How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan?

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Executive Summary

Here you need to provide an exciting introduction to your restaurant business.

Remember that your reader is a potential investor, and you have to keep his or her attention. Start by providing the reader with some necessary information, such as the name, location and the type of your new restaurant. You will provide information on what it will be your business' specialization. Is it weekend leisure dining?

You need to write about what makes your restaurant special considering that there is massive competition. Explain in your small restaurant business plan, why you would be the perfect fit for the restaurant business venture. Talk about an experience in a restaurant, such as cooking experience.

Anyone without previous experience in a restaurant might be wondering what to put in your business plan. Here’s how. You do not need to worry because even with the lack of experience you can still sell your potential investor the idea that you are still the ideal person to run the new restaurant business.

In the business plan executive summary, you need to talk about some market research that you may have done to identify the unfulfilled market. You need to provide an analysis of the geographical advantage that your restaurant and the demography of your potential clients.

You need to introduce the team that will be responsible for running the restaurant. You can state the names of the people that you have identified as your potential staff. Include their experience: Why they are suited for a particular function and what their responsibilities. In your business plan, you need to provide the projections for the funding and the profits.



The significant items to include in this section of the business plan is the menu and the setting for your restaurant. One of the vital importance of a business plan is to help you provide enough information for your reader to visualize your restaurant. In this business plan outline, we will give you what you need to add exactly even to the product section of a fast food restaurant business plan. How do you help anyone visualize your restaurant? The catch is to use highly descriptive words and providing the details as vividly as possible.

For the menu, you need to identify the lead item at your restaurant and state the recipe for that item. The kicker is to determine any unique technique that you will use or might have identified to add value to the meal so that your customers will keep coming back for that item.

How long have you experimented with the recipe and the techniques to perfect that lead dish? Add that information in this section of the business plan to help your potential investor get a clear picture of how good that item would be to ensure customers like it and keep coming back for that lead item.

Another catch is to explain how your team will churn out a large volume of your lead item without losing the quality be it the texture or the great taste that you have counted on to keep those customers coming for more.

What is the menu that you will be there initially?


Of course when you have to start with a limited menu and keep increasing with time. Identify what your limited menu will feature. What will you offer as main dishes, the entrees, the side dishes, and the sauces?

What’s the bottom line? You have to promise the reader that you won’t be serving anything mundane or ordinary. Identify everything that will make your menu unique and as original as possible.

What about the setting for your restaurant?


A restaurant should set the mood for dining. Identify how your restaurant will offer a perfect setting to ensure customers enjoy not only what's on the menu but also where they would enjoy their meals.

So what makes a restaurant setting?


Identify the number and types of tables. Describe the tablecloths, the décor, the chairs, and all the furnishings and identify what impact each one of these items will achieve.

Market Analysis


For any business venture, it is critical, making sure that one finds enough information on an opportunity from as many sources as possible. The primary target of doing a market analysis is to identify the customers.

So what makes up a market analysis?


You need to find the target market for your restaurant. What are the neighborhoods that will provide the customer mix you need? How will your location bring in customers such as the commuting population? Identify activities that would be going on around your restaurant that would lead potential customers to your restaurant.

Tell the reader how you obtained feedback on your restaurant idea. Did you conduct a survey to learn the reaction of the population to the concept of your restaurant? Explain how you conducted the study and the number of persons who gave you feedback. Provide the questions that were included in your survey and if possible the tabulated results from the same.

Profile the customers


Explain how the location that you have identified for the restaurant is most amenable to the products that you will be serving. Provide information on the demography of the surrounding population. What characteristics make them a viable customer base for your restaurant? Inform the reader of the essential aspects such as the median age, the average income and general habits of that population.

Identify if a segment of your target market has a habit of eating out.


When do the target customers eat out and what they prefer to do at such events, what their children eat and what do the parents do versus what the children do. These questions help you define your target market and how you would respond to their needs.

The bottom line is to provide what percentage of your business will come from a particular segment of your target market. You will need to find out what portion, for example, will the commuters provide? You also need to include in the restaurant business plan the habits of any potential customers and how the restaurant will fit into their schedules.

Business model


The business model should essentially include your restaurant’s value proposition. It is the plan for creating a profitable business out of your restaurant.

You need to explain what your restaurant offers in the market, and its financial projections to show evidence of profitability. For your restaurant, most of your decisions and finances will be based on the menu choices.

