Starting your own business isn’t as simple as opening a store, displaying your products, and hoping that someone will come and buy them. At best, it’s a massive jungle field with predators who will try to put an end to your business’s existence, which means that you will either avoid them or fight them. Unfortunately, you are new to the whole setting, and this unfamiliarity will render you weak. How can you possibly win over veterans and experienced businessmen in their own turf?
If that description scared you or intimated you even the tiniest bit, then this industry isn’t for you. However, if you still want to push through with it, there are things you can do to survive the competition and thrive as a business. You may also see restaurant project plan examples.
Your restaurant will need a backbone, a scaffold, or training wheels if you must before it can learn how to stand on its own. It will be the mold that will help your business take the shape you designed yourself. Regardless of how much thought you have put into your concept, or how many trusted colleagues have assured you that it will work, it won’t without a business plan.
This simple yet necessary document will give viability to your concept to potential investors, and provide them with a clear and engaging answer to the only question they are interested in: “Why does the world need this restaurant?”
A business plan is your tangible proof that you’ve actually done your homework. You can show it to any potential investor to prove to them that you know exactly what you are talking about and that you’re not just messing around. You know where you want to go and you have a plan on how to get there. That is the message that will ring loud and clear if you have a business plan. You may also see operational plan for restaurant examples.
Opening your own restaurant would mean juggling many moving parts and it can feel like a difficult undertaking because, frankly, it is. But the procedure is a more manageable feat when broken down into less intimidating steps. Here are a few steps you can observe to effectively navigate through the process. You may also see restaurant marketing plan examples.
When starting your restaurant, it’s important to have a clear concept and brand. It will help you identify and finalize the service style of your restaurant, the food you serve, and the general ambiance you will try to achieve for your restaurant. These elements will also go hand in hand with your brand, both of which will form your restaurant’s identity, personality, and mission. Your brand is the force behind your restaurant concept, and your concept is your brand in action. You may also see restaurant strategic plan examples.
These elements are the basically the winning theme of your restaurant. Every decision you will make from here on, every tiny design or purchase will all be loyal to your brand and to your concept. For example, your dining room should emanate a specific atmosphere and communicate who you are as a brand. Choosing a unique and functional concept that targets a certain demographic is among the most important factors in creating your concept and brand. You may also see restaurant operational plan examples.
Are you going for a brightly lit casual spot with modern artwork or an upscale Mediterranean restaurant adorned with plants and flowers on the walls? Are you going for a dimly lit bar with a killer whiskey list and a jazz band to die for? The energy, the vibe, the word choices, and even the personality of your staff will all communicate what your restaurant is about. You may also see restaurant and catering business plan examples.
Before you open your own restaurant, you will want to establish some basic food items that your menu will feature. This, of course, should be relevant to the concept that you have chosen. Deciding what you want to have on your menu is important when figuring out the equipment you will need, the staff you will hire, and the crowd you hope to draw. You may also see restaurant sales plan examples.
A cheap pizza place will rarely attract businessmen in suits and perfect ties, and an expensive luxury buffet will very seldom see the presence of a bunch of teenage girls looking for a fun Friday night out. So decide wisely. With the crowd that you are trying to attract, what dishes will be most appetizing to them?
At this point in your planning, your menu doesn’t need to be completely designed nor do your recipes need to be completely fleshed out, unless your whole concept will feature certain items, like a pizza place. But you should at least have a solid idea of the fare you will serve at your eatery. You may also see project action plan examples.
Later in the process, you should engineer your menu to increase profits. It’s also a great idea to keep updating it to gain information about which food items sell well and which do not.
Having a thorough business plan is essential (and this cannot be stressed enough) when reaching out to investors and applying for restaurant loans to start your restaurant. It will also help you develop a strategy and flesh out the feasibility of your restaurant’s details. Here are the main components of a restaurant business plan:
Estimate the total amount of money that you will need to get your restaurant started and the amount that you need to keep it functioning on a daily basis. Create a budget for that and predict the next year to know how much you will need to keep your restaurant up and running. You may also see restaurant schedule examples.
Once you are done with this, assess how much money you have available to use for funding and determine how much more you will need. Don’t forget to include the costs of any licenses you may need. Consider applying for restaurant loans to obtain funding to cover your restaurant’s costs. You may also see restaurant launch marketing plan examples.
