how to write a business plan for a restaurant

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Table of Contents

Write a business strategy before launching a restaurant. A well-written business plan will help you raise money, manage your restaurant, and prosper. Here is what you need to know about writing one:

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a concise but powerful tool for communicating. It should be written last despite being the initial section of a business strategy. It should be one page at most and clearly explain your company plan’s key features. Avoid unnecessary details or extensive descriptions of how fantastic your food tastes in your executive summary, which should persuade investors or lenders to invest in your restaurant business.

Start your executive summary with a paragraph highlighting the rest of your plan to convince readers to keep reading. Discuss why people need this project. How will it help? Self-introduction follows: involve business experience and education. Finally, what are your aims after launching the shop?

Validating Ideas and Business Models

Validate your business idea and model before launching. Market research, chatting with potential clients, and interviewing industry experts with similar business experiences can help. An “experience economy” analysis can also evaluate your plan. That is, how individuals spend money on experiences rather than commodities, like dining out. Open a restaurant if people value experiences over material items!

Staffing and Costs

Your labor budget depends on direct and indirect labor. Indirect costs include healthcare and payroll taxes, while direct costs are employee wages. To calculate these figures, you’ll need to estimate FTE positions and average wages. This calculation is difficult because each restaurant has its staffing strategy based on size, location, cuisine style, customer reputation, and other criteria. It’s open 24/7.

The first stage is choosing full-time employees or part-time workers who work just at peak hours like lunchtime rush hour or Friday night dinners with friends at adjacent restaurants. Though tempting, please don’t write anything down until after reading the following sections because several factors directly affect how many individuals we’ll need.

The Menu

Your menu should be concise. Too many menu options may need to be clarified for clients, making it hard to choose.

Before guests enter your restaurant, list your “signature” items first. Local ingredients in these delicacies will boost community support for local businesses.


Site selection determines success. After a thorough market assessment, location selection depends on whether your clients visit that area. “More than ever, entrepreneurs opening a restaurant need to analyze what their customers look like on paper (demographics, psychographics, etc.), so when they are examining a market, they can find the highest concentration of their customers within that market,” says David Simmonds, Founder, and CEO of ResolutRE, a commercial real estate firm in Austin, Texas. They use such data to assess the market’s restaurant capacity and plan their expansion.”

Plan your ideal spot. Your target market and related companies like restaurants and cafes must be nearby. The property should be accessible by car, bike, and public transportation and have high foot traffic. “Analytics reinforces or disputes instincts,” says Simmonds. Whether the restauranteur has, 1 or 37 units is important for expansion.

Marketing Plan

Consider your marketing approach when writing your business plan. Your plan should include and explain these marketing strategies:


 Facebook and Instagram allow print and online adverts. Consider local TV advertising.

Public relations

 This can include writing articles about your restaurant in local newspapers or magazines, hosting events like wine tastings, speaking at community events like Chamber of Commerce meetings with other business owners, participating in food service industry charity events like Feeding America, and more! The goal is to get people talking about what makes YOU distinctive so they think of YOU first when planning their next meal!

Social media

 Let’s face it—most millennials don’t even pick up the phone anymore. They prefer texting over face-to-face because it feels intimate, and guess what? By interacting directly with customers through social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp (which allows users from around the world access 24 hours per day, seven days per week), we can offer immediate customer service support during high-demand times like weekend brunch hours without having employees sit idle during slow periods during weekdays when traffic drops significantly due to lack of demand elsewhere.

Profit and Return on Investment Analysis

  • Profit is sales minus costs. Calculate it by knowing the following:
  • Food sales revenue
  • Sales cost (ingredients & materials)
  • Labor, rent, and utility costs

Financial Plan

Your business plan’s financial plan is very important. It should display how much money you need to open, run, and expand your restaurant.

You must present a forecasted P&L. The predicted P&L shows income, costs, and profits. The P&L lists all revenue sources, including food/alcohol sales and private party profits. It must also project all costs associated with operating the restaurant, including Cost of Goods (raw materials), salaries for employees (both front-of-house roles like waiters or bartenders and back-of-house roles like chefs who prepare food during off hours so it can be served fresh upon opening each day), cleaning supplies needed each week, depreciation costs for long-term assets like ovens that wear down over time, etc.

Multi-Year Revenue and Cost Projections

Business plans depend on accurate estimates. They show you how much money you’ll make and how much you’ll require. Cost projections help too.

If I opened a restaurant today, I would like my business plan forecasts for opening day and one, three, and five years.

Next, compare costs, portion sizes, and specialties like breakfast all day or Friday lunch specials during football season at similar eateries. Researching different eateries will inform your forecasts. Include research documentation in the plan narrative.

A Business Plan Is Your Road Map To Success

A business plan helps show investors that your restaurant idea is practical. Investors are more willing to invest if they see other investors in your idea. When an investor wants to invest, but only if another investor does first, both parties feel comfortable contributing since they know someone else believes in the project enough to put their own money into it!

A well-written business plan informs restaurant owners about how much money will flow in over time, so there are no surprises when invoices come due every month, which might lead enterprises into difficulties if left unchecked.”


This article covered restaurant business plan writing. Study business plan writing. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. If investors realize you’ve done your research, they’ll be more willing to fund your idea. Don’t hesitate to seek other restaurant owners’ advice—many have been in your shoes.

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