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Buffet Restaurant Business Plan [Sample Template]

Are you about starting a buffet restaurant? If YES, here is a complete sample buffet restaurant business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.

Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a buffet restaurant. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample buffet restaurant marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for buffet restaurants. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Starting a food related business is one sure way of getting good returns on your investment. The fact that people eat everyday makes a food related business a thriving and profitable business no matter the country of the world that you decide to start the business.

A buffet restaurant business is one of the food related businesses that an aspiring entrepreneur can start and make good money from.

Although there are competitions in the restaurant industry, but if you are determined to start a business in the industry, you can still win a fair share of the available market within your area of specialization or the location you intend launching the business.

So if you have decided to start your own buffet restaurant business, then you should ensure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey. Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your own business.

Below is a sample buffet restaurant business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Buffet Restaurant Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

The buffet restaurant industry consists of chains and franchised restaurants with buffet-style services where customers pay, serve themselves and eat within the restaurant. These establishments may also sell alcoholic and other beverages. Please note that the buffet restaurants industry does not include buffet-style food service contractors.

A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that self-serve food sales account for the majority of industry revenue, at an estimated 79.9 percent. Buffet restaurants typically allow consumers to serve their own food from buffet stations to save on labor costs and provide customers the ability to choose which foods they like upon seeing options.

The report further stated that majority of self-serve food is American food, which accounts for 40.7 percent of total industry revenue.

This consists of foods such as burgers, steaks, sandwiches, salads, fries and traditional American desserts. These types of foods are heavily immersed in American culture and are associated with buffet style eating. Revenue has grown for this segment over the past five years.

The Buffet Restaurants industry has weakened over the past five years. Save for a positive 2015, the industry has continued to decline in subsequent years.

While industry revenue has been negatively affected by increasing external competition, a more lasting threat to the industry has presented itself in the form of increasing health consciousness. Buffet-style restaurants tend to use lower-quality ingredients in the food they prepare in order to save costs and keep prices down.

Rising health consciousness is anticipated to continue to reduce demand for the Buffet Restaurants industry over the five years to 2022. On the other hand, countervailing trends and industry innovations are forecast to stifle the intensity of the industry’s decline in upcoming years.

The Buffet Restaurant industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the united states and the industry generates over billion annually from more than 5,836 registered buffet restaurants scattered all around the United States of America.

The industry is responsible for the employment of over 115,528 people. Experts project the industry to grow at a -0.2 percent annual rate between 2012 and 2017. Golden Corral and Ovation Brands are the establishments with the lion market shares in the industry.

The Buffet Restaurants industry has minimal barriers to entry, with low startup capital and no specific licensing requirements.

On the other hand, the high level of competition and market saturation in a declining industry can prove challenging to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own buffet restaurant. Most players in the buffet restaurant line of business are small to medium size establishments that cater to the local community.

The Buffet Restaurant industry is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can choose to start on a small scale in a street corner like the average mom and pop business or you can choose to start on a large scale with several outlets in key cities.

2. Executive Summary

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is a world-class restaurant business with a niche in buffet style services that will be located in Columbia – South Carolina. We have been able to secure a long term lease for a standard restaurant facility in the heart of the city.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC will be involved in full-service buffet-style services where customers pay, serve themselves and eat within the restaurant.

We are aware that that there are other standard buffet restaurants all around Columbia – South Carolina which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to offer much more than our competitors will be offering. We have a wide array of food options for our customers, and our outlet boasts various payment options.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is a family owned and managed business that believes in the pursuit of excellence and financial success with uncompromising services and integrity which is why we have decided to venture into the hospitality industry by establishing our own buffet restaurant business.

We are certain that our values will help us drive the business to enviable heights and also help us attract the number of clients that will make our business highly profitable.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is a family business that is owned by Princess Sophia Carrington and her immediate family members. Princess Sophia Carrington is a French – American buffet specialist, she has a B.Sc. in Food Science and a Diploma in Business Administration, with over 10 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, working for some of the leading brands in the United States.

Although the business is launching out with just one outlet in Columbia – North Carolina, but there is a plan to open other outlets in North Carolina and in other key cities in the United States of America.

