Doing the Math in the Restaurant Business: Preparing a Business and Financial Plan

Most aspirants of the restaurant business get excited with the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. Beginning restaurant entrepreneurs brace themselves for the clashing and banging of pots and pans and the action on the restaurant floor. However, preparing for the feats in a restaurant isn’t enough, many who attempt to start a restaurant fail to do so because they overlook another important, albeit less exciting, portion of the business, and that is the finance part. Many fail to realize that a restaurant is after all a business, which requires careful planning. Here is an overview of how preparing a business and financial plan is done.

A restaurant’s business and financial plan is usually composed of eleven sections that cover the projected operations of a particular food service being developed.

1. Company Description – the business plan begins with an overview of the entire profile of the restaurant being developed. This section describes what business entity that will operate the particular restaurant. Necessary information such as the company’s founders, assets, type is stated in this section. Supplementary information is also stated such as the company’s goals and visions, the company’s identity, and so on. This section would also describe what kind of restaurant is being developed, as well as its location, size, general target market and other information will provide the identity of the restaurant.

2. Industry Analysis – this section provides a general overview of the restaurant industry. Careful research is needed for this section in order to provide accurate figures regarding the past trends as well as projected performance of the industry. This section gives justification as to why developing the restaurant is a worthwhile endeavor.

3. Products and Services – this section describes what the restaurant will offer. Here, the general theme of the menu will be described. This section will also provide the prospective general production scheme, stating how the food will be prepared and how other necessary measures in the production would be carried out. The manner upon which the service will be delivered will be described here as well.

4. Market Analysis – this section describes the targeted market. This will provide the profiles of the projected customers, as well as the location where they will be coming from. This section will also include a description of the observed trends in the market, such as the population growth, and other factors that might affect the restaurant’s operations. 

5. The Competition – this section describes the potential competitors’ profiles. Other restaurants within the area will be described. The particular restaurants that have the same target market will then be discussed furthermore. The planned competitive strategy will then be described, stating how the planned restaurant will be different from the existing ones.

6. Marketing Plans and Sales Strategies – this section the plan of action to make the restaurant thrive. A description of how the market will be penetrated will be provided here. This section will also state the channels that will be tapped for advertising and generating awareness of the restaurant. The budget allotted for the marketing strategy will also be stated.

7. Operations – this part will give the details of the operating scheme. This section will describe the restaurant’s facilities and equipment. The hours of operation as well as the projected holidays will be stated as well. The employee training and other aspects of human resource management will be described. The systems and controls, food production, and other services will be expounded.

8. Management and Organization – this section will give the profiles of the managing arm of the restaurant as well as its ownership. The primary employees and key managers will be described here as well as its board of directors.  The compensation and incentive scheme will be explained. The management style and structure will be further expounded.

9. Long Term Development and Exit Plans – this section will provide the goals, strategies, and milestones of the restaurant. This will also predict possibilities of expansion. Risks will be evaluated.

10. Financial Data and Projections – this section will provide the current information about the company’s assets at the beginning of the restaurant’s development. It will also forecast projected figures in sales, expenses, profits and so on.

11. Appendices – this will give the actual data being described in the body of the business plan. The actual menu, financial statements, declaration of assets and other important information will be included here.

Having a restaurant doesn’t only entail work in the kitchen or on the floor. A restaurant is primarily a business, and the business aspect of its operations should also be emphasized.