First and foremost you have to pinpoint what your restaurant offers that is different from what others offer. This should be the value proposition for your restaurant, like affordability, the service or the atmosphere. The business model must have a vivid statement of your unique value proposition.

The kicker, however, is the menu, primarily the selection and the pricing of the menu. All the anticipated revenues and profitability revolve around the menu.

Let’s talk about costs.


You should provide the estimations for the costs and the projections for the revenues and the expenses. Remember there are several costs that you will incur for your business. From the day you will open up the doors for your restaurant, you will spend on supplies, silverware, and the employees among others. So you will need to explain how you are going to source your finances, will you obtain outside financing? You also need to provide an analysis of the ongoing costs and the profit margins to ensure that your restaurant business sustains its profitability.

You would need to tell your reader about the projected population growth for the locality of your restaurant to ensure that you will continue to be profitability. It must include an assessment of the competing dining establishments. It should consist of the potential future expansion of the restaurant’s customer base.

Within the business model, you should lay out a market strategy, and how your restaurant is going to advertise itself. You need to state other revenue-generating activities for your restaurant. If you wish to expand to catering services you will need to declare that in this part of your restaurant business plan.



In this section of the, you need to talk about the Board of Directors, Advisory Board and the management of the restaurant. You may want to run a large restaurant that includes the Board of Directors or an advisory board. Board of Directors consists of people who guide the CEO, you have to describe who the Board Members are and their input to the restaurant business is. For the Board of Directors, it would always be good to go for people you can trust, state the share of the company that you would offer each one of them. You need to report the hands-on input that each one brings to the business.

Who the Heck is the Advisory Board?


The advisory board comes in handy to anyone who has very little on running a restaurant. The advisory board should be comprised of restaurant business experts preferably those who have worked for other restaurant brands. Having an advisory board that consists of experts assures a potential investor that the restaurant business would be worthwhile investing in.

You need to describe the composition of the Board of directors (should be an odd number) as well as the advisory board, what their input to the business will be. You would need to describe the voting rights of each one of them. Of course, you have to schedule meetings often, and it would be vital that you provide such information to a potential investor through your restaurant business plan.



Who makes up the fulltime runners of your restaurant business venture? You need to identify who exactly would manage your restaurant business. You need to tell your reader about the qualification and the experience that each member of your management brings to your business. Who will work on particular days of the week and why would you count on them? State whether you would have some of the workers on part-time initially then graduate them to full-time workers as the restaurant grows.



Going into any business is no walk in the park, as a restaurant owner, you need to identify the competition and why to tell the reader why you will win.

Who has a similar restaurant around you?.

In this section of the restaurant business plan, you need to identify at least two restaurants that have an almost similar menu to yours. You need to provide your reader with a brief history of such a restaurant. You also need to provide their location, their menu and an overview of their market.

You need to have studied these competitors long enough to identify when they are open. Which day of the week are they closed and for what reason? Another necessary information that you need to find out is how your competition responds to arising issues. How do these competitors handle extra customers on a busy day?

You need to provide information on exactly what you would make your restaurant profitable amidst such competition. Identify at least one value proposition that makes you stand out.

Is it your location or is it some secret recipe?

Tell your reader that information. The essence of conducting a study on your competition is to identify some of their weaknesses that your restaurant would exploit. What are they not doing that if you choose to do will give you the upper hand?


As a restaurant owner, you have to provide information on how much money you have and where to source additional money.

You would need to handle expenses beginning with food and alcohol licenses. You would also have to pay for rent. The survival of your restaurant business depends on how you manage your finances because some of the expenses are unexpected.

For most investors, your restaurant's financial plan could be of the most interest. You have to identify the ways that your restaurant generates revenues. You would need to provide some of the projections of your finances and state reasons to help anyone trust your forecasts.

How many funds have you come up so far? There are some sources to consider including Bon Appétit capital providers. Most of the time, however, you would require an investor to pump in some money. You need to identify the exact amount of money to start or run your restaurant business.

Where would the money go?


You need to precisely state what you would use these funds for within your restaurant. A summary of your financial projections would always come in handy to any investor. Accompany those projections with possible assumptions that would have guided your forecasts.


In this section, you need to talk about the operation plan. You need to provide a detail of operational processes that will always be done in your restaurant every day. What would you expect to be the day to day activities that go on in your restaurant?

