Contact Login English

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan (Step-by-Step Guide + Free Template)


Opening a restaurant can be a very lucrative business, but it requires a well-thought-out business plan. A business plan is a document that will help you understand what steps you need to take to make your restaurant successful. This article will discuss how we design a business plan for a restaurant from scratch.

We will present some examples and templates to help you understand what elements should be included in this document. From concept development, through market and competition analysis, to a financial plan. This article gives you a solid foundation to create a business plan for your future restaurant or improve an existing one.

What is a restaurant business plan?

A restaurant business plan is a document that describes planned activities, goals, and strategies for a new or existing restaurant. It is an important document for anyone who wants to open or develop their own restaurant business.

How to write a restaurant business plan (Step-by-Step)?

  • Step 1: Gather answers to important questions from the list below before writing your plan.
  • Step 2: If you are opening a restaurant with an innovative business model, it is better to wait to start writing a business plan immediately to verify whether this model can succeed. Use the Business Model Canvas described later in the article.
  • If the restaurant has a traditional business model (e.g., pizza delivery, sushi on-site, bistro) already existing in the market, you can skip this step and create a business plan immediately.
  • Step 3: Create a restaurant business plan using the ready-made template (pattern) described below.
  • Step 4: Return to the business plan regularly every month in the first months of running the restaurant and at least once a year in subsequent years. A business plan is a living document to help your restaurant grow.
What to remember when creating a restaurant business plan?
  • Write short and concisely. Be specific.
  • Use numbers for calculations.
  • Assume black scenarios. The blacker you assume, and yet the business has a chance of success, you will manage to beat the market.
  • Work with the business plan daily in the first months of the restaurant’s operation. Update calculations and assumptions.
  • Once the restaurant is stable and has reached the so-called break-even point, return to the business plan at least once a year.
  • Discuss the business plan with your team. Also, consider sharing some of the profits with your team. In this way, you will build a unique commitment.
  • The business plan is for years. The document should be updated regularly.

Where to start writing a restaurant business plan? (40+ questions to start with)

Start writing a business plan by answering a few important questions. The questions help you create a good business plan for opening a restaurant and, above all, help you design a business that perfectly suits your needs:

  • What goal do you want to achieve? Why are you starting this restaurant?
  • How much would you like to earn per month? (no less than that would be good).
  • How many guests do I have to serve per month? How big will the premises be (if on-site)?
  • How much time do you give yourself to implement the plan? What will you do when you fail to achieve your goals?
  • How many (how many hours) would you like to work in your restaurant?
  • What will be the opening hours? Who will manage when I am not available?
  • What kind of restaurant do I want to run? (e.g., pizzeria, bistro, or maybe fine dining).
  • What kind of delivery (handling) will I offer? (on-site, takeout, deliveries).
  • Will I offer premises on-site? If so, how many seats?
  • What area will I operate in?
  • Who will be my client? How many such potential customers are there?
  • How many of these types of restaurants are there in the area where I want to operate?
  • How will my restaurant stand out? What will be the single most important differentiator?
  • How do I see myself in my restaurant in 5 years? (e.g., I want to work actively in it? Only manage? Sell? Give to children? Or hire a manager and have passive income.
  • How many people would I like to employ? Who do I need to hire? How will I find them?
  • Can I manage a restaurant? Can I manage people? (if not, what training to do?).
  • What metrics will I keep track of? (e.g., food cost, traffic on the website, number of guests on site, conversion on the website, conversion in the restaurant, opinions).
  • What will my restaurant look like inside? (room decoration and decor, including furniture, colors, logo, and appearance of the menu or website, as well as plates and cutlery).
  • What will be the atmosphere of my restaurant? (Atmosphere and overall impression influenced by decoration, lighting, music, but also temperature or smells in the restaurant)
  • How do I want to build the atmosphere? (Lighting and music – You can build a lot with these two. Remember that you must have purchased the rights licenses to use music in a public place. Lighting can turn a gloomy basement into a cozy and warm place to chat with friends – think about what effect you want to achieve).
  • What will my restaurant menu look like?
  • The general theme of the menu – whether it will be a family pizzeria or a restaurant full of exotic flavors. From this point, it is best to start building the whole concept.
  • Sample menu – it can be a way to attract your potential investors, regardless of whether it is a financial institution or friends. A well-written and attractive-looking menu will help you sell your idea, whether it’s a small fast-food joint or an upscale restaurant. The menu is your #1 sales tool.
  • What is my budget for opening my restaurant? Or should I start a restaurant with no money?

