Restaurant Business Plan
Are you thinking of opening a restaurant? Restaurant business is one of the safest, provided you have a full-proof business plan in place. Let’s take a look at what factors a complete restaurant business plan should cover.
Mission statement: Every business must have a Mission Statement.
It’s the “reason for being”. It defines the “core purpose of an organization, employees and other stakeholders to obtain clarity on how to make decisions.” Every action taken within the business should be in sync with the Mission Statement, in order to ensure that everything happens in favor of the organization’s best interests.
This is StarBuck’s Mission Statement.
Creating a Mission Statement would be the fist step of a successful restaurant business plan.
Market analysis: Once you are done with a suitable Mission Statement for your restaurant, it’s time for market analysis. Here are the steps, but remember all these steps are interlinked with each other. You need to permute and combine all these factors to make a full-proof market analysis.
SWOT analysis: SWOT analysis is Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat analysis for any business. Here you need to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your endeavor, and analyze the potential opportunities and associated treats as well.
PEST analysis: This is another metrics to decide if your restaurant would fit in a specific situation. PEST stands for: Political, Economic, Social and Technological. The opportunities and threats of SWOT are directed related to PEST analysis.
Location: Here comes the most important question. Where would you open your restaurant? Location can make or break any business. Make sure you shortlist a few locations, so that there is enough room for pick and choose. Analyze the pros and cons for each place and take an informed decision.
Target demographic: Who are you targeting? Who are your customers? This is the pillar of a successful marketing plan. You need to analyze every details of your target group such as age, income group, spending pattern, profession, inclination towards a specific cuisine etc.
Cuisine: As mentioned in the above point, your target audience may just prefer one cuisine to others. The data can be found if you analyze some popular eateries in the vicinity. Your job is to find out why this is the case.
Have they ever tried other cuisines? If yes, what have they tried? And why have they not liked it. If no, what are the cuisines that they would love to taste? It’s advisable to go with the majority, even if you are planning to open a fine-dining restaurant.
Competitors: Who are your competitors? How well are they doing? Are they located in the same neighborhood? What are their specialties? What are their average meal cost? Do they cater to the same demographics? What are your chances to overshadow them in the competition? Analyze all these well.
Conceptualization: This stage will help you understand and visualize how your restaurant will look and feel like. What its USPs would be. How the experience of your customers would be.
Menu: First select the menu. Let’s assume that you have chosen Asian Cuisine for your restaurant. Now you need to decide which dishes you will include in the menu.
Asian cuisine is a vast one and consists on many country-specific cuisines. If you want to concentrate on one, such as Chinese or Thai (these are more popular), go for the most popular one among your TG. And if you want variety in your menu, you can go for various countries.
It’s your decision, but remember you must pull it off efficiently.
Category: Once you decide the menu, you need to determine the pattern of services. Will there be a happy hour? Will it be buffet or an ala carte menu or both? Keep your TG is mind while deciding this.
Interior: How the restaurant will look like? What would be the theme? What would be the color scheme? How would be the seating arrangements? What fabric would suit? What should be the right lighting? Should you play recorded music or go for live bands? A lot to decide!
The above image is taken at Chocolate Bar, located at Opole in Poland. It’s a small cafe but the interior is worth a mention. Melted chocolate seems to be dripping from its walls, the milk drops hanging from the celling are bulbs. The designer used only black, brown and cream in the furniture. A perfect theme for a cafe indeed!
Vibe: This is what your customers would feel about your restaurant? The vibe can be romantic, cozy, friendly, vibrant, formal, or upscale. Decide keeping your target audience in mind.
Finance and legal: The financial and legal parts of a restaurant starts from setting a budget and ends with proper contracts. However, there are multiple stages to set up the financial and legal backbone of a business.
Budget: Set your overall budget. It should cover all areas like venue lease cost, setup, hiring, and marketing (online and offline). This step will help you understand how much capital you would need for your restaurant.
Assess your assets: Do a detailed search for your assets including your savings accounts, fix deposits, retirement plans, credit cards, jewellery, equities, and investments.
Plan your finance: You need to plan if you will sell your assets or use them for a bank load. Survey the market and evaluate both the options before taking a final decision.
