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Executive Summary

Your executive summary is the first part of your restaurant business plan, but you usually write it last because it’s a summary of the most important parts of your plan.

Your Executive Summary should get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of restaurant business you have and where it is located. For example, are you just starting out, do you want to grow your restaurant, or do you own a chain of restaurants?

Next, give an overview of each section that follows this one in your business plan. For example, you could give a brief summary of the restaurant business. Talk about the type of restaurant that you are running. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of the people you’d like to buy from you. Give a quick summary of your plan for marketing. Find out who on your team is the most important. And do a financial analysis of your business.

Company Overview

In your business analysis, you will say a few words about what kind of restaurant you run.

For example, you might be responsible for one of the following:

  1. Fine dining has high prices, a dress code, and a fancy interior.
  1. Casual Dining: There are waiters and waitresses, but it’s not too fancy, and the prices aren’t too high.
  1. Fast casual means that the food is good, but there is no waiter or waitress service and the place is easy to get to.
  1. Fast food is food that is served quickly at the counter or through a drive-through. The worst food and the cheapest prices
  1. Steak restaurantsrestaurants that serve mostly steak dishes are usually more expensive and fancier.
  1. At a restaurant, there may or may not be waiters or waitresses. buffet restaurant. Customers can help themselves to food from a buffet.
  1. Ethnic restaurant: Serves food from a specific country, like Indian, Mexican, or Moroccan.

In these kinds of restaurants, you can also get American, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and other kinds of food from different cultures.

In the Company Analysis part of your restaurant business plan, you need to explain what kind of restaurant you run and give some background on the business.

Include the answers to such questions as:

  • When and why did you start your business?
  • The mission statement for your restaurant and how it fits with the brand.
  • What big steps have you taken so far? Milestones could be things like making your sales goals, opening a new restaurant, etc.

The legal way your business is set up. Do you have an S-Corp set up for your business? An LLC? A one-person company? Tell us about your justice system.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, which is also called a market analysis, you should describe the industry and the market as a whole.

This might seem useless, but there are more than one way to use it.

First, you get smarter when you learn about the restaurant business. It tells you where your customers are and who they are.

Second, research can help you make a better plan, especially if it shows you how the market is changing. For instance, if there was a trend toward fast restaurant service, it would be helpful to make sure your business plan includes take-out or other quick-service options.

Doing market research is also a good way to show your readers that you know what you are talking about. Just do the research and put it in your business plan.

In the industry analysis section of your business plan for a restaurant, you should answer the following questions:

  • How much money does the business of running a restaurant bring in?
  • Is the market getting smaller or bigger?
  • Who are your biggest market competitors?
  • Who are the most important suppliers in the market?
  • What kinds of changes are happening in business?
  • How do you think the business will grow over the next 5–10 years?
  • How large should the market be? That is, how large a market could your restaurant serve? You can get this number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the people in your area.

Customer Analysis

In the customer analysis part of your restaurant business plan, you should describe the customers or target market you serve or hope to serve.

Customer segments include business leaders, college students, sports fans, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you might guess, the type of restaurant you run will depend a lot on the type(s) of customers you choose. Baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, different prices, and different sample menu options than teens, and they would also respond to different marketing campaigns.

Try to put your customers into groups based on how they look and act. In the section on diner demographics, talk about the ages, genders, locations, and average incomes of the new customers you want to get. Since most restaurants serve people who live in the same city or town, it’s easy to find this kind of demographic information on government websites.

Psychographic profiles show you what your customers want and need. This should also include how your customers decide where to eat, how often they go out to eat, and how much they are willing to spend on a meal.

Your customer analysis should include answers to the following questions:

  • Who do you want to connect with?
  • What do they need? What do they want?
  • What makes them choose where to eat?
  • Why do they decide to go to that restaurant instead of another?

If you can understand and define these needs well, it will be easier to get customers and keep them coming back.

Competitive Analysis

This research on your competitors should help you figure out who your direct and indirect competitors are. Then you can focus on the indirect ones.

The main ones are other restaurants.

Indirect competitors are other things that customers can buy from you that are not in direct competition with you. This includes places like restaurants and grocery stores, as well as people who make their own food at home. You should talk about this competition to show that you understand that not everyone eats out every day.

In terms of direct competition, you should list the other restaurants with which you are directly competing. Restaurants that are close to you, have the same style (such as fine dining, casual dining, etc.), and serve the same food as you will be your biggest competitors (Japanese, Italian, etc.).

