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Deli Business Plan [Sample Template]

A deli, short for delicatessen, is a food service business that specializes in the sale of ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods. Delis can be small, family-run operations or large, multi-location chains, and they may offer a range of products and services depending on their size and focus.

Traditionally, delis have been known for their high-quality meats and cheeses, which are often sliced to order and sold by weight. They may also offer a range of other food items such as breads, pastries, salads, and hot dishes. Some delis also offer catering services, delivering platters and trays of food for events and gatherings.

In recent years, many delis have expanded their offerings to include more health-conscious options, such as vegan dishes, as well as gluten-free and organic products. Some delis also focus on regional or ethnic cuisine, offering a variety of foods and flavors from different parts of the world.

The deli restaurant business is a subset of the culinary cum food services industry and available data shows that the food service industry is the largest retail employment segment in the world. In the United States, sales of food and beverages are over $700 billion and in excess of $1.2 trillion when combined with retail food supermarkets.

Steps on How to Write a Deli Business Plan

  1. Executive Summary

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. is an American-based and licensed niche restaurant business that will be located in a busy commercial area in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will serve a variety of sandwiches, salads, and other deli items, as well as coffee and other beverages.

The business will operate under the name “Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc.” and will be owned and managed by Rhoda and Lucas McCain.

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will differentiate itself from other competitors by offering a unique menu that includes a selection of vegetarian options, as well as gluten-free and low-carb options. Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will also use fresh and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Our target market will be young professionals, students, and families in the surrounding area. The deli will offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere with comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi. The prices will be competitive with other delis in the area, and the deli will offer loyalty programs and specials to encourage repeat customers. Chef Rhoda McCain is the founder and CEO of Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc.

  1. Company Profile

a. Our Products and Services

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will be involved in;

  • Sale of ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods
  • Sales of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and water.
b. Nature of the Business

Our deli restaurant will operate the business-to-consumer model.

c. The Industry

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will operate under the culinary cum food services industry.

d. Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality, fresh, and delicious deli-style food, served with exceptional customer service.

We are committed to using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients in our sandwiches, salads, and soups while offering a diverse menu that caters to all dietary preferences and restrictions. We strive to create a warm and welcoming environment where our customers can relax and enjoy their meals.

e. Vision Statement

Our vision is to become the go-to destination for fresh, high-quality deli-style food in our community. We strive to create an exceptional dining experience for our customers by offering a diverse menu of fresh and delicious options, paired with exceptional customer service in a warm and welcoming environment.

f. Our Tagline (Slogan)

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. – Delicious Delis, Our Dexterities!

g. Legal Structure of the Business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, LLP)

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will be formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLP).

h. Our Organizational Structure
  • Chief Chef (Owner)
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Human Resources and Amin Manager
  • Accountants (Cashiers)
  • Chef (Cooks)
  • Kitchen Assistants
  • Waiters and Waitress
  • Cleaners
i. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members
  • Rhoda McCain (Owner and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) 38 Percent Shares
  • Luca McCain (Co-Owner) 32 Percent Shares
  • Israel Moore (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Benjamine Godstone (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Anable Justin (Board Member and Sectary) 10 Percent Shares.
  1. SWOT Analysis

a. Strength
  • We use fresh and high-quality ingredients, which adds to the taste and appeal of our menu.
  • Our staff at the deli restaurant is friendly, and knowledgeable, and provides excellent customer service to all patrons.
  • Our deli restaurant is situated in a busy commercial area, making it easily accessible to customers who are looking for a quick and delicious meal.
  • We offer a wide variety of menu items, including sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts, catering to a diverse range of customers.
  • We have a strong online presence, including a user-friendly website and active social media accounts, which helps to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
b. Weakness
  • For now, our deli restaurant has limited seating capacity, which can be a drawback during peak hours and may lead to customer dissatisfaction.
  • While our deli restaurant offers a varied menu, it may still be limited compared to other restaurants, leading to fewer options for customers.
  • The prices at our deli restaurant may be higher than those at other nearby establishments, which could deter budget-conscious customers.
c. Opportunities
  • The capacity to expand our catering services to nearby businesses, events, and parties, could lead to an increase in revenue and customer base.
  • Our deli restaurant has the capacity can introduce new menu items to keep up with changing customer preferences and attract new customers.
  • We offer delivery services to customers who prefer the convenience of having their food delivered to their doorstep.
i. How Big is the Industry?

