Writing the Perfect Business Plan For Your Restaurant

Anyone that wants to open a restaurant, or other type of food service business, must begin with a business plan. A business plan will help you develop a clear idea of what it is you want to create and offer it to the public. Often used as an internal document, it helps future business owners plan out the steps needed to build their business. Writing a business plan requires a lot of thought and research but is a vital step that needs to be taken before opening any business.

If your restaurant requires funding, it will be this business plan that you will present to potential investors.  A well thought out business plan will show potential investors that you have given a lot of thought to your restaurant concept and you have outlined the concrete steps needed for turning your concepts into reality. With a good business plan, you will not only present relevant information to investors in a concise and easy to understand format, it will also become a blueprint of where you want your business to go.

So what are the elements of a good business plan?

Executive SummaryWriting the Perfect Plan For Your Food Service Business

The executive summary is perhaps one of the most important parts of your business plan. This is where you will convey the basic concepts of your restaurant’s vision and how you, with all your experience in the restaurant field, can make this vision a reality. This part also needs to include concrete ideas such as overhead costs, labor costs, and anticipated return on investment.

The executive summary needs to be concise and well-written; it is essentially a summary of your business plan and should be written last but presented first. It needs to convince the reader that reading the rest of the plan will be worthwhile for them.

Company Description

The company description, sometimes called a business overview, provides a description of the concept and unique selling ideas of your restaurant. You should include information such as the name of your restaurant, the location, how much capital will be needed to make the investment, the target market and the competition in the area.

This is also where you will write about your restaurant concept, what it’s all about and what will make it fun, unique and profitable. You may want to include a sample menu and even a design of the restaurant to add to the visual appeal of your proposal.

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy of your business plan is where you will need to develop a strategy to market your business and, if needed, convince potential lenders and investors why your plan to open a restaurant is a good one. This is where you will demonstrate the results of your market research, why your location is the right one, who your target audience is, and why they will come to your restaurant. You will show that you have done your research on the competition in the area, and have thought out how you will compete with, and beat the competition.

You will also need to create a marketing plan outlining how you will promote your business. This should include your plans for ads, social media, coupons and email campaigns.

Business Operations

The business operations section of your business plan should present a general description of the daily operations of your restaurant. In general, this will include your hours of operation; detailed descriptions of staffing requirements, including management and kitchen staff; descriptions of daily operations and procedures; as well as a list of potential suppliers and vendors.

This section may also include detailed descriptions of management controls, security controls, administrative controls and all the details involved in the day-to-day running of your restaurant. This document will serve you well when you open your establishment as it will have all the daily procedures written out as a general reference guide for yourself and your employees.

Management and Staffing

This section will list details regarding the experience of your management staff including your executive chef and general manager. It will also outline how you will attract other staff members to work in your establishment. If this document will be used to find investors, note that they are especially interested in who will be running the operation on a daily basis and what their qualifications are.

Implementation Plan

The implementation plan section of your business plan should include a detailed timetable outlining what is needed to accomplish the goal of getting your restaurant up and running, from the conception all the way to opening day. This includes details such as renting or buying a space, ordering and obtaining the necessary equipment, acquiring the decor and furnishings, stocking the kitchen with supplies, and finally hiring the personnel who will run the operation.


This section should include a breakdown of the capital that will be needed to fund your restaurant. This includes the cost of each piece of equipment that is needed, including everything from the ovens and refrigeration, to the dinnerware, serveware, decor and signage. It will also include licensing and staff costs, food and beverage costs, and the amount that will be needed to keep your business running.


This is where you will spell out the actual amount that will be needed from investors to fund your restaurant. This sum should be supported by all the research and documentation you have collected.  In this section you can also include realistic financial projections that will provide convincing evidence to investors that they should fund your project. This is also a good time to reinforce the unique concept of your restaurant and what an excellent investment opportunity it is.

This article provides a comprehensive outline of what is required to write a compelling business plan. The more information and research that can you provide about your restaurant concept, the local competition, the location, the target market and costs involved, the more prepared you wll be to run a successful enterprise and seek out the funding you will need.

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