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Restaurant Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Writing a Successful Business Plan For Your
Restaurant
+ Template

If you’re looking to start or grow a restaurant, you need a business plan. Your plan will outline your business goals and strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. It will also detail the amount of funding you need, and if needed, present a case to investors and lenders regarding why they should invest in your business.

In this article, we’ll explain why you should invest the time and energy into creating a restaurant business plan, and provide you with a restaurant business plan template that includes an overview of what should be included in each section.

Why Write a Business Plan For a Restaurant Business?

There are many reasons to write a business plan for a restaurant company, even if you’re not looking for funding. A business plan can help you see potential pitfalls in your business strategy, as well as identify opportunities you may not have considered. It can also help you track your progress and adjust your plans as needed.

That said, if you are looking for funding, a business plan is essential. Investors and lenders want to see that you have a solid understanding of your industry, your customers, and your competition. They also want to know that you have a realistic view of your financial situation and how much money you’ll need to get started.

How To Write a Business Plan For a Restaurant Business

While every business plan is different, there are 10 essential components that all restaurant business plans should include:

Keep in mind that you’ll need to tailor this information to your specific type of restaurant business, but these 10 components should be included in every plan.


Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section of your business plan, but it’s often written last. This is because it provides an overview of the entire document.

In the executive summary, briefly explain what your business does, your business goals, and how you plan on achieving them. You should also include a brief overview of your financial situation, including how much money you’ll need to get started.

For organizational purposes, you could create headings for each main section of your business plan to highlight the key takeaways.

For example, your restaurant executive summary might look something like this:

Company Overview

[Insert Company Introduction / Short Summary]

Business Goals

[Insert Business Goals & How You Plan To Achieve Them]

Industry Overview

[Insert Industry Statistics on the Size of Your Market]

Competition

[Insert Overview of Competitors & Your Competitive Advantage]

Marketing Plan

[Insert Information About The Marketing Strategies You Will Use To Attract Clients/Customers]

Financial Overview

[Insert Financial Situation & Funding Required To Achieve Goals]

You can add and/or remove sections as needed, but these are the basics that should be included in every executive summary.


Company Description

The next section of your restaurant business plan is the company description, where you’ll provide an overview of your business.

Include information about your:

  • Company Overview
  • Company History & Accomplishments To Date
  • Mission Statement and/or Company Values

With regards to the company overview, here you will document the type of restaurant company you operate. For example, there are several types of restaurant companies such as:

  • Fast Casual
  • Casual Dining
  • Family Style
  • Fine Dining

You will also want to provide an overview of the restaurant concept. For example, is it a franchise, independent, or part of a chain? What type of cuisine do you serve? What is the atmosphere like? 

For example, a restaurant company description might look something like this:

Company Overview

We are an X type of restaurant company.

Company History

If an existing company: Since launching, our team has served X customer and generated $Y in revenue.

If startup: I conceived [company name] on this date. Since that time, we have developed the company logo, found potential space, etc.

Mission Statement and/or Company Values

Our mission is to XYZ. We believe in ABC and we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible experience.

This is just an example, but your company description should give potential investors a clear idea of who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best at what you do.


Industry Analysis

The next section of your business plan is the industry analysis. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of the industry you’re in, as well as any trends or changes that might impact your business.

Questions you will want to answer include:

  • What is the overall size of the restaurant industry?
  • How is the industry growing or changing?
  • What are the major trends affecting the restaurant industry?
  • Who are the major players in the restaurant industry?

For example, your industry analysis might look something like this:

Industry Overview

The size of the restaurant industry is $XX billion. It is expected to grow at a rate of X% over the next five years.

It is currently growing at an annual rate of XX%.

Major trends affecting the industry are the following:

  • The trend toward healthy eating is affecting the restaurant industry as a whole. More and more people are looking for healthier options when they eat out, which is impacting the types of food that restaurants serve.
  • The rise of food delivery services like Uber Eats and GrubHub has made it easier than ever for people to get their favorite foods delivered right to their door. This has had a major impact on the restaurant industry, as delivery sales are expected to grow by X% in the next five years.
  • The increasing use of technology in restaurants is another trend that is impacting the industry. Restaurants are using technology for everything from ordering systems to kitchen management. This trend is expected to continue as technology becomes more and more commonplace in the restaurant industry.

How We Fit Into The Industry

We are the only company that offers ABC products/services to our clients. We have a deep understanding of the market and we’re able to provide our clients with unique solutions that no one else can offer.

This is just an example, but your industry analysis should give potential investors a clear idea of the overall industry, and how your company fits into that industry.

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Customer Analysis

The next section of your restaurant business plan is the customer analysis. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of who your target customers are and what their needs are.

Questions you will want to answer include:

  • Who are your target customers?
  • What are their needs?
  • How do they interact with your industry?
  • How do they make purchasing decisions?

You want a thorough understanding of your target customers to provide them with the best possible products and/or services. Oftentimes, you will want to include the specific demographics of your target market, such as age, gender, income, etc., but you’ll also want to highlight the psychographics, such as their interests, lifestyles, and values.

This information will help you better understand your target market and how to reach them.