Don’t outsource your restaurant business plan writing to outside companies. If you need support, find restaurateurs who are where you want to be. Alternatively, find advisors who have assisted these restaurateurs.

Why write a business plan?

  • A business plan is an action plan. You will stop dreaming and start turning your idea into a real restaurant business plan.
  • Running a business is working in a company. Creating a business plan is working “on the company,” i.e., its design and improvement.
  • A restaurant business plan will allow you to verify your assumptions in a year, two, or five years (it’s super satisfying to watch how your knowledge grows every year).
  • Writing a business plan allows you to translate your vision into a specific project and action plan. It also allows you to rethink to what extent your business idea is a recipe for success and what you still need to refine.
  • Creating a business plan for a restaurant will help you assess the reality of your dream and the possibilities of its implementation, as well as check the chances of its success and assess the risk you have to take.
  • A business plan forces you to be specific. If you don’t know the answer to a question in our guide, you may be blind in this area, which is very risky.
  • If you already run a restaurant and don’t have a plan, fix this mistake. Every restaurant should have some sort of plan.

When is it worth writing a business plan?

In our opinion, always 🙂 If you open a restaurant and do not have the basic elements of your business written down and calculated (and you do not verify them regularly), you are doomed to failure. Only regular analysis of the restaurant’s results and planning the next moves (in the form of a business plan) allows you to have full control over the restaurant.

Of course, the external motivation is looking for an investor or support (then you are forced to create this document).

Helpful resources when creating a restaurant business plan

Free restaurant business plan template

A typical restaurant business plan example includes:

  1. Executive Summary.
  2. Restaurant description.
  3. Market Analysis, Location Analysis.
    • Market analysis.
    • Competition analysis.
    • SWOT analysis.
  4. Investment plan (Cost Analysis, Financial Analysis).
    • Investment costs (one-off to start).
    • Operating costs (fixed monthly costs).
  5. Financial Projections.
    • Profit and Loss Account.
    • Break-even analysis.
    • Sensitivity analysis.
  6. Team (Employees, Founders).
    • Founders.
    • Employees.
  7. Marketing Plan.
  8. Company description of the vision for further development of the restaurant.

1. Summary of the business plan

The summary of the restaurant business plan should include:

  • Mission statement, vision, and values.
  • Description of the restaurant concept.
  • Why will this idea be a success?
  • How do you want to implement this plan?
  • Costs.
  • Profits and return on investment.

The executive summary should be written at the end after you have written your entire restaurant business plan.

The idea of the executive summary is to summarize the business plan and provide the reader with the most important information in a very concise form (max. 600 words, i.e., about 1-2 pages) to encourage him to read the entire document.

Discuss only the key aspects of your business idea. Use points!

2. Description of the restaurant

The purpose of this section is to show you the details of your restaurant. It should not lack the following elements:

  1. Mission statement and vision
    • Mission: why do we exist?
    • Vision: what we want to achieve in 1, 2, and 5 years.
  2. Structure
    • Business Type: Is your restaurant a sole proprietorship, partnership, or other business?
  3. Restaurant concept
    • Restaurant name (consider going through a list of restaurant names for inspiration).
    • Restaurant type: specify the type of restaurant, e.g., bistro, fine dining, etc.
    • Specific location: write exactly where your new restaurant is (or could be) and why you chose this place.
    • The style of the place: what will be the colors, atmosphere, decorations, music, etc.
    • Ways to fulfill orders: only on-site, only in delivery, both ways.
    • Hours of Operation: What hours will the place be open? Why in these?
  4. Menu
    • Type of cuisine served:
    • Draft menu: attach a sample menu you want to offer (design it according to the rules of menu engineering)
    • 1-3 differentiators from the competition (Unique Selling Points)

3. Market research and competition analysis

Unless you are introducing real innovation to the market – and maybe especially then – you should thoroughly analyze the space to create your premises, i.e., the market and competition in the catering industry.

