Restaurant Business Plan Template

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

A restaurant business plan works as both a financial tool and a roadmap for the success of your establishment. In this lesson, you'll learn more about creating a restaurant business plan.

Get It In Writing

There are so many things to think about when starting a new restaurant business: location, marketing, menus, hiring staff, setting prices and more. The most critical component, the piece that helps guide all the other steps, is a business plan.

Consider a business plan the blueprint for your business's future. It provides direction in outlining your goals and how you intend to achieve those goals. Business plans can also:

  • Help you envision your business's future
  • Help you attract investors
  • Help bring in partners and executives
  • Help you clarify your purpose
  • Help you manage your business.

Business plans can vary from a few pages to several hundred, with most averaging 15 to 20 pages, according to Entrepreneur magazine. Most of them following a pretty similar structure, or template, with various sections that help make completing a plan a more manageable process. Keep in mind that a business plan should be two things: short, so that it is readable and manageable, and in tune with your audience, with accessible language that everyone can understand.

With your newfound understanding of what a business plan is, why you need one and a few basic rules to keep in mind, let's begin the process of helping Cathy's Cafe develop a template for creating their business plan.

A Business Plan Template

Now that we have the rules of writing a business plan out of the way, let's dive into the details of building a plan.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a one to two page summary of your entire business plan. Though it appears at the beginning the business plan, it's usually easiest to write last once you've prepared the other sections.

2. Business description

In this section, include all the aspects of your service offerings, the history of your market, evaluation of your competition, current event happening in the restaurant industry and your goals and objectives.

3. Products and Services

Use this space to describe what you're selling and identify how your restaurant is unique or different than the competition. In short, why is there a need for your particular establishment?

4. Target Market

Who are you selling to? This is the section where you detail who your target audience is and why you're targeting them.

5. Marketing and Sales Plan

How are you going to educate the public - and your target market - about your restaurant? This is the place to define how you will market your restaurant to your audience. Consider both your brick-and-mortar location as well as a digital presence: your website and social media presence.

6. Operations

If you're trying to entice investors, surrounding yourself with a knowledgeable team is a must. In this section you can outline both the administrative side of your business as well as day-to-day operations and who is on your management team or advisory board.

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