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How to write a business plan for a restaurant

Are you nursing the ambition of having to run a restaurant? Is managing the business something that you have been thinking for many years, and at last, you are ready to realize this dream? How to write a business plan for a restaurant delivers the necessary details from which the dream of running the business can become a reality.

So, irrespective of the number of people that have guaranteed you success in the trade or efforts that have been invested into bringing about the idea in your mind, if there is no adequate planning and preparation for the business, it will fail woefully.

However, business failure can be averted by having a well-drafted plan to serve as a blueprint through which the new idea can develop and become established. The document will convince partners and investors of your seriousness and the plans to tackle any problem that might arise in the course of execution.

Why Write a Business Plan?

Drafting a plan helps to take-off stress because the document is a blueprint that can be suited for procedures, and as a tracker to measure the improvement of the restaurant.

A well-drafted business plan document can be useful in accessing funding for the business. The funding can come from investors (partners), financial institutions, friends, and family members. The intending investors/partners want to be sure the idea is something that has been critically examined.

Areas to be covered in the Business Plan Document

The draft should follow the same pattern as most other drafts. Still, its content must address your area of interest, which is engaging in the restaurant business venture and its relevance in the local market economy. So, you need to research different business plans of other restaurants to get their ideas of the method of writing, the arrangement of their concepts, and their presentations.

So, have different samples on how to write a business plan for a restaurant and gather enough ideas that will help in drafting a compelling business plan.

Executive Summary

The document must start by having an executive summary, which gives an insight into what the document entails. It provides an overview of the entire body of the business idea. This section helps to clearly explain how you intend to carry out the ideas.

Other things that can be discussed under the executive summary are; the mission statement of the business, proposed return on investments (ROI), the execution plan, analysis of some cost incurred, and some other key parameters.

Also, the executive summary can be used as a strong force to get investors or partners interested in the business, so, the potential investor can access the necessary details without reading the entire body of the draft. Do you already have existing partners? Then, let them be part of the executive summary. Their roles should also be enumerated.

Restaurant Description

This section is used to introduce what the business is all about. What is the name of the business? Where is it located? Contacts? Channels? Who are the customers? What type of food are you targeting? What distinguishes your restaurant from other restaurants? And some other relevant details. Also, the business owner’s and partner’s details, coupled with their experiences, can be added to this section.

Besides, the long and short term goals of the business should be explained. The legal portfolio of the restaurant business should also be outlined; these are the legal name, management, and business structure. There should be brief market analysis clearly showing that you have a grip on the quick-service restaurant business and that you will record great success in the business.

Analysis of the Industry

This takes a look at the already existing market in your location of choice. Also, the industry analysis gives insight into how the business has led to an improved economy and restaurant sector. Other things are; several residential homes and other business establishments, traffic in the area (both human and vehicular).

Market Analysis

This is also known as the marketing strategy of the business plan. This section is composed of three segments; these are:

  • Industry: Let the demographic details be captured in the market survey; this can be used to explain the target market and enumerate reasons why the restaurant will have the edge over the others. It is important to talk about the already existing food businesses in the area of choice and how your business will be integrated into the system.
  • Competitor’s Analysis: Are there competitors in the location? What will make the business stand out? Do thorough researches on the numbers of customers your competitors have. What is their price? Note the operating hours of the competitors, how their menu is designed, and the layout of the business. Besides, the investors are interested in knowing what will make you stand out. This is a pointer that you know what your competitors are practicing and how to stand-out of them.
  • Marketing: Explain the marketing model you wish to make use of to promote the restaurant. What new things are introduced to make your marketing different from others? What plans do you have to win an appreciable number of your target market? Do you have offers to lure your customers? Ensure that everything geared towards marketing is highlighted so that potential investors can take you seriously. 

Product and services (Business Operation)

Here, you state the number of employees to be hired and also the working hours. Under this section also, you highlight what the customers stand to benefit by making you their favorites. Some of these benefits might include your choice of location or the nearness to a bus terminal.

Also, it would be good to discuss your relationship with local vendors or local farms for some raw materials, as this will give you a competitive edge in terms of pricing. There is a need to talk about the expected economic challenges that could affect the business and how you aim to overcome it. If possible, make a list of all your competitors and your strategies to outshine them.