Although the culinary cum food services industry is a massive global industry that is worth over $700 billion and in excess of $1.2 trillion when combined with retail food supermarkets, it is important to state that the deli restaurant business is a very small segment in the industry.

ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?

Yes, the deli restaurant line of business is a growing business because loads of people are beginning to embrace deli restaurants.

iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry?

There are several future trends in the deli restaurant industry that are expected to shape its landscape. As more consumers adopt plant-based diets, deli restaurants are likely to offer more vegetarian and vegan options. This trend is driven by health and environmental concerns and the desire for more diverse menu options.

Deli restaurants are expected to become more eco-friendly by adopting sustainable practices such as reducing waste, sourcing local and organic ingredients, and using renewable energy sources.

Consumers are increasingly looking for customized and personalized experiences, and deli restaurants are expected to offer more menu customization options such as build-your-own sandwiches, salads, and bowls. Deli restaurants will likely integrate technology such as mobile ordering, self-service kiosks, and online delivery platforms to enhance convenience and speed up service.

iv. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niche ideas when it comes to the deli restaurant business because the business is a niche restaurant business and a subset of the culinary cum food services industry.

v. Can You Sell a Franchise of Your Business in the Future?

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. has plans to sell franchises in the nearest future and we will target major cities with thriving niche restaurant markets in the United States of America.

d. Threats
  • The deli restaurant faces intense competition from other nearby restaurants and food establishments, which could lead to a decrease in customer base.
  • Economic downturns can affect the restaurant’s sales, as customers may choose to spend less on eating out.
  • Health and safety concerns, such as food safety or health department inspections, could lead to reputational damage and decreased customer confidence.
i. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Katz’s Delicatessen
  • Canter’s Deli
  • Carnegie Deli
  • Zingerman’s Delicatessen
  • Russ & Daughters
  • Shapiro’s Delicatessen
  • The General Muir
  • Langer’s Deli
  • Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen
  • Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen
  • Corky’s Deli
  • Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
  • 2nd Ave Deli
  • Izzy’s Deli
  • Brent’s Deli
  • Jerry’s Famous Deli
  • Max’s Delicatessen
  • City Market Deli
  • TooJay’s Deli
  • Stage Deli.
ii. Is There a Franchise for Deli Restaurant?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for deli restaurants, and here are 20 of them;

  • Subway
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Schlotzsky’s
  • Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
  • Which Wich
  • McAlister’s Deli
  • Jason’s Deli
  • Earl of Sandwich
  • Blimpie
  • Togo’s Sandwiches
  • Quiznos
  • Lenny’s Grill & Subs
  • Penn Station East Coast Subs
  • Charley’s Philly Steaks
  • Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries
  • The Great Steak & Potato Co.
  • Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop.
iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Deli Restaurants?

Yes, there are policies, regulations, and zoning laws affecting deli restaurants in the United States.: Deli restaurants are subject to strict food safety regulations, including requirements for safe food handling, preparation, storage, and labeling.

These regulations are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state and local health departments. Deli restaurants must obtain various licenses and permits, such as a food service permit, a business license, and a liquor license (if applicable).

These requirements may vary by state and local jurisdiction. Deli restaurants are subject to federal and state employment laws, including minimum wage and overtime requirements, anti-discrimination laws, and workplace safety regulations.

Deli restaurants must comply with local zoning laws, which regulate the use and development of land within a particular area. These laws may dictate the types of businesses that can operate in a particular zone or require special permits or approvals for certain uses.

Deli restaurants must comply with various environmental regulations, such as waste disposal and recycling requirements, air quality standards, and hazardous materials handling.

  1. Marketing Plan

a. Who is your Target Audience?
i. Age Range

Our target market comprises adults above 18 years old who have the finance to purchase ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods from us.

ii. Level of Educational

We don’t have any restrictions on the level of education of those we will welcome in our deli restaurant.

iii. Income Level

There is no cap on the income level of those we will welcome in our deli restaurant.

iv. Ethnicity

There is no restriction when it comes to the ethnicity of the people we will welcome in our deli restaurant.

v. Language

There is no restriction when it comes to the language spoken by those we will welcome in our deli restaurant.

vi. Geographical Location

Anybody from any geographical location is free to purchase ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods from us.

vii. Lifestyle

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will not restrict customers from purchasing ready-to-eat foods from us based on their lifestyle, culture, or race.