3. Our Products and Services

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is in the buffet restaurant industry to make profits and we will ensure we go all the way to make available well – prepared local and intercontinental dishes for our clients. We are well prepared to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the United States to achieve our business goals, aim and ambition. Our product and service offerings are listed below;

  • Self-serve American food
  • Self-serve Italian-American food
  • Self-serve seafood
  • Other self-serve food
  • Beverage sales

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a buffet restaurant that will become the number one choice for both residents and tourists in and around our restaurant locations.
  • Our mission is to establish a standard buffet restaurant business that will sell franchises all across the United States of America and other countries of the world. We want to become a household name.

Our Business Structure

The success of any business is to a larger extent dependent on the structure of the organization and the people who occupy the available roles. Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC will work with a business structure that will give room for employees to explore their creativity and grow through the corporate ladder of the organization.

We will ensure that we put the right structures in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business. We will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stakeholders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Chef (Owner)
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Chefs
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Waiters/Waitress
  • Cleaners

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Chef – CEO (Owner):

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Admin and HR Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.

Restaurant Manager:

  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the buffet restaurant (kitchen inclusive)
  • Ensures that the restaurant facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Interfaces with third – party providers (vendors)
  • Attends to Customers complains and enquiries
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO


  • Responsible for preparing different meals as requested by our clients
  • Makes lists and budget for cooking supplies
  • Responsible for training new cooks
  • Makes sure that quality is maintained at all times
  • Responsible for purchasing food ingredients for the organization
  • Ensures that the kitchen is kept clean at all times
  • Ensures that all kitchen wares are kept at their proper position after use.
  • Any other duty as assigned by the Chief Chef

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the business


  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization


  • Checks identification of the guest to make sure they meet age requirements for purchase of alcohol and tobacco products.
  • Mixes drinks, cocktails and other bar beverages as ordered and in compliance with standard drink recipes.
  • Assists in the movement of cooking utensils, plates, spoons and other relevant wares
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the Chief Chef/Restaurant manager
  • Ensures that unoccupied tables are always set and ready for customers
  • Pulls out chairs for customers as they arrive


  • Responsible for cleaning the restaurant facility at all times
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the restaurant manager

6. SWOT Analysis

A buffet restaurant is one of the many businesses that can easily generate business deals with little stress as long as they have good delicacies and are positioned and equipped to carry out their functions.

We are quite aware that there are several buffet restaurants all over Columbia – South Carolina and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.

We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in restaurants to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.

This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC;

  • Strength:

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is centrally located in – between a densely populated residential estate and business district in the heart of Columbia – South Carolina; our location is in fact one of our major strengths. We are also one of the very few buffet restaurants in the whole of Columbia – South Carolina that is well equipped to prepare a wide range of both intercontinental and local dishes.

Another strength that counts for us is the power of our team. We have a team that are considered experts in the restaurant line of business, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals.

  • Weakness:

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is a new business which is own by an individual (family), and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity we want to give our business.

  • Opportunities:

We are centrally located in one of the busiest areas in Columbia – South Carolina and we are open to all the available opportunities that the city has to offer.

The truth is that there are no standard buffet restaurants within the area where ours is going to be located; the closest to our proposed location is about 6 miles away. In a nutshell, we do not have any direct competition within our target market area.

  • Threat:

Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC are unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where ours  is located.


  • Market Trends

One common trend in the buffet restaurant industry is that the more meals you can cook, the easier for you to welcome barrage of customers from different cultures and class. For this singular reason, most aspiring entrepreneurs ensure that they learn how to make a wide variety of both intercontinental and local meals before launching their business.

Also, buffet restaurants have created new menu options that capitalize on the increasing awareness of the health risks associated with high – fat diets. The industry has also thrived by developing meals at price points attractive enough to weather the slow recovery, resulting in strong revenue growth. These trends are expected to continue and contribute to revenue growth going forward.

8. Our Target Market

One thing about buffet restaurants is that you can hardly find someone who don’t patronize them. As a matter of fact, most buffet restaurants now have menu designed specifically for healthy eating conscious people.

In view of that, we have positioned our buffet restaurants to service residents of Columbia – South Carolina and every other location where our chains of buffet restaurants will be located in key cities all over the United States of America.

We have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us. We are in business to retail wide varieties of buffet to the following groups of people;

  • Bachelors
  • Event/Party planners
  • Households
  • Busy corporate executives
  • Busy businessmen and business women
  • Sports Men and Women
  • Students
  • Tourists

Our Competitive Advantage

A close study of the buffet restaurant industry reveals that the market has become much more competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the competition and we are prepared to compete favorably with other buffet restaurants in Columbia – South Carolina.

