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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

Sally Lauckner

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

When starting a business—no matter what type of business that may be—a business plan is essential to map out your intentions and direction. That’s the same for a restaurant business plan, which will help you figure out where you fit in the landscape, how you’re going to differ from other establishments around you, how you’ll market your business, and even what you’re going to serve. A business plan for your restaurant can also help you later if you choose to apply for a business loan .

While opening a restaurant isn’t as risky as you’ve likely heard, you still want to ensure that you’re putting thought and research into your business venture to set it up for success. And that’s where a restaurant business plan comes in.

We’ll go through how to create a business plan for a restaurant and a few reasons why it’s so important. After you review the categories and the restaurant business plan examples, you can use the categories to make a restaurant business plan template and start your journey.

business plan for small restaurant

Why you shouldn’t skip a restaurant business plan

First-time restaurateurs and industry veterans alike all need to create a business plan when opening a new restaurant . That’s because, even if you deeply understand your business and its nuances (say, seasonal menu planning or how to order correct quantities), a restaurant is more than its operations. There’s marketing, financing, the competitive landscape, and more—and each of these things is unique to each door you open.

That’s why it’s so crucial to understand how to create a business plan for a restaurant. All of these things and more will be addressed in the document—which should run about 20 or 30 pages—so you’ll not only have a go-to-market strategy, but you’ll also likely figure out some things about your business that you haven’t even thought of yet.

Additionally, if you’re planning to apply for business funding down the line, some loans—including the highly desirable SBA loan —actually require you to submit your business plan to gain approval. In other words: Don’t skip this step!

How much do you need?

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

How to write a restaurant business plan: Step by step

There’s no absolute format for a restaurant business plan that you can’t stray from—some of these sections might be more important than others, for example, or you might find that there’s a logical order that makes more sense than the one in the restaurant business plan example below. However, this business plan outline will serve as a good foundation, and you can use it as a restaurant business plan template for when you write your own.

Executive summary

Your executive summary is one to two pages that kick off your business plan and explain your vision. Even though this might seem like an introduction that no one will read, that isn’t the case. In fact, some investors only ask for the executive summary. So, you’ll want to spend a lot of time perfecting it.

Your restaurant business plan executive summary should include information on:

Mission statement: Your goals and objectives

General company information: Include your founding date, team roles (i.e. executive chef, sous chefs, sommeliers), and locations

Category and offerings: What category your restaurant fits into, what you’re planning to serve (i.e. farm-to-table or Korean), and why

Context for success: Any past success you’ve had, or any current financial data that’ll support that you are on the path to success

Financial requests: If you’re searching for investment or financing, include your plans and goals here and any financing you’ve raised or borrowed thus far

Future plans: Your vision for where you’re going in the next year, three years, and five years

When you’re done with your executive summary, you should feel like you’ve provided a bird’s eye view of your entire business plan. In fact, even though this section is first, you will likely write it last so you can take the highlights from each of the subsequent sections.

And once you’re done, read it on its own: Does it give a comprehensive, high-level overview of your restaurant, its current state, and your vision for the future? Remember, this may be the only part of your business plan potential investors or partners will read, so it should be able to stand on its own and be interesting enough to make them want to read the rest of your plan.

Company overview

This is where you’ll dive into the specifics of your company, detailing the kind of restaurant you’re looking to create, who’s helping you do it, and how you’re prepared to accomplish it.

Your restaurant business plan company overview should include:

Purpose: The type of restaurant you’re opening (fine dining, fast-casual, pop-up, etc.), type of food you’re serving, goals you have, and the niche you hope to fill in the market

Area: Information on the area in which you’re opening

Customers: Whom you’re hoping to target, their demographic information

Legal structure: Your business entity (i.e. LLC, LLP, etc.) and how many owners you have

Similar to your executive summary, you won’t be going into major detail here as the sections below will get into the nitty-gritty. You’ll want to look at this as an extended tear sheet that gives someone a good grip on your restaurant or concept, where it fits into the market, and why you’re starting it.

Team and management

Barely anything is as important for a restaurant as the team that runs it. You’ll want to create a section dedicated to the members of your staff—even the ones that aren’t yet hired. This will provide a sense of who is taking care of what, and how you need to structure and build out the team to get your restaurant operating at full steam.

Your restaurant business plan team and management section should have:

Management overview: Who is running the restaurant, what their experience and qualifications are, and what duties they’ll be responsible for

Staff: Other employees you’ve brought on and their bios, as well as other spots you anticipate needing to hire for

Ownership percentage: Which individuals own what percentage of the restaurant, or if you are an employee-owned establishment

Be sure to update this section with more information as your business changes and you continue to share this business plan—especially because who is on your team will change both your business and the way people look at it.

