- Who the owners and staff will be
- The organizational structure of your restaurant
- Marketing and sales strategies
Many of these details will receive an in-depth treatment later in your plan. They should provide just the key points you want to make to summarize the rest of your business plan.
2. Management Team
Your restaurant business plan should include a section that presents your management team. Here, you detail the responsibilities of each owner, manager, and staff member. You lay out expectations for who will do what in getting the business started. These details also help show investors you are serious and know how to handle the day-to-day operation of a restaurant business.
The management team section should include essential details about the ownership of the restaurant, including:
- Legal names of each owner
- How the restaurant will be legally structured (corporation, limited liability company (LLC), etc.)
- Types of Ownership
- Percentage of ownership for each owner
- Ownership agreement among the parties
Your business plan should also include details about those running the restaurant daily. While there may be some overlap — especially in small restaurants — management responsibilities should be clearly outlined. This information should include the following:
- Full names of any management team member
- Education and background
- Past restaurant or management experience
- Title and summary of job responsibilities
- Any food industry training
- Salary and benefits information
3. Products and Services
Investors want to know what you will be serving and how you know customers will like it. This is where you can get specific and show why people flock to your restaurant. A robust opening menu shows you are prepared and know how to attract potential customers. The products and services section will include your sample menu and any other services your restaurant will provide.
This section should also address other questions about how you will handle your products:
- How will you order the necessary supplies?
- What are the costs of products and the sales price?
- How will you measure sales success?
- Why will customers choose your food over competitors’?
- How will your menu change over time?
Too many new restaurant owners have a great vision and food but don’t know how to execute a successful business. Investors want to know that your food will be good and that you fully understand how to run a restaurant. A restaurant business plan template can help you create a successful plan.
4. Customers and Marketing
You need to know who your customers are going to be. Any successful restaurant understands its key demographics and how it will market its business to these potential customers. Your business plan must outline important information about your customers and provide detailed data about the availability of these customers in your area.
Market research is often helpful in demonstrating that the type of customer you are looking for is readily available in your local marketplace. Supporting information must be available here to show investors you have customers to keep your restaurant long-term.
Marketing strategies and an ongoing plan are essential to the success of a new business — especially a restaurant. It would be best to show how you would make people aware of your new restaurant and engage customers in the future. Your restaurant business plan can include marketing details such as:
- Where will your restaurant be located?
- Will you offer delivery, and what is the range?
- Will you advertise on social media, your website, or other digital marketing?
- Will you use billboards, flyers, or other complex media advertising?
- What is your advertising budget?
These crucial details demonstrate you have a real plan for your restaurant’s success.
5. SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis for your new restaurant will focus on four key areas:
A SWOT analysis addresses difficult questions in an easy-to-read format. It is a business tool that helps to analyze how your restaurant will perform against your competition. It will look at internal and external factors that may help or hurt your future business.
This data is based on real-world facts rather than ideal conditions or best hopes.
The financials section details the key areas of financial performance for your business. This includes information about start-up costs and break-even points. It also shows how and when the company can profit and see a return on investment.
The financial section should include the following:
- Monthly expenses — supplies, payroll, rent, etc.
- Price points for all products
- Projected revenue
- Mathematical projections for the restaurant
- Variable costs of the business
- Financial records and cash flow statements
Your restaurant business plan must address how your restaurant will run. While this includes details about products and services, it will also cover other critical operational details such as:
- Employment requirements
- Business hours
- Licensing and food inspection requirements
- Cleaning procedures
- Restaurant design
- Mission statement
- Restaurant location
Investors want to see precisely how you will run your business and how you will do it successfully. People often hesitate to invest in a restaurant, as many eateries fail within the first year.
However, a strong business plan showing you understand your specific operational issues will go a long way to alleviate these concerns and get you started on the right foot.
The appendix section allows you to include other valuable documents and information at the end of the business plan. This may be information that does not fit well into different sections or is supporting documentation for the information in the primary areas. An appendix might include, but is not limited to:
- Letters of reference
- Legal permits and licensing
- Customer reviews of food and services
- Pictures of people enjoying your food
- Restaurant design sketches
- Photos of a proposed restaurant location
- Market research
The appendix lets you end on a good note. You can provide additional information to bolster the rest of your business plan.
Your restaurant business plan should be comprehensive and easy to understand. The prospect of putting one together can feel daunting without some help. A restaurant business plan sample can help you start and tell you what to include.
