Are you interested in starting a restaurant business? Do you love cooking or you want to run a food business? Then below is an in-depth sample restaurant business plan template that will teach you how to start a restaurant business.

With the rapid growth happening within the food industry, the restaurant business is one of the fast growing businesses in this our present generation. This is because restaurant business, though quite a common business venture to get into but it is tough breaking even. The reality is that many restaurants fail within the first year of business.

N.B-: This article was culled from the “Complete Guide to Starting a Restaurant Business.”

But that shouldn’t bother you, because this article will equip you with tips that will help you avoid the risk associated with starting a restaurant business that is bound to fail. So without wasting your time, below is a step by step guide to starting your own restaurant business.

Starting a Restaurant – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Get in the right mindset

One true fact about the restaurant business is that it is more of a service business that product based business. Satisfying customers is your ultimate task and utmost priority.

Now from experience, i want to say that dealing with humans is one of the most challenging aspect of business and when it comes to running a restaurant business, you can shy away from this responsibility. So you must brace up for the task. Running a restaurant business is tough, are you really prepared to face the challenges?

2. Learn everything you can about the food industry

In business, knowledge is power and the application of knowledge is advantage. To start a restaurant business and succeed, you need to know everything about running a restaurant business and the entire food industry.

3. Write a business plan for your restaurant business

Just like every other business, a restaurant needs a business plan in order to achieve success. As the traditional restaurateurs in the industry say, planning goes a long way in starting a restaurant.

And of course, to get your investors to give you a go signal, the plan you will present must be logical, practical, and realistic. However, you cannot create an excellent professional proposal without knowing the components of a restaurant business plan first. Here’s a sample restaurant business plan template you can use for FREE.

  • Your Background

To make sure that your restaurant business plan will be able to convince its readers or investors, you must include your professional background on it. This is very important because people who will read the plan will look for details about the person or group behind the proposal.

What skills do you possess? Who are your team mates? What experience do you have in the food industry? If you got an excellent background related to restaurants, you might get lucky.

Now your business plan has to do with the overall goal of your restaurant; a description of your target market; financial information and projections; your menu and pricing. Then the last but not the least is your advertising and marketing plan.

4. Start with the big three

No restaurant can succeed without a great location, a great chef and a great concept. Accessibility matters a lot in terms of location, this is because the more accessible your restaurant is, the more success you stand to achieve. Talking about concept, you also have to select your food concept and your service style. You have to decide on the specific service style you are interested in.

5. Choose a primary location

A restaurant business plan must contain the prospective location where you will build your business establishment. The location must be void of competitors, and filled with people who usually visit other areas just to eat. The perfect sources of information you can use to find the excellent spot for your business are restaurant review websites and local newspapers.

  • Alternative Prospect Location

On the other hand, it is also recommended to have more than one location in prospect when starting a restaurant business. This will help you cross check the advantages and disadvantages of each location and help you avoid carrying all your eggs in one basket.

However, you must never forget to include a photo and a brief description on every location you take account of in your proposal. In addition, you must also take note of the things you believe that will contribute to the success of the restaurant you will build.

6. Create the restaurant menu

Of course, you should never forget to write down the menu of your restaurant in while writing your business plan. It is advisable that you should create a menu that you can surely serve once you launch your business.

Also, the menu should include the special dishes your chefs and kitchen personnel can provide to your potential consumer. Together with the specialty dishes, you must include some national or local dishes in your menu to attract customers immediately.

Now you must bear in mind that the menu of a restaurant can either make or break the restaurant. The menu of a restaurant should be in accordance with the overall concept of the restaurant. After creating your restaurant menu, revisit your business plan to make sure the menu is attractive to your business plan.

7. Get a List of Restaurant Suppliers

When developing your restaurant business plan, a list of ingredient or food suppliers must be included. You must compile the name and location of those suppliers together with the prices of their supplies, and discounts that they can offer. On the other hand, you can include the potential supplier of your restaurant’s furniture sets and equipment on the list.

8. Do your Financial estimates and projections

You must never forget to include the projection of the possible profit of your venture in your restaurant business plan. In your estimates, you must state the operation cost, anticipated income, and overhead costs that your restaurant will have quarterly in the next five years. Moreover, it is recommendable that you use line charts to display your data, for your audience to have a clear view on your projection.

9. Raise the needed capital

In the course of writing your business plan, you will be able to recognize how much you will be needing to start up your restaurant business. If you are not really sure of the cost of setting up a restaurant business, i suggest you visit other restaurant owners.

Talking to them can help you project your expected start-up cost. There are so many ways restaurateurs raise capitals to start up their restaurant business. It can be either by liquidating assets or using them for loans, taking advantage of government programs that concerns small business owners, etc.

10. Employ people

Lack of qualified or experience work personnel is one of the greatest challenge restaurants face. When advertising for employees, make sure your advert clearly states the exact character, qualities or skills you are looking for in an employee.

This strategy will help you to get and retain qualified employees. Specifically state the job duties and responsibilities of an employee when caring out your adverts. Also, try to find out what other restaurant are paying their employees.

11. Market your Restaurant Business

As technology and trends varies and changes, your marketing tactics should adapt to it too. While many of the traditional techniques still stick true today, new strategies, like environmental and internet marketing are coming up as key components of any successful restaurant marketing campaign.

Here are ideas or tips for marketing your restaurant business.

  • Get good press publicity
  • Develop a website to promote your restaurant
  • Re-design your restaurant menu
  • Implement frequency marketing
  • Host events
  • Try up-selling your customers
  • Market your take-out and delivery services
  • Promote your restaurant through email
  • Commit to going green
  • Dress your employees in smart uniforms
  • Get testimonials from your loyal customers
  • Start a Google Adword Campaign
  • Promote your business on social media
  • Network with other restauranteurs and customers
  • Involve customers in a competition

For more marketing ideas and tactics, i recommend you check out the more in-depth creative marketing ideas for your restaurant. But bear it in mind that just reading this article will have no effect on your business; implementation will make the big difference and improve your restaurant business.


Ajaero Tony Martins