As we know, opening your restaurant and creating your business project is a painstaking analysis, where you have to go step by step to choose the right strategy, document it, and find your target clientele. However, in the restaurant sector, as in any sector, the creation and management of your business imply that you are well surrounded to benefit from valuable advice that will put you on the road to opening your restaurant and letting your customers enjoy your cuisine.
The business plan is perhaps the most important of all the steps toward establishing your restaurant. It is indeed, thanks to the business plan, that you will see your restaurant activity more clearly, but above all, you will have to make the presentation of your project to the banks that will provide you with the necessary financing for the opening, as for any company. Opening a restaurant is no ordinary company formation. It implies following a very precise strategy and complete analysis of the market. All this while being subject to financial constraints.
Why and how do you write a business plan for your restaurant? What are the steps to follow to open your restaurant business? We answer all these questions in this article.
The choice of the concept
Even before the business plan is written, there is a step that is neither administrative nor legal: the choice of your concept. The choice of your concept is the subject of a previous article, but it is important to include your concept document with the business plan. This will enhance your presentation. Menu, model, type of cuisine, name… Identify your concept with precision. This is part of the business strategy.
Why write a business plan for my restaurant?
What is the purpose of a restaurant business plan sample? It is not just an administrative document. It is your real asset that will be decisive in the opening of your company. The business plan has two main objectives.
- Presentation of the project to the financial structures and the banks: in order to obtain financial support, it is essential that the people who will invest in your project are aware of the activity in which they are involved. Therefore, the business plan collects the main points of your project and must convince those who will lend you the money to finance it.
- Presentation to yourself, restorer: in addition to the financial aspect, this document helps you to distance yourself from your own project. After all, the business plan will ask you to address certain points so that you can ask yourself the right questions. Is your project profitable? Is it attainable? The business plan will confirm your desire to start your restaurant business.
Analysis of the target market
The first step in writing your business plan is choosing the clientele you want to attract. This will help you estimate the number of people you will be serving daily, your price positioning, and the time it will take to prepare meals. These criteria will also be taken into account when estimating your expected turnover.
Determining your target market’s needs and estimating your restaurant’s potential customers will help you achieve this first step.
Example of a target market
For a fast-food restaurant project in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the target audience will be people who work in the area, people who are passing through and have little time to eat, and people on a tight budget who can’t go to a traditional restaurant.
The marketing strategy
To define your marketing strategy, ask yourself about the proposed offer (cuisine, quality of the dishes, service time, on-the-spot or to take away…), the prices (dish, all-you-can-eat formula or not, desserts…), the communication strategy (publicity, social networks…), the location (pedestrian zone, industrial zone…)
Here you will create your menu for your customers and build your reputation to make yourself known. In addition, your restaurant marketing plan should include an analysis of your positioning relative to the competition, namely, what makes a customer eat at your restaurant rather than another.
An important step is the preparation of annual accounts to estimate the future results of your company.
The estimated income statement
This document contains your future turnover and your future expenses, estimated according to your estimates. It is the document that will decide whether or not you will get a loan. The estimated income statement takes into account the selling price of each meal, the quantities to be sold, and the company’s operating expenses.
You can then compare it with the average of your sector thanks to the interim balances of the management. This will enable you to set credible targets, including the calculation of expected turnover based on the number of working hours to estimate your company’s productivity.
This is the most important document as it attests to the intensity of your restaurant’s activity.
The estimated balance
The estimated balance sheet gives an idea of the company’s assets at a later date. This means that future assets (expenditures) and future resources (liabilities) are taken into account.
Next, you need to estimate the change in assets over the life of the business:
- Purchase or sale of kitchen equipment
- Purchase or sale of a commercial vehicle
- Increase or decrease in cash flow
And also the variation of the liabilities
- Arrival or departure of a partner in the capital
- Increase or decrease in debt
Need for working capital
In the restaurant sector, the need for working capital is more important. After all, cash flow shortfalls can happen quickly in this industry, even when negotiating terms with your suppliers. So you should have a comfortable buffer for all eventualities and indicate this in your business plan.
You should know that financial aid is available to open your business. You can apply for a loan from a local initiative platform to finance your working capital needs. Managed by France Initiative, these platforms offer a personal loan at 0% interest to increase the entrepreneur’s financial strength so that he can later apply for a bank loan.
As we have seen, opening a restaurant requires obtaining and respecting certain permits. Criteria to be observed include the hygiene rules for the kitchen and staff, the conditions for the transport of goods, waste management, and the permits required for certain activities.
Personnel and the operating model
The assignment of tasks is important for the proper functioning of the restaurant. It is important to know who does what. For example, who is responsible for stock management, cooking, cleaning, or serving drinks?
Ensure that employees remain within their positions and do not interfere with the functions of others.