b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies
  • Deliberately Brand All Our Vans and Bikes.
  • Tap Into Text Marketing.
  • Make Use of Bill Boards.
  • Share Your Events in Local Groups and Pages.
  • Turn Your Social Media Channels into a Resource
  • Develop Your Business Directory Profiles
  • Build Relationships with players in the event planning industry and culinary cum food services industry.
i. Traditional Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing through Direct Mail.
  • Print Media Marketing – Newspapers & Magazines.
  • Broadcast Marketing -Television & Radio Channels.
  • Out-of-Home” marketing (OOH marketing) – Public Transits like Buses and Trains, Billboards, Street shows, and Cabs.
  • Leverage direct sales, direct mail (postcards, brochures, letters, fliers), tradeshows, print advertising (magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards), referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), radio, and television.
ii. Digital Marketing Strategies
  • Social Media Marketing Platforms.
  • Influencer Marketing.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing.
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing.
iii. Social Media Marketing Plan
  • Start using chatbots.
  • Create a personalized experience for our customers.
  • Create an efficient content marketing strategy.
  • Create a community for our target market and potential target market.
  • Gear up our profiles with a diverse content strategy.
  • Use brand advocates.
  • Create profiles on relevant social media channels.
  • Run cross-channel campaigns.
c. Pricing Strategy

When working out our pricing strategy, Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will make sure it covers profits, insurance, premium, license, and economy or value and full package. In all our pricing strategy will reflect;

  • Cost-Based Pricing
  • Value-Based Pricing
  • Competition-Based Pricing.
  1. Sales and Distribution Plan

a. Sales Channels

Our channel sales strategy will involve using partners and third parties—such as referral partners, affiliate partners, strategic alliances in the tourism industry, the event planning industry, the culinary cum food services industry, and freelancers to help refer customers to us.

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will also leverage the 4 Ps of marketing which are place, price, product, and promotion. By carefully integrating all these marketing strategies into a marketing mix, we can have visible, in-demand products and services that are competitively priced and promoted to our customers.

b. Inventory Strategy

The fact that we will need supplies – food ingredients (flour, eggs, melted butter, salt, milk, water, sweet sauce or garnish, sugar, jam or Nutella et al), means that Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will operate an inventory strategy that is based on a day-to-day methodology for ordering, maintaining and processing items in our warehouse.

We will develop our strategy with the same thoroughness and attention to detail as we would if we were creating an overall strategy for the business.

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will make sure we work with “Just-in-time (JIT) inventory” – (JIT involves holding as little stock as possible, negating the costs and risks involved with keeping a large amount of stock on hand.)

c. Payment Options for Customers

Here are the payment options that Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Bank Transfers
  • Credit or Debit Card
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Electronic Payment Systems such as PayPal or Venmo.
d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees

At Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will be offering a return policy, incentives, and guarantees to build trust and loyalty with your customers. We will make sure the policy is clearly communicated on our website and in-store signage, and provide instructions for customers to initiate a return.

Return Policy:
  • If a customer is not satisfied with their order, we will offer a refund or a replacement meal.
  • We will also offer a store credit for future purchases.
  • We will implement loyalty programs where customers earn points or rewards for repeat purchases.
  • We will offer special discounts or promotions for customers who refer friends or family members to the deli restaurant.
  • We will organize social media contests and giveaways to increase engagement and attract new customers.
  • We will guarantee the quality and freshness of our ingredients, and if a customer is not satisfied, they could receive a refund or a replacement meal.
  • We will offer delivery guarantees such as a guaranteed delivery time or a discount on the next order if the delivery is late.
  • We will implement satisfaction guarantees where customers are guaranteed to be satisfied with their experience, or we will take steps to make it right.
e. Customer Support Strategy

To ensure customer satisfaction, we will encourage customers to provide feedback and suggestions. This will help us provide excellent customer service, and it will also help us to understand their needs, experiences, and pain points. We will work with effective CRM software to be able to achieve this.

  1. Operational Plan

Our operational plan will cover details of the day-to-day operations of the business, including the production process, equipment, staffing, and customer service.

