Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Business Plans

Does a business plan for a restaurant have any unique or specific requirements?


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2007-12-26 22:31:17
2007-12-26 22:31:17

No two business plans are alike, so the answer to this question is YES! A business plan for one restaurant - say a casual, fast-food establishment - will be much different than that for another restaurant - such as a formal sit-down dinner club. Like any business, it is the unique aspects of a restaurant that help to give it a competitive advantage. As far as specific requirements, there are a couple of unique elements that are found in restaurant business plans. First, you should have section that carefully explains food and beverage production. Where will food be prepared (i.e. onsite or offsite)? What safety procedures will be implemented to protect employees and customers from the dangers of food poisoning? In preparing certain menu items (dishes), how will consistency be maintained (i.e. computerized recipe file, use of requisition forms, etc.)? You will also want to include a sample menu as an attachment or within the appendices. Second, in a restaurant business plan there should be a section that describes the atmosphere (facility layout and design) and ambience. Most people go to a restaurant to eat and socialize. They are attracted not only by great food, but also by the surroundings - these two elements combined make up the total dining experience. So in your business plan you will need to describe the design of the facility, lighting, decor, color schemes and the theme, if any. Finally, when preparing the sales projections for your restaurant business plan, you will need to take into consideration the estimated number of meals and/or drinks that will be served daily/weekly/monthly, the average daily seat turnover and the average check. You can obtain up-to-date industry averages by visiting the Web site of the National Restaurant Association at


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You can find a variety of restaurant business plans online. Just make sure that you use these as a reference point only. Don't cut and paste. Your business plan should be unique and encompass your goals, strategies and financial projections. If you're ready to begin your search, one of the best resources for sample business plans is They feature an array of plans, including nine related to the food service and restaurant industries. There's one for an organic restaurant and one for a steak buffet, among others. The Sid Craig School of Business in California also provides several business plan samples in Microsoft Word format including one for a Mexican restaurant and one for an ice cream parlor. And don't forget to visit the Web site of the Small Business Administration. They can answer your questions or help point you in the right direction for all your business planning needs.

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