Analyze the market and competition, focusing on the following:

Market overview

Customers are the key to the success of any restaurant. Knowing the demographic structure, preferences, and customer dining habits is critical to a business plan.

  • Target group: Think about who your customer will be. Consider their age, interests, expectations, and how to reach them.
  • Needs in the market: Describe the market’s needs and how your restaurant will meet them.
  • Target Audience Size: Determine the number of potential customers in the market you intend to target.
  • Market trends: Use credible information to show that people will be interested in your restaurant idea. Find out current trends and how the restaurant industry is developing.

Competition analysis

Check out other restaurants that are or could be your competition.

  • A list of competing restaurants in your area.
  • Revenue and number of orders they can achieve: Estimate how much such restaurants can earn.
  • Menu and prices: Analyze what these places offer and at what prices. Try to calculate their food cost.
  • Competitor marketing activities: See what makes them successful and their weaknesses.
  • Competitive advantages: What will be your advantage?

SWOT analysis

The abbreviation comes from the words: S for Strengths, W for Weaknesses, O for Opportunities, and T for Threats.

Fields S and W are related to the present situation of the restaurant at the moment of launch. While the O and T fields are related to the success of your project in the future.

It is worth conducting such an analysis in the form of a table:





4. Investment plan (cost analysis)

In this section, you will present the costs associated with the initial investment and the spending plan for the first year of operation.

List the costs, dividing them into 2 groups:

  • Investment costs (one-off to start).
  • Operating costs (fixed monthly costs).

After opening a restaurant, verify the costs regularly, preferably once a month.

Investment costs include, among others:

  1. Rental or purchase of the real estate.
  2. Renovation and adaptation of the premises.
  3. Purchase of kitchen equipment:
    • Oven.
    • Gas stove.
    • Fridge and freezer.
    • Dishwasher.
    • Mixer, blender, food processor.
    • Dishes, cutlery, pots, pans.
  4. Purchase of room furniture and equipment:
    • Tables.
    • Chairs.
    • Buffet.
    • Decor.
    • Lighting.
    • Work clothes for the staff (if you plan uniforms for the staff).
  5. IT software and hardware:
    • POS software.
    • Payment terminals.
    • Computer hardware for the POS system.
  6. Marketing and promotion costs:
    • Logo.
    • Website with online orders.
    • Menu design.
    • Flyers.
    • A-boards.
  7. Insurance of the premises and equipment.
  8. Organizational and legal costs (e.g., regulations, documentation).
  9. Costs related to permits and licenses (e.g., permission to sell alcohol).
  10. External training costs.
  11. Operating costs include, among others:
  12. Rental of real estate (if the premises are rented).
  13. Utility charges:
    • Electricity.
    • Gas.
    • Water.
  14. Staff wages:
    • Chef.
    • Cooks.
    • Waiters.
    • Dishwashers.
  15. Purchase of food and drinks.
  16. Equipment maintenance and servicing costs.
  17. Service charges:
    • Cleaning.
    • POS system support.
    • Online ordering system.
    • Commissions for external food delivery services.
  18. Employee insurance.
  19. Marketing and promotion costs:
    • Online and offline advertising.
    • Printed materials.
    • Running social media.
    • Website positioning (SEO).
  20. Taxes and fees.
How to finance the opening of a restaurant?

Sources of financing for the first business are the biggest problem for a novice restaurateur. It is worth considering various options such as taking out a bank loan, receiving subsidies – here, a business plan will be even necessary to receive them – or loans from friends or family. 

Considering a restaurant loan or a subsidy, you must first think about the black scenario – what will happen if your business fails and you have to return the borrowed money, but also what to do to prevent this from happening. Assessing which costs are necessary at the beginning of the business and how high the margin you have to impose on the production of dishes is the key to assessing the chance of return on investment in the restaurant.