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Restaurant Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]
Restaurant Business Plan
If you want to start a new restaurant or expand your current restaurant, you need a business plan.
You can download our Restaurant business plan template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.
The following restaurant business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a successful business plan. A business plan template for a restaurant can be used to create a small restaurant business plan, a business for a fine dining restaurant, fast casual restaurant, and many other types of restaurant businesses. This restaurant business plan example will help you write a restaurant business plan for your own establishment.
I. Executive Summary
[Company Name], located at [insert location here] is a new, upscale restaurant focusing on providing organic, healthy and/or premium food and beverage products. Our product line fits nicely with health trends nationwide – as individuals are seeking healthier lifestyles complimented by natural, low-fat, and organic foods.
[Company Name] will offer a full menu of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. All products will use 100% all natural and organic ingredients. Several products on the menu will be highlighted as being lower in fat, cholesterol, or sodium.
In addition to a full menu of food items, [Company Name] will offer beer, wine, coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
[Company Name] will primarily serve the residents within a 15 mile radius of our restaurant. The demographics of these customers are as follows:
- 27,827 residents
- Average income of $74,700
- 58.9% married
- 49.6% in Mgt./Professional occupations
- Median age: 38 years
In addition to this prime adult demographic for an upscale and healthy restaurant, there are five elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. This will make [Company Name] an ideal location for parents to spend time while waiting for their children or to bring their children to after school.
[Company Name] is led by [Founder’s Name] who has been in the restaurant business for 20 years. While [Founder] has never run a restaurant himself, he has taught cooking classes at the local culinary institute for 20 years and has worked as a sous-chef at some of the most upscale restaurants in the community over the past 10 years. As such [Founder] has an in-depth knowledge of the restaurant business including the operations side (e.g., running day-to-day operations) and the business management side (e.g., staffing, marketing, etc.).
[Company Name] is uniquely qualified to succeed due to the following reasons:
- There is currently no upscale and healthy restaurant in the community we are entering. In addition, we have surveyed the local population and received extremely positive feedback saying that they explicitly want to frequent our business when launched.
- Our location is in a high-volume area with little direct traffic, and will thus be highly convenient to significant numbers of passerby’s each day.
- The management team has a track record of success in the restaurant business.
- The upscale and healthy restaurant business is a proven business and has succeeded in communities throughout the United States.
- Market trends such as healthy and organic living support our business opportunity as well as growing awareness about the obesity epidemic and repercussions of non-nutritious eating
[Company Name] is currently seeking $370,000 to launch. Specifically, these funds will be used as follows:
- Store design/build: $250,000
- Working capital: $120,000 to pay for Marketing, salaries, and lease costs until [Company Name] reaches break-even
II. Company Overview
Who is [company name].
[Company Name], located at [insert location here] is a new, upscale and healthy restaurant focusing on providing organic and delicious foods to the local community.
[Company Name] was founded by [Founder’s Name]. While [Founder’s Name] has been in the restaurant business for some time, it was in [month, date] that he decided to launch [Company Name]. Specifically, during this time, [Founder] took a trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL. During his trip, [Founder’s Name] frequented a restaurant that enjoyed tremendous success. After several discussions with the owner of the restaurant, [Founder’s Name] clearly understood that a similar business would enjoy significant success in his hometown.
Specifically the customer demographics and competitive situations in the Fort Lauderdale location and in [insert location here] were so similar that he knew it would work. Furthermore, after surveying the local population, this theory was proven.
[Company Name]’s History
Upon returning from Fort Lauderdale, surveying the local customer base, and finding potential location, [Founder’s Name] incorporated [Company Name] as an S-Corporation on [date of incorporation].
[Founder’s Name] has selected three initial locations and is currently undergoing due diligence on each property and the local market to assess which will be the most desirable location for the restaurant.
Since incorporation, the company has achieved the following milestones:
- Developed the company’s name, logo and website located at www…
- Created the menu
- Determined equipment and inventory requirements
- Began recruiting key employees with experience in the restaurant industry
[Company Name]’s Products
Below is [Company Name]’s initial menu. All items will be 100% natural and organic. As you can see all items are classified under the following six main categories:
The location has 40 dedicated parking spots which should suffice even in peak hours.
[Company Name] plans to be open 7 days a week, from 12PM to11PM. As demand dictates, we may extend or reduce our hours. Likewise, as demand dictates, we may offer delivery service.
