Restaurant business plan

Consider these steps when making your business plan!

How to write a business plan for your restaurant

Restaurant business plans are integral to the success of your business. Your business plan will be the road map from which your restaurant develops, it will help you grow and will guide you through the complexities of owning your own restaurant.

In this article, we offer hands-on tips for restaurant owners on how to write a business plan for your restaurant and why a restaurant business plan is so important. We have included a step-by-step restaurant business plan template which you can download to help you get started. Whether you are a restaurant startup or you already own restaurants and are an established part of the foodservice industry, this guide will be useful for every type of restaurant.

Consider these steps when making your business plan!

Chapter 1

What you need to include in a restaurant business plan

Business plans should be concise and no more than around two pages long. Consider some steps like your key activities, offerings and resources (scroll down at this page to see the full list).

Chapter 2

Define your restaurant idea

Ensuring the contents of your restaurant business plan are short and clear. What is the competitive advantage that helps you stand out from the crowd? Are you a fine dining restaurant, casual service spot, a brasserie?

Chapter 3

Financial analysis and financial projections

A restaurant business plan should have estimates on your total start-up costs and the amount of money needed to keep your restaurant functioning. A solid cash flow on a day-to-day basis, is a solid ground. This is sometimes regarded as a break-even analysis. To ensure costs don't outrun sales. You should also have a budget that predicts the first year’s revenues.

Chapter 4

Benefits of having a restaurant business plan

Having a clear business plan is very important for you as a restaurateur. Having a clear business plan is very important for you as a restaurateur, your management team and your staff, so you all pull in the same direction.

What you need to include in a restaurant business plan

Consider these steps when making your business plan.

Your Restaurant concept (mission statement)
A good place to start with your business plan is to have a mission statement that describes your business, why you exist and your business concept. This should be followed by:

Your Vision
What is your vision, where do you want to be in the future? (Aim high).

Your Values
What are your core values? Can you describe them?

Your key activities
What do you need to continue doing to reach your goals? Write them all down here.

Your offerings
What are you offering that makes you an attractive business on the market?

Your key resources
List some of your most valuable assets.

Your customer segments
Who is your target group, who is your most important customer and who is your dream customer? List those here and think about your overall customer base.

Your sales channels
What are your restaurant sales channels?

Your revenue
Where and how do you generate your income?

Your costs
Where do you spend money to reach your goal?

Your partners
Which partners do you have today, and which ones would you like to have in the future?

*Business plan template is inspired by Magnus Helgesson

Define your restaurant idea

Ensuring the contents of your restaurant business plan are short and clear, you need to do some preparation work. You should clearly define your restaurant idea and your restaurant concepts, such as the service style, pricing, type of food, menu items and ambience. What is the competitive advantage that helps you stand out from the crowd? Are you a fine dining restaurant, casual service spot, a brasserie?

Consider ways to service customers who cannot or prefer not to dine in, such as a creating a ghost kitchen for prepared meals, take-aways or delivery? Is there are any industry analysis or market research within the restaurant industry for your target market? It’s always good to have as much information as possible when designing a new business plan right down to the basics like company description and target audience.

As you develop your concept, don’t forget to check out the competition. Do some market research on what has already been tried and tested, figure out which of these concepts work best, and why. That way you will be able to build on something that customers like, and are willing to pay for, and turn it into your own. Also, look into demographics to see if that fits your concept and target customers. This information may also define a future marketing strategy for your social media channels and be part of a roadmap to your restaurant marketing.

Financial analysis and financial projections

Your restaurant business plan will have estimates on your total start-up costs and the amount of money needed to keep your restaurant functioning on a day-to-day basis, to have a solid cash flow. This is sometimes regarded as a break-even analysis, to ensure costs don’t outrun sales. You should also have a budget that predicts the first year’s revenues and expenses to know how much you will need to stay in business. This total represents your funding needs and is critical to any small business or startup.

Funding can come from a variety of sources, such as your own savings, joining up with one or more partners, attracting potential investors or traditional funding from a bank. Regardless of your strategy, even if it is your own money, make sure to have sound financial projections at hand.

Benefits of having a restaurant business plan

Many new restaurants fail early on, often due to a lack of planning and a lack of interest in what their guests are saying and not understanding and implementing customer feedback. But that doesn’t mean your restaurant has to be overly complex to prosper. In fact, the more streamlined you can make it, the better your chances to build a successful restaurant. Having a clear business plan is very important for you as a restaurateur, your management team and your staff, so you all pull in the same direction.

Contact us

After you have filled in your contact information, you will be contacted by one of our knowledgeable experts who can tell you more about our solutions.