Entrepreneurs Gateway

Opening a Bar & Restaurant?

How to write a bar & restaurant business plan (fast), step by step (actionable) case study.

Opening a bar and restaurant is an amazing adventure for any up-and-coming entrepreneur – and writing a business plan is one of the very first (and most important!) steps.

Wondering how to go about it? No need to look any further.

Our Bar & Restaurant business plan sample will help you map out your journey, as well as identifying and addressing any potential pitfalls that could cause problems for your business.

So whether you need funding or would simply like a track to run on…

Be sure to check out this example to improve your chances of Business Success!

Ready? Let’s go.

#1 Executive Summary for a Restaurant Business Plan

Are you looking to write a restaurant business plan? If so, let’s firstly look at The Executive Summary section.

The Executive Summary of your business plan outlines what your business does. It’s an overview of your business and summarizes all its key points, as well as being an introduction for the rest of your plan.

The example in this section can be suitable for the following:

Please check it out and feel free to lift any content.

Executive Summary

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

The #Executive #Summary outlines what your business does, summarizes your key points, and prepares investors for the rest of your #businessplan. It’s vital you provide a solid case for your business idea, which is why your #executive #summary is so important! Tweet

We are John and Mary Smith, a father and daughter team, offering years of experience in both business ownership and management, and the hospitality trade.

John Smith is currently a Director of an electrical contractors in Washington, and has been in the industry for 30 years. Currently working in the aerospace sector, John delivers the highest standard of workmanship for his clients, and offers a wide range of transferable skills including staff management, decision making, building strong business partnerships, and negotiation skills.

John will be supported by his eldest daughter Mary, a confident and outgoing people-persons with years of experience in the bar and restaurant industry. She offers a wealth of knowledge in hospitality and bar management, and would be very much at home running her own bar and restaurant.

What We Sell

We will be selling a wide range of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages in partnership with ABC PLC. The wet list will be based on the current ABC listings, and we would also like to expand the wine list in accordance with ABC Code of Practice.

The dry menu, which is currently of a very high standard, will be based on local and seasonal produce and created in direct association with the Head Chef.

We will also run a number of promotions to push more from our wet and dry menus, and these promotions will also run in accordance with ABC Code of Practice.

Who We Sell To

We will sell to local residents and also people visiting the area. We want to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, and to leave our customers feeling totally satisfied with our service whether they pop in for a pint or a coffee, or stay with us all evening for a meal and drinks. We can only achieve this by employing and developing the right team, and we will focus our efforts on hiring experienced, friendly, professional and enthusiastic staff. From our Head Chef down to our team of waiting staff and bar staff, we will ensure we only hire the best the local area has to offer.

In addition to retaining existing regular customers, we recognize the importance of attracting new customers, and we will look into what is currently working for the business, and what isn’t working so well. With this knowledge and information, we can look into promotions and improvements that will encourage more visitors, whether they are locals or passing trade.

Financial Summary

Please see financial plan for further information.

#2 Restaurant Business Plan Company Profile Section

The Company Profile in this restaurant business plan sample is also known as the Company Description. If written well, your potential investors will find it easy to understand your business model, your mission and goals and how it’s going to meet the needs of your target market.

For the purpose of this bar business plan, we’ve included the following in the Company Profile Section:

Mission Statement

Company History

Company overview.

The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant has been in business for years, and is an established bar and restaurant offering a wide range of beverages and a fine selection of hot and cold meals.

The main company address is Main Road, Washington USA

This is not a new business, but we would be taking over as new managers of the establishment. The bar and restaurant is owned by ABC PLC and would be offered to us under a five year tenancy, with the opportunity to renew this lease after expiry.

Under such an agreement we – the tenants – will pay the rent and be responsible for the day-to-day management of the bar and restaurant. This will include such things as:

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Management Team

The management team consists of John Smith and Mary Smith, a father and daughter team. John Smith has years of experience as a Director for an electrical contractor, and is very experienced in staff management, business management, key decision making, negotiations with suppliers and partners and achieving results.

Mary Smith brings a wealth of bar and restaurant and bar management experience, and is keen to continue with the success the bar and restaurant has experienced already, whilst also making significant improvements where necessary.

We will look to recruit where required. It is essential that we have a first class Head Chef employed at all times to oversee our menu, and ensure that meals are produced to the very highest standard and that all ingredients are sourced locally where possible. We will employ a mixture of full-time and part-time staff.

Locations and Facilities

The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant is situated at Main Road Washington USA

Our mission is to sell delicious and remarkable food and drinks to our customers. We will ensure that the food and drink we sell meets the highest possible standards of quality, freshness and seasonality and that it is sourced from local producers where possible. We want our customers to experience impeccable service at all times, and we will ensure that our staff demonstrate warmth, efficiency, integrity and knowledge at all times, and that every customer leaves happy.

A #mission #statement is a short statement of an organization's purpose and shows the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. Tweet

The bar and restaurant has been trading in the same location for a number of years, and offers a wide range of beverages and hot and cold foods to its clientele. Now run by ABC PLC, the establishment has been leased by a number of landlords, and now commands good reviews and a good following in the local region.

#3 Restaurant Business Plan Products & Services Section

The Products and Services section in this restaurant business plan example is showcasing the value and quality of their products and services.

For any start up bar business plan, it’s important to write down what it is that sets you apart from your competitors and the benefits of your business.

Ask yourself:

Here’s the example.

Products and Services

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant is a family bar and restaurant offering a warm welcome, a wide selection of beverages, and an excellent menu. It is very popular with locals and has received very good reviews on TripAdvisor. The wet list features ABC fine cask beers, wines, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks and a coffee menu. We would also be interested in adding more wines to the menu, perhaps featuring a wine of the month, or wines from a particular region each month to keep the menu interesting.

In addition to the usual bar and restaurant fayre, we would also look to introduce the following services and events:

We would also look into adding or updating fruit machines and a jukebox, as well as increasing food service hours, and perhaps looking into serving a small breakfast menu.


There are a number of bar and restaurants in the region we would be competing directly with. Some of the most popular bar and restaurants in the area include:

These bar and restaurants have good reviews. Happy Restaurant is famed for its real ales and homemade pork pies. The Arms is popular with sports crowds and offers good beer and a welcoming, busy atmosphere. Washington Arms offers a good selection of beers, and cheap homestyle food.

We want to be able to cater to more families looking for excellent food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We want to offer a busy and lively atmosphere in the evenings and to attract locals and passing trade. We also feel our dry menu offers so much more than other offerings in the local area, and we really want to focus on increasing profits in this area, and to look into ways to attract our customers to have a meal with us.

Product & Service Development

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

We would love to develop the products, services and events on offer, and to do this in line with the ABC Code of Practice. As the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ and so we would look at the aspects of the business that are working well, and only make improvements where necessary. We also want to stay away from adding too many gimmicks as this can be a bar and restaurant’s downfall. We believe clientele like regular events so they know what is happening and when, and this works very well with the XYZ brand which offers Curry Clubs, Lunch Clubs and other options on set days of the week.

We also want to appeal more to families during the day. One idea we have is to add a marquee outside, and to build a pizza oven so that we can hold kids’ pizza parties and other events outside. Parents are always looking for something different for their kids to do, and this could be a very lucrative revenue stream for the bar and restaurant. Parents may also stay to have a meal or drinks while the little ones enjoy the party.

We may also look into offer a set kids menu as seen in other establishments. Children could choose a main meal, dessert and a drink for around $4.95, and also be given coloring pencils and a picture to color in. This not only keeps the kids entertained, but also encourages adults to stay longer and purchase more items from wet and dry menus. We would also promote our birthday parties on the back of the coloring in page.

Sourcing and Fulfillment

All wet products will be sourced and supplied by ABC PLC as per our agreement with the brewery. Equipment such as cellar cooling and drinks dispensers are maintained by ABC. We would look to secure good deals for local produce for our dry menu, and will leave this responsibility to our Head Chef.

Pathway and Lease Agreements are fully tied for all beers, ciders, stout, wines, spirits, soft drinks, packaged alcoholic drinks and gaming machines, including Amusement with Prize Machines (AWP), Skill with Prize Machines (SWP), pool tables and video/LCD based non-payout leisure machines.

Not applicable to this business.

Intellectual Property

Not applicable to this business. The products we sell will already have the relevant trademarks and licenses in place.

#4 Opening a Restaurant Business Plan Situation & Market Analysis Section

This section of a business plan is very often glossed over because more often than not, the business owner is so involved within their business, that it doesn’t occur to them that they can learn something by writing this down!

This section is one of the most important aspects of your Bar & Restaurant marketing plan.

In fact, it defines where you are currently in terms of your market, product, customer, and competition. It also allows you to look at both internal and external factors and to review and document the strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as identifying any opportunities and threats within your marketplace.

For example:

Market Growth

Industry analysis, key customers, target market, market overview.

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Our target market will consist of local customers already regulars at the establishment, new local customers, people visiting the area, and passing trade. The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant already has a good reputation in the area for a good atmosphere and great food, and we certainly would not want to change that!

However, we do believe there is room for improvement and that these improvements would attract new customer streams to the bar and restaurant. If we could extend the restaurant opening hours for example, we could improve profits across the wet and dry menus, and also upsell items such as good wines. We would also want to welcome more children and parents to the bar and restaurant, and will look into ways we can do this.

Market Needs

The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant offers some amazing attributes to the area. Its warm and welcoming atmosphere and good food are very well documented on TripAdvisor.

We will offer a wide range of products under one roof including alcohol, soft drinks, coffee and good food. People can come to us in the afternoon for drinks and stay with us through dinner and up until closing time if they wish. We want to encourage this kind of home from home experience and encourage people to enjoy as many of our products and services as possible.

The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant always serves good food and drink and is our favorite place to eat in the local area. If you haven’t tried the Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant, it’s a must for 2016. – Vivien S (TripAdvisor)

For most of the evening, we had the dining room to ourselves which was lovely. The staff were friendly and left us alone unless we needed them. I really liked the fact that there was a limited menu. This way I know all the food prepared is fresh. – Emily C (TripAdvisor)

However, there is room for improvement. There are a number of negative comments on TripAdvisor regarding the limited range of food on offer for children, and there have also been misunderstandings in the past about gluten-free options. We would do more to ensure our customers are catered to and made to feel totally comfortable in our surroundings and with our menu.

We would also look at adding services that cannot be found elsewhere. For example, our plan is to offer kids’ parties outside in a marquee. By adding a pizza oven outdoors, we can capture a section of the market that is growing with a relatively cost-effective idea. This will also attract more wet menu sales from parents and carers who want to stay with us while the party is going on.

Market Trends

The great American night out has always featured the bar and restaurant. Whether it is at the start of the night for a few drinks before dinner or going on to a nightclub, or patrons spend their entire night in the same establishment, this timeless trend shows no sign in stopping or even slowing down. However, with more bar and restaurants springing up, and more bar and restaurants using innovative ways to attract patrons, we would need to stay on our toes. By offering a mix of traditional bar and restaurant fayre and services, and also looking at new ways of attracting customers, we will remain competitive and maintain the already good reputation.

Craft beers and cask ales are becoming more and more popular. People are open to trying new experiences, and would look at ways we can promote beer sales with special events. Beer and cheese evenings are starting to gain popularity with patrons being offered a cheeseboard and smaller taster glasses of beer. This is just one idea, but an example of how important it is to keep up to date with market needs and trends.

We may also look into ways in which we could encourage people to have their “big night in” at the bar and restaurant instead of at home. People settle down at home for shows such as X-Factor, Americas Got Talent, and other big TV events. We could possibly create a living room atmosphere and encourage people to come to us instead. This sort of event could get people talking to each other, enjoying themselves in our establishment, and ultimately ordering more drinks.

During the past decade, a series of legislative, social and economic trends have conspired to squeeze industry revenue and profit margins, forcing many bar and restaurants out of business. Already reeling from the ban on smoking in bar and restaurant places, patronage and industry revenue have been battered by rising beer duty, declining alcohol consumption, competition from low supermarket alcohol prices and the prolonged economic downturn.

Whilst it can be difficult for new bar and restaurants to enter the market, established bar and restaurants with regular visitors, a good reputation and willing to keep up with the latest trends and customer demands, can continue to thrive. This is why it is so important for us to review where the Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant is doing well, and to focus our efforts on areas that need improving or to introduce new events or services that would bring in new sustainable revenue streams.

We will be working in the hospitality industry, offering good food and drinks to our customers in a warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Our services and products will be sold directly to customers within our establishment, and promoted across a number of different channels.

Customers often make their buying decisions based on price and personal preference. In addition to drinks purchased direct from the bar, we will also offer drinks within our restaurant, and this is where we may have the best opportunity to push some of our higher priced items such as wines and also pre-dinner cocktails. Reputation is also important, and the ABC name is well known amongst cask ale lovers.

Our key customers will consist of people of all age groups, from 0-100 years old. We want to promote a real family-friendly atmosphere, and to encourage people of all ages, all walks of life, and all areas to come to our bar and restaurant. We want to promote a real community spirit that unites people, starts conversations, offers customers a great day out or a memorable night out, and which also encourages customers to share their experience with others.

#5 Small Restaurant Business Plan Marketing Strategy Section

The marketing strategy section of your business plan describes who your customers are going to be and how you plan to communicate to them the services or goods you are offering.

If your potential customers are not made aware of your business, you are not going to stay in business for very long!

Defining a marketing strategy in your business plan highlights your understanding and knowledge and emphasizes what makes your business concept compelling. It also outlines how you plan to attract and maintain a customer/client base.

Let’s look at this example for a restaurant business plan.

Define a marketing strategy within your business plan to highlight your expertise and emphasize what makes your business concept compelling. Tweet

Strategy and Implementation

There is a need for a good local bar and restaurant in every town, somewhere people can come together to share good times, celebrate, relax at the end of a long day and generally socialize with friends, family and other locals. The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant is a small bar and restaurant, but is very big on character and reputation, and we would want to keep it that way.

We believe there is room in the market for many different establishments, but we do need to ensure that we stand out. Through good advertising locally and nationally, we can ensure our name stays on the map, and that we maintain the reputation the bar and restaurant has achieved already.

Good quality cask beers, a wide range of beverages, excellent food, a welcoming atmosphere, exciting promotions, regular events and a family feel are all qualities we feel are important to the bar and restaurant and its customers.

Our marketing plan would include improving the website, using social media channels more effectively, using print advertising for our promotions and events and also encouraging word of mouth recommendations and online reviews. We feel there is a lot of room for improvement where marketing is concerned. For example, the Twitter feed has not been updated since February 2nd.

Please see the latest ABC wet list pricing. The bar and restaurant currently offers a set menu for its guests at lunchtime, and an à la carte menu during the evening. These are all priced at very competitive rates.

We would like to offer our customers discounts, especially regular customers. We will offer these discounts through a discount card, and also through fun promotions on our social media channels.

We intend to use digital marketing and print marketing to its full potential. Through regular updates to Twitter, Facebook and our website, we can start to attract more attention, and ultimately attract more people through the door.

There is currently a website, but we feel it is very lacking in terms of up to date information. For example, there is a sample food menu listed, but we feel there could be more details here and some good quality photos to show potential customers how good our food is. There are also no event listings or any information about promotions or other messages that could attract customers. We would also like to attract more customers celebrating a special event. For example, we could give the birthday boy or girl a free pint or glass of prosecco, or a free dessert. We want the Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant to be their first choice whenever they have something special to celebrate.

We would like to use social media to advertise promotions. There will be regular quiet times during the week, and we would like to encourage more footfall by offering discounts through Twitter and Facebook. For example, we can give a 10-15% discount to any customer that quotes a phrase we have posted on our social media channels.

We also want to promote the Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant as a true community bar and restaurant, and we will look into charity promotions and other events where we can put something good back into the community. Whether it is giving a local charity somewhere to hold an event, or holding a special lunch club for elderly local residents, we want to portray a caring and welcoming image.


We will sell directly through the bar and restaurant. We will also offer birthday party packages.

We would be taking over an already established business. Before taking over, we would want to have a set plan of action in place for any improvements we would like to make. For example, we would like to have seasonal lunch and dinner menus devised in advance so that we can publish these on our website and through our social media channels. We would also like to have set out our regular events and promotions and to have advertising arranged for each of these events so that we can get the word out in advance of each event taking place.

It is also important that we are accepted as the new management team, and therefore any changes we make will need to be handled carefully and in a sympathetic way. We want to listen to our customers, and through face to face conversation and activity on our social media accounts, we can obtain feedback on what our customers would like to see. This feedback will also have an impact on our milestones.

Training of key members of staff is also essential and we would work closely with ABC to establish a training schedule in accordance with their Code of Practice. Both John and Mary already have a Personal License in place.

In summary, we would look at employng good quality staff including a Head Chef, increasing food availability times, improving sales and profits and establishing ourselves as one of the leading bar and restaurants in the community.

SWOT Analysis

The Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant is in a very strong position as a popular bar and restaurant in the heart of the community, and is well established. It is especially well known for its excellent food and drink menus, and for its large garden during the summer months. The exterior of the bar and restaurant is attractive and welcoming, and offers a clean and modern look and good kerb appeal. There are also good parking facilities.

The bar and restaurant is also known for its excellent staff and service, and this is apparent on TripAdvisor and other review sites. We would work hard to maintain this level of service, and to make improvements where possible.

As with any business, there is always room for improvement. We feel there are a number of areas that we could work on immediately, and which would take minimal focused effort to achieve and improve.

We would first turn our attention to the food menus, offering a good set price kids menu, and also gluten-free options on a separate menu. We would also review gluten-free food prep in the kitchen, ensuring we have a separate fryer for chips and other foods that need to be cooked separately.

Food service times are currently too short, and we feel the bar and restaurant is missing out on profits during these times.

The bar and restaurant is currently closed on Monday, and this is an entire day where the bar and restaurant is missing out on local trade and trade from people visiting the area.

The patio area is not currently used to its full potential, and we would like to improve this area to make it more appealing and more suitable for a range of uses.

Social media channels are not being updated. The last Twitter update was almost six months ago, and this is a big area we would like to address. The website also needs attention.


There are many opportunities for improvement. In addition to the improvements we have already listed, we would like to focus on seasonal opportunities such as Christmas, New Year and Mother’s Day and advertise these events and promotions well so that we achieve maximum covers in the restaurant and excellent profits from our wet menu.

There is a real opportunity for us to appeal to more groups of customers, and to open up new revenue streams. For example, our aim is to have at least one kid’s birthday party booked every weekend, and to have more parents popping with their kids after school. There are also opportunities for us to improve our food menu, to make it more available during the week, and to publicise our menu and any special offers across our website and social media.

We also want to welcome our more elderly residents, and give them somewhere to visit on a weekly or monthly basis for a warm meal and a friendly atmosphere.

It is essential that we maintain the Hugo’s Bar and Restaurant’s already excellent reputation, and that we make improvements carefully and in the right way. One bad TripAdvisor review could be very damaging, so we will do everything in our power to attract the best reviews and word of mouth recommendations. Any failures in service will be dealt with immediately, and any poor reviews replied to and addressed in the best way possible, offering compensation where necessary.

We also need to ensure we keep an eye on our competition and what they are doing. Our tie-in with ABC is also critical to our operations, and so we would ensure that we work in accordance with the Code of Practice at all times.

Staff retention is extremely important to the establishment, especially in terms of more skilled staff such as the Head Chef. We would ensure we offer an attractive remuneration package, and that we keep our team motivated to the point where they wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.

Competitive Edge

We are competing against a number of similar establishments in the local area. The most popular bar and restaurants in the region offer excellent services, but we are in a very strong position to compete. For example, some are more well known for a lively sports crowd, and well-placed near to public transport links where there is good footfall from visitors.

We want to be the warm, friendly and inviting bar and restaurant where everybody is welcome. We offer a range of good quality beverages backed by the outstanding ABC brand, and we offer a fresh, seasonal and local menu cooked and presented to perfection. Customer service will also be extremely high, and customers will want to come back to us time and time again.

We believe we can stand out with our reputation, our promotional activities and also our innovative options such as kids’ pizza parties, beer and cheese nights and other events that are not available elsewhere.

Promotional Activity

In addition to our website and social media channels, we will also advertise in local newspapers, outside the bar and restaurant, at point of sale and on our restaurant and bar tables. We will track the success of our promotional activity through social media promotions, and also through print promotions. For example, some promotions may require a special code to be announced at the time of ordering, or for a leaflet to be presented to gain a discount.

Sales Administration

Our restaurant bookings will be taken in person, over the phone and through our website. All other products and services will be sold directly.

Whilst all sales will be largely led by what the customer wants to order at the time, we will encourage more sales through our promotions and also through clever upselling by our staff. For example, asking customers if they would like to see the wine list over lunch, or asking them if they would like any bar snacks with their order are all ways we can gently make suggestions. We may look into financial rewards for our staff depending on which products we can upsell and how.

Strategic Alliances

Our greatest strategic alliance will be with ABC PLC, and we would ensure we work closely with the company at all times to ensure we are complying with their Code of Practice, and to raise any concerns we may have early on.

Exit Strategy

Not applicable.

#6 Restaurant Business Plan Financials Section

Ensuring that you have a COMPLETE financial plan within your business plan will DOUBLE your chances of investment as well as the future growth of your business.

A lot of small businesses don’t have a financial plan and it’s essential to your long-term success and business growth.

We’ve listed here the key elements you need to have in a successful financial section:

So… Are you ready to look at some figures?

Profit & Loss

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Additional Resources:

Now, over to you...

Now I’d love to hear from you:

Are you going to start up your own bar & restaurant or have you recently written a business plan?

We’d love to know what you thought about our bar & restaurant business plan example.

Feel free to leave any comments below and I will be sure to answer them as soon as they come in.

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how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar


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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

Sally Lauckner

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When starting a business—no matter what type of business that may be—a business plan is essential to map out your intentions and direction. That’s the same for a restaurant business plan, which will help you figure out where you fit in the landscape, how you’re going to differ from other establishments around you, how you’ll market your business, and even what you’re going to serve. A business plan for your restaurant can also help you later if you choose to apply for a business loan .

While opening a restaurant isn’t as risky as you’ve likely heard, you still want to ensure that you’re putting thought and research into your business venture to set it up for success. And that’s where a restaurant business plan comes in.

We’ll go through how to create a business plan for a restaurant and a few reasons why it’s so important. After you review the categories and the restaurant business plan examples, you can use the categories to make a restaurant business plan template and start your journey.

Why you shouldn’t skip a restaurant business plan

First-time restaurateurs and industry veterans alike all need to create a business plan when opening a new restaurant . That’s because, even if you deeply understand your business and its nuances (say, seasonal menu planning or how to order correct quantities), a restaurant is more than its operations. There’s marketing, financing, the competitive landscape, and more—and each of these things is unique to each door you open.

That’s why it’s so crucial to understand how to create a business plan for a restaurant. All of these things and more will be addressed in the document—which should run about 20 or 30 pages—so you’ll not only have a go-to-market strategy, but you’ll also likely figure out some things about your business that you haven’t even thought of yet.

Additionally, if you’re planning to apply for business funding down the line, some loans—including the highly desirable SBA loan —actually require you to submit your business plan to gain approval. In other words: Don’t skip this step!

How to write a restaurant business plan: Step by step

There’s no absolute format for a restaurant business plan that you can’t stray from—some of these sections might be more important than others, for example, or you might find that there’s a logical order that makes more sense than the one in the restaurant business plan example below. However, this business plan outline will serve as a good foundation, and you can use it as a restaurant business plan template for when you write your own.

Executive summary

Your executive summary is one to two pages that kick off your business plan and explain your vision. Even though this might seem like an introduction that no one will read, that isn’t the case. In fact, some investors only ask for the executive summary. So, you’ll want to spend a lot of time perfecting it.

Your restaurant business plan executive summary should include information on:

Mission statement: Your goals and objectives

General company information: Include your founding date, team roles (i.e. executive chef, sous chefs, sommeliers), and locations

Category and offerings: What category your restaurant fits into, what you’re planning to serve (i.e. farm-to-table or Korean), and why

Context for success: Any past success you’ve had, or any current financial data that’ll support that you are on the path to success

Financial requests: If you’re searching for investment or financing, include your plans and goals here and any financing you’ve raised or borrowed thus far

Future plans: Your vision for where you’re going in the next year, three years, and five years

When you’re done with your executive summary, you should feel like you’ve provided a bird’s eye view of your entire business plan. In fact, even though this section is first, you will likely write it last so you can take the highlights from each of the subsequent sections.

And once you’re done, read it on its own: Does it give a comprehensive, high-level overview of your restaurant, its current state, and your vision for the future? Remember, this may be the only part of your business plan potential investors or partners will read, so it should be able to stand on its own and be interesting enough to make them want to read the rest of your plan.

Company overview

This is where you’ll dive into the specifics of your company, detailing the kind of restaurant you’re looking to create, who’s helping you do it, and how you’re prepared to accomplish it.

Your restaurant business plan company overview should include:

Purpose: The type of restaurant you’re opening (fine dining, fast-casual, pop-up, etc.), type of food you’re serving, goals you have, and the niche you hope to fill in the market

Area: Information on the area in which you’re opening

Customers: Whom you’re hoping to target, their demographic information

Legal structure: Your business entity (i.e. LLC, LLP, etc.) and how many owners you have

Similar to your executive summary, you won’t be going into major detail here as the sections below will get into the nitty-gritty. You’ll want to look at this as an extended tear sheet that gives someone a good grip on your restaurant or concept, where it fits into the market, and why you’re starting it.

Team and management

Barely anything is as important for a restaurant as the team that runs it. You’ll want to create a section dedicated to the members of your staff—even the ones that aren’t yet hired. This will provide a sense of who is taking care of what, and how you need to structure and build out the team to get your restaurant operating at full steam.

Your restaurant business plan team and management section should have:

Management overview: Who is running the restaurant, what their experience and qualifications are, and what duties they’ll be responsible for

Staff: Other employees you’ve brought on and their bios, as well as other spots you anticipate needing to hire for

Ownership percentage: Which individuals own what percentage of the restaurant, or if you are an employee-owned establishment

Be sure to update this section with more information as your business changes and you continue to share this business plan—especially because who is on your team will change both your business and the way people look at it.

Sample menu

You’ll also want to include a sample menu in your restaurant business plan so readers have a sense of what they can expect from your operations, as well as what your diners can expect from you when they sit down. This will also force you to consider exactly what you want to serve your diners and how your menu will stand out from similar restaurants in the area. Although a sample menu is in some ways self-explanatory, consider the following:

Service : If your brunch is as important as your dinner, provide both menus; you also might want to consider including both a-la-carte and prix fixe menus if you plan to offer them.

Beverage/wine service: If you’ll have an emphasis on specialty beverages or wine, a separate drinks list could be important.

Seasonality: If you’re a highly seasonal restaurant, you might want to consider providing menus for multiple seasons to demonstrate how your dishes (and subsequent purchasing) will change.

Market analysis

This is where you’ll begin to dive deeper. Although you’ve likely mentioned your market and the whitespace you hope to address, the market analysis section will enable you to prove your hypotheses.

Your restaurant business plan market analysis should include:

Industry information: Include a description of the restaurant industry, its size, growth trends, and other trends regarding things such as tastes, trends, demographics, structures, etc.

Target market: Zoom in on the area and neighborhood in which you’re opening your restaurant as well as the type of cuisine you’re serving.

Target market characteristics: Describe your customers and their needs, how/if their needs are currently being served, other important pieces about your specific location and customers.

Target market size and growth: Include a data-driven section on the size of your market, trends in its growth, how your target market fits into the industry as a whole, projected growth of your market, etc.

Market share potential: Share how much potential there is in the market, how much your presence will change the market, and how much your specific restaurant or restaurant locations can own of the open market; also touch on any barriers to growth or entry you might see.

Market pricing: Explain how you’ll be pricing your menu and where you’ll fall relative to your competitors or other restaurants in the market.

Competitive research: Include research on your closest competitors, how they are both succeeding and failing, how customers view them, etc.

If this section seems like it might be long, it should—it’s going to outline one of the most important parts of your strategy, and should feel comprehensive. Lack of demand is the number one reason why new businesses fail, so the goal of this section should be to prove that there is demand for your restaurant and show how you’ll capitalize on it.

Additionally, if market research isn’t your forte, don’t be shy to reach out to market research experts to help you compile the data, or at least read deeply on how to conduct effective research.

Marketing and sales

Your marketing and sales section should feel like a logical extension of your market analysis section, since all of the decisions you’ll make in this section should follow the data of the prior section.

The marketing and sales sections of your restaurant business plan should include:

Positioning: How you’ll describe your restaurant to potential customers, the brand identity and visuals you’ll use to do it, and how you’ll stand out in the market based on the brand you’re building

Promotion: The tools, tactics, and platforms you’ll use to market your business

Sales: How you’ll convert on certain items, and who/how you will facilitate any additional revenue streams (i.e. catering)

It’s likely that you’ll only have concepts for some of these elements, especially if you’re not yet open. Still, get to paper all of the ideas you have, and you can (and should) always update them later as your restaurant business becomes more fully formed.

Business operations

The business operations section should get to the heart of how you plan to run your business. It will highlight both internal factors as well as external forces that will dictate how you run the ship.

The business operations section should include:

Management team: Your management structure and hierarchy, and who is responsible for what

Hours: Your hours and days of operation

Location: What’s special about your location that will get people through the door

Relationships: Any advantageous relationships you have with fellow restaurateurs, places for sourcing and buying, business organizations, or consultants on your team

Add here anything you think could be helpful for illustrating how you’re going to do business and what will affect it.

Here, you’ll detail the current state of your business finances and project where you hope to be in a year, three years, and five years. You’ll want to detail what you’ve spent, what you will spend, where you’ll get the money, costs you might incur, and returns you’ll hope to see—including when you can expect to break even and turn a profit.

Financial statements: If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, include existing financial statements (i.e. profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow, etc.)

Budget: Your current budget or a general startup budget

Projections: Include revenue, cash flow, projected profit and loss, and other costs

Debt: Include liabilities if the business has any outstanding debt or loans

Funding request: If you’re requesting a loan or an investment, lay out how much capital you’re looking for, your company’s valuation (if applicable), and the purpose of the funding

Above all, as you’re putting your financials together, be realistic—even conservative. You want to give any potential investors a realistic picture of your business.

Feel like there are other important components but they don't quite fit in any of the other categories (or make them run too long)? That’s what the restaurant business plan appendix section is for. And although in, say, a book, an appendix can feel like an afterthought, don’t ignore it—this is another opportunity for you to include crucial information that can give anyone reading your plan some context. You may include additional data, graphs, marketing collateral (like logo mockups), and more.

The bottom line

Whether you’re writing a restaurant business plan for investors, lenders, or simply for yourself and your team, the most important thing to do is make sure your document is comprehensive. A good business plan for a restaurant will take time—and maybe a little sweat—to complete fully and correctly.

One other crucial thing to remember: a business plan is not a document set in stone. You should often look to it to make sure you’re keeping your vision and mission on track, but you should also feel prepared to update its components as you learn more about your business and individual restaurant.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan in 2023 (Step by Step Guide with Templates)

Saif Alnasur

Jan 31, 2023 6:30:00 AM

Have you decided to open a restaurant? Has it been something you've thought of doing for years and are finally in a position to make it happen?

Regardless of how much time you've spent conceptualizing your idea and researching the industry, without proper planning, your restaurant is doomed for failure.

That's where a restaurant business plan comes in. A restaurant business plan is a framework that guides you to plan and forecast every element of restaurant management and operations; from menu design, location, financials, employee training, and a lot more, and helps develop your restaurant ideas into a reality.

Read on for everything you need to know about writing a restaurant business plan along with samples and tips.

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Why is a Restaurant Business Plan Important?

Many new restauranteurs fail to put together a well-thought-out restaurant business plan because the process can be a bit difficult and time-consuming. But without a proper restaurant business plan, you're shooting in the dark without an aim. It's unlikely that you would be able to secure an investor to help fund your restaurant dream without a proper plan. And even if you do, the lack of proper planning, regulations, and forecasts will set your restaurant up for failure. 

Your restaurant business plan is what is going to map out how you plan on turning a profit from your business as well as where your restaurant fits into the saturated market and how you plan on standing out.

A little time and pain early on are worth the reward of a successful restaurant in the long run.

11 key steps a restaurant business plan should include

A good business plan varies from restaurant to restaurant and takes into account factors like style of restaurant, target market, location, etc. If you're new to the restaurant game, the idea of creating a business plan can be daunting. To help you get started, we have highlighted the key elements you need to include when writing a restaurant business plan. 

Depending on who you are presenting your business plan to, you can change the order of the sections to reflect priority.

Here are the main components of a restaurant business plan

1. Executive Summary

A restaurant business plan should always begin with an executive summary. An executive summary not only acts as the introduction to your business plan but also a summary of the entire idea.

The main aim of an executive summary is to draw the reader (oftentimes an investor) into the rest of your business plan.

Common elements of an executive summary include:

An executive summary is imperative for those looking to get investors to fund their projects. Instead of having to comb through the entire restaurant business plan to get all the information, they can instead just look through the executive summary.

2. Company Description

This is the part of the restaurant business plan where you fully introduce the company. Start this section with the name of the restaurant you are opening along with the location, contacts, and other relevant information. Also include the owner’s details and a brief description of their experience.

The second part of the company description should highlight the legal standing of the restaurant and outline the restaurant’s short and long-term goals. Provide a brief market study showing that you understand the trends in the regional food industry and why the restaurant will succeed in this market.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis portion of the restaurant business plan is typically divided into three parts.

3.1 Industry Analysis

What is your target market? What demographics will your restaurant cater to? This section aims to explain your target market to investors and why you believe guests will choose your restaurant over others.

3.2 Competition Analysis

It's easy to assume that everyone will visit your restaurant, so it is important to research your competition to make this a reality. What restaurants have already established a customer base in the area? Take note of everything from their prices, hours, and menu design to the restaurant interior.  Then explain to your investors how your restaurant will be different.

3.3 Marketing Analysis

Your investors are going to want to know how you plan to market your restaurant. How will your marketing campaigns differ from what is already being done by others? How do you plan on securing your target market? What kind of offers will you provide your guests? Make sure to list everything.

The most important element to launching your restaurant is the menu . Without it, your restaurant has nothing to serve. At this point, you probably don’t have a final version, but for a restaurant business plan, you should at least try to have a mock-up.

Add your logo to the mock-up and choose a design that you can see yourself actually using. If you are having trouble coming up with a menu design or don’t want to pay a designer, there are plenty of resources online to help.

The key element of your sample menu though should be pricing. Your prices should reflect the cost analysis you’ve done for investors. This will give them a better understanding of your restaurant’s target price point. You'll quickly see how important menu engineering can be, even early on.

5. Employees

The company description section of the restaurant business plan briefly introduces the owners of the restaurant with some information about each. This section should fully flesh out the restaurant management team.

The investors don’t expect you to have your entire team selected at this point, but you should at least have a couple of people on board. Use the talent you have chosen thus far to highlight the combined work experience everyone is bringing to the table.

Free Restaurant Business Plan Template The only business plan you'll ever need. Download now

6. Restaurant Design

The design portion of your restaurant business plan is where you can really show off your thoughts and ideas to the investors. If you don’t have professional mock-ups of your restaurant rendered, that’s fine. Instead, put together a mood board to get your vision across. Find pictures of a similar aesthetic to what you are looking for in your restaurant.

The restaurant design extends beyond aesthetics alone and should include everything from restaurant software to kitchen equipment. 

7. Location

The location you end up choosing for your restaurant should definitely be in line with your target market. At this point, you might not have a precise location set aside, but you should have a few to choose from.

When describing potential locations to your investors, you want to include as much information as possible about each one and why it would be perfect for your restaurant. Mention everything from square footage to typical demographics.

8. Market Overview

The market overview section is heavily related to the market analysis portion of the restaurant business plan. In this section, go into detail about both the micro and macro conditions in the area you want to set up your restaurant.

Discuss the current economic conditions that could make opening a restaurant difficult, and how you aim to counteract that. Mention all the restaurants that could prove to be competition and what your strategy is to set yourself apart.

9. Marketing

With restaurants opening left and ride nowadays, investors are going to want to know how you will get word of your restaurant to the world. The marketing and publicity section should go into detail on how you plan to market your restaurant before and after opening. As well as any plans you may have to bring a PR company on board to help spread the word.

Read more: How to write a restaurant marketing plan from scratch

10. External Help

To make your restaurant a reality, you are going to need a lot of help. List any external companies or software you plan on hiring to get your restaurant up and running. This includes everything from accountants and designers to suppliers that help your restaurant perform better, like POS systems and restaurant reservation systems . Explain to your investors the importance of each and what they will be doing for your restaurant.

11. Financial Analysis

The most important part of your restaurant business plan is the financial section . We would recommend hiring professional help for this given its importance. Hiring a trained accountant will not only help you get your financial estimates in order but also give you a realistic insight into owning a restaurant.

You should have some information prepared to make this step easier on the accountant.  He/she will want to know how many seats your restaurant has, what the check average per table will be, and how many guests you plan on seating per day.

In addition to this, doing rough food cost calculations for various menu items can help estimate your profit margin per dish. This can be achieved easily with a free food cost calculator. 

Restaurant Business Plan Template

Ready to get started? Download our free restaurant business plan template to guide you through the process.

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How to write a restaurant business plan.

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Your business plan will be the roadmap from which your new restaurant develops. No matter how much thought you’ve put into your concept or how many trusted colleagues have assured you of its greatness, you should write a business plan. It will prove the viability of your concept to potential investors and provide them with a clear and engaging answer to the question: “Why does the world need this restaurant?”

“The point of a business plan is to show that you’ve done your homework,” says Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla , a fine casual Greek restaurant in San Francisco that has received national acclaim since opening in the spring of 2014.

“You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.”

What your business plan should cover

The strongest business plans always include all or most of the components described below. Bililies advises that first-time restaurateurs read a bunch of different business plans for other restaurants and technology and retail companies to get a better sense of layout options, writing styles, and clarity of concept. Put the sections that you feel would be most compelling to someone who’s never met you first: the “Management Team” section if you’re coming from high-profile establishments, for example. The goal is for the reader to keep turning the page.

Quick links Branded cover Concept Sample menu Service Management team Design Target market Location Market overview Marketing and publicity Specialists and consultants Business structure Financials

1. Branded cover

Include your logo (even if it’s not finalized), the date, and your name.

Describe your restaurant concept and get the reader excited about your idea. Include an executive summary and go into detail about the food you’ll be serving, inspiration behind your concept, and an overview of service style. Define clearly what will be unique about your restaurant and include your mission statement.

3. Sample menu

The menu is the most important touchpoint of any restaurant’s brand, so this should be more than just a simple list of items. Incorporate your logo and mock up a formatted menu design (tap a designer for help if needed).

Your sample menu should also include prices that are based on a detailed cost analysis. This will give investors a clear understanding of your targeted price point, provide the first building block to figuring out average check estimations needed to create financial projections for starting costs, and show investors that you’ve done the homework needed to be confident that you’ll be able to sell these items at these prices and operate within your budget.

This section is most relevant for fine-dining concepts, concepts that have a unique service style, or if you have particularly strong feelings about what role service will play in your restaurant. It can be a powerful way of conveying your approach to hospitality to investors by explaining the details of the guest’s service experience.

Will your restaurant have counter service and restaurant hostess software designed to get guests on their way as quickly as possible, or will it look more like a theater, with captains putting plates in front of guests simultaneously? If an extensive wine program is an integral part of what you’re doing, will you have a sommelier? If you don’t feel that service is a noteworthy component of your operation, address it briefly in the concept section.

5. Management team

Write a brief overview of yourself and the team you have established so far. You want to demonstrate that the work experience you’ve acquired over the course of your career has provided you with the necessary skills to run a successful restaurant and act as a restaurant business owner. Ideally, once you have described the strong suit of every member of your team, you’ll be presenting a full deck. Most independent restaurant investors are in this for more than just money, so giving some indication of what you value and who you are outside of work may also be helpful.

Incorporate some visuals. Create a mood board that shows images related to the design and feeling of your restaurant. Whether you’re planning to cook in a wood-burning oven or are designing an eclectic front-of-house, be sure to include those ideas. Photos of materials and snippets of other restaurants that you love that are similar to the brand you’re building are also helpful.

7. Target market

Who is going to eat at your restaurant? What do they do for a living, how old are they, and what’s their average income? Once you’ve described them in detail, reiterate why your specific concept will be appealing to them.

8. Location

T here should be a natural and very clear connection between the information you present in the “Target Market” section and this one. You probably won’t have a specific site identified at this point in the process, but you should talk about viable neighborhoods. Don’t assume that potential investors will be familiar with the areas you’re discussing and who works or lives there—make the connections clear. You want readers to be confident that your restaurant’s “ideal” diner intersects with the neighborhood(s) you’re proposing as often as possible.

If you don’t have a site , this is a good place to discuss what you’re looking for in terms of square footage, foot traffic, parking, freeway accessibility, outdoor seating , and other important details.

9. Market overview

Address the micro and macro market conditions in your area and how they relate to licenses and permits. At a macro level, what are the local and regional economic conditions? If restaurants are doing poorly, explain why yours won’t; if restaurants are doing well, explain how you’ll be able to compete in an already booming restaurant climate. At a micro level, discuss who your direct competitors are. Talk about what types of restaurants share your target market and how you’ll differentiate yourself.

10. Marketing and publicity

The restaurant landscape is only getting more competitive. Discuss your pre- and post-opening marketing plan to show investors how you plan to gain traction leading up to opening day, as well as how you’ll keep the momentum going. If you’re going to retain a PR/marketing company, introduce them and explain why you’ve chosen them over other companies (including some of their best-known clients helps). If not, convey that you have a solid plan in place to generate attention on your own through social media , your website , and media connections.

11. Specialists and consultants

List any outside contractors you plan to retain, such as:

Briefly explain the services they’ll be providing for you, why you chose them, and any notable accomplishments.

12. Business structure

This section should be short and sweet. What type of business structure have you set up and why did you make that specific decision? You will need to work with an attorney to help you determine what business structure is best for you.

“Step one: write a business plan. Step two: hire a good attorney. In addition to helping me build a smart, sustainable business structure, my attorney was also a great resource for reviewing my business plan because she’s read thousands of them. She was a very helpful, experienced outside perspective for more than just legal matters.” — Charles Bililies.

13. Financials

Let your accountant guide you through this portion of your business plan. It is crucial that whoever you retain to help you with your finances has a wealth of restaurant experience (not just one or two places), as they should be familiar with the financial specifics of starting a restaurant and know what questions to ask you.

Before creating realistic financial projections, your accountant will want to know approximately how many seats you’re planning on having, what your average check will be, and approximately how many covers per day you plan to do. Being conservative in these estimations is key as these three data points will be used as the basis for figuring out whether your concept is financially feasible.

Lou Guerrero, Principal at Kross, Baumgarten, Kniss & Guerrero, emphasizes, “You’ll get a lot of accountants that tell you that they’ve done a couple of restaurants, but you have to choose someone that has a deep expertise in what you’re doing. There’s nothing to gain from going with someone that doesn’t have a very restaurant-centric practice.”

A well-vetted accountant with restaurant experience will know exactly what you’ll need to have prepared to show investors. The key projections you can expect to work on are:

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More From Forbes

Writing a restaurant business plan.


If you're considering opening a restaurant, your first step should be writing a business plan. A well-written business plan can help you raise money, manage your restaurant and succeed. Here's what you need to know about writing one:

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a short but powerful document that can help you to get your point across quickly and effectively. Although it is usually the first section of a business plan, it should be the last piece written. It should be one page at maximum and clearly describe your business plan's critical points in a way that makes sense to anyone who reads it. The purpose of an executive summary is to convince potential investors or lenders that they will profit from investing in your restaurant idea, so avoid unimportant details or lengthy descriptions of how great your food tastes.

An excellent way to write an executive summary is by starting with an introduction paragraph that summarizes what the rest of your plan contains—this helps readers understand why they should continue reading further into the document. Then go into discussing why this particular project is worthwhile; why people need it. How will it benefit them? Next comes some background information about yourself: include any relevant experience or education related to running this business. Finally, end with future goals: where do you see yourself after opening the shop?

Here are some items to include in your restaurant business plan:

Concept Validation and Business Model Testing

Before you launch your business, it's important to validate your concept and test the viability of your business model. You can do this by conducting market research, talking with potential customers, and interviewing industry experts with similar business experiences. You can also test the viability of your plan by completing an "experience economy" analysis. That is, looking at ways people enjoy spending money on experiences rather than goods (such as dining out). For example, if people value experiences over material goods, opening a restaurant may be a good idea!

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Labor costs, including direct and indirect labor, are essential to your labor budget. Direct costs refer to wages paid directly to employees, while indirect expenses include benefits like healthcare coverage and payroll taxes. To calculate these figures, you'll need to estimate the number of full-time equivalents (FTE) positions you'll need and their average salaries. This calculation can be tricky because each restaurant has its unique staffing plan based on its size, location, cuisine type, and reputation among customers, not to mention any other factors that might affect staffing decisions (e.g., whether it's open 24/7).

The first step is deciding whether or not you want full-time staff or part-time workers who work only during peak times such as lunchtime rush hour or Friday night dinners out with friends at restaurants nearby yours. As tempting as it may seem, wait to write anything down until after reading through the following sections because several factors are explicitly related to determining how many people we'll need overall.

You want your menu to be focused and simple. Try to add only a few items, as too many menu items may confuse customers, making it difficult for them to choose what they want.

If there are any "signature" items on your menu, include them first when listing off your offerings so that people know what kind of food you serve before even stepping inside the restaurant. Also, incorporating local ingredients into these specialties will help build community spirit around supporting local businesses.

Site selection is a critical factor in your success. After conducting a comprehensive market study, the site selection is based on the data you discover to determine if your customers are in and frequent that area. David Simmonds, Founder and CEO of ResolutRE , a Commercial Real Estate firm in Austin, Texas, states: "More than ever, entrepreneurs opening a restaurant need to analyze what their own customers look like on paper (demographics, psychographics, etc.), so then when they are examining a market, they can find the highest concentration of their customers within that market. From that data, they are able to determine the number of restaurants that the market could support, and from there, create the blueprint for their expansion."

Your plan should describe your ideal location . Your chosen location must be close to your target market and similar businesses, such as restaurants or cafes. The site should also have high foot traffic and be accessible by car, bike, and public transportation. Simmonds goes on to say: "Analytics reinforces or disputes instincts. It is a necessary part of the expansion process, whether the restauranteur has 1 unit or 37.

Marketing Strategy

When developing your business plan, think about the marketing strategy you will use. Your plan should consider and explain the following marketing tactics:

Profit and Return on Investment Analysis

The reader of your business plan should be able to find these numbers in your budgeting worksheet and financial projections spreadsheet.

Financial Plan

The financial plan is the most critical part of your business plan. It should clearly show how much money you need to start, run and grow your restaurant.

You will need to show a projected profit and loss statement. The projected profit and loss statement (P&L) shows how much revenue comes in, what expenses are incurred, and what profits are made over time. In addition, the P&L shows all revenue sources, including but not limited to sales of food/alcoholic beverages and income from private parties. It must also project all costs associated with operating the restaurant, such as Cost of Goods (raw materials) and salaries for employees - these include both front-of-house roles such as waiters or bartenders, as well as back-of-house roles like chefs who prepare food during off hours so it can be served fresh upon opening each day - cleaning supplies needed throughout each week, etc., depreciation costs associated with long term assets such as ovens that wear down over time and waste of unused food product.

Multi-Year Projections of Revenue and Costs

Accurate projections are the key to a successful business plan. They help you to understand how much money you will make and how much you will need to make it happen. Projections also help with understanding what your costs will be.

For example, if I were starting a restaurant today and wanted my business plan projections for opening day and going out one, three, and five years.

Then I would look at similar restaurants that serve similar foods, noting their prices, portion sizes, and any specialties they offer, such as breakfast all day or lunch specials every Friday during football season. This research of other restaurants will give you a basis for your projections. Include the documentation of this research in the narrative of the plan.

A Business Plan Is Your Road Map To Success.

A business plan can help you raise money by demonstrating that you have a viable idea for a restaurant. In addition, investors want to see that others are interested in investing in your vision, so they'll be more likely to give you money if they see other investors involved with it as well. An excellent example is when an investor wants to invest but only if another investor does first; this way, both parties feel comfortable investing because they know someone else believes in the project enough to put their own money into it too!

A well-written business plan helps manage restaurants by giving owners information about how much money will be coming in over time, so there aren't any surprises when bills come due every month - which could lead businesses into trouble if left unchecked."

This article has given some insights into how to write a business plan for opening a restaurant. Do your research and learn other aspects of good business plan writing. I know that it can be a lot of work, but I also know that the payoff is worth it. Not only will you have a better understanding of what it takes to open up shop and run it successfully but also potential investors will be more likely to fund your project if they see that you've done your research. And remember: don't be afraid to ask other restaurant owners for help or advice; many of them have been where you are now.

Gary Occhiogrosso

How to Write a Business Plan for a Bar & Restaurant

How to Write a Business Plan for a Bar & Restaurant

By Kyle Thacker, Contributor  

One of the most important steps in opening a bar is also one of the most overlooked. That’s writing a business plan for a bar. The idea of owning a bar is exciting. And after the second or third glass of whiskey that fuels a bar owner’s dream, the buzzing excitement can turn into brazen confidence. That yes, opening a bar is a great idea . And as success is concerned for your bar of dreams: If you build it, they will come.

But too many would-be bar owners ignore the truth that opening a bar is a serious business investment. To help the dreamers, let’s explore how to write a business plan for your bar and why it’s so important. 

What is a Bar Business Plan?

What is a bar business plan?

A business plan is a detailed document that outlines a business’s goals and the strategies that will be used to achieve them. 

For a bar, this roadmap will include elements like the concept of the bar, bar and menu design , location, financial details, market conditions, staffing needs , and background information on current investors and the management team.

It should be properly formatted and organized to communicate a path to success.

Why is a Business Plan Important for Bars & Restaurants?

Business plans are important for bars.

There are a few reasons that make a business plan a crucial step in opening a bar. 

Attracting Investors. Opening a bar is expensive. It can cost between $110,000 to $850,000 and more according to Investopedia . The high startup costs require investments from others outside of the principal owners. Whether you’re seeking investment from private investors or getting a credit line from a bank, a detailed business plan will be a requirement for raising money so potential investors can evaluate their risk. Providing Focus . Another benefit of business plans is that it will help owners work through issues and define the concept and goals of the bar. Constructing a business plan will force you to make decisions about the strategies needed to run a successful business. Understanding the Market . An important part of a business plan is market research . It’s critical to understand the market you’re entering as a business. This includes real estate costs, neighborhood demographics, other businesses in the area, marketing opportunities, and local competition.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Bar

Tips for writing up a bar business plan.

Writing a business plan might feel like a flashback to writing papers in school for hopeful bar owners. It requires a lot of research, strong communication skills, proper formatting and must be organized so your plans are easily understood by investors and your team.

Here are the steps and requirements of a business plan.  

Branding. All branding that has been developed should be used to in the business plan. Adding a logo and tagline to the cover page of the plan will help introduce potential investors to the brand and concept, establishing a point of view right from the start.

Table of Contents . Providing a table of contents for the document is good practice that will help whoever is reading through your business plan.

Summary of Concept . What is unique about your bar that sets it apart from other establishments? Is it a cocktail bar? A craft beer bar with a travel theme? The bar concept is the hook that will attract customers -- and investors -- to spend time and money at your venue. Make sure this summary is clear and provides insight into why your concept is a fit for the market you’re entering and the customer demographics you plan on attracting. This is a summary, so you should include high-level analysis of the market and concept that will then be explored in more detail later on in your plan.

Market Analysis . This is an important section for any investor. This is where the bread is buttered, so to speak. Your market analysis will provide a great selling point (or a reason not to invest) to investors because it will address some of the most important financial factors for your business.

Local demographics : This section of market analysis is where you will detail your target guests. Is this a bar for young adults? If so, is there a college campus nearby or in a neighborhood that cater to recent graduates? Or are you targeting a higher-end clientele that may live in the neighborhood or visit the area for shopping, theater shows, or for business? Make sure to answer why and how your target customers will visit your bar. Building customer personas is a great way to help with this.

Local competition: What other bars and restaurants are in the neighborhood ? How will you differ from them and attract business? Will you be able to benefit from local competitors through high volume of foot traffic? Or being a bar that is visited for drinks after dinner at a neighboring restaurant? It’s also helpful to include the customer demographics that those competitors cater to, the price points they operate within, and how your concept relates to these factors.

Marketing strategies: How do you plan on marketing to this, well, market? Will you handle marketing in house or work with a PR company? Will it be focused on a digital marketing strategy like SEO? What will your website look like? Social media activity? Defining your marketing strategy is important for investors as well as for yourself and your marketing team. If you have connections to any publishers and influencers in the bar industry, this is a great place to outline those connections. You can also include potential marketing expenses and what your target customer acquisition cost is to make marketing effective.

Operations. This section will detail practical information for investors. It will share business hours and why those hours fit within the market analysis. It will also include the number of staff needed to operate the restaurant and expected labor costs associated with staff. It’s good to include outlines of management positions and what jobs and tasks will be assigned to different management positions. The management structure, including your role as an owner, will help investors understand how the restaurant will be run. In the operations section you can also include location information like proximity to stadiums, theaters, or convention centers, as well as accessibility to other traffic sources like interstate highways, business and shopping districts, and how these factors will affect business operations. This is also a good place to include any restaurant technology you plan to use to help manage operations. Outline the costs associated with specific software and platforms and how it will benefit the business. For example, one of the initial startup costs for opening a bar is ordering alcohol and beverage products. This means inventory control is important. Detail any potential bar inventory software you’re considering using and how it will help limit the costs of managing inventory.

Management & Investor Personnel. This section will introduce any members of the management team or investors that are already involved with financing the project. Provide short bios for the personnel involved. It’s good to include any previous bar or restaurant experience they have, and make sure to highlight their successes. For investors, include their experience investing in similar bar concepts and their track record of success. Also include if these investors will be active in running the business or are just silent investors providing financing. 

Key Takeaways

Now that you’ve gotten an introduction on what to include in a bar business plan, let’s recap some of the most important takeaways.

Business plans are critical for attracting serious investors . Take time to conduct proper research and put care and effort into writing the business plan so your concept and strategies are clearly communicated.

Research is the most important step. Detailed research will help you make the best decisions about your business strategies and better understand the roadmap to success.

A bar is a business! Remember, opening a successful bar isn’t easy. It’s a commitment and even the best plans don’t always pan out as desired.

Kyle Thacker

About the Author Kyle has years of hospitality experience from managing bar programs in Chicago. He is now the Director of Marketing for Backbar , a software company that helps bar and restaurant operators simplify inventory and beverage management with the free Backbar inventory platform.

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how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Restaurant Business Plan

Restaurant Business Plan: What To Include, Plus 8 Examples

Do you want to ensure the success of your new foodservice endeavor? Write a restaurant business plan.

In this article, the experts at Sling tell you why a business plan is vital for both new and existing businesses and give you tips on what to include.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Restaurant Business Plan?

Why is a restaurant business plan important, questions to ask first, what to include in an effective restaurant business plan, how to format a restaurant business plan, efficient workforce management is essential for success.

Man looking at charts on a wall for his restaurant business plan

At its most basic, a restaurant business plan is a written document that describes your restaurant’s goals and the steps you will take to make those goals a reality.

This business plan also describes the nature of the business itself, financial projections, background information, and organizational strategies  that govern the day-to-day activity of your restaurant.

Empty fine-dining restaurant

A restaurant business plan is vital for the success of your endeavor because, without one, it is very difficult — sometimes even impossible — to obtain funding from an investor or a bank.

Without that all-important starting or operational capital, you may not be able to keep your doors open for long, if at all.

Even if funding isn’t a primary concern, a business plan provides you — the business owner or manager — with clear direction on how to translate general strategies into actionable plans  for reaching your goals.

The plan can help solidify everything from the boots-on-the-ground functional strategy  to the mid-level business strategy  all the way up to the driving-force corporate strategy .

Think of this plan as a roadmap that guides your way when things are going smoothly and, more importantly, when they aren’t.

If you want to give your restaurant the best chance for success, start by writing a business plan.

Man on laptop writing a restaurant business plan

Sitting down to write a restaurant business plan can be a daunting task.

As you’ll see in the What To Include In An Effective Restaurant Business Plan section below, you’ll need a lot of information and detail to ensure that the final document is both complete and effective.

Instead of starting with word one, it is hugely beneficial to answer a number of general questions first.

These questions will help you narrow down the information to include in your plan so the composition process feels less difficult.

The questions are:

Depending on your business, some of these questions may not apply or you may not have applicable answers.

Nevertheless, it helps to think about, and try to provide details for, the whole list so your finished restaurant business plan is as complete as possible.

Once you’ve answered the questions for your business, you can transfer a large portion of that information to the business plan itself.

We’ll discuss exactly what to include in the next section.

Man mapping out a restaurant business plan

In this section, we’ll show you what to include in an effective restaurant business plan and provide a brief example of each component.

1) Executive Summary

You should always start any business plan with an executive summary. This gives the reader a brief introduction into common elements, such as:

This portion of your plan should pique the reader’s interest and make them want to read more.

Fanty & Mingo’s is a 50-seat fine-dining restaurant that will focus on Sweruvian (Swedish/Peruvian) fusion fare.

We will keep overhead and labor costs low thanks to simple but elegant decor , highly skilled food-prep staff, and well-trained servers.

Because of the location and surrounding booming economy, we estimate ROI at 20 percent per annum.

2) Mission Statement

A mission statement is a short description of what your business does for its customers, employees, and owners.

This is in contrast to your business’s vision statement which is a declaration of objectives that guide internal decision-making.

While the two are closely related and can be hard to distinguish, it often helps to think in terms of who, what, why, and where.

The vision statement is the where of your business — where you want your business to be and where you want your customers and community to be as a result.

The mission statement is the who , what , and why of your business — it’s an action plan that makes the vision statement a reality

Here’s an example of a mission statement for our fictional company:

Fanty and Mingo’s takes pride in making the best Sweruvian food, providing fast, friendly, and accurate service. It is our goal to be the employer of choice and offer team members opportunities for growth, advancement, and a rewarding career in a fun and safe working environment.

3) Company Description

Taking notes on restaurant business plan

In this section of your restaurant business plan, you fully introduce your company to the reader. Every business’s company description will be different and include its own pertinent information.

Useful details to include are:

Again, you don’t have to include all of this information in your company description. Choose the ones that are most relevant to your business and make the most sense to communicate to your readers.

Fanty & Mingo’s will start out as an LLC, owned and operated by founders Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Washburne. Mr. Reynolds will serve as managing partner and Ms. Washburne as general manager.

We will combine atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and menu variety to create a unique experience for our diners and to reach our goal of high value in the fusion food niche.

Our gross margin is higher than industry average, but we plan to spend more on payroll to attract the best team.

We estimate moderate growth for the first two years while word-of-mouth about our restaurant spreads through the area.

4) Market Analysis

A market analysis is a combination of three different views of the niche you want to enter:

This section should be a brief introduction to these concepts. You can expand on them in other sections of your restaurant business plan.

The restaurant industry in our chosen location is wide open thanks in large part to the revitalization of the city’s center.

A few restaurants have already staked their claim there, but most are bars and non-family-friendly offerings.

Fanty & Mingo’s will focus on both tourist and local restaurant clientele. We want to bring in people that have a desire for delicious food and an exotic atmosphere.

We break down our market into five distinct categories:

We will target those markets to grow our restaurant  by up to 17 percent per year.

restaurant menu board

Every restaurant needs a good menu, and this is the section within your restaurant business plan that you describe the food you’ll serve in as much detail as possible.

You may not have your menu design complete, but you’ll likely have at least a handful of dishes that serve as the foundation of your offerings.

It’s also essential to discuss pricing and how it reflects your overall goals and operating model. This will give potential investors and partners a better understanding of your business’s target price point and profit strategy.

We don’t have room to describe a sample menu in this article, but for more information on menu engineering, menu pricing, and even a menu template, check out these helpful articles from the Sling blog:

6) Location

In this section, describe your potential location (or locations) so that you and your investors have a clear image of what the restaurant will look like.

Include plenty of information about the location — square footage, floor plan , design , demographics of the area, parking, etc. — to make it feel as real as possible.

We will locate Fanty & Mingo’s in the booming and rapidly expanding downtown sector of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Ideally, we will secure at least 2,000 square feet of space with a large, open-plan dining room and rich color scheme near the newly built baseball stadium to capitalize on the pre- and post-game traffic and to appeal to the young urban professionals that live in the area.

Parking will be available along side streets and in the 1,000-vehicle parking garage two blocks away.

7) Marketing

Chef working in a restaurant

The marketing section of your restaurant business plan is where you should elaborate on the information you introduced in the Market Analysis section.

Go into detail about the plans you have to introduce your restaurant to the public and keep it at the top of their mind.

Fanty & Mingo’s will employ three distinct marketing tactics to increase and maintain customer awareness:

We will direct each tactic at a different segment of our potential clientele in order to maximize coverage.

In the process of marketing to our target audience, we will endeavor to harness the reach of direct mail and broadcast media, the exclusivity of the VIP party, and the elegance of a highly trained sommelier and wait staff.

8) Financials

Even though the Financials section is further down in your restaurant business plan, it is one of the most important components for securing investors and bank funding.

We recommend hiring a trained accountant  to help you prepare this section so that it will be as accurate and informative as possible.

Fanty & Mingo’s needs $250,000 of capital investment over the next year and a half for the following:

Projected profit and loss won’t jump drastically in the first year, but, over time, Fanty & Mingo’s will develop its reputation and client base. This will lead to more rapid growth toward the third and fourth years of business.

working on restaurant business plan

Most entrepreneurs starting a new business find it valuable to have multiple formats of their business plan.

The information, data, and details remain the same, but the length and how you present them will change to fit a specific set of circumstances.

Below we discuss the four most common business plan formats to cover a multitude of potential situations.

Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short summary of your restaurant business plan’s executive summary.

Rather than being packed full of details, the elevator pitch is a quick teaser of sorts that you use on a short elevator ride (hence the name) to stimulate interest in potential customers, partners, and investors

As such, an effective elevator pitch is between 30 and 60 seconds and hits the high points of your restaurant business plan.

A pitch deck is a slide show and oral presentation that is designed to stimulate discussion and motivate interested parties to investigate deeper into your stakeholder plan (more on that below).

Most pitch decks are designed to cover the executive summary and include key graphs that illustrate market trends and benchmarks you used (and will use) to make decisions about your business.

Some entrepreneurs even include time and space in their pitch deck to demonstrate new products coming down the pipeline.

This won’t necessarily apply to a restaurant business plan, but, if logistics permit, you could distribute small samples of your current fare or tasting portions of new dishes you’re developing.

Stakeholder Plan (External)

A stakeholder plan is the standard written presentation that business owners use to describe the details of their business model to customers, partners, and potential investors.

The stakeholder plan can be as long as is necessary to communicate the current and future state of your business, but it must be well-written, well-formatted, and targeted at those looking at your business from the outside in.

Think of your stakeholder plan as a tool to convince others that they should get involved in making your business a reality. Write it in such a way that readers will want to partner with you to help your business grow.

Management Plan (Internal)

A management plan is a form of your restaurant business plan that describes the details that the owners and managers need to make the business run smoothly.

While the stakeholder plan is an external document, the management plan is an internal document.

Most of the details in the management plan will be of little or no interest to external stakeholders so you can write it with a higher degree of candor and informality.

Sling app for managing a restaurant business plan

After you’ve created your restaurant business plan, it’s time to take steps to make it a reality.

One of the biggest challenges in ensuring that your business runs smoothly and successfully is managing  and optimizing  your team. The Sling  app can help.

Sling not only includes powerful and intuitive artificial-intelligence-based scheduling tools but also many other features to help make your workforce management more efficient, including:

Sling's scheduling feature

With Sling, you can schedule faster, communicate better, and organize and manage your work from a single, integrated platform. And when you use Sling for all of your scheduling  needs, you’ll have more time to focus on bringing your restaurant business plan to life.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com  today.

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Bar Business Plan

Are you thinking of starting a bar business We have prepared a solid bar business plan sample that guides you on every stage of your business plan writing

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Bar businesses are growing. Especially due to the increase in alcohol consumption and nightlife culture amongst the younger population.

But all of us know that a bar business is much more than just alcohol. It is also a good profession for people who like to socialize, talk to new people, and are lively and cheerful more often than not.

And the best part is no industry giant holds a huge chunk of the market in this business.

Sounds good, right? But before you go ahead and fulfill your long-standing dream of having a bar, you’ll need a bar business plan and we are here to help you with that, Here’s a quick overview of the industry.

Industry Overview

The bar industry stood at a massive market value of 25.09 billion dollars in the US in 2021 . And is going through a phase of rapid recovery after being hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bar industry covers the broad spectrum of nightclubs, bars, and other such establishments that serve alcohol and snacks. The revenue for nightclubs also comes mainly from the sales of alcohol.

Increased acceptance towards alcohol and an increase in disposable income of the younger population, mainly the millennials has led to the growth of bar business.

Things to Consider Before Writing a bar business plan

Get all the necessary licenses.

As a bar business staying on the right side of the law is more important than anything. Having all the necessary licenses and permits lets you run your business smoothly and without any chaos.

Here’s a list of licenses that you’ll need:

The location matters ( A lot )

In the case of a bar business, the location is usually the whole and soul of your business . The right location would be a preferred hangout spot for your target audience, easy to access, and not overly crowded.

Know your target audience and their preferences

Have a unique theme, how can a bar business plan help you.

A business plan helps you develop the right perspective towards the industry you plan on entering.

It not only helps you with market analysis and management but also acts as a guide in your business journey.

If you plan your business well, you get an edge over poorly managed entities and unaware owners who did not conduct market research before starting the business.

Specifically, when starting a bar business , a business plan helps you in making cost-effective decisions when you begin, so you don’t have to worry about haphazard finances later.

And as you know the benefits of having a business plan now, let’s discuss how to write an effective plan .

How to write an effective bar business plan?

Although you can write a business plan on your own from scratch, it is always good to get a little guidance when writing one.

Thanks to technology, there are several options available, and you can choose the one that fits the best for you.

You can either go to a business consultant, design your plan based on a predesigned template or get a customized plan for your business through an online business plan software without going anywhere.

Chalking Out your Business Plan

All businesses like bars, pubs, lounges, and nightclubs come under the aegis of the bar business. All of these are drinking places that primarily serve and prepare alcoholic beverages.

Moreover, it is an industry where there are no market leaders who hold a big share in the industry’s value, but small fragmented units amongst whom the industry’s value is distributed.

Now it might look like a lucrative business to enter, but a lot of bar businesses fail due to bad financial and employee management. They end up overspending and working their employees to the point of exhaustion.

You don’t have to worry about it though, the above problem has a quick and easy solution: A business plan.

Yes, you heard it right, a bar business plan can help you solve all the management and planning-related problems.

If you are planning to start a new bar business , the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample Pinto’s Bar and Grill – Bar business plan created using upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.

Bar Business Plan Outline

This is the standard bar business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

Before you get started with writing your business plan, let’s understand each section in detail:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the most important document of your business plan . It is crucial to get you funded as a business as it sums up everything your business stands for.

Chances are that the investors might not even read beyond this section.

Therefore, when you write it make sure you sum up your business idea and its functions properly.

2. Business Overview

In this section, you will include an overview of all the chief needs of your business .

In a bar business plan, the chief aspects would include the location and its accessibility, the legal rules regarding alcohol followed by the area as well as the primary legal formalities involved in running a bar.

3. Products and services

This section includes all the products and services you’ll offer.

Resources of getting the products, especially in case of a bar business the formal procedures involved in acquiring alcohol should be included.

It is also good to note down the differentiating factor between your and your competitor’s product.

4. Market analysis

Market analysis is another crucial aspect of a business plan. It comes in handy while assessing strategies and techniques that work and do not work by analyzing your competitors.

It also helps you get information about the size of the market and its growth potential.

It helps you in knowing your target audience and segment of the market that forms the majority of your client base.

5. Marketing strategy and implementation

Based on market analysis, next up you’ll formulate your marketing strategy.

While formulating your marketing strategy you should always keep your unique selling point and target market in mind.

Apart from that your positioning in the industry is also a critical aspect of your strategy implementation.

In addition to all of the above, advertising strategy is an aspect a bar business has to pay special attention to, as a direct advertisement of alcohol isn’t allowed on various media platforms.

6. Organizational Management

This step is also especially important in a bar business plan to avoid overworking employees, create good and respectful relations amongst the team, and have strong teamwork.

You should also include various roles and responsibilities of different people in your organization as well as ways of tracking their performance in this section.

7. Financial Plan

A financial plan is important because it prevents you from overspending and optimally distributes your cash flow amongst various segments of your business.

Apart from that in a financial plan, you can also carry out an analysis of your financial history as well as  funding options for your business.

The above-mentioned order can help you write a well-rounded plan. But most importantly, while starting a bar business it is important to keep the legalities involved in mind.

You should always watch out for the current and potential alcohol laws that would have an impact on your business and frame your business strategy accordingly.

Hence, you should frame a business plan that is flexible and dynamic and thus, can help you succeed in the bar and pub industry.

Bar Business Plan Summary

A bar business can be extremely successful and smooth if you go about it with a business plan.

A business plan helps you keep all the facets from legal to financial ones in mind while running a bar business, thus making the process easier and quicker.

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample bar business plan template into your business plan, modify the required information, and download your bar business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Business Planning Resources

We have plenty of  free business planning resources  available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.


Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on upmetrics.co are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.

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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan (with Samples)

Table of contents.

Jump to: 

What Should a Restaurant Business Plan Include?

Sample restaurant business plans.

If you’ve made the decision to start your own restaurant, congratulations! Running your own business is incredibly exciting, and can be rewarding as well. Yet having a great idea is just the first step in the process – you’ll need to put in a lot of work to make your dream a reality.

To start, you will need a concrete, detailed business plan. Not only will this plan serve as a blueprint for how you will run your restaurant, it is also necessary to secure funding. But, knowing that you need a solid restaurant business plan is different from actually writing one.

Below, we outline what you should cover in a business plan for your restaurant. This guide is meant to help you get started as you begin the process of opening up your own place. If you’re ready to move to the next level, reach out to Budget Branders for a quote on custom branded disposable products for your restaurant . Our custom printed disposables are the most cost-effective advertising your restaurant could invest in.

A business plan isn’t something that you should just slap together to check it off of your to-do list. A well-drafted business plan will demonstrate the viability of your concept to potential investors and show that you have done your homework. 

A strong business plan should contain a number of components to ensure that it covers most or all of the questions that investors may have.  It should also be professionally printed and bound, with a branded cover that includes your logo and/or slogan . The business plan should start with an executive summary, which should include a brief overview of what is contained in the entire document.

Read on to learn more about what should be contained in a restaurant business plan.

When you decided to open a restaurant, you probably did so on the basis of a great concept or idea.  Your concept is what makes your restaurant unique – and what will bring customers in the door. 

Spend some time fleshing out your concept, describing your inspiration, the type of food that you will be serving, and an overview of how your restaurant will be run.  Make sure that you explain what makes your concept unique.

For example, after a health scare, you decided to focus on a more plant-based diet. You noticed that few restaurants in the area offer vegetarian or vegan options, and decided to open a restaurant that offers a fresh take on healthy, mostly vegetarian foods. In your restaurant plan, you can describe why you decided to go this route, what type of food you plan to serve, and how this concept sets you apart from other restaurants in the region.

Sample Menu

The menu is one of the most important elements of any successful restaurant. After all, you can have the best concept and the most amazing location, but if your food is bland and uninspired, no one will want to patronize your establishment.  For this reason, a sample menu is a critical component of a restaurant business plan.

The sample menu shouldn’t just be a list of what you plan to serve. Instead, you should mock up a menu that looks like it could be handed out to diners. It should also include prices for each option that are based on a detailed cost analysis. Including these prices will demonstrate to potential investors that you have done the necessary work to make your business successful.

An attractive, pleasing design is critical to the success of any restaurant. Studies show that we use all five senses when eating, so that things such as the color of tableware can affect how a person feels about a meal. Having a good design concept can also help to lure in customers who want to take pictures – and share them on social media.

As part of your business plan, be sure to include elements of your proposed design. Include swatches of color, pictures of your inspiration, and anything else that may be relevant. For example, if you plan to cook food in a wood-burning oven, sending delicious, smoky scents wafting throughout the restaurant, describe that element in your business plan. If you want to include a wall of plants to attract Instagram Influencers, be sure to include that information as well. 

Although you may not have identified a specific location yet, it is important to include some details about where you plan to operate, as this will affect profitability. For example, if your goal is to provide to-go breakfast and lunch meals for workers, specify that you want to find a space near large office buildings or in a downtown area.

If you haven’t picked out a site for your restaurant, list the criteria that you will use to select a place. This may include information such as parking, square footage, availability of outdoor dining, accessibility to major highways, and foot traffic.

Market Overview

Before anyone can know that your restaurant is a good investment, they have to know about the market.  This section should include both micro and macro economic factors that influence profitability – everything from COVID-19 restrictions (macro) to direct competitors in your area. Describe each of these in detail, and address how you plan to overcome any challenges or differentiate yourself from other restaurants.

Target Market

In this section, you will describe who you think will eat at your restaurant. Will they be young or older? What is their average income? Talk in detail about who you think will patronize your restaurant – and why you think that your concept will appeal to them. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to a young crowd/ Gen Z , you may talk about how you plan to offer healthy choices, vegetarian options, and convenient delivery.

Service Style

We have moved beyond the basic restaurant service options of fast food and fine dining. There are a lot of different types of restaurant services now, from take-out only to fast casual to pop-ups. If there is anything unique about your planned service style, it should be included as part of your business plan. 

Management Team

One of the most critical elements of a successful business is the people who are running it. If you want investors to take a chance on your restaurant concept, you will need to show that you have the experience necessary to turn a profit. 

In this section of the business plan, introduce each member of the management team. Describe their work experience, both in the industry and in business generally. This will give potential investors a good idea of the likelihood of making money.

Business Structure

Before you open for business, you will need to establish some type of business structure – such as a partnership, an LLC, or even a corporation. Explain what business structure you have chosen and why you selected it.


Behind every successful business owner is a team of specialists. No matter how good you may be at running a restaurant, you can’t go it alone. You will likely need a team of consultants – such as a lawyer, accountant, general contractor, or marketing agency – to truly succeed.

Investors want to know that you understand your limitations, and have planned accordingly. Listing your outside consultants shows that you have considered all of the various aspects of running a business. Be sure to explain the services that they will provide, why you selected them, and how much they charge for their services.

Marketing Plan

The success of any business is dependent in part on branding and marketing. You can have the most delicious food at the best prices around, and if people don’t know about your restaurant, they won’t patronize it. In this section, describe what you plan to do to market your business – such as developing a website, retaining a marketing company, establishing social media accounts, and even using branded paper bags for your takeout items.

Finally, it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty. How much is this going to cost? 

Most entrepreneurs will need the help of a financial professional to draft this section of the business plan. You will need to incorporate data points, such as labor cost percentages , average check amount, and how many meals you plan to serve each day, to determine whether your concept is financially viable.

An accountant can also help you make financial projections that should be included in your business plan. This may include a projected budget for capital, a break even analysis, and a pro forma profit and loss statement for the first 3 to 5 years of operation. 

Feeling overwhelmed? This may seem like a lot, but each of these elements is necessary if you want a solid business plan that will attract investors. Fortunately, there are a number of sample restaurant business plans available online for you to review:

These samples can help you get a good idea of what you should – and should not be  – including in your business plan. If you are concerned about your ability to draft this type of document, consider reaching out for help. There are many writers and business professionals who have significant experience making business plans. Hiring one as a consultant can help make the process easier and less stressful for you.

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If you’d like to learn more or to request a quote, contact us today by pressing the live chat button, or sending us a message online.

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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

A restaurant business plan is the foundation when starting a new restaurant , whether you're opening a franchise or a small family-owned restaurant. Your business plan will act as a roadmap for starting your restaurant: it can help you get loans from financial institutions , and it will be a point of reference when forecasting sales. In this article, we'll teach you all of the essential information to include in your restaurant business plan as well as walk you through the process of writing a restaurant business plan.

What Should You Include in a Restaurant Business Plan?

Your business plan will be a guide through the process of starting a new business, but you may also share it with potential investors, so there's a number of useful things that you'll want to include in it. Here are some key ideas to include in your restaurant business plan:

These are some of the topics that you should cover throughout your restaurant business plan. This information will be spread out through the various sections of the document, but having concrete answers to these questions and topics will help your business prepare for the challenges of opening.

Sections in a Restaurant Business Plan

Business plans are typically split it up into multiple sections to keep them organized. There are eight essential sections in restaurant business plans, which are listed below. You can click on the section to learn more about it.

We will detail the contents of each section and how to write them in the sections below.

Restaurant Business Plan Sample Breakdown

Below is an in-depth look at each section of a restaurant business plan, what information you should include, and how to write them.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is a brief overview of all the information contained in your restaurant business plan. A strong executive summary is essential not only for starting a business, but also for getting funding for your new restaurant, as it is the first section potential investors will read. A business plan executive summary should be between 1 and 4 pages long, and it should contain the most important information about your new restaurant. The goal of an executive summary is to get your foot in the door with investors and banks to procure startup capital.

Here is some of the information that should be included in the executive summary:

Restaurant owners looking at financial data

Think of your executive summary as an elevator pitch to potential investors and banks. It should be a very brief summary of the plan for opening your new restaurant and stress why your restaurant is worth investing in.

Tips for Writing an Executive Summary

Once you have all the information you want to include, here are a few tips for writing a persuasive and concise restaurant executive summary:

2. Company Description

The company description section, also called a company overview, contains all of the same information as the executive summary, but provides greater detail on each part of your business plan. For example, your company description should include more detailed financial projections and any marketing strategies you've designed.

In a restaurant business plan, the executive summary will get readers interested, and then your company overview has more in-depth information that you can give them to give a complete overview of your new restaurant. Additionally, the company overview of your business plan is your chance to explain, in more specific terms, how and why you're opening a restaurant.

When writing a company description, be sure to answer these questions:

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3. Restaurant Concept and Menu

While you may cover your restaurant's concept and menu ideas in other sections of your restaurant business plan, this section allows you get into the finer details. You can divide this section up into three main parts: menu, service, and decor. We'll break down each section below.

Menu Ideas and Design

You can include your sample menu design in this section. If you don't have a full mockup of your restaurant's menu, then list some of the items or recipes that you're planning on using.

Restaurant Service

Are you planning on opening a fine dining restaurant or a fast casual establishment? Will you have a full-time wait staff or just a service counter where customers can order and pick up their food? For many restaurants offering standard service, this section will be fairly short.

Design and Decor

This is the section of your business plan where you can show any branded materials or logos that have already been designed for your new restaurant. Additionally, you can include any design and decor choices you've made, such as your color scheme , furniture choices, or tableware aesthetic.

4. Management and Ownership Structure

Restaurant owner using a POS system

This section of your restaurant business plan is all about the ownership structure of your new business, what type of business ownership you're creating, and how your management team will be set up.

There are several types of ownership structures , each with their own benefits. Here's a brief overview of some of the most popular business ownerships in the restaurant industry:

Management Structure

In addition to listing how your new business will be organized, you need to consider how your new restaurant is going to run on a day-to-day basis and how it's going to be managed. Will you, the restaurant owner, be acting as the manager or are you planning on hiring management staff? Will you have separate managers for the front- and back-of-house areas?

It's best to have these protocols in place when you're writing your restaurant business plan so you can reference them during the process of opening your restaurant.

5. Staffing and Employment

Restaurant owner and kitchen staff

Once you've laid out your restaurant's ownership and management structures, you can get into the finer details of your staffing needs. In this section, you can lay out exactly what your staffing needs are, such as how many servers you'll need, kitchen staff requirements, as well as any employees, such as managers or chefs, that you already have on staff.

Additionally, it will be worth noting in this section if you, the owner, will be working in the restaurant in a management or chef role. You can also list any employee handbooks or wait staff training materials you have prepared.

Be sure to also list any auxiliary employees that are affiliated with your restaurant, such as accountants, lawyers, advertising agencies, or contractors.

6. Market Analysis

Requiring some of the most research, the market analysis section of your restaurant business plan will explain to potential investors how your new business will fit into the existing market. This section can also be broken down further into two main types of analysis: demographic analysis and competitive analysis.

Demographic Analysis

Understanding your target demographic is essential for success when opening a new restaurant. You can detail information about your target demographic in this section of your restaurant business plan. Here is some important information to include:

This information will help you understand your potential customers, what they're interested in, their eating and spending habits, so you can adapt to cater to their wants and needs. When writing this section of your restaurant business plan, you want to make sure that you're in-depth, and you can also use the data to draw conclusions to persuade potential investors.

Competitive Analysis

The other half of market analysis is analyzing the competition in your restaurant's chosen location . Established restaurants will have a loyal customer base, so you need to make sure that your business is targeting a different demographic or has a competitive edge that can entice customers away from your competitors.

Here are some things to think about when compiling competitive analysis:

Once you lay out this information in your restaurant business plan, you can begin to describe your plan for competing with these businesses and gaining a loyal following.

Also consider how close other restaurants have to be to your own to be considered competition. If you're in a city the sphere of competition may only be a few square blocks, but it could be several miles in rural or suburban locations.

7. Marketing and Advertising Strategies

After you've identified your target demographics and competitors in the previous section, you can begin outlining your plan to appeal to those customers and to compete with other businesses in your area in the marketing and advertising strategies section.

There are a number of marketing and advertising tactics that your business can take to get your new restaurant's name out there. Some of the most popular options include hosting opening day events, starting a social media marketing campaign , offering coupons to potential customers, or creating customer loyalty programs.

In this section, you'll want to list all of the marketing and advertising strategies you're planning on implementing, how they'll benefit your business, what exactly is involved in each tactic, and how you're planning to enact them. For example, you can detail how you're going to hire a marketing agency to create a run a social media account for your restaurant to create excitement before it opens.

8. Financial Data

One of the most important sections in your restaurant business plan, the financial data will also require the most significant amount of research and work on your part. To find this financial data you can use experience from previous restaurants you've worked at or operated, use estimates from suppliers, and research available financial information in your specific region.

Financial documents

You should organize the information in your financial section based on the people you're presenting your business plan to. For example, if you're preparing a presentation for the bank to receive a loan, you will want to put information about how long it will take your business to become profitable and a break-even analysis at the beginning of this section.

Regardless of how you organize the data in the financials section of your restaurant business plan, here is some information that you want to make sure you include:

When writing your restaurant business plan, be sure to consider the person that's going to be reading it and the information they're most interested in. But, also keep in mind that your business plan will be a reference for you to follow throughout the process of opening your new restaurant, and fill it will information that is not only helpful to potential investors, but also you and your management team.

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Independent Ownership vs. Restaurant Franchising

Whether you're considering investing in a franchise or thinking about starting an independent restaurant , the types of risks and the potential rewards will vary. While one is not proven to be more successful than another, there are a few factors to consider before deciding which type of ownership is best for you. These include the initial start-up responsibilities, the amount of control and decision making you desire to have, the money needed to start either business, and how much previous experience you should have. Keep reading below to learn more about each factor and what needs to be considered when making your final decision. Initial Responsibility When Opening a Restaurant The possibility of failure when opening a restaurant is preva

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How to Write a Bakery Business Plan

Starting your own bakery is no easy task . Many people have tried and failed to get their business ideas off the ground, or worse, their business flopped within the first year. So what sets a successful bakery apart from the ones that don't make it? A solid bakery business plan that can help you stay organized and obtain the funding you need. We’ll talk you through every major part of a business plan, from creating a basic description of your establishment to offering financial projections to future investors. Why is a Bakery Business Plan Necessary? A bakery business plan can be used to garner interest from potential investors or loans from a bank. Additionally, it is helpful to you as an owner. Creating a bakery business plan allows you t

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Restaurant Profit and Loss Statement Explained

While there are several ways to measure and ensure the success of your restaurant, the best way to understand your restaurant’s financial progress is with a restaurant profit and loss statement. Also known as a restaurant P&L statement, this financial tool reflects your sales and costs during a specified period of time. To better understand your business’s growth, see our guide below to create and interpret your own restaurant profit and loss statement. Shop All Money Handling and Bookkeeping Supplies Click any of the profit and loss statement steps below to learn more about it: What Is a Profit and Loss Statement? What is Included in a Profit and Loss Statement? Restaurant Profit and Loss Statement Breakdown Restaurant Profit and Loss

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How to Write A Restaurant Business Plan And Milestones

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The great restaurant idea around in your head is composed of many parts, all swirling around. And your restaurant business plan-including your restaurant profit and loss statement -is how you’re going to communicate it clearly.

Every investor wants to see a great idea presented in a cohesive, digestible format that convinces them of a sustainable or profitable business. Almost no investors blindly shake hands on an idea alone.

And aside from using it as a tool to land initial investments, a solid restaurant business plan will establish the groundwork for the first few years of a restaurant. It provides a roadmap for the growth and management of your business.

The better and more detailed a restaurant business plan, the better the map. The easier it is to navigate the road ahead and the clearer your path to success. 

Here is everything you need for a clear, effective, and professional restaurant business plan. Investors are out there, waiting to invest. That’s what they do. Why not with you? Let’s give them something to get excited about.

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

Step 1: an executive summary.

An executive summary is how to start a restaurant business plan. It’s the introductory part that gives investors an aerial view of the project. Treat the executive summary as the basic foundation for the restaurant proposal.

In many cases, unfortunately, this is the only section an investor will read. So, make it count.

The ideal executive summary is 1–2 pages and includes:

A simple graph for your executive summary can include gross revenue, COGS, employee expenses, operating expenses, and EBITDA (earning before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization).

Step 2: In-Depth Business Description 

The next step in how to draw up a restaurant business plan is diving into your restaurant’s specifics.

In this section, you’ll bring your restaurant to life for your investors. Section by section, illustrate what makes your restaurant stand out and the value you’ll be bringing to its guests.

The Restaurant Experience And Vision

When a guest enters your restaurant, how do they feel? Is your restaurant dark and moody with wood furniture , lush red velvet, and French music playing in the background? Does your restaurant have sunny outdoor seating with an unparalleled view of the ocean and playful, colorful decor?

Set the stage. Paint a picture. Transport the reader of your restaurant business plan to your restaurant. Use this section to draw your investor in and show them what’s so special about your idea.

Consider also how you want your guests to feel. If you are offering healthy, fresh fare, you might want your guests to leave feeling light, happy and ready for a day outside. Are your servers knowledgeable sommeliers? Do you want your guests to settle in for a long evening of fine dining or are you a fast casual restaurant?

Close your eyes and take the time to envision your restaurant. Paint the picture of your mission statement by showing and telling your investor about it.

Restaurant Design

Here’s where you visually present some of the things you were just describing. Depending on how far you are along in the process, this section can have varying levels of detail.

You can have a full-blown professional mock-up of the restaurant and bar equipment layout , bar layout , including kitchen equipment, bar glasses , POS systems, lighting, and more.

Or you can include a mood board, which is a collage of images that will inspire the restaurant’s aesthetic. This option is typically less exciting for an investor, because it means you’ve got more work to do on the design front. But it’s certainly better than nothing. And if you don’t have a physical space yet, you won’t be able to get specific with a layout.

Introduce the Menu

Use this section to showcase your restaurant menu to investors. Write a brief introduction describing the cuisine. Does it come from a certain geo? Do you adhere to a particular dietary restriction? Is it meant to evoke a specific time or place? Will it be a QR code menu or a traditional paper menu?

Include all of your menus in this section. If you intend on serving Lunch, Dinner and Brunch, include all of the menus, along with their ingredients and preparations.

Step 3: Labor and Operation Details

Here you’ll cover hours of operation, payments accepted, portion controls, management techniques, training programs, labor, and money management.

The devil is in the details here. Try to cover these as thoroughly as possible. The less questions investors have, the better.


Addressing these seemingly minute details may seem excessive when constructing a restaurant business plan. However, having these plans in place will demonstrate the sincere consideration you have put into making your restaurant dream a reality. Additionally, once funding is secured, it will set you up for success.

Now introduce your team.

If you’re going to be heavily involved, as an owner, tell the investors more about yourself. Let your story, your passion, and your experience color your restaurant. Consider the unique point of view you bring and demonstrate this to the potential investors. If there are other key players the investors should know about, introduce them here as well.

Then move on to how the overall staff will be constructed. Having a clear idea of your team’s makeup demonstrates your deep understanding of what your restaurant needs and what it is going to cost to staff it.

Your team breakdown might look something like this:

Consider adding how staffing might look for different meals, days of the week, and times of the year. You can break down the cost of labor for a slow Monday lunch in February as opposed to a Saturday night dinner in June.

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Step 4: Market Analysis

You know what most restaurant failure has in common? Insufficient market analysis. A lot of things can make or break a restaurant, no matter how great the food, ambiance, and concept may be.

Before considering a certain restaurant location, make sure you have an active, ready-to-engage target market waiting for you and you'll need to perform a swot analysis for restaurant . Check out a restaurant swot analysis example to get some ideas for how to do one.

Target Market

What does your restaurant’s target market look like?

Are they well-to-do business people who work across the street from your location? Are you opening in a foot traffic area with lots of young families?

Assess your target market, find out where they live, and find a great location from which to serve them.

Some characteristics you might want to consider in searching for a target market are:

Neighborhood Analysis

The analysis of the neighborhood is also important and will feed directly into your target market. Consider using results from the latest Census to include in your restaurant business plan.

Answer questions like:

This is a great place to include some visual elements. Consider including maps of the area. A zoomed-in map showing the surrounding area, whether a neighborhood or a city block, can illustrate the opportunity for foot traffic.

A bigger map showing surrounding freeways, parks, hotels, and institutions can provide a glimpse into nearby opportunities, as well.

Analysis of Surrounding Businesses & Competition

There will likely be restaurants, coffee shops, and other venues around your new restaurant.

Make sure to communicate what restaurants are in the area. Obviously, you won't want to open a Mexican restaurant in an area with several successful ones. However, if you are opening a Mediterranean restaurant in the middle of a neighborhood that is serving other cuisines, it might be a perfect fit for a highly trafficked area.

Major Venues and Institutions

A large institution could have a huge impact on your restaurant.

Make note of any large institutions and what they might bring to your restaurant. If a major university is nearby, they likely have a consistent stream of visitors on a daily basis.

This will also add season highs for your restaurant come commencement ceremonies. If your restaurant is located by a major theater or auditorium, you might have a nightly influx of pre-show or post-show guests

Use this section as an area to highlight these neighbors that could be a huge benefit to your restaurant. And that brings us to marketing

Step 5: Marketing Strategy

Whether you are opening the 900th franchise of a popular restaurant or a brand new cafe, you need a marketing strategy.

Positioning and Branding

By this point in your restaurant business plan, you’ve likely told the story of your brand, both visually and through text.

Use this area to contrast your brand, your mission statement, your values, and what you hope to bring to the community at hand against the businesses already present in the community.

You’ll also lay out your restaurant marketing plan timeline here, which will start months before your opening.

Marketing Timeline

This specific, actionable marketing includes:

Utilizing social media in tandem with word of mouth will allow you to spread the word without necessarily breaking the bank.

In terms of timing your marketing strategy, sooner is better. The minute your permits, funding, and groundbreaking are underway, alay your marketing foundation.

Tease some of your menu on Instagram.

Allow your followers to see the progress of renovations.

Having an engaged audience through the building process will translate into a record-breaking opening day.

Step 6: Financial Outlook

This section reiterates the numbers. State the overall amount of capital needed to open and operate. From there, break down where the funds will be allocated to align with the vision your business plan detailed.

This section will require robust figures and numbers, so do your research.

Funding Requirements & Capitalization Plan

This is where you will show how you turn your investors’ capital into a financial return on a decided timeline. After breaking down the startup costs of a restaurant, show how you intend to make money.

Like we noted earlier, create an outline showing your financial forecasts. Create this by using these figures:

Your EBITDA will show what your projected earnings are before taxation. Consider laying these out over the course of the first five years, with a steady increase on your bottom line earnings.

Additionally, break these numbers down according to meals. Your brunch revenue assumptions will differ from your lunch and dinner revenue assumptions.

The more figure-based predictions you can provide in this section, the better.

Step 7: Milestones For Restaurant Business Plan

Finally, you’ll use the last section to project the completion of the fundamental parts of opening your restaurant. 

It should look something like this:

*See where bars buy liquor and how to stock a bar .

What about a small restaurant business plan.

There is no meaningful difference between a large and small restaurant business plan. In spirit, they aim to communicate the exact same things. That your idea is unique and brings value to its community.

Anything specific to a small restaurant business plan will organically surface throughout the plan itself. It will infect the way you analyze your market, your competition, your strategy, your menu, etc. Everything. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to make a small restaurant business plan, follow the steps above and be true to your business’s identity. Then it’ll be a small restaurant business plan.

It applies largely to how to open a bar , too.

Restaurant Business Plan: Achieved

Your restaurant business plan doesn’t just reflect the potential of your restaurant. It reflects your potential as a business owner. It can make or break your opportunity.

There is no shortage of stories documenting restaurant failure due to missed details, overconfidence, or plain old neglect. Creating a comprehensive restaurant business plan will not only gain you capital.

When done right, a great restaurant business plan sets you up for success, allows you to avoid common pitfalls, and gives you something to revisit when making future business decisions. It's also a good way to figure out how to drive restaurant sales . Good luck out there!

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how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Step By Step Guide To Write A Bar Business Plan

Opening a new bar requires grit and determination - as well as a fantastic bar business plan to act as your roadmap. This document can determine the future success of your new venture, so it’s essential to make it as comprehensive as possible.

But for first-time bar owners, figuring out where to start can be challenging. Our step-by-step guide to writing a business plan will help you pinpoint the finer details to consider when building a thriving bar business.

How to Write a Bar Business Plan in 9 Steps

1. bar overview.

The first step in writing a bar business plan is to establish an overview of the type of bar you want to open. You need a concept and location to shape your business model and create an executive summary for your new venture:

One of the defining aspects of your establishment is its concept and theme, which you’ll need to describe clearly in your business plan. Whether it’s a simple sports bar, speakeasy, or high-end nightclub, have a fully developed idea of what your venue will be and what purpose it will serve.

You also need to consider how to meet market needs. If you’re following trending concepts, you’ll know that roof-top bars and lounges are popular now. Or, perhaps you want your venue to be an activity-based bar that offers an art gallery, board games, or mini-golf?  

Part of your business plan also includes setting your mission statement and goals. These should outline your vision and will influence who invests in your bar. Your mission statement should be a comprehensive statement that details what sets you apart from other bars and should include your company’s values.

bar and restaurant business plan

It’s important to link your statement to your business concept. You should consider how your values and goals are influenced by what makes your bar unique - including your overall purpose.

Next, you need to propose a location for your bar. Venues close to stores, shopping, centers, and tourist attractions, typically get good visibility and attract a lot of foot traffic. Because of the number of people moving through these areas daily, they also usually offer a decent level of security for your customers.

Another consideration for location is to avoid suburban areas where neighbors might lodge noise complaints. Should this happen, it can mean regulations stipulate earlier closing times for your venue so as not to disturb the peace.  

Finally, look for a space where there’s low competition, and your business can shine. There are plenty of strips crowded with bars and nightclubs. While these might attract a decent amount of foot traffic, you’ll need to work much harder to draw people into your place if one establishment has already made a name for itself.

For this reason, aim to secure a spot with little competition. It could mean having a unique concept bar that overshadows the competition. Or it could mean selecting a space where your type of bar doesn’t yet exist.

Ease of Accessibility

Potential customers need to be able to access your bar easily, or they will go elsewhere. They might drive, take public transport, or use a ridesharing company to travel to your venue. It’s up to you to ensure there are ways and means to get them conveniently to the front door.

ease of accessibility

Here, you should be looking for a venue where you can offer parking to your patrons. It should also be accessible to ride-hailing services and close to public transport.

2. Customer Overview

No bar establishment would be successful without its customers. As part of your bar business plan, include a profile of the type of customer you hope to attract. Consider who your target market is and how it aligns with your bar concept.

You should also outline your demographic's age, income, and interests. You’ll need this information later when developing marketing strategies for your business.  

3. Management Overview

The next step in your bar business plan is building a team structure. Your crafty bar concept requires talented people to execute it properly.

Your bartenders are the face of your establishment. Essentially, they can make or break your customer’s impression of your venue. When going through the hiring process, you’ll need to consider each individual’s personality, qualifications, experience, and skills.

Ideally, you want at least one experienced bartender who knows the ropes and can help set up operations, deal with bar management, and train the team. They will also be able to help streamline any teething issues that come up as a result of starting a new business.

From the get-go, outline your bartending teams’ possible responsibilities and the duties they’ll need to undertake. This can help set expectations ahead of advertising jobs and interviewing potential candidates.


Bar-backs don’t need as much experience as bartenders or servers as they aren’t in the customer eye as much. But they must be willing and eager to learn. They are essential to keeping everything running smoothly and work closely with the bartender as an assistant.

For this reason, they need a solid foundational knowledge of the industry, ingredients, and barware in general.

Depending on your business concept and operational model, you may or may not need to employ servers. Some high-end venues have servers to reduce the crowd around the bar and deliver drinks to the table. Additionally, you’ll need to hire servers if you offer any food.

When building out your staffing plan, you’ll need to determine where your establishment lands with that requirement. Make a note here to look for bar industry candidates with alcohol training who know how to serve alcohol safely and legally.

4. Drinks Menu Plan

Your drinks menu is your bar’s product. To be successful, it’s essential to get this offering right.

While your beverage list will undoubtedly change over time, don’t neglect to include a sample menu in your business plan. This will give potential investors an idea of what’s in store and possibly help you secure funding.


Your drinks menu is the selling point of your bar business and the star of the show. If you can excite and entice patrons with promises of wonderful flavors, you’ll be onto a gold mine.

So, it’s important to include product descriptions in your menu, particularly for signature drinks. Each listing should detail the ingredients of individual drinks, any garnishes they may come with, and add-ons your customers can choose from.

Beverage Names

Name cocktails

A successful bar is only as strong as its product. So, aligning your drinks with your bar’s brand and concept is important. Get together with a mixologist to create one or several signature drinks that will be uniquely your own. Give these drinks names that play to the overall theme of your business.

Product Sourcing

Many establishments lean on particular products as their claim to fame. For example, you might want to be known as a French wine bistro, local brewery, or craft cocktail spot. Decide what you wish your unique story to be and reflect this in your plan for product sourcing.

Of course, sourcing locally is the most sustainable way to go. You can also build relationships with vendors in your community, which can help bring people into your venue.  

Industry Trends

It’s essential to do your research and stay abreast of industry trends. Note what these are in your business plan, as this will help keep customers walking through your doors.

For example, one of the most popular cocktail trends in the bar scene is smoke-infused or smoked cocktails. Some mixologists may also use smoke bubbles to infuse the cocktail with a smoky aroma. This trend has gained fame in the last few years and adds a new twist to the cocktail-drinking experience.

Small Food Menu (Small Bites)

Food and beverages go hand in hand. If you plan a small menu with, say, tapas or easy eats, you can increase your revenue. It will prevent your guests from leaving to find something to eat.

Suppose you don’t want the hassle of food storage and preparation. In that case, consider formulating a partnership with a local eatery or small food business that can deliver a menu of select freshly-made items to your establishment.

tapas bar

5. Licenses

It’s key to plan out your business licenses carefully. If you don’t have the right ones in place, you won’t be able to operate.

Tavern License

When putting together your bar business plan, it’s important to research whether you need a tavern license. It’s a government-issued license for restaurants, bars, or businesses with more than 50% liquor sales.  

Beer and Wine License

If you’re planning on starting a beerhouse or wine lounge, you may only need to apply for a beer and wine license. This will restrict your sales to wine and malt beverages, as you won’t be able to sell hard liquors like spirits. Whether you need to apply for this license depends on your bar's concept.

Health/Food Service License

With a small food menu, you’ll likely need to note on your restaurant and bar business plan to apply for a food service license. It’s a requirement to serve any type of food within your establishment. To obtain a food service license, you’ll need to ensure that your bar follows strict rules and regulations laid out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

Music License

Music is one of the key elements of creating ambiance in a venue. But did you know that streaming music from your digital subscription with Spotify or Deezer is not actually operating within the law? This is true even if you’re playing music through a TV or radio.

group of friends enjoying music at rooftop bar

The right way to go about this is to pay a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) or music service that will send royalties to the relevant artists. For the most part, this doesn’t apply to bands or performers who play live at your venue.

6. Market Research

Performing market research as part of your bar business plan is key to understanding your opportunities and how to capitalize on them.  

Industry Research

Part of your research should be to determine the market size you can potentially snag. Look at other bars already operating in the area, consider the industry as a whole, and determine what trends are driving it forward.  

Target Market

What needs will your bar solve for your target market? You can find out who they are and what they want by considering the local neighborhood and bar type.

It’s also an idea to look at census data to see how many potential customers within a certain demographic live within a reachable radius of your proposed location.

Market Share and Price Point

When doing your market analysis, consider similar bar businesses that have come before you. What do their successes and failures look like? Why did they crash and burn, or soar to new heights? Take these lessons and figure out how to apply them so your business can succeed.

Furthermore, what will your entry into the market mean for the local community? Are you creating new job opportunities? Or are you going to bring in an unruly crowd of patrons they hope to avoid? Knowing this information will help you be accepted and create connections rather than catastrophes.

Bar marketshare

Lastly, consider what your ‘competitors’ or other similar industry businesses are charging for their drinks and services. Run a competitive analysis in the area to determine your potential price point and how you can stand out.

7. Bar Marketing

Utilizing a marketing plan in the right way helps you take measured steps to get your establishment in front of potential customers. Here are the strategies to get started:

Create a Brand

The key to starting a successful business - and keeping it open - is to create a memorable brand identity. Your toolbox for promoting your brand should include your logo, colors, and ‘personality.’ Use these in a way that becomes synonymous with your bar, no matter where people interact with it.

Marketing Tools

Besides developing your brand identity, consider the channels you can market on to attract customers. At the very least, it should include your social channels, website, and media influencers.

8. Other Avenues to Increase Revenue

Besides being a bar and welcoming guests who come in with reservations or foot traffic, there are other avenues to increase your revenue.

Hosting events such as karaoke nights, wine tastings, or live music is an excellent way to attract larger crowds to your bar. You are guaranteed certain sales, can charge a cover fee, and get new people walking through the door.

Wine tasting event

If you go this route, we recommend using event management software to keep everything on track and work effortlessly with your team.

It’s no surprise that all businesses go through an ebb and flow of customer traffic. A great way to increase cash flow during slower periods is to introduce ideas like drink specials and happy hour discounts.

When you’re writing up a business plan, don’t forget to brainstorm ideas for a pre-opening promotion as a way to test the market. This can be as simple as a soft launch or as elaborate as a grand-opening celebration.

9. Financials

An important aspect of your business plan is to outline your potential start-up costs. These, along with the costs of day-to-day business operations, and financial projections, will attract or deter potential investors.

Your business plan should also highlight possible funding options like loans and investment opportunities you have available. Additionally, you’ll need to draw up a break-even analysis to determine how much revenue it will take to turn profits.  

Realizing your dream of owning the hottest bar in town starts with a great business plan. It will need to cover everything from your mission statement to your concept and drinks menu. This will help you build a sturdy management team, hire great employees, and attract people to your venue.

Want to know more about Perfect Venue for event management? Try it free to find out how it can be a fit for your new business.

Have thoughts on the article? Feel free to email us at [email protected] - we'd love to hear from you!

how to write a business plan for a restaurant and bar

Cayenne Consulting

Restaurant Business Plan Examples

Home » Services » Business Plan Consulting » Business Plan Examples » Restaurant, Lounge & Bar

A professional restaurant business plan is an important step towards launching a business in this challenging industry. Several of our restaurant & foodservice clients have graciously provided permission for us to share their plans with you. Below are several sample restaurant business plans and pitch decks created by Cayenne Consulting:

Fast Casual Restaurant Business Plan & Pitch Deck Samples

Hashi is a new fast-casual Asian-inspired restaurant concept. It will be positioned to take advantage of the fastest-growing segment within the foodservice industry and is designed to meet the evolving demands of today’s consumers. The menu offers a limited selection of Americanized Asian dishes. Cayenne Consulting prepared Hashi’s business plan, financial forecast, and pitch deck:

Hashi Business Plan

Hashi pitch deck, mexican restaurant business plan example.

Frida Mexican Café is a Mexican full-service restaurant that combines color, art, and great food and service in a Mexican art-oriented atmosphere. The name, personality, and even the ambiance of Frida Mexican Café is inspired by the artist Frida Kahlo whose life many moviegoers will remember from the Selma Hayek film, “Frida.” The menu is a fusion of authentic Mexican and Tex Mex. Cayenne Consulting prepared Frida’s business plan and financial forecast.

Frida Mexican Cafe Business Plan

Fast food franchisee business plan example.

Subway is a well-known fast-food franchise concept. Cayenne Consulting helped a client prepare a business plan and financial forecast for a potential franchisee. These materials were used in multiple ways: to show the franchisor of the potential of awarding a franchise to our client; to persuade lenders that the client presented a sound credit risk; to support the client’s E-2 Investor Visa petition; and to provide the client with a roadmap as he embarked on his new venture.

Subway Business Plan

Anatomy of a restaurant business plan.

Every restaurant business is unique. So, too, is its business plan. Nevertheless, most restaurant business plans share the following general structure:

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

My step-by-step recipe for success.

By Jimmy Lewin In the past two decades, we have written hundreds of business plans for restaurants, food trucks, ghost kitchens, bars, lounges, and other food & beverage businesses. You can see some sample restaurant plans here . We have enjoyed seeing the positive results achieved by many of our clients when their business plans and financial forecasts were submitted to banks, investors, and landlords.

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

Recently, it occurred to me that I have a formula, or recipe, that has provided excellent outcomes for our clients, and I decided to share my recipe with you. I hope you’ll find that the benefits of following my recipe are that it leads to a professional, organized, and concise document that is easy for bankers and investors to follow, and that it provides a roadmap for the successful launch and operation of your business.

By the way, I am happy to share my recipe for writing a successful restaurant business plan, but if you think I am going to share my recipe for my famous Poppyseed Wine Cake, you will have to wait for a later post.

Restaurant Business Plan Outline

Every restaurant business will include the following sections, though not necessarily in this order:

Executive Summary

Company overview.

Industry Analysis

Market opportunity, marketing plan, competition, company & management, financial information.

The specific order of the sections depends on how best to tell your unique story. Let’s dig into each of these in more detail.

Every business plan should begin with an attractive cover page . This is your chance to make a great first impression. Your goal is to have your business plan be as professional as you are, and as professional as you intend for your restaurant business to be. This begins with your cover page.

The page must include the name of your restaurant and your logo. Your logo is not optional. If you do not have a logo, have one designed immediately. If you don’t know a graphic designer, find one online. Many are very talented and very affordable: always an excellent combination.

You will also want to include your name, contact details, and the current date.

Your Executive Summary should only be one page. It needs to be brief and to the point. Include a few sentences about each of the following topics:

If you don’t want to include an executive summary, that’s ok. Just feature the executive summary information at the beginning of the company overview. In this section you should explain:

Restaurant Sample Menu

Use just one page to provide a sample menu. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even all-inclusive. Just give your audience a glimpse into your cuisine. Allow your readers to understand if your menu will be large and complex, or simple with just a few items, or somewhere in between.

Restaurant Operations

The restaurant operations section is your opportunity to explain that you know how to launch and operate a restaurant. It’s not about the food or the level of service, it is really about the nuts and bolts of the business. Here are some important areas to address:

Restaurant Location & Space

I’ve seen business plans where this section was neglected or even omitted. That is a huge mistake. Even a very talented chef will not be successful if the business is located where no one can find it, or if the space is too small or too large. Don’t let your readers guess, tell them where you intend to locate, the amount of space you require, and how you intend to use it.

If you have selected a space, describe it in words, photographs, and floor plans. Provide a map that will support your location strategy. Your location strategy could, for example, include proximity to a heavily traveled roadway, to other restaurants and retailers, or perhaps near hospitals or in a downtown location.

If you haven’t selected a location, describe in as much detail as possible the type of neighborhood you would like to operate in, and why. Again, don’t leave your readers guessing.

The industry analysis can be its own stand-alone section or presented as a paragraph in the Market Opportunity section depending upon how much research you intend to do. Note that this post is being written as the United States and many other western countries are slowly coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, while many other countries are not so fortunate. This is important as the pandemic has had a huge impact on the restaurant industry worldwide. Therefore, it is important to analyze your industry at the time you prepare your business plan. For example, if you hope to open a restaurant in the U.S., the industry trends should be in your favor as so many restaurants closed last year, never to re-open, giving you an opportunity to snap up a great location and fill unmet demand. You will also want to discuss other trends in the restaurant industry such as the popularity of ethnic foods, fast-casual dining, the move towards more ghost kitchens, or other happenings in your industry.

This is an important section that will require a great deal of research on your part. You must answer a number of important questions, and in doing so, you may discover that you have an excellent market opportunity (or, perhaps, one that is not so exciting and should be reconsidered). Specifically, you will want to answer these questions:

Note that, sometimes, this information is readily available and easy to find. Other times, it is not, and may have to be purchased. Either way, it is important and must be accurate and current.

The marketing plan that I develop for most restaurants and food trucks is divided into 3 sections. In the first section, I like to describe the brand. In this case, when I use the word “brand,” I mean this: “What do you want your customers to think about your restaurant?” Perhaps you want them to think about great tasting food or reasonable prices. Perhaps you want them to think about consistently high customer service or how the staff is always so friendly. To me, this is your brand.

In the second section of the marketing plan, I like to detail the strategies and tactics that you will employ to create awareness of the business. If no one knows about your restaurant, I promise that no one will visit. So, let’s list some strategies and tactics you might utilize:

In the final section, you should talk about the importance of social media. I like to talk about starting a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and using Twitter to engage with potential customers. Once you have a social media following, you can use social media to distribute images of your culinary creations or to promote specials.

Like the Marketing section discussed above, I like to separate this section into three parts: the competitive landscape, your direct competitors, and your competitive advantages.

In the Competitive Landscape section, you should discuss the other restaurants or retailers your customers can decide to visit, other than yours. For example, if you are opening a sandwich shop, where else can a busy, hungry customer buy a similar sandwich at a similar price point: perhaps other sandwich shops, fast-food franchises, and supermarkets? Are there many alternatives in the area, or just a few?

In the Direct Competitors section, you should define what you believe constitutes a direct competitor and then list 4-6 of those competitors. If you define direct competitors as other sushi restaurants, then you should list 4-6 other nearby sushi bars and include their web addresses so that your audience can better understand who you are competing against.

In the Competitive Advantages section, you must explain how you will distinguish your restaurant from your competition. Perhaps you will offer better service or higher quality ingredients. Maybe your restaurant will be in a safer neighborhood with better parking options.

I usually include four or more parts in this section. I begin by first describing the company itself. If it has been incorporated, I include the precise legal name so that if someone wants to check to ensure that the company is properly registered, they can do so. I also like to mention how many staff members are working for the company or will work for the company. Some might be full-time; some might be part-time and some might be consultants. I like to mention that as well.

Most investors will tell you that the most important aspect of any business is the experience of the management team and its ability to execute the plan. I agree, so this is a very important part of your restaurant’s business plan. Begin by telling your audience about the team. Tell the reader that this team has many years of restaurant industry experience. Or, if it does not, then what other important benefits do the members of the team bring to the business? In the restaurant business, sometimes the team is initially just you. If that is the case, say so and explain how you intend to manage the business. Be sure to mention that you have surrounded yourself with, or intend to surround yourself with, loyal, capable staff members who share your goals for the business.

Next, provide your biography, as well as for other key members of the team. The bio should detail past successful jobs and entrepreneurial ventures, as well as relevant educational backgrounds. You should also indicate what each member of the team will do at the restaurant.

Of course, no one works alone, and no one works 7 days a week. So you must create a staffing plan. You should include how many team members work in the front of the house (the dining room) and how many work in the back of the house (kitchen). How many are full-time, and how many are part-time? Here’s a tip: the restaurant business is known for high turnover, so you need a plan for quickly recruiting and training new hires.

Begin this section by describing how much capital you require, how you intend to use the capital, and how you intend to source that capital, e.g. savings, investors, bank loans, etc.

The financial information section should also include at least a 3-year income statement forecast and the financial assumptions that you used to support the forecast. This way, your reader will understand how you arrived at your numbers. A simple income statement forecast (also called a P&L forecast) may suffice for some investors. However, if you intend to borrow money from a bank, you will likely also need to provide a balance sheet forecast and a cash flow forecast along with your underlying assumptions.

You are not quite finished. There is a bit more to do:

As mentioned earlier, my partners and I have written hundreds of restaurant business plans in just the past two decades. If you would like to see an actual business plan that was written based on the guidelines provided above, you can see some sample restaurant business plans here . If you would like to talk to us about helping you create a winning business plan for your restaurant, please contact us .

Why Choose Us for Your Business Plan Needs?

Learn more about Cayenne Consulting’s expertise in restaurant, bar, and lounge business plan preparation . You can also see more business plan examples here .

Help me write a great restaurant or bar business plan!

If you'd like an assessment of your needs and a fee estimate, please let us know how to reach you:

How to Craft a Killer Bar and Grill Business Plan

PointofSale Customers Enjoying Food and Drink Bar and Grill Business Plan

It’s nice to imagine a friendly neighborhood hangout spot where the drinks are always cold and, the food is delicious. A place you can unwind after a long day at the office or bring your family to grab a quick bite to eat. That’s what makes opening a bar and grill so appealing. You want to create an inviting and friendly atmosphere — a place you’d go to dine even if you weren’t the owner.

Opening a restaurant may seem like a fun and exciting idea at first, but it takes the right kind of entrepreneur to make it sustainable. An idea is only going to get you so far; you need to have a plan. A bar and grill business plan will get you on the right track to a prosperous future in the food and beverage business.

Let’s take a look at how to craft a killer business plan and the essential information you should include to impress potential investors.

Executive Summary

Every business plan needs to have an executive summary. Although this is typically the first section of the document, it’s often written last because it needs to incorporate multiple elements of the business plan.

The executive summary is a high-level overview of the entire business plan and essential elements (which we’ll discuss in more detail throughout this post). It’s typically one or two pages and often includes:

The summary is a critical part of any business plan and something many consider the first impression. You want readers to be engaged by the content – especially if you’re writing a business plan to attract investors or lenders.

If you’re writing for specific stakeholders, make sure the language and information are tailored to your audience. Your readers may have little or no experience in the restaurant industry, so make sure to write in a clear and concise manner that is easily understood. It’s best to avoid using industry-specific or technical jargon and only highlight the most critical points of your business plan and leave out less important facts and materials.

Company Description

Writing a thorough company description as part of a business plan is designed to give readers a clear and concise understanding of your business, how it stands out in the market, and your goals. Some points to include are:

Although it may not seem like it, a company description is one of the areas of a business plan where you can get a little creative. It’s no secret that people connect better with stories and lifestyle than a boring list of facts. Just take a look at any of the most successful ad campaigns by major brands ; they’re all trying to appeal to the consumer’s lifestyle by telling a story.

Don’t be afraid to tell the story of “why.” Why does your business need to exist? The answer to that question can lead you to find the core messaging to help connect with consumers and investors on an emotional level — and that’s hard to ignore.

Legal Formation

Legal formation, or business structure as we referred to it in the previous section, is your first order of business (pun intended) when starting a company. The reason is that Uncle Sam needs to know how to tax your business when you apply for an EIN (employer identification number).

Choosing a business structure for your bar and grill is a decision that you should take with a grain of salt.  Deciding how to structure your business will impact not only your taxes but also the amount of personal liability you and any potential partners have to the company.

For many small businesses, owners will choose one of the following:

To decide your legal business structure consider your business’s needs, risks, constraints, and the ability to grow. Each business structure will impact your business differently like liability, taxes, and overall control of the company.

Choosing a legal formation is central to your business plan and must be chosen wisely. Once you select a business structure, it’s challenging to reverse or switch. Whichever you prefer, it needs to align with your business plan so that your intended goals are within reach.

PointofSale Business Owner on Laptop Bar and Grill Business Plan

Licensing and Permits

In your bar and grill business plan, you’ll want to state how you’ll acquire the proper licensing and permits to open for business . Unfortunately, obtaining these authorizations is often a long drawn out process because you’re dealing with state or federal entities.

It’s best to illustrate a realistic timeframe and specifically what licenses and permits are needed to operate at your chosen location. Here are some of the common ones in the restaurant industry:

Permits, licenses, and inspections will vary depending on the type of restaurant you own and the local regulations. Check your local municipality for a complete list.

Start-up Money and Funding

Every business needs financing; sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Regardless of how much startup money you need, it’s important to outline how you plan to fund your new company.

You also want to define how you’ll use the finances. For instance, how much money will you need for inventory or to cover bi-weekly payroll?

It’s common for new entrepreneurs to look for outside investments and loans to start their food and beverage business. Moreover, this means it’s critical to do your research, so you know exactly how much funding you’ll need and stakeholders better understand the numbers behind your business concept.

With this section, you’ll want to approximate your bar and grill’s financial projections, by providing three essential statements:

Providing this information will show investors and lenders that you’re focused on sales as well as equipped to take action with your projected retained earnings.

Description of Products and Services

Now, it’s time for the fun part of writing a bar and grill business plan — discussing your products and services. Describe why the market needs your type of establishment and how it will compete with established restaurants.

You want this section to be exciting and showcase the uniqueness of your business. Do you offer a new cuisine that’s not currently available in the community? Is the dining experience exceptional or unique?

Also, demonstrate that you have expert knowledge and experience to make your business thrive. Show them that you know all the ins and outs of the industry and how the business will provide value to customers.

You will also want to detail any patents, copyrights, or trademarks you own or have applied.

Suppliers and Vendors

Stakeholders want to know how you’re going to obtain the products, materials, technology, and equipment you’ll need before you can open for business.

Kitchen Equipment

One of the most important and expensive areas of product and service sourcing will be your kitchen equipment. Outline the most cost-effective way to equip your kitchen. Your kitchen equipment must be commercial grade, durable, and meet health and safety standards. The essential items needed in any kitchen are:

Front-of-House Furnishings

You should also include front-of-house (FOH) fixtures for the dining room and bar area. Some of the FOH equipment you may need to include:

In this section, you’ll also want to tell your audience about any technology solutions you plan to implement. Solutions such as a point of sale (POS) system are table stakes for just about any type of restaurant these days. Therefore, you want to include an estimate or actual cost of a POS system. You’ll also want to include any other solutions such as online ordering or reservation management since there will most likely be a fee for these too.

Lastly, list suppliers in this section — especially the ones you plan on using on a recurring basis. Restaurant supply companies vary in price and terms, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision. It’s also worth mentioning any less conventional methods such as growing your seasonal vegetables or working with a local farmers market.

Market Analysis

An analysis of your target market is the best way to begin developing your market positioning concept – which we’ll discuss further below. The objective of your market analysis is to gain a thorough knowledge of the ideal groups of people you think will get the most value out of visiting your bar and grill. For marketing efforts to succeed, you must understand the wants, needs, and interests of a target market to skillfully craft a successful marketing strategy.

Identify, compare and contrast competitors’ strategies. Research both their successes and failures, how they are attracting customers, and why customers are choosing to visit their bar. It’s important to see how many patrons visit on a given night and what customer type is attracted to that bar environment. Find places where their strategies fall short and try to capitalize on it.

Analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats – also knowns as a SWOT analysis. The goal of a SWOT analysis is to be completely aware of the affordances and constraints surrounding your business plan implementation. It focuses on the positive and negative dynamics of a company, so the marketing strategies are communicated effectively. It’s beneficial to identify these factors to ensure resources can be assigned to fix problems and measures can be made to reduce or abandon potential threats.

Also, include an analysis of the bar and grill industry. Provide detailed statistics and figures about the industry’s growth rate, trends, and outlook. Investors will want background knowledge of the industry’s life cycle and its potential for success and growth in the future.

Brand Positioning

The next section of your business plan will summarize your brand positioning concept. Developing a brand position means creating an image or identity that consumers can recognize. Brand positioning influences customers’ perception of your brand relative to other businesses in the market. The best brand positioning strategies enhance marketing efforts by making consumers aware of your product or service and motivate them to purchase. Many companies establish their strategy with a positioning statement – a concise description of the target market and an image of how the business will be perceived. Every marketing decision made must align and support this statement. A positioning statement should act as a guide for your marketing efforts to maintain the focus of your brand.

Market Strategy

Once your brand positioning has been identified, and you’ve conducted a thorough analysis of the market you’re ready to begin developing your market strategy. Your marketing strategy is the rationale used to create customer value and achieve profitable relationships. To create a strategic marketing plan, you need to include these components:

When developed correctly, your marketing strategy will identify how to reach your target customers and retain them for future visits and purchases. Your marketing strategy will be the roadmap that drives your restaurant’s success and growth.

Developing a bar and grill business plan can be a challenging task, but when done right guides you through starting and managing your business. It can be helpful to read through completed plans from other companies within and outside the industry. Numerous online platforms also offer free downloadable business plan templates. Good luck, future restauratrepreneurs!

About the Author

Restaurant manager.

As a leader in restaurant and hospitality point of sale solutions since 1987, Restaurant Manager develops POS software for the foodservice industry with a focus on the unique business needs of independent restaurants and regional chains.

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How to Write a Great Business Plan for a Bar or Pub

Making the decision to open a bar or pub is an exciting first step. You’ve got the passion and the vision, next is the business plan. There’s a tried and tested formula for business plans , but if you’re starting a bar it’s good to take a more specialist approach.

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To kick things off, picture the people who will be reading your bar business plan. Most likely it will be prospective business partners, investors and lenders. These parties want proof that a company is worth their time and money, and it’s the job of your business plan to do that. In the future, it will also be read by you, as you gauge your bar’s success to date and plan your next steps. With the interests of all these people in mind, you’re ready to start writing.

Executive summary

The executive summary outlines the key points of your bar or pub business plan. It gives people an overview of the deeper content, whilst preparing and inviting them to read on. It’s succinct and highlights the key points.

This section should also feature your mission statement to highlight your company’s values, intentions and USPs. It will trickle through every aspect of your business and influence who decides to do business with you. It can also help you identify what you need to focus on to draw in customers, beat out the competition and stay true to your bar or pub brand.

Most of what you cover in the executive summary will be touched on again in the business plan. This is exactly how it should be, but you can avoid absolute repetition by building out your points and highlighting their relevance.

What to include (in brief):

Your vision — are you opening an easy-going sports bar to cater to the local football crowd, an independent pub that showcases local craft beers or a glitzy cocktail lounge to draw people across town?

A description of how your bar will serve its market.

A description of your target audience and how your bar will appeal to those individuals.

Your mission statement.

A brief outline of your marketing plan.

An assessment of your competition and how you’ll compete for market share.

A financial analysis, including projections for the first few years.

A guide to the owners and key staff, focusing on their skills and expertise.

An implementation plan, outlining how you’ll take your bar or pub from an initial idea to a living, breathing business.

Company description

The company description is a fuller overview of your bar business. It details the things your reader really needs to know in a 360-degree view, including your concept, location and target market. After reading, there should be no questions left as to who, what and where you are, and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

What to include:

Your bar’s name.

Its business structure.

A deeper introduction the management team.

Your bar’s location, including information on the relevance, opportunities and challenges of the surrounding area.

A description of your pub’s offering, from food and drink to entertainment and venue hire.

An explanation of how your products or services fulfil the market’s needs.

A deeper exploration of your target market — who they are, what their habits are, their favourite beverages, how much they spend and so on.

An explanation of your competitive advantage.

Your objectives and goals, including any plans to expand into other business areas or markets – such as creating your own microbrewery .

Market analysis

Investors are attracted to industry and market knowledge, and this is the section to prove you have it. The market analysis compiles industry insights, information on your target audience and a competitor analysis , to outline what success looks like. You can break it down into four stages:

Start with a service industry analysis and then dive deeper into your specific segmentation to compare forecasts and trends.

Design a customer persona based on experience and research, and explain why your bar or pub will appeal to them.

Analyse your competitors — how many other local bars are there, what type of beverages do they stock, do they offer food, and how does their offering compare to yours?

Write a SWOT analysis for your bar. Discuss its potential strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats it may face.

Product line and menu

What you offer on your menu can attract customers (and investors). List everything on your menu with descriptions and photos — from chips, beers and cocktails, to mixers, garnishes and other add-ons.

Many purchasing decisions are based on emotion and identity, so naming drinks and writing descriptions according to your audience’s tastes is important. Take your time to consider how the language and themes you use will resonate with them.

Next, focus on how you’ll source products and produce, and what impact that has on your brand identity and bottom line. After you decide what to source, lay out how you’ll manage your products and ingredients. Developing an inventory management system for your bar is necessary to optimise your daily operations and cut down spending.

Finally, write up your competitive comparison to other bars in the area. This can include the drinks you offer and the ingredients you use just as much as it can mean the way you prepare and serve them. Keeping track of your competitors allows you to diversify and use your menu as a competitive advantage.

Marketing strategy

The marketing strategy section in your bar business plan outlines your overall strategy for finding, attracting and retaining customers .

A positioning statement. This should feature a description of your target market, as well as how you want that group to perceive your brand.

Pricing strategy. Creating and running a successful bar is almost impossible without an understanding of how your pricing affects your profitability. Pour cost is a key reference point when monitoring how much you’re making back from what you’re buying in. To calculate your pour cost percentage follow this formula: (Wholesale cost of product ÷ total the product is sold for) x 100 . Pour cost percentages up to 20% are considered reasonable, although this will depend on the type of bar you’re opening. The lower you can keep this percentage, the more money you can make.

Pre-launch promotion strategy. Describe whether you’ll have a soft opening, a small invite-only event or a grand celebration open to the public. And be sure to expand on how you’ll execute it and generate buzz in the lead up.

Marketing programs. Once your bar is open, regulars will need incentives to come back and new customers will need enticing to try it out. There are many marketing channels you can use to do this — email, social media, PR, and paid ads. Events and promotions are also popular tactics used to keep business flowing in the bar industry, with many offering things like guest bartending nights, happy hours, live music and karaoke.

Website strategy. In a survey we carried out in the U.S., 44% of people said a website was “very” or “extremely” important in their decision to try out a business. This indicates just how much an online presence (or lack of it) can impact your bottom line. Building an optimised website doesn’t have to be hard, with many tools that allow you to use simple, pre-styled themes.

Social media strategy. As an extension of your website — and especially if you decide not to build one — all bar businesses should have a social media presence . As well as helping people find out the basics, like your opening times and location, social media gives you a chance to communicate directly with customers and build your bar’s brand.

Technology and Taking Payments

Another point to consider in your pub business plan is the type of technology you’ll need to keep your business running smoothly. You’ll most likely need to set up some software for managing your inventory and team, plus easy-to-use hardware for taking customer payments. Here are some of the essentials you should include in your business plans:

Inventory management – Developing an inventory management system for your bar is an easy way to optimise your daily operations and cut down spending. The simple dashboard ensures you can keep track of your inventory wherever you go, with daily stock alerts that let you know when it’s time to reorder.

Team management – Stay organised and empower your employees with this easy-to-use scheduling software. You can quickly set schedules and record your staff’s working hours, with a handy Team App that let’s your team clock in and clock out with a simple tap.

Bar POS system – Keep things running smoothly with a tailored POS for your pub or bar. The all-in-one system helps speed up service, with the ability to manage orders, analyse processes and make real-time menu updates.

Square Terminal – When it comes to taking food and drink payments, it’s better to stay flexible. Square Terminal accepts chip and PIN cards, contactless and mobile payments so your customers can choose their preferred method. It also lets you manage items and print receipts for a handy all-in-one terminal.

Square Register – Go the extra mile with a fully integrated till system – including all the software and hardware you could possibly need in your bar. Two display screens let your customer see what they’re buying, while giving your staff extra visibility of all the essential information.

Financial plan

Finally in your bar business plan comes the section on your financials. This will define how you plan to succeed as a healthy, growing business. For a new bar, this section will include your bar startup costs and a break-even analysis.

Your bar startup costs are the expenses incurred during the process of getting off the ground. Naturally, startup costs will vary depending on the type of establishment you’re opening, but there are some things every bar can’t go without:  

You’ve probably considered your funding opportunities already by this point. In the financial plan section, you should lay out your plan for these in detail. Are you self-funding your bar or raising investment? Are you planning to take out a small business loan and for how long? The financial plan should also look at how much revenue it will take you to break even . Create a financial analysis that discusses your profit and loss account, the cash flow you need and how you’ll manage a balance sheet .

Solid financial planning and management will be one of the biggest influencers in your bar’s success. If you’re inexperienced or don’t have the time to do all the analyses above, don’t be afraid of reaching out to a financial and/or legal professional to give you a helping hand.

If there’s one thing the British never tire of, it’s discovering new drinking establishments and returning back to their favourites. For an entrepreneur planning to open a new bar or become a pub landlord, the opportunities to become a thriving business are pretty much endless.

At the same time, success doesn’t come without planning. A bar business plan will not only form the roadmap for your business’s first few years, but it can also serve as a tool to help you adapt and grow way into the future.

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Restaurant Business Plan Template

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Restaurant Business Plan

Executive summary.



In order to fulfill our vision for [RESTAURANT NAME] we will require [AMOUNT] in capital, which will be allocated roughly according to the following table:

If we are fully capitalized, we hope to be profitable by [TIME PERIOD] .

Marketing plan

Our Clientele:

Our Competition:

Our Specific Marketing Plan:

Our kitchen

Operations plan.

We expect our monthly outlay of expenses to approximate to the following:

Management team

Describe team

Home » Business ideas » Hospitality, Travel & Tourism » Restaurant Business

How to Start a Crepe Restaurant Business in 2023

A crepe restaurant is a niche restaurant where crepe is the main delicacy that is prepared and served to customers. Served with a variety of fillings, crepes are a form of pancake that has been fried very thinly. Creperies are restaurants and establishments that specialize in selling crepes.

In addition to crepes, a crepe restaurant might also serve various specialties, snacks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and takeout food.

According to the data at hand, there are 15.1 million people working in the restaurant industry in the United States. By 2028, 1.6 million additional restaurant jobs will be added. 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce is employed in restaurants.

Steps on How to Start a Crepe Restaurant Business

Table of Content

Conduct Market Research

Choose a memorable business name, register your business, cost analysis and budgeting, write a business plan, marketing plan, financial projection, set up your shop/office, hire employees, launch the business proper.

Conducting thorough market research before opening a crepe restaurant is essential to maximizing revenue. Please note that creating market-based research questions consistent with your overall business goal and objective should be the first stage in the market research process for your crepe restaurant business.

In this regard, you should look for information that will help you maximize your business, information that will give you reliable data of what your potential market will be looking out for from a crepe restaurant business. You should also look for information that will help you run your crepe restaurant easily and also help you grow the business to profitability in the shortest amount of time.

a. Who is the Target Market for Crepe Restaurant Business?

b. Is a Crepe Restaurant a Profitable Business?

Yes, the crepe restaurant business is very profitable. As a matter of fact, the market size of the chain restaurants industry that crepe restaurant is a part of in the US has grown 2.2 percent per year on average between 2017 and 2022.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no niche ideas when it comes to crepe restaurants because crepe restaurants are a niche idea in the culinary and chain restaurant industry .

d. Who are the Major Competitors?

e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Crepe Restaurant Business in the United States?

Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for the crepe restaurant business in the United States. Please keep in mind that the federal Food Code is set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA does not regulate specific crepe restaurant operations.

Instead, the Food Code serves as the foundation for each state’s individual food code. They may follow its principles, apply a different interpretation to them, or establish new ones.

f. Is There a Franchise for Crepe Restaurant Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for crepe restaurants. Here are some of them;

g. What Do You Need to Start a Crepe Restaurant Business?

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a crepe business are;

Creative Crepe Business Name ideas

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for a Restaurant?

In reality, there are a number of possibilities for a crepe restaurant’s corporate structure, but an LLC is the one that majority of players in this industry take into consideration. Crepe restaurants form LLCs in order to protect themselves in court.

Please keep in mind that an LLC will require an EIN if it is required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below or if it has any employees.

b. Steps to Form an LLC

c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Crepe Restaurant Business?

d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Crepe Restaurant Business?

These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run a crepe restaurant company;

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Crepe Restaurant Business?

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run a crepe restaurant in the United States of America;

f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

Generally speaking, you may not need to register a trademark if you’re thinking of starting a crepe restaurant business. This is because the nature of the business allows you to successfully manage the business without having any reason to sue anyone for using your intellectual property.

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Crepe Restaurant Business?

There is no clear-cut startup cost for a crepe restaurant, but available data shows that the cost for a small to medium restaurant can range from $150,000 to over $450,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Crepe Restaurant?

c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Crepe Restaurant Business?

d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

In reality, building a new facility is not required for your crepe restaurant business, but if you have the necessary financing, it will benefit you.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Crepe Restaurant Business?

f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?

g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Crepe Restaurant Business?

a. Executive Summary

Gabriel Léo® Crêpe Restaurants, Inc. is an American-based, licensed, specialty restaurant that specializes in making and selling different kinds of crêpes as well as other traditional French fares, coffee, and wine in a cozy, mosaic-tiled bistro with outside seating and enjoyable music.

In the center of Boston, Massachusetts, our restaurant will be situated in a tastefully decorated and conveniently situated establishment. At Gabriel Léo® Crêpe Restaurants, Inc., we always use the finest and freshest ingredients while making our crepes. We make all our crepes (pancakes) with great attention and pride.

b. Products and Service

c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a crepe restaurant business that will be known as the crepe specialist.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to become the leading crepe restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a crepe restaurant business are to provide an outlet where people can visit to buy and eat crepes, other foods, and drinks.

e. Organizational Structure

a. SWOT Analysis


b. How Do Restaurants Make Money?

Crepe restaurants make money by selling the following products;

c. Payment Options

d. Sales & Advertising Strategies

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

The price of a plate of crepes in a restaurant will depend on the size and other add-ons, but on average, crepes will cost you anywhere from $4 to $9, depending on the filling and where you got it.

b. How Much Profit Do Crepe Restaurant Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but the data that is currently available indicates that the average income for crepe restaurant owners ranges from $31,000 to $155,000 annually. The national average, according to their estimates, is roughly $65,000 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?

d. What is the Profit Margin of a Crepe Restaurant?

A basic guideline in the restaurant business is to keep food cost percentages between 28 and 32 percent. But rather than being a general rule that applies to all restaurants, this is more of a recommendation. Between quick service concepts and fine dining, as well as between different cities, there are differences in the average meal cost.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a restaurant. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for the Crepe Restaurant?

b. What State and City are Best to Open a Crepe Restaurant?

c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Crepe Restaurant?

Before you can open a restaurant, you should budget and buy chairs and dining tables, POS and receipt issuing machines, storage hardware (bins, racks, shelves, food case), counter area equipment (countertop, sink, ice machine, etc.),

(Flat Screen TVs, sound system, DVD players, gas cooker, deep fryers, deep freezers, fridge, blenders, store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage), serving utensils (plates, glasses, flatware) and fancy lightening amongst others.

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard restaurant, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer, human resource and admin manager, restaurant manager, chef (cook), waiters and waitresses, cleaners, and security guard.

In recent times, no crepe restaurant opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

With the proper launching of the crepe restaurant, you will officially notify people in your city that your crepe restaurant is open for business.

a. What Makes a Crepe Restaurant Business Successful?

b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Crepe Restaurant?

c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Crepe Restaurant Business?

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