restaurant business plan (2023)

Your restaurant business plan is a blueprint of your future success. A well-crafted plan helps you see the big picture, no matter how good your restaurant ideas are. A business plan helps demonstrate the viability of your ideas and can provide investors with the information they need to consider your project. Investors need to know how you will manage your restaurant in a competitive market and how you will overcome any challenges.

Your business plan allows you to provide a framework for yourself and others to start your restaurant. Lack of preparation and proper planning is one of the main reasons new restaurants fail in 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
  • How to write a business plan for a restaurant
  • Restaurant business plan example

Why you need a business plan for your restaurant

Many new restaurant owners fail to come up with a business plan. You might think you don't need one because you know what you want to do. Without a proper business plan, however, you are entering a difficult process without a solid framework for success.

When you want people to invest in your business, you need to be able to demonstrate future success. A specific and carefully detailed business plan is essential. A well-designed plan increases the likelihood of securing investors.

A business plan is intended to help you achieve your goals at every stage of developing and running your business. The program will cover operational details, regulatory compliance, hiring practices and other key details. A business plan can also help you turn your vision into tangible goals that others can see. With this in a detailed plan, you will have a better chance of creating a successful and lasting restaurant.

restaurant business plan (1)

How to write a business plan for a restaurant

Many people do not know how to start a restaurant business plan on their own. A good plan covers the essential details and outlines your vision for the future of the restaurant. However, you don't have to do this from scratch. An example restaurant business plan can help you get started and know what to include in your plan.

1. Summary

An executive summary is a brief overview of your company. It will describe why the community wants your food and needs your restaurant. This brief section will focus on the intended reader, whether you are yourself or a potential investor.

An executive summary is a place for brief details rather than an in-depth, fact-filled one. Many people consider this to be an essential part of the plan as it will outline why the restaurant will be successful.

The summary is your chance to grab the reader's attention. Many people will decide whether to continue reading your plan, so it's essential to start off on the right foot. Your summary will include information such as:

  • How will your restaurant compete?
  • The type of food you will serve and a menu
  • The restaurant's target demographics
  • An implementation plan
  • Outline the competition you will face
  • Who will be the owners and employees
  • The organizational structure of your restaurant
  • Marketing and sales strategies

Many of these details will receive in-depth treatment later in your design. They should only provide the key points you want to cover to summarize the rest of your business plan.

2. Management team

Your restaurant business plan should include a section that introduces your management team. Here you detail the responsibilities of each owner, manager and team member. You set expectations about who will do what to start the business. These details also help show investors that you're serious and know how to handle the day-to-day running of a restaurant.

The management team section should include basic details about the restaurant's ownership, such as:

  • Legal names of each owner
  • How the restaurant will be legally structured (corporation, limited liability company (LLC), etc.)
  • property types
  • Percentage belonging to each owner
  • Ownership agreement between the parties

Your restaurant business plan should also detail who will run the restaurant on a day-to-day basis. Although there may be some overlap – especially in smaller restaurants – management responsibilities should be clearly delineated. This information must include the following:

  • Full names of any members of the management team
  • education and background
  • Previous restaurant or management experience
  • Title and summary of job responsibilities
  • Any training in the food industry
  • Salary and benefits information

3. Products and Services

Investors want to know what you will serve and how you know customers will like it. This is where you can get specific and show why people come to your restaurant. A robust opening menu shows that 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 offer.

This section should also address other questions about how you will handle your products:

  • How will you order the necessary supplies?
  • What is the cost of the product and the selling price?
  • How will you measure sales success?
  • Why do customers choose your food over your competitors?
  • How will your menu change over time?

Many new restaurant owners have a great vision and great food, but don't know how to run a successful business. Investors want to know that your food will be good and that you 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 will be. Every successful restaurant understands their key demographics and how to market their business to these potential customers. Your business plan should outline basic information about your customers and provide detailed data on the availability of those customers in your area.

Market research is often useful in proving that the type of customer you are looking for is readily available in the local market. Supporting information should be available here to show investors that you have the customers to sustain your restaurant for the long term.

Marketing strategies and an ongoing plan are essential to the success of a new business – especially a restaurant. It would be better to show how you will inform people about your new restaurant and attract 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 be advertising on social media, on your website or through other digital marketing?
  • Will you be using billboards, flyers, or other complex advertising media?
  • What is your advertising budget?

These crucial details show that 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:

  • Strengths
  • weaknesses
  • Chances
  • Threats

A SWOT analysis addresses difficult questions in an easy-to-read format. It's a business tool that helps you analyze your restaurant's performance against the competition. It will analyze the internal and external factors that can help or hurt your future business. These data are based on actual events and not ideal conditions or best hopes.

6. Finances

The financials section details the key areas of your business's financial performance. This includes information on start-up costs and dead spots. It also shows how and when the company can earn and have a return on investment.

The financial section should include the following:

  • Monthly expenses – utilities, payroll, rent, etc.
  • Price range for all products
  • projected revenue
  • Mathematical projections for the restaurant
  • Variable business costs
  • Financial records and cash flow statements

7. Functions

Your restaurant business plan should be about how you will operate your restaurant. While it will include details about products and services, it will also cover other critical business details such as:

  • work requirements
  • Working hours
  • Food licensing and inspection requirements
  • cleaning procedures
  • restaurant design
  • Mission statement
  • restaurant location

Investors want to see exactly how you will run your business and make it successful. People are often hesitant to invest in a restaurant as many restaurants fail within the first year. However, a solid business plan that shows you understand your specific operational issues will go a long way in alleviating these concerns and get you started on the right foot.

8. Appendix

The appendix section allows you to include other documents and valuable information at the end of the business plan. This may be information that does not fit well in the various sections or that is documentation of the information contained in the main areas. An appendix may include, but is not limited to:

  • Reference Letter
  • Legal Authorizations and Licensing
  • Customer reviews of food and service
  • Photos of people enjoying their food
  • restaurant design sketches
  • Photos of a proposed location for a restaurant
  • Market Research

The appendix allows you to end on a good note. You can provide additional information to strengthen the rest of your business plan.

Restaurant business plan example

Your restaurant business plan should be comprehensive and understandable. The prospect of putting one together can seem daunting without some help. An example restaurant business plan can help you get started and tell you what to include.

restaurant business plan (2)

You candownload a business plan in Wordor create your restaurant business plan using our document creator.

Explore more business plan guides below:

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