For example, your customer analysis might look something like this:

Target Market & Demographics

The demographic (age, gender, location, income, etc.) profile of our target restaurant customer is as follows:

  • Age: 18-34
  • Gender: Male/female
  • Location: Urban
  • Income: $50,000+

Psychographics

Our core customer interests are as follows:

  • Food: Trying new foods, culinary experiences
  • Convenience: Technology, ordering online/delivery
  • Value: Quality over quantity

This information will help you better understand who your target customers are and what they’re looking for. It will also help you create marketing campaigns that are targeted to your specific target market.


Competitor Analysis

The next section of your business plan is the competitor analysis. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of who your major competitors are and their strengths and weaknesses.

Questions you will want to answer include:

  • Who are your major competitors?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do they compare to you?

You want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your competition so that you can position yourself in the market. Creating a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) for each of your major competitors helps you do this. 

For example, your competitor analysis might look something like this:

Major Competitors

XYZ Company is our major competitor. Its offerings include this, this and this. Its strengths include XYZ, and its weaknesses include XYZ.

Competitive Advantage

We are the only company that offers ABC products/services to our clients. We have a deep understanding of the market and we’re able to provide our clients with unique solutions that no one else can offer.

Your competitor analysis should give potential lenders and investors a clear idea of who your major competitors are and how you compare to them.


Marketing Plan

The next section of your business plan is the marketing plan. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of your marketing strategy and how you plan on executing it.

Specifically, you will document your “4 Ps” as follows:

  • Products/Services: Here is where you’ll document your product/service offerings.
  • Price: Detail your pricing strategy here.
  • Place: Document where customers will find you and whether you will use distribution channels (e.g., partnerships) to reach them.
  • Promotion: Here you will document how you will reach your target customers. For instance, restaurant businesses often reach new customers via promotional tactics including print ads, online ads, billboards, etc.

For example, your marketing plan might look something like this:

Products/Services

We offer the following products/services: 

Price

We will use a premium pricing strategy to establish ourselves as the highest quality brand.

Place

We will serve customers directly and through a partnership with XYZ company.

Promotion

We will promote our company to new prospective customers via tactics including print ads, online ads, and billboards. 

As you can see, your marketing plan should give potential investors a clear idea of your marketing objectives, strategies, and tactics.


Operations Plan

The next section of your business plan is the operations plan. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of your company’s day-to-day operations and how they will be structured.

Questions you will want to answer include:

  • What are your company’s daily operations?
  • How are your company’s operations structured?
  • Who is responsible for each task?

Your operations plan should be detailed and concise. You want to make sure that potential investors have a clear understanding of your company’s day-to-day operations and how they are structured.

You will also include information regarding your long-term goals for your operations and how you plan on achieving them.

For example, your operations plan might look something like this:

Daily Operations

Our company’s daily operations include XYZ.

Operational Structure

Our company is structured as follows:

  • Department 1
  • Department 2
  • Department 3

Each department is responsible for XYZ tasks.

Long-Term Goals

Our long-term goals for our operations are to achieve the following over the next five years.

Date 1: Goal 1

Date 2: Goal 2

Date 3: Goal 3

Date 4: Goal 4

Date 5: Goal 5

Your operations plan should give readers a clear idea of your company’s day-to-day operations, how they are structured, and your long-term goals for the company.

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Management Team

The next section of your business plan is the management team. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of your management team and their experience.

Questions you will want to answer include:

  • Who is on your management team?
  • What are their qualifications?
  • What is their experience?

Your management team ideally includes individuals who are experts in their respective fields. You want to make sure that lenders and investors have a clear understanding of your management team’s qualifications and experience, and feel they can execute on your plan.

For example, your management team might look something like this:

Management Team

Our management team is comprised of the following X individuals with the following experience.

Team Member 1: 

Team member 1’s qualifications and experience includes XYZ.

Team Member 2: 

Team member 2’s qualifications and experience includes XYZ.

Your management team should give potential lenders and investors a clear idea of who is on your team and how their qualifications and experience will help your company succeed.


Financial Plan

The final core section of your business plan is the financial plan. In this section, you’ll need to provide an overview of your company’s financials.

Questions you will want to answer include:

  • What are your company’s projected revenues?
  • What are your company’s projected expenses?
  • What is your company’s projected growth rate?
  • How much funding do you need and for what purposes? For example, most startup restaurant businesses need outside funding for things like kitchen equipment, signage, and initial inventory.

Your financial plan should give potential investors a clear understanding of your company’s financials. While you may include a summary of this information in this section, you will include full financial statements in the appendix of your business plan.

For example, your financial plan might look something like this:

Revenues

Our company’s projected revenues over the next five years are $XYZ.

Expenses & Net Income

Our company’s projected expenses and net income over the next five years are $XYZ.

Uses of Funding

Our company needs $XYZ in funding which we will use for marketing, human resources, etc.

This is just an example, but your financial plan should give potential investors a clear idea of your company’s financial projections.


Appendix

The final section of your business plan is the appendix. In this section, you’ll need to provide any additional information that was not included in the previous sections.

This may include items such as:

  • Full financial statements
  • Resumes of key management team members
  • Letters of reference
  • Articles or press releases
  • Marketing materials
  • Product information
  • Any other relevant information

By including this information in the appendix, you are allowing potential investors and lenders to learn more about your company.

Conclusion

In summary, writing a restaurant business plan is a vital step in the process of starting and/or growing your own business.

A business plan will give you a roadmap to follow. It can also help you attract investors and partners.

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can be sure that your business plan will be effective and help you achieve your goals.
 

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