5. Financial forecast

The financial forecast consists of 3 elements:

  • Projected profit and Loss Statement: Shows what turnover and profits you will generate.
  • Break-even analysis: Shows when a restaurant will become profitable.
  • Sensitivity analysis: Shows what happens to turnover and profit in negative scenarios (e.g., 50% decrease in turnover for 3 months).

Profit and Loss Account

You will need to estimate the value of the sale considering the size of your restaurant, target market, sales volume, and food cost. You will get a profit and loss forecast, comparing this with the costs.

The easiest way to prepare a profit and loss account is in the form of a table:

Months of running a businessMonth 1Month 2
Month 3
Number of orders per month
Average order value
Monthly income (turnover)
Variable costs per month
Fixed costs per month
Profit per month
Profit margin (in percentages)

Break-even analysis

Investors will want to know how much revenue you will need to generate each month to break even after all fixed and operating costs are considered. In the analysis, you should show how you intend to generate the necessary revenue, even in difficult months with lower sales.

Sensitivity analysis

It is worth doing it to assess the negative scenarios: when the other restaurants will be stronger, and you will have to lower prices, when you lose key employees or when there is a decrease in sales by 10 or 20% compared to what you assume.

This will allow us to be better prepared for different types of the financial crises and reduce stress when such a situation arises.

Make a sensitivity analysis in the form of a table

ProblemHow will it affect revenue, costs and profitsHow to reactCountermeasure

6. Team

Business is people. Describe what your team will look like, dividing it into two groups:

  • Founders.
  • Employees.


If you are looking for investors, this area can be critical for them.

Describe the founders:

  • List of founders.
  • Experience.
  • Successes.


Think immediately about which positions are necessary for the daily functioning of the premises, such as a waiter or cook, and which will suffice as emergency help.

Think about which people you already know with the necessary competencies and which ones you will have to look for or train your employee from the beginning. The cost of necessary training should also be included in the restaurant business plan.

Describe the team you need to build:

  • List of job titles.
  • Duties.
  • Remuneration.
  • Type of contract.

7. Marketing plan

Ideally, your marketing strategy should include the following items. In our guide about 47+ restaurant marketing strategies, we described how to do effective marketing.

  1. Brand building (Logo, colors, slogan)
  2. Building your own website
  3. Selling food online from your own website (as the main way
  4. Selling food through external portals (as an add-on)
  5. Launching orders from the table
  6. Launching a loyalty program
  7. Action list how will you get offline customers?
    • Flyers.
    • Radio.
    • PR.
    • Events.
  8. List of activities how will you get customers online?
    • Will you run social media?
    • Will you be doing SEO (search engine) marketing?
    • Will you add a business card to Google Maps?
    • Will you run email and SMS campaigns, and how often? How will you build the base?
    • Will you be blogging?
    • Will you be running a newsletter?
    • Will you be doing paid Google Ads and Facebook Ads?
  9. Will you be offering promotions? What?

8. Description of the vision for further development of the restaurant

Determining the direction of development is of great importance at the beginning of your business. When setting goals you want to achieve in a certain time, you should start with the broader ones, reaching those at the everyday level. It is also worth considering how you want to achieve these goals.

Regular analysis of the goals you set for yourselves at the beginning and their verification during the implementation of the project will allow you to make ongoing changes in marketing, service, or menu, thus affecting effective management and minimizing losses. The vision that you follow when opening a new restaurant should be clear from the restaurant’s business plan, as well as your idea of how to make it possible to achieve the intended goals.

Sample restaurant business plan

To create this sample business plan, we assumed that the future restaurateur is a cook with several years of experience who wants to set up his own small bistro restaurant focused on serving nearby office buildings (office employees) and universities (university employees, students).

The amounts in this plan are only estimates and are intended to show the calculation mechanisms. Still, they should not be treated as authoritative, and the calculation of your own business plan should not be based on them.