Give an overview of the other businesses and say what their strengths and weaknesses are for each one. You won’t know everything about your competitors unless you have worked for one of them. But you should be able to learn important facts about them, like:

  • What kinds of people do they keep serving?
  • What kind of food are they serving?
  • What is the price range (high, low, etc.)?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What do they not do well?

For the last two questions, think about how your current customers would answer them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask customers for this information by looking at the Yelp pages and other review pages of your competitors.

The last part of this section is to list the ways you have an advantage over your competitors. For example:

  • Will you serve food of good quality?
  • Will you offer things on your menu that your competitors don’t?
  • Will you make it easier for people to get your food or make it happen faster?
  • Will you give your customers better service?
  • Your prices will be better, right?

In this part of your business plan, write down what makes your business different from your competitors.

Marketing Plan

Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, its price, where it will be sold, and how it will be promoted. In your restaurant business plan’s marketing plan, you should do the following:

In the “Product” section, you should write about the same type of restaurant you talked about in the “Company Analysis” section. Then, give details about the dishes you have or will have on the menu.

Cost: Write down the prices. In your marketing plan, you list what’s on the menu and how much each item costs in the “Products” and “Prices” sections.

Place is the name of the location of your restaurant. Talk about how the location will affect your success after you’ve done an analysis of it. For example, is your restaurant near a gym or office building with lots of people? Talk about how people could keep coming to your place. Also, if you have food trucks or want to get food trucks, explain where the trucks will go.

Promotions: This is the last part of your restaurant’s marketing plan. Here, you’ll list how you’ll bring customers to your business (s). Here are some ideas for how to promote your business:

  • You can bring in more customers if the front of your restaurant looks better.
  • SEO and marketing for search engines
  • Putting up ads on social media sites
  • Putting ads in local newspapers and magazines
  • Trying to get in touch with local blogs and sites
  • Flyers
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

You wrote about your goals in other parts of your restaurant business plan. In the operational plan, you talk about how you’ll reach those goals.

This section of your restaurant business plan should have two main parts:

  • Everyday short-term processes include everything you have to do to run your restaurant, like serving customers, getting supplies, keeping the place clean, etc.
  • Long-term goals are the steps you want to take to get there. Some of these dates might be when you want to serve your 1,000th customer or make $X in sales. It could also be when you want to hire your Xth employee or open a new place.

Management Team

If you want to prove that your restaurant can work as a business, you need a strong management team. Show the backgrounds of your key players, with a focus on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.

You and/or your team members should have worked in a restaurant before. If so, talk about what you’ve learned and what you’ve done. But you should also talk about any business experience you have that you think will help your business do well.

If you don’t have a strong enough team, you might want to put together an advisory board. A board of advisors could have anywhere from 2 to 8 members. These people would help you with your business as mentors. They would answer questions and give planning tips. If you need to, try to find advisory board members who have successfully run restaurants or small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your 5-year financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement. For the first year, it should be broken down monthly or quarterly, and after that, it should be done annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.

Pro-Forma Income Statement / Statement of Profit and Loss

Most people call an income statement a P&L, which stands for Profit and Loss. It shows how much money you expect to make or have already made. After you subtract your costs, it shows how much money you made or expect to make.

When making your income statement, you have to make some assumptions. For example, how many people do you plan to serve each day: 100 or 200? How much will sales increase each year? 2% or 10%? As you might expect, the assumptions you make will have a big impact on your business’s financial projections. Do as much research as you can to try to find facts that support what you think.

Balance sheets for pro forma

Balance sheets contain a lot of information, but if you want to know the most important things, they show your assets and your debts.

For example, if you spend $250,000 building your restaurant, you won’t start making money right away. Instead, it’s an asset that you hope will continue to make you money for many years. In the same way, you don’t have to pay back a check from the bank for $100,000 right away. Instead, you’ll have to pay that back gradually.

Cash Flow Statement in Form

Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure that you never run out of money. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know that you can make money and still go bankrupt if you run out of cash.

For example, let’s say a company came to you with a huge catering contract worth $100,000 that would cost you $50,000 to carry out. Well, in most cases, you would need to pay that $50,000 now for things like ingredients, supplies, equipment rentals, employee salaries, etc. But imagine that it took the company 180 days to pay you. During that period of 180 days, you may run out of money.

When making your Income Statement and Balance Sheet, be sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a restaurant, such as:

  • Location build-out costs, which include fees for design, construction, etc.
  • Cost of equipment like stoves, refrigerators, blenders
  • The cost of ingredients and making sure there is enough
  • Payroll or salaries paid to employees
  • Commercial insurance
  • Fees and permits
  • Legal expenses