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10 steps to a business plan for your restaurant

By Louise Harvig Olsmar, 19 Jan 2022

Keep reading - 2 minutes reading time


With a business plan, you can develop your business or convince investors and potential partners of your ideas. A business plan, which shows upcoming food concepts or investments, also makes the restaurant’s goals clear to the staff and makes them feel more involved.

A business plan makes it easier to describe your business to others, both to staff and to partners. A business plan can be written in different ways but should always include a description of your customers, basic idea and business model.

Content of a business plan

Whether you run a restaurant with table service, a nightclub or a fast-food chain, you need a business plan. Developing a business plan is very much about making ideas more concrete and developing strategies that take you closer to your goal. But it is also about avoiding pitfalls, minimising risk and helping you see the core of your business.

If you’re developing a business plan for the first time, it may seem challenging. But as long as you have a clear picture of your planned business, it’s actually quite straightforward. A good business plan should be easy to read and take in. It should be detailed without being unnecessarily wordy. It should include your concept, vision, offer, market analysis and forecasts. Remember that you are writing the document for everyone who works in your sector, from investors to staff.

It may be a good idea to start with a brief summary, the first thing potential investors will look at.

Let the business plan live

A business plan is not static. The outside world is constantly changing and in order to succeed, it is important that your business plan changes in step with the outside world. An important part of creating the business plan is to look at the competition and discern what competitive advantages you have, possibly by reading industry analyses or available market research. You can never have too much background information, even if not everything is included in the end product. Check out successful concepts and adapt them to your own idea.

Budget & investments

With a business plan, you will get an easier overview of start-up costs, running costs and what revenue will be needed. If you are going to start a restaurant, remember that your budget for the first year’s income and expenses represents your financing needs and is what potential investors, lenders or partners will look at most closely. For those who want to develop a restaurant, it may be a good idea to include new efforts or investments that develop the business. It’s also important to show your staff that new investments are made to help them realise that the business is being developed and invested in.

For more information, read our article and download our Business Plan Template.

Business plan template

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