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Business plan for opening a restaurant

Drawing up a business plan for opening a restaurant can be overwhelming; as the idea is to make the task easier, here is a selective guide that will allow not only the best definition of the project, but also an estimation of the economic/financial viability. Take note!

How to draw up a business plan for a restaurant?

Regardless of the model or sector chosen, planning a business strategy is a difficult task, a reality from which the restaurant segment does not escape; however, this should not be a reason to give up the idea, after all we are talking about a highly profitable niche in Spain, considering the part of leisure time and budget that is spent on going to restaurants.

Where to start writing a restaurant business plan?

Not everyone has the necessary capital to develop their project, so if you need an investor, a restaurant business plan can make all the difference. At the end of the day, showing a real plan in which it is clear what you are talking about denotes professionalism.

Creating the recipe for success requires having the necessary ingredients, although it may seem like an exciting adventure, opening a restaurant takes time and effort, otherwise, you may be part of the 60% of businesses that fail before the first year. The level of competition in the sector means that hard work, perseverance and good food are not enough; while there is no exact formula, success can be conditional upon:

  • Have adequate training
  • Adhere to established operating procedures
  • Have an original and attractive marketing plan in place before starting to operate

Although most people focus on the decoration of the premises and the design of the menu, these three aspects – often underestimated – are crucial for a successful opening, which together with a good business plan will provide the right direction, as the opportunities and pitfalls that the future business will have to deal with will be clear, even before opening its doors.

Preliminary research is everything:

Having a good business plan for a restaurant requires a thorough preliminary research that not only evaluates what the sector offers or limits, but also potential customers, new trends and the local market; likewise, competition, legislative aspects, purchasing channels and suppliers should be considered, as they represent the main aspects to be taken care of.

Objectivity is elementary in both the internal and external analysis, being honest, delimiting the available resources – technical, economic and human – makes it more feasible to understand the needs of the target clientele and therefore, how to channel the concept and structure of a viable business that allows its positioning.

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The keys to success with a new restaurant:

The vast majority will agree that the service and the gastronomic offer are the undisputed guarantors of a restaurant’s success; although they are not far from reality – as the former represents the final experience and perception that the customer will take away, while the latter is in itself the raison d’être of a restaurant – the marked competitiveness demands much more:

  • Adequate ambience, the idea is that the place offers an atmosphere appropriate to the business concept and the needs or tastes of the target audience
  • Attractive menu, after all, it is the key communication and sales tool; it is recommended that the chef is involved in its preparation, as well as offering the most profitable dishes at a glance
  • Competitive prices, the customer wants to pay according to what he receives, without neglecting the costs of raw materials and the local market situation
  • Communication strategy, we are not only talking about advertising and public relations, but also about digital presence focused on the target audience. Once the link has been established, it will be easier to achieve the long-awaited loyalty, that audience that becomes unconditional and attracts new customers
  • Theright hygiene products, with which both employees and customers have their needs covered.

Reasons why many restaurants fail:

The lack of a good business plan for a restaurant is the main reason why most projects fail; there is a long way to go before the first dish is served, so planning every detail becomes crucial.

According to experts, a restaurant business plan should display the company’s branding on its cover– including the name, date and logo – and specify the restaurant’s concept very well, the aim being to get the reader excited about the idea.

How to achieve this? By emphasising not only the food you want to serve, but also the detailed description of the service you want to offer, taking care to highlight that extra, which will make the place unique and innovative.

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Study the market:

Charting a course for success also requires that the business plan for the restaurant is a living document, i.e. one that can be reviewed regularly to assess its growth and measure its progress, and that it is nourished by market research that provides a glimpse of the competition and information on the needs of the target audience, which in turn allows for the development of a functional marketing scheme.

A clear mission statement, or in other words, a straightforward mission statement, translates into the creation of a conceptual vision in which the business idea is synthesised in words to the point where it captures attention.

Importance of marketing within the business plan:

Within the business strategy, the marketing plan represents a functional and necessary tool; in the face of so much competition, word of mouth is the basic weapon to deal with the competition.

Attracting customers goes beyond using social media; on a physical level, it requires participation in community events, offering discounts to new customers and joining the local trade association; in the online world, the imperative need for an intuitive website that even allows for booking.

And that concludes our list of tips for a business plan.

We hope you liked it and found it useful!

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