Ask for investments: Start with your family and friends, who know you and trust you. But make sure to make legal contracts, even if they are close relatives.
Consider partnership: Look for someone financially strong for partnership. An ideal partner would be the one, who not only invests in your business, but also takes interest in some actual work with you.
Government programs: Look for government programs to help and support small businesses. Almost every government offers such special programs to encourage small businesses. Some of them are designed to support women and veteran entrepreneurs.
Take care of the legalities: Make sure to make a legal contract with your investors and partners. Create an ownership structure as well as profit sharing ratio. Decide if it will be a LLC or sole proprietorship or partnership company. Also make a contract with each employee, vendor and supplier to avoid future hazards.
Hiring: Now that you have your budget, it’s time to hire people, who will work in different sections. Consider every single department with equal importance. The different departments for a restaurant hiring would be: manager, chefs and cooks, serving team, dishwashers, hosts, floor managers, marketing and sales team.
Post jobs in local newspapers, TV, radio Screen, you also can try social media. Screen every applicants thoroughly. Make sure the shortlisted candidates understand their jobs. Choose people, who are flexible in different time-shifts. Don’t hesitate to ask for trials. Always hire after a background check.
Suppliers and vendors: The suppliers and vendors are the local businesses, who would provide you with the raw materials and other important stuff for your restaurant. Your manager would be in direct communication with them and thus should be held responsible if anything goes wrong in terms of quality and meeting deadline.
Branding: Branding is the part, where you can show where you are different from others.
Name: Decide the name of your restaurant name. It should be unique and interesting. Here be sure to check if a web domain is available under the name. Book the domain instantly.
Logo: Design the logo as creatively as possible. However, you may not find out the perfect one at the first go, improvisation is the key here, just like Wendy’s.
The famous fast food chain has been working on their logo since the founding year, 1969. Earlier logos were much complex and in 2013 finally they settled for a much simper and crisper logo.
Tagline: A tagline creates brand recall. Let us you ask when you hear “I’m lovin’ it”, what brand appears in your head. That’s right, it’s McDonald’s. The tagline has almost become synonym of the brand.
Website: There are hundreds of restaurants and hundreds of restaurant websites. Your challenge would be to stand out. Create a website that no one can go unnoticing.
Here is a perfect example of a great-quality restaurant website.
Make sure the loading time is optimum, the user-experience is amazing and it should be fully functional.
Marketing: Decide on goals to achieve in first 6 months or 1 year. Your goal is not only the destination for your business, but also the pillar of your marketing plan.
Offline marketing: Offline marketing plan for restaurant should work hand in hand with the online marketing plan. Flyer distribution, standee setup, offline ads on TV, radio, newspaper would help. Also, you should network with neighboring businesses, so that you can partner with them in future. There are hundred ways to market your restaurant offline. Here is a complete guide (hyperlink to Marketing Ideas for Restaurants).
Online marketing: Online marketing starts with your website. If you don’t have an impressive website already, you should revamp it now. There are also points like search engine optimization, email marketing, social media marketing, PPC, contests that play a vital role in your restaurant marketing success.
Here is an example of an online contest that was conducted on Facebook as well as on Instagram by Buffalo Wings & Rings.
Buffalo Wings & Rings hosted a contest on the third week for four months. Every week, a different giveaway was up for grabs. So, there are four winners at the end of the contest. As the rule, the users needed to like the photo on Instagram and post a comment on why they wanted to win that.
The fast food eatery cross-promoted the contest on Facebook too.
The contest was simple for the users to understand and participate. As a result, they got huge branding on the social space and grew hundreds of new followers and fans at the end of the contest. After all, it was a win-win situation for both the brand and its fans.
Set an event calender: Here is an extra tip for restaurant marketing. Always think ahead. Prepare an event calender for one year, so that whenever there is an occasion or special event, you are ready with new menu, re-decor plans, and other marketing roadmaps. This is to avoid the last-minute rush.
Hope, now you can see the road ahead! All the best for your venture. If you need any assistance with marketing plans, contact us or fill in the no-obligation form below to get a free analysis.