III. Industry Analysis
The following industry trends and statistics bode well for [Company Name].
According to a recent National Restaurant Association Restaurant Industry Forecast, annual restaurant industry sales are expected to reach $566 billion.
Full-service restaurants are expected to reach $182.9 billion; in contrast, quick service restaurants are expected to grow to $163.8 billion, a gain of 4.0 percent over last year. Eating-and-drinking places will see an increase in sales from of 2.2 percent from last year, totaling $395 billion.
The forecast projects that while overall restaurant industry sales will increase in current dollars by 2.5 percent over recent figures; the numbers translate to an inflation-adjusted decline of 1.0 percent. The industry will remain a cornerstone of the economy, representing 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Consumer and Menu Trends Among top trends restaurateurs see are an expanded focus on value, healthy options in kids’ meals, locally sourced items and green initiatives.
- Among 1,600 of American Culinary Federation member chefs, it was decided that balanced children’s meals was number 4 on list of the most popular recent trends and fruit/vegetable side items for kids ranked sixth. In a separate survey, quick-service operators named healthy options in kids meals as the No. 1 food trend in the segment.
- Overall, chefs ranked nutrition/health as the No. 11 trend on restaurant menus—this includes healthy foods, produce and fruit, smaller dishes, fish and gluten-free/ allergy According to Association consumer research, three in four adults say they are trying to eat healthier now at restaurants than they did two years ago. Nearly three in 10 adults – 27 percent – have gone online to search for nutrition information about restaurant food, up from 24 percent a year ago.
- Restaurateurs will also continue to show increasing leadership in becoming “greener”— by taking action such as reducing energy and water use—in step with patrons’ interest in environmental issues. About four in 10 full-service-restaurant operators and nearly three in 10 quick service operators say they plan to devote more of their budgets to green initiatives. Restaurant patrons like the idea: 44 percent surveyed recently said they are likely to make a restaurant choice based on an operation’s practices in the areas of energy and water conservation.
IV. Customer Analysis
Demographic profile of target market.
[Company Name] will serve the residents of [company location] and the immediately surrounding areas as well as those who work in [company location].
The area we serve is affluent and has an affinity to healthy and organic foods and beverages like we will be offering.
We will primarily target the following customer segments:
- Local office workers: approximately 5,000 individuals work in offices within a quarter mile of our location and we expect a fair portion of these individuals to frequent us during lunch hours.
- Students: there is a middle school and a high school in the town and the high school are within one half mile. Students from these schools will be targeted to frequent [Company Name].
- Families and Couples: We expect couples and families to frequent our restaurant and enjoy our dinner atmosphere.
V. Competitive Analysis
Direct & indirect competitors.
The following restaurants are located within a 2 mile radius of [Company Name], thus providing either direct or indirect competition for customers:
Joe’s Tavern is the town’s leading local restaurant and has been in business for 32 years. Joe’s offers a wide array of foods, with local bands as entertainment, and is a highly family friendly environment. .
Joe’s has an extensive menu, with some healthy options and some fried foods and bar favorites. While it has an established clientele, Joe’s Tavern does not differentiate itself as a healthy food choice.
Old Time Organics
Old Time Organics has been in business for 5 years. Old Time offers a variety of baked goods, organic teas and coffees, and sandwiches served to-go.
While Old Time Organics’ food is entirely organic, they have a very limited selection of items and are not open for dinner. The location only has four sit down tables and is thus targeting to-go customers that are either stopping for a quick breakfast or picking up baked goods and coffee for work.
Freddy’s Deli is a recently opened restaurant. Freddy’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is open until 1am nightly.
[Company Name] has several advantages over Freddy’s Deli including:
- Freddy’s Deli does not offer products, including pastries, sandwiches, soups and more, made with organic ingredients
- Freddy’s has very little ambience and due to enormous portion sizes and low quality ingredients, the food is largely unhealthy
While we expect that Freddy’s Deli will continue to thrive based on its location and excitement about a new restaurant, we expect that more and more customers will frequent [Company Name] based on the high-quality and organic ingredients we use and product selection.
[Company Name] enjoys several advantages over its competitors. These advantages include:
- 100% Natural/Organic/High-Quality Ingredients: getting 100% Natural/Organic baked goods, soups, sandwiches and more in the local market is challenging and is being increasingly demanded by the local community
- Management: Our management team has years of business and marketing experience that allows us to market and serve customers in a much more sophisticated manner than our competitors.