Ownership and Management

This part gives insight into who will be in charge of the team and who will direct other parts that you cannot lead. Also, the management hierarchy should be clearly explained and highlighting the reporting channel. Consider this scenario; will the unit heads report to another superior officer who, in turn, gives account to you, or will everyone report directly to you?

Therefore, come up with the model that best suits the business and ensure that this model can easily be explained to potential investors and partners.


The document must give answers to the following:

  • What are the qualities that will differentiate you from competitors?
  • Who are the target customers?
  • How workable are concepts and ideas?
  • What are the services/products that will be offered to customers?
  • What inspired you to go into this type of business?

Providing answers to these questions will help you come up with the right plan and process for the establishment of the business. If this is properly done, it will bring about a workable document, a guide, and a blueprint that will direct the smooth running of the business.

Analysis of Finance

Financial analysis is an important aspect of how to write a business plan for a restaurant. So, it won’t be a bad idea to engage the services of an expert in financial analysis who will assist in arriving at the right estimates. It should contain the budget of the business, and the profit and loss account statement. This account helps to monitor the amount to be spent and the anticipated profit margin.

Also, the following analysis must be factored in, while preparing the financial analysis: cash flow analysis, financial forecast, payroll, break-even point analysis, and net profit margin analysis.

There might be a need to provide the number of seats in the restaurant, the average cost/table, and the expected number of daily guests.

What the investors are interested in is a good return on investment, so you must be as realistic as possible with them stating how and when you will break-even. While carrying out the analysis of the finance the food cost, labor cost, and other costs of operations must be compared with the proposed profit margin. It is only a well-written plan that will assist in doing a proper yearly business evaluation.

Other areas of focus while preparing your restaurant business plan are:

Cover Branding

The document’s cover needs are branded by attaching a logo, business name, and date.

Restaurant Concept

Here, give details of meal specialization, what inspired the whole idea, and briefly describe the restaurant-style of operation. Besides, the uniqueness of the restaurant should be highlighted and well-defined.


Knowing well what makes your brand stand out is the type of food that will be served. It is, therefore, important to go into details of your types of food. Design a beautiful sample menu and attach a brand identity (logo).

Attach a price to the sample menu, and this should be fixed after a thorough cost analysis survey. This will make the potential partners and investors know that you have a good grip on the pricing mechanism. Also, this will go a long way in coming up with a growth projection and making your clients know that you have done due diligence to the document.


Here, ensure to explain in detail the style of service that is being considered for use. It gives insight into the type of experience that guests would get. Will it be an experience that is not welcoming or an experience that will inspire them to want to come back again to the business?

Design Layout

Let the investors know that you will be making use of visuals because this will help to have a relaxing arena. Besides, images of some restaurants you cherish that have the same brand as yours can be included. The design supersedes the aesthetics. It also includes restaurant software and fancy kitchen equipment.

Site of Business

The information supplied at the ‘citing of business’ section must be in agreement with the information supplied at the ‘target market section’ of the document. If there is already a viable site in the neighborhood for citing the restaurant, then it must be mentioned in the draft document. Do not assume that these partners are familiar with the environment.

However, do not hesitate to give details of the proposed site if you do not have one. Necessary details like the size of land area, parking space, human and vehicular traffic, freeway access, and other important factors.

Few tips in choosing a suitable location for citing the restaurant:

  • Ease of accessibility to customers
  • Choose a location in Google Maps that can easily be accessed.
  • Details supplied here must highlight demographic numbers.
  • Choose a location where suppliers and vendors are not too far away.

Adequate space for parking must be considered when drafting the plan.


Those who want to invest are interested in knowing what you would do to market the business to the outside customers knowing that other competitors are also springing daily. Here, there is a need to give a detailed account of how you intend to engage in marketing the business both before and after the official opening. Intending partners want to know whether the business would like to work with a marketing firm so that several people can get to hear about the restaurant.

Give adequate details on the external firms you would retain, state the reasons why their services are being retained, and what these firms would continue to do to the business. Some of these external contractors might include; the firm in charge of PR, attorney, financial advisors, interior and exterior decorator, and some other relevant contractors.

In conclusion, it is important to know how to write a business plan for a restaurant, though this might be perceived as a difficult task. Drafting a winning restaurant plan could be brain-tasking and time-consuming. But drafting a winning plan is the basis for a profitable, growing, and enduring business.

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