  1. Summary of the business plan
  • Mission: We exist to feed hungry office workers.
  • Vision: We want our food to become a tasty break from work for them.
  • Restaurant Description: Bistro bar for breakfast and lunch offered to employees in nearby offices.
  • Costs: $274,040 investment + $50,500 monthly costs.
  • Profits: after 12 months, $55,000 per month (24.4% of turnover).
  1. Description of the restaurant

Our bar is primarily a place for people who need to eat something quickly during a break at the university or work. By using fresh ingredients and natural products in our menu, we attract conscious consumers looking for good quality at an affordable price.

  • Mission and vision
    • Mission: We exist to feed hungry office workers.
    • Vision: We want our food to become a tasty break from work for them
  • Restaurant concept
    • Restaurant name: NY Bistro
    • Restaurant type: Breakfast and dinner bistro
    • Location: New York, West 4th Street
    • The style of the place (colors, atmosphere, decorations, music, etc.): online-only atmosphere, as there are no tables on site. Colors white, black (industrial)
    • Ways of fulfilling orders: only in delivery + personal pick-up.
    • We want to focus on the Internet and 100% on accepting orders from the restaurant’s website and through our online ordering system for restaurants, which will immediately reduce commission costs by 50%. We intend to use food ordering portals such as DoorDash as addition and advertising (we do not base online sales on it because it will kill the business.)
    • Working hours: 8 am to 6 pm (working hours of most nearby offices)
  • Menu offer
    • Type of cuisine served: Home, American
    • Offer: The menu will be as short as possible to limit food costs and losses. We plan to divide the menu into 2 categories: breakfasts serving 3 menu items and lunches/dinners serving 3 menu items
    • 1-3 differentiators from the competition (Unique Selling Points):
      1. Short menu (3 items)
      2. Very good food cost (value for money)
      3. High-end ingredients and taste
      4. Order processing speed up to 15 minutes
  1. Market and competition analysis

Market analysis

  • Target group (who will be our client): Office workers from nearby office buildings and university employees and students from nearby universities.
  • Size of the target group (the number of customers on the selected market): Size of the target group: Approximately 20,000 people work or study in the nearby 2 universities and 8 office buildings between 8 am and 6 pm.

Competition analysis

  • The size of the competition: In the area where we want to operate, there is 1 bistro, 2 pizzerias, and 1 sushi place. Potential competition could be nearby shops offering sandwiches and salads, but their selection is limited and not sold hot.
  • Competitor’s prices: Competitor’s prices do not differ from those we want to offer. We will not fight with the price, but with the quality of the products
  • Competitor’s offer: Only 1 bistro offers dinners and lunches similar to ours but does not offer deliveries.

Restaurant SWOT analysis

• Interesting menu different from that offered by the local bistro
• Experienced staff (ready team)
• Focusing on online sales and marketing
• Limited delivery options – 1 supplier
• Take-out only
• 20,000 hungry people without their own kitchen
• The premises meet the needs of employees and students
• No competition in the selected area (also no competition selling through own online ordering system for restaurants)
• Low number of orders (poor sales)
• Opening of a competitive restaurant in the area
• Energy costs increases or higher inflation

  1. Investment plan (detailed cost analysis)

Investment costs (one-off to start):

  • Rental or purchase of real estate – rent $8,000 / month, 2-month deposit ($16,000).
  • Renovation or adaptation of the interior – approx. $50,000 (depending on the condition of the rooms and renovation needs).
  • Kitchen equipment – approx. $50,000, including ovens, cookers, fryers, steamers, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.
  • Restaurant devices and equipment – approx. $100,000, including tables, chairs, bar, decorations, lighting, etc.
  • Kitchen equipment – approx. $10,000, including pots, pans, knives, cutting boards, etc.
  • Supply of crockery and cutlery – approx. $5,000.
  • POS system and customer service equipment – approx. $10,000, including cash registers, payment terminals, etc.
  • Provision of hygiene and cleaning products – approx. $500.
  • Marketing and advertising costs – approx. $20,000, including logo design, website development, social media advertising, etc.
  • Clothes for employees: 4 aprons, 4 work clothes for the kitchen, 4 company shirts for waiters – approx. $840
  • Scooter (owned by the owner), thermal bag for transporting food = approx. $100
  • Website with an online ordering system: $2,000
  • Cash register or POS: $500
  • Licenses and permits: approx. $1,000.
  • TOTAL: $274,040 (one-off)

