The Business Plan for A Restaurant

Opening your restaurant: many of you dream of it, but creating a business plan for a restaurant requires strategic thinking specific to this sector of activity.


  • The editorial part of your business plan
  • The financial part of your business plan

The manager’s blog offers you a plan to follow to succeed in your business plan intended to find financiers to open your restaurant, with the essential questions for each party.

To carry out your business plan, the idea is to provide two parts, a so-called editorial part where you can show the economic feasibility of your project, and the other, quantified, which will demonstrate your financial viability (that your business is profitable and coherent). 


Executive summary

The executive summary offers a global vision of your project; it is an opportunity to explain the concept of the project (problem, solution), to explain the offer (product and service), the value proposition, the potential of the target market (customer, supplier, competitor, etc.). It is also possible to present the founding team, the business model, and a quick summary of the financial forecast.

Working on his executive summary serves to arouse the reader’s interest, who will seek to deepen his reading for possible contact.


It is preferable to write the executive summary after the other parts of the business plan and place it at the beginning of the business plan once it has been written.

The presentation of the problem (the problem)

The presentation of the problem will allow you to explain the reasons why you want to open your restaurant and will allow you to take stock of your current situation. The fundamental questions in this phase are: What led you to embark on the restoration? How and why. ? What problem does your project solve?

The presentation of the project (the solution)

This part is about presenting your project in more detail, explaining your objectives, your motivations, your skills, your experiences, and the characteristics of your project. The main questions to ask in this phase:

  • What style of restoration do you plan to implement? (Traditional restaurant, theme restaurant, fast food restaurant, office catering, high-end business catering, innovative restaurant, etc.?
  • What kind of cuisine do you want to serve?
  • And what kind of customers do you plan to target?
  • What range of services would you like to offer your customers? Restaurant with affordable prices and top-of-the-range service?

The restaurant business plan: the presentation of the team

Opening a restaurant often requires the recruitment of a team, and the quality of service that you will offer your customers will depend mainly on the quality of this team. The following questions will help you introduce its members well:

  • What values ​​do they carry? And what degree of motivation?
  • What degree of qualification (experience, skills, diplomas, etc.)? is suitable for your project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibility? Who does what?

Market research

Market research is one of the main steps to better understand the catering market in which you will position yourself; it will mainly allow you to know your target customers, your potential suppliers, the prices charged by the competition, etc.

You can delegate market research tasks to professionals (specialized firms, independent consultants, etc.); if you prefer to do it yourself, choose reliable sources of information and, if possible, travel in the field.

The following questions and points will undoubtedly help you carry out this analysis:

Environmental analysis:

  • What is the situation in the sector: growth, stability, decline? And what are the main reasons?
  • What are the major trends in the restaurant industry?
  • How is the restaurant market doing today?
  • What are the peak periods and the off-peak periods? (Highest attendance time)
  • Who are the potential actors around the location (schools, businesses, public services, etc.)?

Competition analysis:

  • How many restaurants are there? Where are they located?
  • The main difficulties encountered by restaurateurs?
  • The type of cuisine is offered, and at what prices?
  • The capacity of the competitors (number of seats)?
  • The workforce employed?
  • The turnover achieved?
  • Was the filling rate reached?

Customer analysis:

  • Who is your target clientele? (Income, age group, CSP, habits, needs, etc.)
  • The average length of time customers take for lunch or dinner?
  • What is the average meal ticket per customer?
  • How often do people go to restaurants per year?

Once your market research is complete, you must transcribe the results obtained and the conclusions formulated in your business plan; these will help you to determine a commercial strategy, as well as the first hypotheses of activity.

The restaurant business plan: The value proposition

The location

Location is a big success factor in opening a restaurant. The place must be accessible, close to shops or competitors, and visible to passers-by to attract a “spontaneous” clientele and not rely solely on regulars.

Favoring a magnificent place (beautiful landscape, size of the room) may not be enough if you are not located in a “good” location, particularly if you decide to set up in a tourist area where the chance of wandering will lead passers-by to push the door of your establishment.