Our competitive advantages are our access to multi – skilled and flexible workforce, our ability to quickly adopt new technology and proximity to key markets. Our buffet restaurant is located in a corner piece property on a busy road directly opposite one of the largest residential estates in Columbia. We have enough parking space that can accommodate over 30 cars per time.

One thing is certain; we will ensure that we have wide varieties of both intercontinental and local dishes available in our restaurant at all times. One of our business goals is to make Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC a one stop buffet restaurant. Our excellent customer service culture, various payment options and highly secured facility will serve as a competitive advantage for us.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the buffet restaurant industry, meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives. We will also give good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.


  • Sources of Income

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is in business to prepare and serve a wide variety of intercontinental and local dishes and drinks. We are in the buffet restaurant industry to maximize profits and we are going to go all the way out to ensure that we achieve or business goals and objectives.

Our source of income will be the preparing and sale of;

  • Self-serve American food
  • Self-serve Italian-American food
  • Self-serve seafood
  • Other self-serve food
  • Beverage sales

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain when it comes to buffet restaurants, if your restaurant is centrally positioned and you have tasty meals, you will always attract customers and that will sure translate to increase in revenue generation for the business.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Columbia – South Carolina and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from our first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base.

We have been able to critically examine the buffet restaurant industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to startups in Columbia – South Carolina.

  • First Fiscal Year: $320,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $750,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $1 million

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor serving same delicacies as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

The marketing strategy for Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is going to be driven by tasty and sumptuous meals, excellent customer service and quality service delivery. We will ensure that we build a loyal customer base. We are quite aware of how satisfied customers drive business growth especially businesses like buffet restaurant and related services.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is a business that is strategically located and we are going to maximize the opportunities that are available to us, which is why we spent more to locate the business in a location that will be visible and accessible to our target market.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis to meet their targets and the overall goal of Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC. Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Open our buffet restaurant in a grand style with a party for all.
  • Introduce our buffet restaurant business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, schools, event planners, households and key stake holders in Columbia – South Carolina
  • Ensure that we make available wide varieties of both intercontinental and local delicacies in our restaurant at all times.
  • Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to our restaurant
  • Position our signage/flexi banners at strategic places around Columbia – South Carolina
  • Position our greeters to welcome and direct potential customers
  • Create a loyalty plan that will enable us reward our regular customers

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is set to create a standard for the buffet restaurant business in Columbia – South Carolina and throughout the United States which is why we will go all the way to adopt and apply best practices to promote our business.

Good enough, there are no hard and fast rules on how to advertise or promote a buffet business. The challenge is that most startup buffet restaurants do not have the required money to pump into publicity and advertising. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC;

  • Encourage our loyal customers to help us use Word of Mouth mode of advertisement (referrals)
  • Advertise our business in relevant food and healthy lifestyle magazines, local newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • Promote our business online via our official website
  • List our business on local directories (yellow pages)
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations in and around Columbia – South Carolina
  • Direct coupon mailing approach
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and trucks are customized and well branded.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

At Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC, our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the buffet restaurants industry, we don’t intend to charge more (except for premium and customized services) and we don’t intend to charge less than our competitors are offering in Columbia – South Carolina.

Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us. The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the open market.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our food and drinks without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.

The ingredients, tools and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a buffet restaurant business; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money.

These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
  • The cost for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $105,600.
  • The cost for construction of a standard buffet restaurant and kitchen – $100,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory (cooking ingredients and drinks et al) – $80,000
  • Storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, food case) – $3,720
  • The cost for counter area equipment (counter top, sink, ice machine, etc.) – $9,500
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of launching a website – $600
  • The cost for our opening party – $10,000
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000

We would need an estimate of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($350,000) to successfully set up our buffet restaurant in the United States of America.

Generating Startup Capital for Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is a private business that is solely owned and financed by Sophia Carrington and her immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners which is why she has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from my Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $250,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to retail our foods a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Busy Pot® Buffet Restaurant, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing and remodeling the facility to fit into a standard buffet restaurant: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Application for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress
  • Compilation of our list of products that will be available in our shop: Completed
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – suppliers of cooking ingredients, coffee, alcoholic and soft drinks: In Progress