The Ultimate Essentials for your Restaurant Business Plan

Aug 02, 2021

Are you starting a new restaurant business or rebranding an old one? You’re going to need a business plan to make this dream a reality. A business plan is a detailed document that shows the potential for the success of your new restaurant in every way. Be sure to include these essentials below.

Overview of Restaurant Concept

Think of this as the main idea of your restaurant. What will your restaurant be known for? Consider the type of cuisine, how it will be served, and how casual you plan to keep things. It’s essential to have a clear vision of your concept before articulating it to others.

A Logo

Harvard Business Review recently published their findings on descriptive versus non-descriptive logos. Many brands are opting for less descriptive logos these days, incorporating simple shapes like a square or a circle. While these logos are visually pleasing, a new restaurant should still make sure its concept is clear. HBR’s advice to a business developing a logo and brand? Either the logo or the name of your business should hint at the type of service you offer. For example, if you are creating a seafood-forward restaurant, you should either have a fish in the logo or a brand name that makes it clear you are serving delicacies of the sea.

Sample Menu

The sample menu is arguably the most important element of your business plan because it allows your knowledge of food to take center stage. Don’t get too caught up in menu design. Studies find that restaurant-goers read a menu like a book, and the mythical “sweet spot” of a menu to put your star item does not truly exist. (However, a “sour spot” does: the restaurant’s “about” section and the salad list.)


sample menu
Menu planning

Instead, focus on picking food that shows a true snapshot of your team’s culinary abilities. Put effort, care, and literary talent into naming your menu items and explaining them. Researchers found that a few evocative, descriptive menu descriptions (for example, “just like grandma used to make”) can help boost sales of these items.


Restaurant Design

Your restaurant’s architectural design is a huge part of your business plan, and COVID-19 has changed many restaurant-goers’ and owners’ perceptions of what matters most. If possible, plan for a dining area that makes the most of outdoor space, and create easy accessibility between indoors and outdoors.


Restaurant Recruitment and Training Plans

It’s time to start thinking about building your team. Your business plan should include how you intend to recruit every level of employee, from dishwashers to servers to managers. Furthermore, it’s a good time to start thinking about how you will train your restaurant employees at every level as well. Consider an online training plan to formalize and streamline this process.


restaurant business plan for training and recruitment
Your restaurant business plan needs to include staff recruiting and training

Location and Target Audience

That motto from the real estate world directly applies to the restaurant world as well: location, location, location! Your restaurant’s location can make or break it, and once you’ve established its location, you’ll be able to think further about who your audience is. How is your ideal customer reaching you? Are they walking, biking, or driving? Are they likely in the area visiting another nearby business? What is the median income in a 1, 5, and 10-mile radius? What bus or train stops are nearby, and are they within walking distance? These are all important points to include in your business plan.


Marketing Plan

Once you have your target demographic, your business plan will need to include information on how to get the word out. Local mailers, roadside signs, and soft openings are always to draw in new customers. If your city or town has a local business bureau or economic development committee, reach out and see what kind of marketing tools they offer. Social media marketing can also be a crucial way to engage with future customers.


Financial Plan

This part is crucial to your business plan because it will show how you expect to turn a profit and eventually grow. Business News Daily emphasizes the importance of seeking outside help from accountants and other financial experts. It is important to consider the economy at large at the time and make projections based on these. This part of your business plan will be time-consuming to create and should include spreadsheets and follow accounting principles to garner the best chance of getting you a line of credit.


Creating a business plan may seem like a daunting task. However, it can be one concrete step in the direction of building your dream. Synergy Restaurant Consultants has been helping people create their dream restaurants for over 30 years. Let seasoned industry experts guide you in the right direction so you can build a successful restaurant.