In the few days after opening your business, it would be prudent to spend cash flows on the essentials. The operational costs need to be kept low at the beginning and only need to be incremented as the restaurant expands. Also, in the beginning, you would need to handle some necessary licenses subject to subsequent inspection by the authorities depending on your countries rules and laws.

Apart from employing staff, do you need to procure technology such as point of sale?

You need to capitalize on the resources that are at the restaurant's disposal. To ensure that the restaurant obtains high profits, the restaurant’s daily activities would require being headed towards overall profitability. How would the management negotiate for friendlier prices from the suppliers? The management needs to find ways to lower the operating costs and use any resource that is available at the restaurant to reap revenues.

It would be prudent to put some milestones that the restaurant is set to achieve after the specified period.


As a small restaurant, it is always good to anticipate growth. You would wish to expand your restaurant business by incorporating more items on your menu.

What are your expansion plans? Would you branch out and do some extra revenue-generating activities using that brand? In this section of the business plan outline, you have to state how you plan to reach more customers. You have to enumerate all your plans and anticipate opportunities for growing your business.

How does your restaurant idea scale? It would be proper to include timelines on when you anticipate your restaurant would reach a certain level. After how long would you introduce some extra services related to your restaurant, such as outside catering?

You need to vividly describe the revenue-generating activities that you would enter with the restaurant brand. You need to explain how you pan to achieve those plans too. Describe how particular growth plans fit into your initial ideas, and what opportunities you anticipate that would meet your expansion plan. Maybe you have identified a new institution around your location that is set to open, and would hire more people who would frequent your restaurant. Tell a potential investor about that too.

Some investors have to be given some exit options. If I am an investor reading your restaurant business plan, you have to tell me how I would pull out of your restaurant. Describe the possible options for an investor to strategically pull out. Some of the possibilities include you; the restaurant buying some of their stake in your restaurant business.

This segment requires the restaurant owner to convince an investor to have a choice whether or not the restaurant business venture flourishes.

An investor would also wish to identify some of the expansion options for his investment. What if an investor wants to grow his investment in the restaurant? Do you have any plans to accommodate such interests? You would have to inform a potential investor of them the part they would play in the restaurant growth plan.


It is crucial that the reader and even you have an idea of the valuation of the restaurant. Tell your reader about your restaurant business as it currently stands. Most likely you would not be starting entirely from scratch.

Describe the current composition of your restaurant.

An investor should know what you have been able to do on your own before seeking investment from them. In this part of your small restaurant business plan, it would be vital if you inform a potential investor.

You need to define the restaurant business concept, the defined market that your restaurant serves. What your key menu is, and possibly how much that menu contributes to the business. You can reiterate the most popular menu in the restaurant.

Who do you trust with your investment?

You also have to talk about the current team that you have identified to steer the restaurant. Reinforce the fact that your restaurant business venture is a worthwhile venture. You would also anticipate growth that comes with opportunities surrounding your business.

What value do you add in the market?

You need to restate your value proposition. There is a need for you to identify and appreciate your competitors and help the reader distinguish you from them. By stating their valuation and gaps that are in the market, you wish to close when your restaurant takes off gives you an edge on inspiring an investor to invest in your idea! You need to express confidence in your business, as a worthwhile venture. In this section of the restaurant business plan, the bottom line is to attempt to provide the current valuation of your company. You would wish that your reader is a keen investor who would identify how worthwhile it would be for them to invest in your business venture.

What is your market? By clearly confirming to the potential investor that you have a defined market you would increase the chances of securing investment from them.

How much have you contributed to yourself?

But before that, you have to state how much start-up money that you have already contributed to your business. By stating how much capital you have contributed to your business you demonstrate to an investor of how much confidence you also have in the restaurant business venture. When you have vividly stated the location, the start-up capital and the product that your restaurant provides you would need to reassure the investor that you have an experienced team that you have entrusted with your investment.

To sum up…


A good business plan can be the difference between a successful restaurant business venture and a failure. A restaurant business plan doesn’t only help the restaurant owner clearly understand all the issues that surround his business but it also increases the chances of obtaining investment. The bottom line is to provide all the useful information on the restaurant business.

After you have identified an opportunity to tell the reader why you think such an opportunity is viable and about your capacity to run a restaurant. You need to provide as enticing yet necessary information for an investor to gain confidence in making the investment needed to make your restaurant a successful business.

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