Restaurant Business Plans – What You Need Before Getting Started

Anyone wishing to own and operate their own restaurant has to begin by writing and then following a very specific business plan. There is nothing in life that can be accomplished without first having a plan. And owning a restaurant, which is very rewarding but very difficult, certainly needs a plan.

All business plans need to be very specific. They need to map out exactly what should happen with each facet of the restaurant business. All plans need to include a Strategic Objective, an Analysis of Competitors, a Market Assessment, and SWOT.

A Strategic Objective for any restaurant is basically a revenue plan. How do you plan to make money with your restaurant? How much is food going to cost you including transport, storage, etc? What about spoilage? And then how much will you charge for each dish on the menu and how much money can you expect to net (earn after cost) from each dish? You need to take a specific and thorough look at how you plan to make money and you need to be honest with yourself too.

Before you open-up a restaurant you need to take a look at your competitors. Consider what type of niche your restaurant is in and then take a look at whatever other restaurants are in the same niche within thirty-five miles. Remember to consider the number of stars as well – if they are a different number of stars then they are competing for a different clientele. Of course your actual analysis would have to dig much deeper than just seeing what’s nearby your location.

The Market Assessment portion of all restaurant business plans should include the potential for your restaurant to make money. Take a look at all the important census data that is available to you. Then from that information decide how much potential for success your business may have. For example, a restaurant designed to attract a younger crowd would work well near a college campus but not so well near a retirement community.

Finally, all plans should include SWOT, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This means that you analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You need to be very honest and very specific with this part of the plan. This is the information that you can use to grow in the right direction so that your restaurant becomes very successful. So make sure you are being honest to yourself, especially with your strengths and weaknesses.

All restaurants, both new and old, need to have a restaurant business plan before getting started. However, these plans are even more important for newer businesses. This is because it takes so much planning and organization to successfully get a new restaurant off the ground and running. Four things every restaurant business plan must include are a Strategic Objective, an Analysis of Competitors, a Market Assessment, and a list of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT).