Our readers know by now that while all business plans have the same basic structure, business plans written for different businesses will differ in their nuances. A plan for a car wash and one for a car dealership are not the same. Making sure that your business plan if specifically tailored to your enterprise is especially crucial when your startup is a restaurant.
Running a restaurant is hard, with intense competition and rapidly changing customer tastes. It is one of the most fast-paced businesses out there, and it takes a specialized approach to succeed. You need to have superb food, excellent staff and an advantageous location in addition to a multitude of other factors. This should all be outlined from the very beginning in your restaurant business plan.
Your Target Market
No restaurant can’t be popular with every group of customers, who have different cuisine preferences, personal tastes, and acceptable price ranges. Young and old, Asian or Caucasian, immigrants and locals will gravitate towards different dining experiences. You can’t hope to please them all. What you can do, however, is make sure you are really popular with a certain group of customers. Choose your customer base wisely, and address their tastes while positioning your business for optimal access.
Your Restaurant’s Identity
Make sure your business is strongly defined, with a unique interior, stylized menu and special kitchen items that set it apart from other restaurants in the area. You need to be recognizable in order to compete. Your business plan should explain this vision clearly, showing how you are bringing something new, vibrant and refreshing to your customers.
Aesthetics and Design
The style of your restaurant’s interior will have a defining effect on what kind of customers it will attract. Cover everything, from the general color scheme, to furniture style, to the lighting and wall ornaments. Top to bottom, inside and out, your design should be considered to the finest detail.
An additional aspect of this is the layout. Plan for sufficient prep space, room for servers to navigate tables and a well-outfitted kitchen. A poor design will lead to longer serving times, and unhappy customers.
A Marketing Plan
Find ways to attract customers while avoiding high-cost marketing campaigns on TV or Radio. There are many ways to reach out to your potential customers, so make sure to research them and choose the ones that work best. Brochures, flyers, discount coupons, family specials and other tried and tested ways exist that can create an influx of diners. Use them. Engage with your community in a friendly, inviting way and you will grow a solid customer base to rely on.
Plan B Scenarios
Also known as contingency plans, they will allow you to get up and going if you get hit by hard times. Think ahead and try to anticipate things that may affect your operation negatively. For example, what happens when a very popular franchise competitor opens a restaurant nearby, diverting customers? Costs for some foods may rise suddenly , making it necessary to revise your menu in a hurry. If you think of ways to cope with those scenarios now, it will save you time and worry should they actually occur.
Those should all, of course, be accompanied by all other key components of a business plan, such as your corporate structure, team leaders, and financial forecasts that show how exactly you plan to succeed in your endeavor. Good luck!
For more information or advice on how to write a winning restaurant business plan, contact us now and we will get you on the way in no time.