Overall, we plan to expand our revenue by 25 percent in the second year and the plan will include a marketing, sales, and operations component. The operations component of the plan would include attracting partnership and retainership deals that will enable the firm to boost our deli restaurant service offerings and support revenue growth.

a. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Deli Restaurant Business?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • The restaurant serving area and kitchen are cleaned and ready for the day’s business
  • Food ingredients are purchased, washed, and ready for use or cooked
  • Customer’s orders are taken and they are served or their orders are delivered to them
  • The cashier collects cash and reconciles accounts for the day
  • Administrative duties are carried out
  • The store or warehouse is restocked when required.
  • The business is closed for the day.
b. Production Process

To make a sandwich, deli meats, and cheeses are typically sliced thinly using a meat slicer, then layered on bread with other toppings and condiments. The sandwich can then be heated, toasted, or pressed in a sandwich press to melt the cheese and warm the fillings.

Deli salads can be made with a variety of ingredients, such as lettuce, vegetables, pasta, or grains. The ingredients are typically chopped and mixed together with a dressing or seasoning, then chilled until ready to serve. Deli meats are typically cured or smoked, then sliced thinly using a meat slicer.

Common deli meats include ham, turkey, roast beef, pastrami, and corned beef. Some deli meats may also be cooked or roasted before slicing. Deli restaurants may also offer a variety of side dishes, such as potato salad, coleslaw, pickles, or chips. These are typically prepared in advance and chilled until ready to serve.

c. Service Procedure

The service procedure for a deli restaurant starts with a customer requesting ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods and perhaps drinks or bottled water. Once the request is gotten, it will be processed and the customer will be served or the order delivered to a location as requested.

d. The Supply Chain

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will rely on key players in the tourism industry, event planning industry, and the culinary cum food services industry to refer business deals to us. So also, we have been able to establish business relationships with wholesale supplies of food ingredients (meat, flour, eggs, butter, salt, milk, water, sweet sauce or garnish, sugar, jam, or Nutella et al).

e. Sources of Income

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. makes money from;

  • Sale of ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods
  • Sales of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and water.
  • Franchising
  1. Financial Plan

a. Amount Needed to Start Your Deli Restaurant?

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. would need an estimate of $260,000 to successfully set up our deli restaurant in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all our staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Costs Involved?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – $1,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $1,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $125,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • Start-up Inventory – $45,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Restaurant and Kitchen – $75,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much will it cost?

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will not build a new facility for our deli restaurant; we intend to start with a long-term lease and after 5 years, we will start the process of acquiring our own facility.

d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Deli Restaurant?
  • Rent or lease payments
  • Employee wages and benefits
  • Inventory and supplies (food, beverages, condiments, paper goods, and cleaning supplies)
  • Equipment maintenance and repairs (ovens, refrigerators, meat slicers, and dishwashers)
  • Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and sewer fees
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Licenses and permits such as health permits, business licenses, and food service permits.
e. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Chef (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
  • Restaurant Manager – $39,000 Per Year
  • Human Resources and Amin Manager $38,600 Per Year
  • Accountants (Cashiers) $37,000 Per Year
  • Chef (Cooks) – $36,600 Per Year
  • Kitchen Assistants – $28,700 Per Year
  • Waiters and Waitress – $26,000 Per Year
  • Cleaners -$24,000 Per Year
f. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Deli Restaurant?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for Your Product/Service?

The price of our ready-to-eat foods such as meats, cheeses, salads, sandwiches, and other prepared foods will be between $4 and $10. It is important to state that the price will depend on the fillings inside the ready-to-eat food.

b. Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $240,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $360,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $480,000
c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1) (Profit After Tax): $120,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2) (Profit After Tax): $180,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3) (Profit After Tax): $280,000
d. Profit Margin of a Deli Restaurant Product/Service

The ideal profit margin we hope to make at Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will be between 20 and 40 percent depending on the ingredient used in filling the ready-to-eat food.

  1. Growth Plan

a. How do you intend to grow and expand? By opening more retail outlets/offices or selling a franchise?

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. will grow our deli restaurant by first opening other restaurant outlets in key cities in the United States of America within the first eight years of establishing the business and then will start selling franchises from the eleventh year.

b. Where do you intend to expand to and why?

Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. plans to expand to

  • New York City, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Queens, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • West Bloomfield, MI.

The reason we intend to expand to these locations is the fact that available statistics show that the cities listed above have the highest and thriving market for niche restaurants in the United States.

  1. Exit Plan

The founder of Rhoda McCain© Deli Restaurants, Inc. plans to exit the business via family succession. We have placed structures and processes in place that will help us achieve our plan of successfully transferring the business from one family member to another and from one generation to another generation without hitches.