how to write a restaurant business plan
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

Opening your dream restaurant is an exciting time. But it’s also a daunting prospect, so it’s essential to start off on the right track by learning how to write an exceptional restaurant business plan.

A well-written restaurant business plan helps you to secure investors and solidify your business procedures and strategies for success.

Read on to discover plenty of information about creating a restaurant business plan and the six best tips to keep in mind during this task.

First up, let’s look at some key questions that will focus your attention and assist with your restaurant business plan creation:

  • What restaurant niche do you plan to fill?
  • Who will be your main competitors in the local area?
  • What is the size of the market for your restaurant?
  • Who will be your restaurant’s core customer group?
  • What capital and resources does your business require?
  • How will your restaurant have a competitive advantage?
  • What does your business model look like?

What is a Restaurant Business Plan?

A restaurant business plan is a framework that helps you plan and forecast every aspect of your restaurant operations and management. This includes everything from menu design to a SWOT analysis.

What to Include in a Great Restaurant Business Plan

We’ll go into the different aspects of a restaurant business plan next. First, let’s explore a key strategy to keep in mind throughout the creation of your business plan.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is an honest look at your restaurant’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Think about:

Strengths: What’s different about your restaurant and its offering?
Weaknesses: Where could things go wrong?
Opportunities: Why is now the right time to launch your restaurant?
Threats: Competition and market changes that could impact your restaurant’s success.

Restaurant Business Plan Main Sections

  • An executive summary acts as the introduction to your restaurant business plan. The executive summary should entice investors to read the rest of the document and understand why you are so passionate about your restaurant business.
  • The company description includes the name of your restaurant, owner’s details, and a brief description of your business. You’ll also add the restaurant location and owner experience to give background context.
  • Marketing details such as how you plan to market your restaurant locally, together with digital marketing strategies. Add details about how you plan to market your restaurant pre and post-opening, as well as information about third-party PR assistance if relevant.
  • Your restaurant concept describes why your restaurant will be a profitable endeavor. Go into detail about potential restaurant decor, visuals, and market-leading technology to make your restaurant stand out from the crowd. Note your restaurant’s service style and the inspiration behind your original idea.
  • A sample menu including images and price analysis to help investors make an informed decision. This area of your business plan is crucial as it gives investors a feel for your restaurant’s vision and target price points. Add menu mock-ups if you don’t have complete versions at this stage with your restaurant’s logo and design features.
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  • Market and industry analysis and research detailing your competition, target audience, and differentiating factors. This section of your restaurant business plan incorporates industry, competition, and market analysis to cover target demographics and established local restaurants.
  • The employees required in your restaurant with information about positions and management roles. Add some personality with team member bios and reference how each employee is essential to bringing your restaurant’s vision to life.
  • Financial analysis with realistic insights on costings such as potential food cost calculations to help estimate profit margins. Hire a financial advisor if you’re not confident about filling out this section of your restaurant business plan. Information about financial analysis should include the number of restaurant seats, average table check, and the number of guests you plan to seat daily. In addition, include restaurant software and technology potential costs and any other aspects that have a financial element to help run your new restaurant.

Let’s move on to the six restaurant business plan tips for success.

How to Write a Bulletproof Restaurant Business Plan

1. Get Visual

The use of imagery in your restaurant business plan is a great idea. Use as many visuals as possible to capture your investors’ imaginations and paint a picture of how your finished restaurant will look and feel.

Images help convey your restaurant’s brand and overall design across your menus, social media messaging, and restaurant signage.

Gather images of other restaurant styles you admire and display them on Pinterest boards or a virtual whiteboard to show the kind of brand you plan to build for your restaurant.

2. Presentation is Everything

Just as you’d take the time when creating a winning proposal, the look of your restaurant business plan speaks volumes about your business. Why not create a digital business plan that makes all the content super shareable and easy to view.

Your restaurant business plan must be easy to understand and laid out in a cohesive format. When choosing your business plan’s layout, consider PandaDoc alternatives to Proposify for different presentation solutions.

3. Detail Your Marketing Strategy

Your restaurant’s investors will want to know your specific marketing strategies. In particular, how you plan to position your restaurant in the current competitive market.

Your restaurant business plan must include your planned marketing efforts, both online and offline. Show that you’ve comprehensively researched your target market.

Provide details of customer personas and pain points to explain how your restaurant will bridge the gap in the market and offer the best solution.

Your marketing strategy should cover exactly why your target audience requires your restaurant venture. It should also define how you plan to attract customers to your restaurant and encourage a loyal customer base.

4. Plan, Then Plan Again

When writing your restaurant business plan, plan for all eventualities. Investors will look to see how you plan to manage problems and what your contingency plans are.

Include details like how you will mitigate unpredictable expenses and seasonal market fluctuations. For example, do you plan to offer an online food ordering and delivery service as part of your restaurant initiative?

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It’s crucial that you display the intent to handle cash flow issues and control times when service is slow.

5. Bring the Atmosphere to the Foreground

In addition to plenty of text information about market research, competition, and financial projections, your restaurant business plan must contain an element of atmosphere.

Add the key ingredients, such as the music you plan to play and sensory details. Describe the perfect look and feel of your restaurant.

This ties in with marketing to your ideal target audience and will demonstrate that you understand what your customers want.

6. Define Leadership

An excellent restaurant business plan contains information about the founder and managerial roles that play a part in your successful restaurant. A solid business has a firm foundation of trusted employees that can take the reins when your attention is elsewhere.

Show off your team members in your restaurant business plan by highlighting their experience and hospitality expertise. You may choose to use affiliate programs, in which case detail the specifics in your restaurant business plan.

The Best Business Plan for Restaurant Victory

Give your new restaurant the maximum opportunity to thrive by learning how to write an effective restaurant business plan. By planning your restaurant’s journey from the beginning, you can foresee potential challenges along the way and prepare accordingly.

Keep your eye on the ball by monitoring current restaurant trends and taking part in business leadership training courses to hone your hospitality skills. Your customers will thank you for it!

This article is a guest post.


Yauhen Zaremba – Director of Demand Generation

Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, document management markets, and the PandaDoc contract management software. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She creates guides and resources designed to help restaurants grow their presence online and boost sales.

She has been featured on the Oracle Food and Beverage Blog and wrote for Search Engine Journal, Clutch, Sender, Venngage, Quickbooks, and many more.

Find me on LinkedIn.