Sample menu

You’ll also want to include a sample menu in your restaurant business plan so readers have a sense of what they can expect from your operations, as well as what your diners can expect from you when they sit down. This will also force you to consider exactly what you want to serve your diners and how your menu will stand out from similar restaurants in the area. Although a sample menu is in some ways self-explanatory, consider the following:

Service : If your brunch is as important as your dinner, provide both menus; you also might want to consider including both a-la-carte and prix fixe menus if you plan to offer them.

Beverage/wine service: If you’ll have an emphasis on specialty beverages or wine, a separate drinks list could be important.

Seasonality: If you’re a highly seasonal restaurant, you might want to consider providing menus for multiple seasons to demonstrate how your dishes (and subsequent purchasing) will change.

Market analysis

This is where you’ll begin to dive deeper. Although you’ve likely mentioned your market and the whitespace you hope to address, the market analysis section will enable you to prove your hypotheses.

Your restaurant business plan market analysis should include:

Industry information: Include a description of the restaurant industry, its size, growth trends, and other trends regarding things such as tastes, trends, demographics, structures, etc.

Target market: Zoom in on the area and neighborhood in which you’re opening your restaurant as well as the type of cuisine you’re serving.

Target market characteristics: Describe your customers and their needs, how/if their needs are currently being served, other important pieces about your specific location and customers.

Target market size and growth: Include a data-driven section on the size of your market, trends in its growth, how your target market fits into the industry as a whole, projected growth of your market, etc.

Market share potential: Share how much potential there is in the market, how much your presence will change the market, and how much your specific restaurant or restaurant locations can own of the open market; also touch on any barriers to growth or entry you might see.

Market pricing: Explain how you’ll be pricing your menu and where you’ll fall relative to your competitors or other restaurants in the market.

Competitive research: Include research on your closest competitors, how they are both succeeding and failing, how customers view them, etc.

If this section seems like it might be long, it should—it’s going to outline one of the most important parts of your strategy, and should feel comprehensive. Lack of demand is the number one reason why new businesses fail, so the goal of this section should be to prove that there is demand for your restaurant and show how you’ll capitalize on it.

Additionally, if market research isn’t your forte, don’t be shy to reach out to market research experts to help you compile the data, or at least read deeply on how to conduct effective research.

Marketing and sales

Your marketing and sales section should feel like a logical extension of your market analysis section, since all of the decisions you’ll make in this section should follow the data of the prior section.

The marketing and sales sections of your restaurant business plan should include:

Positioning: How you’ll describe your restaurant to potential customers, the brand identity and visuals you’ll use to do it, and how you’ll stand out in the market based on the brand you’re building

Promotion: The tools, tactics, and platforms you’ll use to market your business

Sales: How you’ll convert on certain items, and who/how you will facilitate any additional revenue streams (i.e. catering)

It’s likely that you’ll only have concepts for some of these elements, especially if you’re not yet open. Still, get to paper all of the ideas you have, and you can (and should) always update them later as your restaurant business becomes more fully formed.

Business operations

The business operations section should get to the heart of how you plan to run your business. It will highlight both internal factors as well as external forces that will dictate how you run the ship.

The business operations section should include:

Management team: Your management structure and hierarchy, and who is responsible for what

Hours: Your hours and days of operation

Location: What’s special about your location that will get people through the door

Relationships: Any advantageous relationships you have with fellow restaurateurs, places for sourcing and buying, business organizations, or consultants on your team

Add here anything you think could be helpful for illustrating how you’re going to do business and what will affect it.

Here, you’ll detail the current state of your business finances and project where you hope to be in a year, three years, and five years. You’ll want to detail what you’ve spent, what you will spend, where you’ll get the money, costs you might incur, and returns you’ll hope to see—including when you can expect to break even and turn a profit.

Financial statements: If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, include existing financial statements (i.e. profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow, etc.)

Budget: Your current budget or a general startup budget

Projections: Include revenue, cash flow, projected profit and loss, and other costs

Debt: Include liabilities if the business has any outstanding debt or loans

Funding request: If you’re requesting a loan or an investment, lay out how much capital you’re looking for, your company’s valuation (if applicable), and the purpose of the funding

Above all, as you’re putting your financials together, be realistic—even conservative. You want to give any potential investors a realistic picture of your business.

Feel like there are other important components but they don't quite fit in any of the other categories (or make them run too long)? That’s what the restaurant business plan appendix section is for. And although in, say, a book, an appendix can feel like an afterthought, don’t ignore it—this is another opportunity for you to include crucial information that can give anyone reading your plan some context. You may include additional data, graphs, marketing collateral (like logo mockups), and more.

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The bottom line

Whether you’re writing a restaurant business plan for investors, lenders, or simply for yourself and your team, the most important thing to do is make sure your document is comprehensive. A good business plan for a restaurant will take time—and maybe a little sweat—to complete fully and correctly.

One other crucial thing to remember: a business plan is not a document set in stone. You should often look to it to make sure you’re keeping your vision and mission on track, but you should also feel prepared to update its components as you learn more about your business and individual restaurant.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan in 2024 (Step by Step Guide with Templates)

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A comprehensive restaurant business plan is a framework that guides you to plan and forecast every element of restaurant management and operations.

