How to write a restaurant business plan (2023)

A restaurant business plan can help you put the "business" in your restaurant. After all, restaurants aren't just for the bargainhospitality, serving your favorite recipes or creating a warm atmosphere. They need to generate revenue to support you and your employees. With a business plan as a template, you can stay focused on achieving your goals and running a sustainable business.

In this guide to creating and using your restaurant business plan, you'll learn:

  • What is a restaurant business plan
  • Why is it important to have a business plan for your restaurant?
  • How to write a restaurant business plan
  • And access our restaurant business plan template

What is a restaurant business plan?

A restaurant business plan is a document that explains the who, what, where, when, why and how of your restaurant. It acts as a source of truth for your business vision and can help you stay accountable to your goals and stakeholders. A typical business plan includes sections on your restaurant concept and team, competition, marketing plan, financial projections, an executive summary, and more.

Why is it important to have a restaurant business plan?

Writing a business plan is a critical step on the way toto become a restaurant owner. This document helps everyone involved in starting and running the business to align with goals and means. A business plan provides guidance and enables you to make decisions.

It is also a useful tool to share with potential investors. A business plan shows that you are serious about the business, have researched your competition and target market, and understand the risks and key financial and regulatory aspects of running a business.

How to write a restaurant business plan

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of exactly what to include in your restaurant business plan.

Summary of highlights

The executive summary serves as both an introduction to the business plan and a summary of everything else in the document. Write it as a high-level overview of your plan and write it last so you can draw from other sections.

business introduction

Start with the basics of your business, including the name of the restaurant, its mission and values, its concept andsample menu.

If you need help defining a business mission and values, consider your restaurant's purpose. Why does it exist? What does your company stand for?

When describing the idea, you can be direct (for example, a fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant), but you can also add color by including your business inspiration. For example, you can share that you want your restaurant to be the Chipotle of Vietnamese food to help make the cuisine more accessible and mainstream.

Include a sample menu that you and potential investors can refer to when finalizing the dishes to serve.


Explain who will be responsible for running your restaurant orbar. Will you be or hire a managing director orDirector-General?

Outline what roles you will need to hire for and when you plan to do so. include achartfor future reference. And since the catering industry is notorious forhigh employee turnover, it is important to explain what you intend to doretention of hospitality staff.

List any types of outside consultants you plan to hire, such as an accountant or marketing agency.


The financial analysis section of your restaurant business plan is one of the most important. Writing one is a useful exercise that helps you plan and understand where the funds will come from to start your business and how you will spend that money and your income.

Include insights in yoursfinancial source. Where will the money come from to support start-up costs – and keep you going until you're profitable? Personal savings, friends and family, investors? How much money will you need to start the business?

Additionally, prepare itoperating budget. List how much you plan to spend on payroll, technology, furniture and decor, equipment, inventory, and marketing.

Please include details about yoursbusiness model and revenue streams. Most restaurants will start with on-premises food and then be able to add additional revenue streamsonline orders, supply and sale of goods.

Finally, includefinancial forecasts. How long do you estimate it will take to become profitable? How much revenue do you think you will make in the first year of your business?


In this section, explain where you will seek legal advice and what licenses and permits you will obtain.

Create a plan to comply with employment regulations such asfair labor practices, overtime and salary requirements.

Assign a member of your team, such as the General Manager, to keep permits up-to-date and make sure you're in compliance with local regulations and ready for health inspections.

Marketing analysis and plan

This part of your restaurant business plan should include the following sections:

  • marketing analysis: Explain the market your restaurant will be in and where you might want to expand the business. Please share any special thoughts related to this location.
  • Target market: What kind of customers do you want your restaurant to attract? What are your demographics? What are your likes and dislikes? How often do they dine out?
  • Competitive analysis: Research similar restaurants in your area. How will your company compare? What gives you a competitive advantage?
  • SWOT analysis: List any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business. Doing this exercise will help you prepare for obstacles and could impact your marketing plan.
  • price analysis: Explain your pricing plan. In addition to looking at cost of goods sold and profit margin, consider what the competition is charging and howprice affects perceived value.
  • restaurant marketing plan: Include your brand, marketing andannouncement. Will you have a digital presence? How will customers find you?

technology design

Technology is a critical part of running a modern, efficient restaurant. Decide which onerestaurant technologyyou will need to run your business. When researching technology vendors, make sure the solutions you choose can grow with your restaurant.

Consider the following types of tools:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
  • Point of sale (POS) system.
  • booking software
  • Online ordering tools
  • social media platforms
  • hosting location
  • employee scheduling software
  • Payroll and accounting platform
  • Inventory management tool
  • Ticketing and event management platform
  • marketing automation software


Create a timeline to mark milestones in the days leading up to your restaurant opening and what you hope to achieve in the years after opening day. Get milestone inspiration from these examples:

  • Before opening: Find a location, look for investors, find suppliers, sign a lease, build a restaurant, hire and train staff
  • Grand opening: Opening celebration and media coverage
  • 1, 2, 3, 6 months after opening day: Implement new revenue streams and technologies, streamline operations, launch marketing campaigns
  • 1 year in business: Create a loyalty program, one year celebration
  • 5 years on the market: Expand, open a ghost kitchen

Restaurant business plan template

Screenshot, copy and paste, or print this sample restaurant business plan to start the writing process.

Summary of highlights

(Summarize the rest of your restaurant business plan)

business introduction

Suggested name for the restaurant:

Mission and values:



Leading team:

Organizational framework:

Recruitment schedule:

External consultants:


How will you finance the business?

How much money do you need to start the business?

What will your operating expenses be?

When will the business start making a profit?


What permits and licenses will you need to obtain?

Market analysis and marketing plan

Where will the restaurant be?

Competitive Analysis:

SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths:
  • Weaknesses:
  • Chances:
  • Threats:

Price analysis:

Marketing Plan:

technology design

What tools and vendors will you use?

CRM: SevenRooms


Reservations: SevenRooms

Pedidos on-line: SevenRooms

Stock management:



Before the opening day

Grand opening:

Month 1:

Month 2:

Month 3:

6 months from opening:

1 year from release:

5 years since opening:

Need more inspiration? check these outExamples of restaurant business plansfor more ideas.

Stay focused with a restaurant business plan

Creating a restaurant business plan can help you stay focused on your goals and prove to outside stakeholders and potential investors that you are serious about the business. While the specifics of your restaurant will change between opening and several years of operation, a business plan can keep you accountable to your original goals and vision. Use the restaurant business plan template to start jotting down your ideas.

SevenRooms can help you achieve your business goals by equipping you with the technology you need to run a successful restaurant.Ask for a demonstrationtoday.

Frequently asked questions about restaurant business plans

1. What is a business plan for a restaurant?

A restaurant business plan is the plan that describes your vision and explains in detail how the new business will look and operate once it opens its doors.

2. Is it profitable to open a restaurant?

Restaurants are profitable, but have lower profit margins compared to other industries, which should be factored into your restaurant business plan.



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