food and beverage underground

Yes, You Need a Restaurant Business Plan!

A restaurant business plan is essential for anyone thinking about opening a restaurant. Regardless of it is your
first restaurant or you 100th there are several reasons you should start here.

Many people thing that a detailed restaurant business plans is just for those individuals looking for investors, or those heading to the bank for a loan. Wrong. A good well thought out and researched business plan will not only open your eyes to holes in your strategy, but it will cement your vision down on paper. It will force you to look at your competition, explore marketing possibilities and bring to light potential hazards in your financial plans. The time spent here could save you thousands of dollars and go a long way in assuring your new restaurant gets off on the right foot.

Your restaurant business plan does not need to be a long prospectus if it is not for a bank or if you are not trying to lure investors, but it will take you some time and effort. The goal is to narrow your focus and be able to articulate your vision.

There are several parts to a business plan and depending on your needs for the plan will determine how detailed it should be. I will go through the sections here, but be sure to look at the plan we link to below to give you a good idea of what a basic plan should do. This series of articles will continue showing you a detailed look at a comprehensive restaurant business plan.

Your Restaurant Business Plan

Vision / Mission

This section is just as it sounds, a summary. Paint the picture of your concept, what it will look and feel like. You want to capture your readers here so be as colorful and descriptive as possible.

The Menu

If you have a menu in your head, or style of food you envision itÂ’s time to get it out and put it down on paper. This is not a set in stone type of menu as it will change numerous times before you open your doors, but a menu that your restaurant idea is built around.

The Bar

Since the bar area is yet another source of revenue this section offers you yet another idea to sell your concept. What will the bar look like? Will you have special menus? Specialty drinks? Whatever sets you apart with regards to beverage service goes here.

The Atmosphere

This is your first real chance to really capture your vision. You want to go through every detail that you have been thinking of here. Paint the picture so the reader actually feels what the restaurant is going to be like. What is the color scheme? Lighting? Sound? Describe the space, the customers and the staff.


Are you going to have entertainment? What will it be?

Other Revenue

Do you have any ideas that may lend themselves to other sources of revenue? Merchandise?

The Market

Here you will narrow down your customer. What market are you targeting, the baby boomers? Business people or the college crowd?

Market Analysis

Look at some demographics for your target group. How many are there? Where do they live and work?

Market Strategy

How are you going to get to your target market group? Advertising methods.


Now take a good and comprehensive look at your competition. Who is out there? Who is targeting the market you will be targeting. Where is your market going now?

Competitive Advantage

What is going to make you better than your competition? How are you going to get your target market in your doors and how are you going to keep them?

Key Personnel

Now it is time to sell you and your team. Give a brief resume of what you have done, what your key personnel have accomplished, and why you will be the one to make this restaurant a success.

Financial Projections

We will go through the financial projections in the next installment.

From Restaurant Business Plan to Restarant Press

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