Opening a Restaurant – Writing a Business Plan

Once you have decided to go ahead and open a small restaurant you will need to write a business plan. A business plan is a report where you compile all your research findings to try and prove that you idea is viable and that your goals are realistic. It will be an extremely useful document to you, as the owner, and may be essential if you have to convince lenders, partners or investors. Below are some of the things that you should consider including in a business plan for starting a small restaurant business.

1) Executive Summary – Let readers know what you will be talking about in the report, tell them about your personal background and reasons for wanting to get into the business. You should also briefly outline your restaurant concept.

2) Mission Statement – Write down what you hope to achieve with your business. Set out a company philosophy and values ​​and think about how you want to fit into the local community.

3) Goals – Set out some ways that your progress and success can be measured and then set some goals on a monthly basis for a three year period.

4) Ownership and Management Structure – Describe how ownership of the restaurant is divided among the various owners or investors if any and set out a management structure showing who is responsible for decisions. Set out a plan for hiring employees as the restaurant gets busier.

5) Start-up Costs and Requirements – List out everything that is needed to get the restaurant to the point where the doors are open for business. Do not forget to include an allowance for unforeseen expenses.

6) Funding – Discuss how the startup phase will be funded and the sources of funds available.

7) Location – Examine several possible locations for the restaurant and provide your reasoning as to why you would select one above the others.

8) Competitive Analysis – Include details of all major competitors in the area. Look for opportunities in the market that are not being catered to by these other restaurants and propose a way to meet this market demand. Outline how you plan to distinguish your restaurant from other market players.

9) Marketing Plan – Identify your target market and discuss how you can create a dining experience to suit their tastes. Write about the brand that you want to develop, discuss menu pricing and set out some ways that you intend to advertise and promote the restaurant.

10) Financial Analysis – Set out a spreadsheet showing expected monthly income and expenses and work out how much profit you can expect over the first three years. Run some optimistic and pessimistic scenarios as well to get an idea of ​​your profit potential if things go better or worse than you originally expected.

You can also attach an appendix to the report with photocopies of any supporting documents that you feel support your case.

A solid business plan can help you start your restaurant off right, avoid mistakes and keep you heading in the direction that you need to be in order to achieve your goals.