Operating costs (monthly)

  • Real estate rental – $8,000 / month.
  • Utility bills – approx. $5,000 / month, including electricity, gas, water, internet, etc.
  • Costs of maintaining kitchen and restaurant equipment – approx. $3,000 / month.
  • Provision of food and beverages – approx. $10,000 / month, including meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, alcohol, etc.
  • Staff costs – approx. $20,000 / month, including salaries of cooks, waiters, bartenders, kitchen helpers, etc.
  • Marketing and advertising costs – approx. $2,000 / month, including advertising campaign costs, website content creation, etc.
  • Accounting and tax costs – approx. $1,000 / month, including remuneration for an accountant or accounting office.
  • Repair and maintenance costs – approx. $1,500.
  • TOTAL: $50,500 / month
  1. Financial forecast

Profit and Loss Account

We assume that out of 20,000 people working in nearby office buildings and universities, 1% orders takeaway food every day, which gives about 200 orders each day (we estimate that 75% of them will be delivered)

Months of business activity

Monthly number of orders

Average order value

Income (turnover)

Variable costs per month

Fixed costs per monthProfit per month

Profit margin (in percentage)

1600 (20 daily)







2900 (30 daily)$50






31200 (40 daily)$50$60,000$32,500$40,000-12,500


41500 (50 daily)







52100 (70 daily)





62400 (80 daily)$50$120,000





72700 (90 daily)





14,8 %

83000 (100 daily)





93600 (120 daily)






103900 (130 daily)






114200 (140 daily)






124500 (150 daily)






  • We reach the break event point with 1500 orders per month.
  • We assume it will take 6-8 months to reach the target number of serviced orders. Then we will achieve full profitability.
  • In the first months, the profit will reach $5,000.
  • Ultimately, the profit will reach $55,000 / month.

Sensitivity analysis

ProblemDescription of the problem

How to react
Sales will fall by 10% than expected
Monthly revenue: X (+/- X %)

Costs per month: no change

Profit per month: X (+/- X%)
• We do nothing – normal trading fluctuations

• None (we treat this as normal fluctuation)

Sales will fall by 50% than expected

Monthly revenue: X (+/- X %)

Costs per month: no change

Profit per month: X (+/- X%)
• We put aside a financial cushion for 6 months of activity in advance
• We analyze from which sources sales decreased the most
• We increase the budget for marketing activities based on the analysis of revenue sources
• Building restaurant’s brand
• Ongoing monitoring of the number of orders and the effects of marketing activities
• Ongoing analysis of restaurant customers’ feedback
2 employees quit at the same time

The situation is analogous to the downtime of 2 months
• Analysis of the reasons for leaving and improving the operation of the premises
• We put aside a financial cushion for 6 months of activity in advance
• We recruit new people
• We agree to close the premises for 1-2 months
• Monthly conversations with each employee and collecting feedback
• Staff training
• Quarterly joint events
• Ongoing monitoring of the working atmosphere
Downtime of 3-6 months in sales due to the pandemic

It will reduce revenue and profits to zero

• We put aside a financial cushion for 6 months of activity in advance
• We are not laying off staff. We pay 50% of the salary
• We negotiate rent costs
• Alternatively, we extend the delivery area to 6 miles thanks to external suppliers such as DoorDash or Stuart
• Monthly analysis of food costs, inventory and losses
• Monthly cost update
• None (out of our control)

Increase in energy costs and salaries by 50%Monthly revenue: X (+/- X %)

Costs per month: no change

Profit per month: X (+/- X%)
• We put aside a financial cushion for 6 months of activity in advance
• We are not laying off staff. We pay 50% of the salary
• We negotiate rent costs
• Alternatively, we extend the delivery area to 6 miles thanks to external suppliers such as DoorDash or Stuart
• Monthly analysis of food costs, inventory and losses
• Monthly cost update
• None (out of our control)

