restaurant business plan

Overview of a Restaurant Business Plan

Starting a restaurant is a complicated and time consuming venture that requires a lot of organization, patience and careful planning. The best way to go into the process to give yourself the greatest chance of success is to have a well thought out business plan to work from to keep you on track, on budget and in the right frame of mind.

Before you do anything else, you should put together at least the framework of your plan to make sure you understand the challenges you will face and the hurdles you will have to overcome to get to the point where you can open your doors to a hungry and appreciative public.

Once you have covered the executive summary, you can go through each section in more detail and fill in more information and do more research to figure out what you d know and what you don't know. The sections you will want to include in your plan are the executive summary, the basic information section, the industry overview and local conditions, the competition, the sales and marketing, the operations, the management team and the financials.

In your initial planning and writing of the executive summary, you are trying to answer a lot of basic questions. Are you going to be fast food, fast causal, family style or upscale dining? Will you have counter service, self service or full service? Who is your competition and what will you do to differentiate yourself from them? What kind of marketing and promotion will you do to bring customers in who have never heard of you and what will you do to make sure they keep coming back?

Your business plan will need to address such things as the planned menu, the operations, the staffing, the location and the management team, among many other aspects of the business. The best, and easiest place to start is with the executive summary. This is a one to two page high level overview of exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your restaurant.

Some of these things may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people want to open a restaurant and yet they haven't even covered these very basic concepts.

The way to cut down on the high rate of failures in the restaurant business and improve your odds of success is to thoroughly plan what you are doing and make sure you understand the market your are getting into and have properly judged the demand.

A good restaurant business plan will also include as many extras as possible, such as a location diagram, brochures, sample menus, sample marketing materials, an equipment list, a vendor list, traffic and demographics information, a copy of the lease, and anything else that will help the owners and any potential investors or bank lenders better understand the business with an eye toward financing it and making it a reality for the hopeful new owners.

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