Keywords: Restaurant Business Plan, business plan recipe, starting a restaurant, business plan restaurant

How to write a business plan for your restaurant.

Knowing your way around the kitchen and how to fillet a fish might allow you to serve a great meal but does it mean you know how to dish up success in the business world? All too often, promising restaurants, bars and cafes close because they don’t have the right plans in place to deal with the challenges that they’re likely to come up against.

One way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is to write a business plan for your restaurant.

The purpose of your Restaurant Business Plan.

Your restaurant business plan will serve two purposes.

  1. It will help you attract investment into the restaurant by showing banks and lenders that you have a viable business model that will generate money.
  2. It will be your roadmap, no scrap that, it will be the recipe you follow that will help you ensure your restaurant is a success.

Some people find writing pages and pages of a business plan off putting but the trick is, it only needs to be as long as it needs to be. If you can summarise the information quickly, then there’s no point waffling on for pages. After all, you wouldn’t overcook the meat or boil veggies for longer than is necessary, would you?

However, saying that, by getting all of your thoughts and plans down on paper, it can help clarify the ideas you have around your restaurant and keep you focused on achieving your dream.

Restaurant Business Plan Recipe

So, here’s your business plan recipe and like with all good recipes you can spice it up in any way that you feel by adding your own flavouring and specialist touch. Our page lengths are only suggestions and you can alter it to see what works best for you.


  • 1 page of Executive Summary
  • ½ page of Company Summary
  • 3-4 pages of Restaurant theme, service, concept, location and sample menu
  • 1-2 pages of Market Overview
  • ½ page of Company Ownership
  • 2-3 graphs of Financial Projections

Prep time: As long as it takes but usually at least a month.

Cooking time: As long as you have a restaurant, you should keep your business plan simmering away as it’s a never-ending meal.

More information on your key Restaurant Business Plan Ingredients and where to find them

Executive summary – This is actually the part you write last but it is an overview of your restaurant business, stating what food you’ll serve, where you’ll be located and how the restaurant will be run. It’s the high-level sales pitch made up of information from all of the other sections.

Company summary – You only need to include a sprinkling of information on why you want to operate a restaurant, the experience you have, who the management team will be and the style of restaurant it’ll be.

Restaurant theme and concept – This section forms the main bulk of the business plan meal and is where you talk about the experience your diners will have in your restaurant, what they can expect and how you will entice people into your restaurant. Sample menus and your reasoning for choosing the location and style need to be included here. These ideas will all come from inside your head and any business mentor you might have.

Market Overview – Who is going to be your clientele and what culinary palate are you serving (gap in the market)? By having an understanding of the market, you can refine your restaurant offering and it’ll give your investors more confidence that you know what you’re doing. Unless you know the industry extremely well, you’ll need to do some research for this section and the internet, forums and research agencies can all help.

Company Ownership – This section is more of a garnishing and provides the readers of your restaurant business plan with information on who owns the restaurant and how it’ll be run. If you have a business mentor, then they should be able to help you with this section.

Financial projects – For investors, this section is like the desserts tray. It’s filled with lots of sweet facts and figures about how much money the restaurant will make and it’s the part that they will get most drawn to. All of your figures have to be accurate and producing honest cash-flow forecasts and profit/loss projections for the next 3 years are crucial ingredients to include. If you’re not numerically savvy, then get yourself a good accountant who can help you pull together the figures needed.

If you would like more information on how to write a business plan for your restaurant, please get in contact with us and we will talk you through how we can help you get your restaurant up and running.