How to Cook Up a Killer Restaurant Business Plan



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One of the main reasons businesses fail is not having a solid business plan.

A solid business plan is a blueprint of the actionable plans you have for your business, from the restaurant design to the team you will be working with.

It’s the plan that will be shared with not only investors but also the financial institution you approach for financial help.

When coming up with a business plan, it’s better to document as much information as possible to show potential investors it has been well thought out.

You can write up the business plan on your own or approach a professional – either way, it can’t hurt to educate yourself as much as practically possible before you commit to the venture.

There are some key aspects that very well thought out business plan should contain to imbue confidence in the new restaurant concept.

Start With an Executive Summary

The executive summary is a short description of what your entire restaurant business plan contains. In other words, a brief synopsis of why someone should share your faith that this particular venture will succeed where others have failed.

The executive summary is a page or two of basic information that any busy investor or financial institution will look at and get a feel for the rest of the plan without perusing the entire document. Some of the things that can be in an executive summary include:

  • Your business mission and vision statement: These are short statements that give the purpose, goals and values of your business.
  • Summary concept of your business: You will use this space to explain the overall plan and design of your upcoming restaurant. This will draw a skeleton of what your business will look like.
  • Business Execution: This is a summary of how you intend to roll out this elaborate business plan.
  • Financial Plan: Many investors will tell you that they want to see the numbers, which in this case is the cost of starting up and maintaining the business. Take this opportunity to cover as much ground as possible to give investors the bigger picture.

A trick to ensuring that your executive summary covers all bases is to think of yourself as a potential investor and what you would like to see in a business plan to invest in.

Include a Company Description

Once you have introduced investors to your business summary, it’s time to give an accurate company description. The general description will cover factors such as the name of the restaurant, its location, the owner’s details, existing investors and contact details.

At this point, you can also add the legal standing of the company, which can include consent to open a business in your area, food registration licenses and so on. It’s advisable before writing out the company legal standing to check out local council sites and ensure that all licences are obtained.

Have a Detailed Market Analysis

Opening a restaurant business means that you are entering a field with many competitors.

So your business plan must show that you have done a proper market analysis. This is a way to show investors that you understand the current situation of the hospitality industry and display what unique factors you bring to the table. There are different types of analysis you can have.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for ‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats’.

This analysis should highlight what strengths your business will have over others and any weaknesses it may encounter. It should also show opportunities that your business brings to investors and the community at large. Finally, any threats you are aware of against your business should also be addressed.

Industry and Competitor Analysis

In this case, you will share the industry analysis and show that you are aware of the current trends in the market. A good business plan must show factors that make it stand out from other similar ventures.

In addition, share in your business plan the competitors that your business may likely have. This means listing any competitor brands in your target area of business and information such as their location, size, hours of operation, sample menu items and so on. This is where you will be able to show how different your restaurant will be to attract customers.

Show Off The Menu

In the restaurant industry, it’s the menu that can make or break your business. You must show your investors your sample menu. This includes which items will be the potential best sellers and proposed prices.

You should have a sample of your menu complete with logo and design. This will give investors a picture of the finished menu and help determine the price range the restaurant will fall in.

Introduce The Team

This may sound unusual for a business plan to a restaurant yet to be set up.

However, it’s good to show investors that you already have your management and partner team in place. Make sure that the plan shows a detailed description of the team, starting with yourself as the team leader.

Ensure that the team description shows you have experienced management to cover all aspects of running a restaurant. You can also add an overview of which type of staff you will hire once up and running.

Reveal Restaurant Location and Design

The location of the business and its design are as important as the menu and the team. When sharing the location, ensure that you give a clear justification for your choice and explain how it will be a great spot for business.

In addition, make sure that the elaborate restaurant design plans are part of the business plan. If possible, have a mock-up or sample design created to give the investors a visual idea of your plan. Aside from the exterior and interior design, including sample design ideas for the uniforms, kitchen and dining equipment.

Create a Marketing Plan

When investors are considering being a part of your business, they will also be interested in how the restaurant will be marketed. Share a rundown of how you intend to create hype and excitement for the restaurant.

In this section, you will share if you intend to run the marketing plan yourself or if you will bring in a PR firm. List ideas you will invest in for marketing the restaurant before and after opening. This can include social media, media being considered for advertising the restaurant and any other ideas you may have in mind.

Round Off with a Financial Proposal

It’s the numbers that will attract or scare away investors.

You need to give a detailed financial plan for the restaurant. This will include how much is required to put up the restaurant, the costs for designing and purchasing items required for the business and so on.

You should also have a breakdown of recurring costs such as rent, staff salaries, linen and uniforms, periodic licence renewal charges and marketing budgets among others. The financial proposal is the best way to round off the business plan.


Photo courtesy of Freepik by @jcomp



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