How To Write a Restaurant Business Plan

A lot of work goes into writing a restaurant business plan.  Information varies from the macroeconomic environment to the everyday operations and financial aspects.  If historical data exists, it should be included where it is relevant.  Here's a brief overview on how to write a restaurant business plan:

  • Start with a description of the company.  This includes the type of food you serve as well as whether you are in the fast food, casual dining, mid-scale, or upper-scale segment.  Company information should also include the history of the restaurant, when it was established and a snippet about the founder.
  • Next, your business plan should delve more into the industry itself.  If your restaurant is a fast food restaurant, you might include the market potential of the industry (total dollars and units sold), as well as your region's current economic state.
  • A section on the management team and a brief bio on the officers of the company should be included next.
  • Your business plan should go into detail about the products you offer.  Mention potential products that you may be Beta testing as well.
  • You'll want to include information about your target market.  If your customers are primarily blue collar workers in the 35-54 year old age group, include this information.  Also include the average distance a customer in your region will travel for a quick meal or a night out (depending upon your market segment).
  • A section of your business plan should be devoted to key competitors.  Include competitors' total revenue, the number of units they have and whether they have been involved in any acquisitions or mergers.  You may also include any primary or secondary marketing research data about competitors in this section.
  • The next section of your business plan needs to focus on the marketing plan and sales strategy.  Include all advertising you plan to do in the next year, as well as the specific media you will use.  If your restaurant has specific themes or special offerings each month or two, include these as well.
  • You will need to include a section about operations.  Some of your units may be corporate stores while others are franchises.  Describe the mix percentage then go into detail about any possible streamlining or co-branding you plan to undertake.
  • Your business plan should devote a section to any long-term strategies and projects.
  • Your report should end with a detailed section on your company's financials.   Five- and ten-year forecasts should be mentioned in this section, as well as contingency plans for expansion or contraction depending upon the economy.


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