  1. Team


  • 1 food supplier with a driving license.
  • 2 people to help in the kitchen and handle orders.
  • 1 cook with at least 5 years of work experience in such a position (company owner).
  1. Marketing Plan
  • The foundation will be brand building, the restaurant’s website, and online sales through the restaurant’s mobile app and online ordering system integrated with the website.
  • Third-party food delivery such as GrubHub or DoorDash will be just an addition to reduce commission costs and not lose control over your brand.
  • People who show up at the premises despite the lack of availability to eat on the spot can use the tableside ordering feature.
  • We will launch a loyalty program in the restaurant giving regular customers a 10% discount.
  • Once a month, we will send customers an email and SMS campaign using ready-made restaurant marketing tools to remind them of our brand.
  • At the start and once in the first months, we will be handing out leaflets in the surrounding offices and on campus informing about the opening of the new premises.
  • We will launch a Facebook and Instagram profile to inform you regularly about the most important promotions.
  • On the opening day, he will prepare free trial sets, and we will distribute them outside the office buildings.
  • We do not plan to fight the market with price and promotions, but occasionally on Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day, etc. We will give customers additional discount coupons, informing them about these coupons through email and SMS campaigns.
  • We will set up a Google business card.
  • At the moment, we do not plan to do SEO (due to the very small area of operation). Perhaps we will undertake this when we expand the delivery area to the entire city.
  1. Description of the vision for further development of the project

Possible further ways to develop and scale the successful restaurant:

  • Larger delivery area:
    • Extending delivery areas using your own supplier to 3-4 km.
    • Expanding the delivery area to the entire city using your own suppliers or suppliers.
  • New brand:
    • Creating a virtual restaurant with a different brand in the same location (i.e. using the same staff and kitchen to create a completely new concept and, as it were, your own competition to take over a larger part of the market).
    • Theoretically, this direction allows you to expand the premises and open new brands, dividing the fixed costs into many brands.
  • Building a network or franchise:
    • Opening a second virtual restaurant based on the same brand in another part of the city.
    • After testing the second location, the concept was changed into a franchise and the construction of a nationwide network.

Business Model Canvas: A business plan for a restaurant on one sheet of paper

Who reads hundred-page documents describing a business idea? If you don’t like talking nonsense and want to simply describe your vision of a modern restaurant and test how it will work in reality, the lean canvas is the solution for you.

What is the Business Model Canvas?

Business Model Canvas simply stands for a slimmed down version of a restaurant planning document. This concept was created by Ash Maurya.

You can find more about it on the LEANSTACK website

This is not only a quantitative change, but also a qualitative one. Maurya has created a business model of thinking that helps eliminate such a restaurant or other business that raises doubts about its success from the beginning, if only because no one will want to buy the product we offer. His motto is that life is too short to build something nobody wants.

The main goal was to support communication and simplify talking about your idea. So that it can be summarized to the investor in 1 minute. And that’s enough to take in an A4 sheet of paper instead of digging through the entire document.

Advantages of the Business Model Canvas over a traditional restaurant business plan

How is Lean Canvas different from a traditional business plan?

  • Short and concise
  • Quick to update and test
  • Easy to maintain (because it’s short and concise)
  • It allows you to eliminate an unprofitable or unnecessary idea for a restaurant already at the planning stage
  • Focused on finding solutions and simplified problem analysis

When to choose a traditional business plan and when to choose a Business Model Canvas?

We think it is ideal to always start with a business model canvas as a sketch first. So the way to create the perfect restaurant business plan is this:

  • You start by writing out a few business model canvases to catch ideas for the restaurant’s business model.
  • You have fun with this model. Test XYZ.
  • If from many models emerges the leading one that you want to implement, you start writing it down exactly as a restaurant business plan, where you carefully analyze the market, write down costs, profits, and a plan of marketing activities.

