Understand your Restaurant's Drawing Power
The most fundamental aspect of planning your restaurant or bar is to determine what your specific niche is going to be. This is one of the main points to focus on in your restaurant business plan. You have to understand what you're drawing power will consist of in the minds of the customers. You may have thought of a great name or else you may have decided on a signature dish but the important part here is to understand the overall perception that the customers will have of your restaurant and to make sure that they see it in the way that you want it to be seen.
Now is the time to determine where your restaurant or bar will fit in the overall spectrum of the available options that exist within your community where you plan to locate. Depending on how many other establishments you're competing with this can be as generic being the only upscale Italian restaurant option or the best cheap Mexican food or the only vegetarian option or in a crowded market with lots of competition you may have to occupy much more specific niche such as specializing in hard-to-find microbrews or a unique dessert selection for being a unique type of fusion menu or super regional specialty like Sicilian.
What you don't want to be is just another steakhouse or just another hamburger place or just another bar because if there is nothing to distinguish your place for many other places there isn't much reason for customers to seek you out or to choose you over the competition. Most of the restaurants that you see closing up or going out of business are doing so because they had no unique identifier. Only you can decide what it is doesn't even necessarily have to be menu related but it must be something.
For example if you had a particularly unique location or you've offered video games in addition to the food like Chucky Cheese or you create a theme restaurant around your menu. Whatever it may be make sure you understand what you are going to offer, that you are going to offer something that will be attractive to customers, and that you are offering something or you can deliver an outstanding experience that customers will talk to their friends about and their neighbors about and their coworkers about him you will experience a continual flood of satisfied customers and new business which will make your restaurant a success.
The drawing power of your restaurant is what is going to make people choose you over all the other options they have and there are definitely no shortage of options. You can't be what they think of when they think of food but you do want to be first in their mind for something in particular. For example, if you think of burgers you can probably name ten places you can get a burger but who jumps first to mind? For most people the answer is McDonalds because they are so famous and widespread. What you want to be is the McDonald's of your category- even if people can name other options you want them to think of you as first in your category. If you can achieve that your restaurant will be a guaranteed success.