Your restaurant’s location can make a huge difference in attracting the right crowd for it. There are certain features that you need to look for in the location such as:
Opening a new restaurant would mean that you will need to obtain several federal, state, and local permits and licenses. It can be worth it to have legal counsel when filing for restaurant permits and licenses to make sure you complete every necessary step. You may also see restaurant consulting business plan examples.
When starting a new restaurant, you will want to put careful thought into how you can organize your entire layout to meet the goals you have set out in your menu and theme. Your primary goal should be to create a systematic flow from the front of house to the back, from the receiving hostess to the kitchen. Once this basic layout is established, you can design and decorate your dining room. You may also see restaurant social media marketing proposal examples.
One major step in opening a restaurant is hiring the right staff to whom you will entrust the responsibility of carrying out the operations of the restaurant every day. If you’ve ever eaten out, you already know how important staff is in creating a good impression in the eyes of the customers. You may also see restaurant inventory examples.
There are many fundamental positions you will need to fill up for your restaurant:
Potential investors or money lenders who are your key to acquiring the money you need to open your business will care less about your restaurant’s concept than they will about your research and financial projections, so writing a winning proposal means doing that groundwork. Use a standard business proposal format so that you can show interested parties that you know how to open and operate a restaurant.
There are certain sections that you will need to include in your proposal: concept, market research, marketing plan, projections, startup costs, operating costs, budget, experience, and support documents.
First, provide a description of your restaurant concept that goes beyond the cuisine and menu items. Discuss why this type of food will see well in a specific geographic area for a specific audience. Write to convince. You may also see catering company business plan.
For example, the restaurant project plan you are proposing might be a low-cost pizzeria in a college town that only has one other restaurant that sells pizza as part of its more expensive Italian sit-down menu. Make them understand why this setting, this particular pizzeria-less town is perfect for your business. Let them see eye to eye with you. Open them to the possibilities of opening a cheap pizza house in a town where there isn’t one. You may also see marketing plan examples.
Next, outline your target audience, competition, pricing strategy, and unique selling differential in your market research section. Demonstrate the demand in the marketplace for your restaurant and back it up with research and data. Think: a college town full of frugal college students too busy and too tired to cook their own food. Cheap store-bought yet delicious pizza is the miracle these hungry creatures are waiting for. You are fully aware of the ability of your concept to sell. Convince your audience of it. You may also see social media marketing plan examples.
Explain how you will market your restaurant. Include what type of media you will use, such as print, newspaper, radio, TV, websites, direct mail, or social media sites. Or maybe you want to give away free coupons to your pizzeria, targeting the school in the town as your central market audience. Explain why you have chosen this specific medium, who it will reach, and what the annual costs for marketing will be. You may also see food catering business plan examples.
Project your monthly and annual sales figures and annual profit projection. Provide projections for the next three years, which might include a loss for the first six months to one year, a period of breaking even, and a profitability data. Give them a final date by which the investors will recoup their initial investments. You may also see self-catering business plan examples.
Next, list your start-up costs. This can include the expenses to open the restaurant and operate it until you reach the break-even point. Divide your expenses into food costs and non-food costs. Show them that you have set your prices based on an analysis of your food costs, operating costs, and profit margin. It would also help if you include an annual master budget that will demonstrate all of your expected expenses, by type and per month. You may also see e-commerce project plan examples.
You should include biographies of all key owners, operators, staff members and consultants who will be part of the launch and operation of the business. Emphasize any restaurant experience that these people may have, and note any investment that they are making in the company.
Summarize the report including the requested funding. Avoid providing any detail or support in the summary, but simply recap the information you have presented. Highlight the demand in the marketplace for your concept, your ability to operate a restaurant, and the projected profit potential. You may also see restaurant questionnaire examples.
You can also provide support documents in an appendix, which can include marketing, for or overhead budgets, menus, surveys, or cash flow projections. Refer to the appendix in the main body of the proposal when you need to make an assertion but don’t want to provide details to support it. You may also see hotel marketing plan tips.
Lastly, create a cover page with your contact information on it, contents page, and an executive summary. These parts will make up the first few pages of your proposal. Keep the executive summary brief, approximately half a page, describing the concept, financial projections, your expertise, and the investment needed with no detail or support. You may also see restaurant event proposal examples.
Start your own business with a solid project plan to visualize your concepts and solidify your plans. You may also see annual marketing plan examples.