- Relationships: Having lived in the community for 25 years, [Founder’s Name] knows all of the local leaders, newspapers and other influencers. As such, it will be relatively easy for us to build branding and awareness of our restaurant.
VI. Marketing Plan
The Marketing Plan describes the type of brand [Company Name] seeks to create and the Company’s planned promotions and pricing strategies.
The [Company Name] Brand
The [Company Name] brand will focus on the Company’s unique value proposition:
- Offering organic, high-quality food items including baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads and more
- Offering a convenient location that offers both eat-in or take-out options
- Providing excellent customer service
[Company Name] expects its target market to be individuals working and/or living within a 15-mile radius of each of its store. The Company’s promotions strategy to reach these individuals includes:
[Company Name] will blanket neighborhoods surrounding its locations with direct mail pieces. These pieces will provide general information on [Company Name], offer discounts and/or provide other inducements for people to frequent the restaurant.
We will contact all local and area newspapers and television stations to tell them about the opening and unique value proposition of [Company Name].
[Company Name] will initially advertise in local newspapers and sponsor community events in order to gain awareness.
[Company Name] employees will initially give free food samples to passerby’s to enable them to taste the quality of our products and learn about us.
Ongoing Customer Communications
[Company Name] will maintain a website and publish a monthly email newsletter to tell customers about new events, products, and more.
Before opening the store, [Company Name] will organize pre-opening events designed for prospective customers, local merchants and press contacts. These events will create buzz and awareness for [Company Name] in the area.
[Company Name]’s pricing will be moderate so customers feel they receive great value when patronizing the stores.
VII. Operations Plan
In order to execute on [Company Name]’s business model, the Company needs to perform many functions including the following:
- General & administrative functions including legal, marketing, bookkeeping, etc.
- Sourcing and storing ingredients
- Hiring and training staff
- Food preparation
- Ongoing menu creation and modification
Restaurant Service Functions
- Order taking and fulfillment (for take-out and dine-in)
- Customer service
- Janitor/maintenance personnel to keep the restaurant clean
[Company Name] expects to achieve the following milestones in the following  months:
VIII. Management Team
Management team members.
[Company Name] is led by [Founder’s Name] who has been in the restaurant business for 20 years.
While [Founder] has never ran a restaurant himself, he has taught cooking classes as the local culinary institute for 20 years. Two courses that he taught included:
1. How To Cook for Everyday Eating This course was designed to give students an overall understanding of basic dishes that could be cooked for everyday healthy home-style meals
2. Vegetarian Cooking This course was designed to give students an overall understanding of how to cook with the necessary vitamins and proteins needed to enrich a vegetarian diet without compromising on taste.
[Founder] has also worked part-time at restaurants throughout the region. Specifically, he has worked for Giana’s Patisserie and Mike’s Place, where he was responsible for overseeing kitchen quality.
[Founder] graduated from the University of ABC where he majored in Communications.
[Founder] will serve as the restaurant manager. In order to launch the restaurant, we need to hire the following personnel:
- Wait staff (4 full-time equivalents to start)
- Chefs (3 to start)
- Sous-chefs (2 to start)
- Assistant Restaurant Manager (will manage cash register and other administrative functions)
IX. Financial Plan
Revenue and cost drivers.
[Company Name]’s revenues will come from the sale of natural and organic food products to its customers.
The Company will have dine-in, takeout, and possibly delivery systems to cater to a broad spectrum of customers in its target market.
The major costs for the company will be food production costs and salaries of the staff. In the initial years, the company’s marketing spend will be high, as it establishes itself in the market.
Capital Requirements and Use of Funds
[Company Name] is seeking a total funding of $370,000 to launch its restaurant. The capital will be used for funding capital expenditures, manpower costs, marketing expenses and working capital.
Specifically, these funds will be used as follows:
- Working capital: $120,000 to pay for marketing, salaries, and lease costs until [Company Name] reaches break-even
Key Assumptions & Forecasts
Below please find the key assumptions that went into the financial forecast and a summary of the financial projections over the next five years. Please see the Appendix for more detailed financial forecasting information.
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- Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast /
Tourists recommend Japanese dishes at this restaurant.
Frequently mentioned in reviews, ratings of viproll, visitors' opinions on viproll, similar restaurants nearby.
Tasty dishes in Elektrostal
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BAR 1980, Moscow - Butovo South - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor
Restaurant Action Plan Template
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