Business Model Canvas: pattern and example

Example of Business Model Canvas

  1. Problem – list the needs and problems that already exist on the market, do not invent new ones. It is best to list the 3 that are most important.
  2. Solution alternatives – a description of how your existing customers are currently doing and what solutions the competition offers them.
  3. Ideal customers – think about who has problems from point 1, and you can make a breakdown in terms of age or customer behavior.
  4. Open to new solutions – think about what group can become the ambassador of your restaurant.
  5. Solution – list what solutions you propose to solve problems and needs for your customers.
  6. Unique value proposition – why the solutions you propose and your business idea are unique, summarize it in a few sentences.
  7. Channels – what marketing channels will you use to reach your customers, be it Google Ads campaigns, a Facebook profile, or a partnership with another brand or person?
  8. Revenue – how your restaurant will earn a living, whether it’s just in-house orders or also catering, etc.
  9. Key activities – determine what will be the measures of your success, apart from financial ones, e.g., the number of customers who placed an order or left a positive opinion on your website.
  10. The competitive advantage of your restaurant – what the competition will neither easily buy nor easily counterfeit if, for example, you have secret recipes passed down from generation to generation or a celebrity corresponding to your ideal client decided to dine at your restaurant.

How to create a restaurant business plan using the Business Model Canvas?

  • Create a lean canvas by filling in all the fields in one sitting
  • Focus primarily on the present state, do not try to anticipate what will happen next.
  • Fill in the fields in the following order: 1 problem and model customers 2 unique value proposition 3 solutions 4 channels 5 revenue 6 key activities 7 distinguishing feature of your restaurant.
  • If you do not know how to complete a given field – leave it blank. At the initial stage, the lean canvas will change due to the tests you will conduct
  • if there are several target groups to whom you want to address your restaurant’s offer – prepare separate versions for them, and then choose the most likely one.
  • Run tests – check if your solutions to the problem answer the market’s needs, whether your distribution method will reach the model client, etc.

Business Model Canvas to download (examples)

Download an example of a lean canvas prepared by us for a small gastronomic establishment to provide healthy homemade dinners with home or work delivery.

More resources about Business Model Canvas

Final thoughts

  • The business plan describes what your restaurant will look like.
  • A business plan consists of 10 different elements.
  • Create a business plan even if you already run a restaurant.
  • Do not outsource writing a business plan to external companies. It is better to ask an experienced restaurateur or an external company as a consultant for your ideas.
  • Go back to the business plan once a month if you are starting and once a year if you have been operating for several years.
  • A business plan is not an artificial document you write once and forget. It is a living document that teaches you how to run a business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In our opinion, yes. If you are serious about developing your business, you must implement a repetitive method of working “on the company”. A business plan that is updated regularly every month and year is one way to run a business.

Opening a restaurant with no money can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some ways to open a restaurant without enough funds:

  • Rethink the concept of your restaurant.
  • Look for investors or alternative funding sources.
  • Start your online business to get customers.
  • Consider working with other companies.
  • Start a smaller business by offering food from a food truck or catering.

Promoting a restaurant is key to attracting new guests, increasing sales and retaining regular customers. A few steps to help you promote your restaurant:

  1. Create a professional website with an online ordering system.
  2. Take care of social media by posting regularly and encouraging interaction.
  3. Add your restaurant to popular booking sites.
  4. Organize contests and promotions.
  5. Collaborate with influencers.
  6. Organize events such as tastings or concerts.
  7. Use paid ads such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
  8. Collect feedback from satisfied customers.

A restaurant’s profit depends on many factors, such as location, type of cuisine, style, price, service quality, and business size. The average profit of a restaurant is between 3 and 5% per year, but it can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned above.

For example, fast-food restaurants may have a lower profit but typically have a higher turnover and more customers. By contrast, fine dining restaurants that offer fine dining and high-quality service tend to have higher prices but fewer customers and lower turnover.

Our estimations show that, on average, restaurants generate a profit of $15,000-$25,000 per month.

Dominik Bartoszek

Dominik Bartoszek

8+ years Digital Marketer driven by data & AI. Helping restaurants grow more through online orders.

How helpful was this post?

Share this article

Try for free,
no commitment!