The menu card: the heart of the strategy in the restaurant business plan

To hit the mark in a business plan for the catering sector, there’s nothing like a card adapted to the target clientele. Are you targeting a tourist area, a small village, or a city center? Expectations and budgets will not be the same! A restaurant that does not offer a menu in line with the surrounding population is endangered. In parallel with the analysis of potential demand, do not hesitate to identify the competition to validate the relevance of your offer.

The commercial strategy

In this part, you must specify your ambitions, your commercial objectives (in particular in turnover and growth), and the means to be implemented to achieve them. Your business strategy should answer the following questions, among others:

  • What pricing policy has been adopted: single dish, formulas, desserts, all-you-can-eat meals, etc.
  • Which customer acquisition strategy: proximity, referencing in specialized directories, social networks


The business plan for your future restaurant will include financial forecasts showing interim management balances specific to this line of business. In addition, you must show ratios aligned with sector averages and justify their realism about your target market and strategy.

The financial forecasts of the business plan make it possible to pose the economic model of your restaurant. You will have to address specific questions, such as the number of services you wish to perform, the opening days and times, and the maximum number of seats you can perform given the size of your room.

These forecasts will then be transcribed into financial tables, which are used to demonstrate, in a numerical way, the financial solidity of your project. The main tables include:

  • The forecast income statement
  • The provisional balance sheet
  • The cash flow plan
  • The financing plan

The restaurant business plan: the provisional income statement:

The forecast profit and loss account allow you to list the different forecast products (revenues) to be generated and the different forecast charges (expenses) to be incurred by your activity; it will also make it possible to determine the result of the accounting year. In general, the catering activity involves the following forecast expenses and forecast income:

Forecast products:

Estimated income is mainly made up of turnover and the various operating subsidies you can obtain as part of your activity.

The estimated turnover of a restaurant is generally calculated as follows:

Forecast turnover = seat turnover rate × number of covers × average price of a meal × number of days open


The number of covers:  the maximum capacity a restaurant can receive in terms of the number of guests.

The average price of the meal:  the average price of the meal must be estimated according to the composition of your menu or your menus

The charges to be expected

The projected expenses are the expenses that you must incur for the normal operation of our activity; we find in particular (non-exhaustive list):

  • The supply of raw materials (drinks, food, etc.
  • laundry)
  • In the event of rental, the rent for the commercial premises of the restaurant;
  • Water, gas, and electricity
  • The first year: registration and publication fees;
  • Costs of a chartered accountant;
  • Marketing costs (advertising costs, opening campaigns, prospectuses, advertisements, website, flyers, etc.);
  • Assurance;
  • Telephone subscription, office supplies;
  • The salaries of the staff (waiters, manager, cooks, chef, room manager, etc.).
  • Your salary and social security contributions (health insurance, retirement, unemployment, etc.).
  • Transportation costs
  • Financial charges in the event of purchase of the premises by the loan;

These different charges must be grouped into fixed charges  (for those which do not vary with the evolution of the activity)  and variable charges  (for those which vary with the activity), this distinction will make it possible to determine the breakeven point and the breakeven point, two essential indicators used to determine the profitability of the project (the minimum turnover to be profitable and the time when to be profitable).

The restaurant business plan: the provisional balance sheet

The provisional balance sheet gives an image of the future assets of your restaurant. Broken down into two parts, the assets balance sheet, which lists all of your investments and receivables, and on the other side, the liabilities of balance sheet, which lists all of your debts by the degree of payment (owners and creditors). In general, the restaurant business plan requires the following investments:

Investments to plan

  • Purchase of the premises (in case of non-rental)
  • Purchase of equipment: kitchen equipment, refrigerators, oven, cash register, software, tables, chairs, table services, etc.
  • Furniture: tables, chairs, counters, possibly furniture for the terrace
  • Non-material investments: staff training, etc.
  • Renovations and fittings,
  • Decorating the room: paintings, plants, suspensions, wall stickers, mirrors.

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