This includes anything from your restaurant's menu design, location, financials, employee training, and a lot more.

Crafting a solid business plan is important, as it helps:

  • Transform your restaurant ideas into reality.
  • Boosts entrepreneurial success by 16% (Harvard Business Study) .
  • Equips you to navigate challenges before they arise.
  • Attracts potential investors.

“You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.” - Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla

Planning is key to restaurant success. Without a plan, you're more likely to join the 26% of restaurants that fail within a year.

Create a business plan to set yourself up for success.

Here's how to get started. 

business plan for small restaurant

A step-by-step guide to writing a restaurant business plan

Embarking on a restaurant venture is an exciting prospect filled with endless possibilities.

However, the key to transforming your culinary dreams into reality lies in the foundation of a well-crafted restaurant business plan.

This guide will walk you through creating a winning restaurant business plan , from defining your niche to seeking expert advice.

So, are you ready to cook up some success?  Let's get started. 

Essential components of a restaurant business plan

A well-structured restaurant business plan typically consists of the following key components:

  • Executive Summary

Company Description

  • Market Analysis
  • Restaurant Design
  • Market Overview
  • External help
  • Financial Analysis

Delving into each section

Now, let's take a closer look at each section of your restaurant business plan and explore the key elements to consider:

1. Executive summary

A restaurant business plan should always begin with an executive summary. Why?

  • 80% of venture capitalists say they read the executive summary first.
  • 62% of investors say they would not continue reading a business plan if the executive summary did not capture their interest.
  • A strong executive summary can increase the likelihood of securing funding by up to 40%.

An executive summary not only acts as the introduction to your restaurant business plan samples but also as a summary of the entire idea.

The main aim of an executive summary is to draw the reader (oftentimes an investor) into the rest of your business plan.

The executive summary also helps you envision the identity of your restaurant which essentially shapes the customer experience and sets you apart from competitors.

To establish a distinct identity, you need to focus on c ommon elements of an executive summary, including:

  • A mission statement  
  • Proposed concept development
  • Cuisine selection
  • The overall execution
  • The potential costs
  • Expected return on investments (ROI)

Let's take a more in-depth look at the concept development, cuisine selection, and mission statement.

Further reading

  • How to write a restaurant executive summary

Concept Development

Selecting the type of restaurant, service style, and atmosphere is the first step towards creating a unique dining experience. Whether you envision a sample menu for a:

  • cozy, intimate bistro
  • bustling quick-service deli
  • fast-casual restaurant
  • fine dining establishment

Your concept should reflect your passion and expertise in the industry.

With a broad range of options, it’s critical to scrutinize your target market and pinpoint the most suitable choice considering their preferences and your capabilities.

When planning your restaurant design, keep in mind that it should effectively complement your chosen theme and cuisine.

Additionally, consider the potential for patio seating and the involvement of your management team in making these critical decisions.

A well-thought-out concept will not only set the stage for an unforgettable dining experience but also pique the interest of potential investors.

Cuisine Selection

The cuisine you select for your restaurant can significantly influence its success.

Choosing the appropriate cuisine is vital for distinguishing your establishment from competitors and attracting your target market.

To make an informed decision, consider factors such as:

  • Market demand
  • Expertise and passion
  • Ingredient availability
  • Competition
  • Profitability
  • Cultural fit
  • Seasonality

Dietary restrictions and trends

In the highly competitive restaurant industry, keeping track of current and emerging cuisine trends can be a significant advantage.

From regional delicacies to innovative fusion dishes, understanding what’s popular and in demand can help you tailor your offerings to the desires of your target audience.

By thoroughly analyzing the market and adapting to evolving tastes, your restaurant can remain relevant and successful in the long run.

Crafting a mission statement

A well-constructed mission statement communicates the purpose, values, and goals of your restaurant to potential investors and customers alike.

A mission statement serves as a guiding light for decision-makers and employees, fueling their efforts to achieve your restaurant’s objectives.

To create an impactful mission statement, consider the following steps:

  • Identify the purpose of the restaurant.
  • Contemplate the brand’s image.
  • Account for the target audience.
  • Incorporate company values.
  • Ensure brevity and comprehensiveness.

Related content:  How to Write a Restaurant Mission Statement  

Remember, your mission statement should not only differentiate your restaurant from competitors but also resonate with your target market.

By articulating your restaurant’s unique values and vision, you’ll create a strong foundation upon which to build a thriving and successful business.

2. Company description

This is the part of the restaurant business plan where you fully introduce the company.

Start this section with the name of the restaurant you are opening along with the location, contacts, and other relevant information. 

Also, include the owner’s details and a brief overview or description of their experience.

The second part of the company description should highlight the legal standing of the restaurant and outline the restaurant’s short and long-term goals.

Provide a brief market study showing that you understand the trends in the regional food industry and why the most independent restaurant investors will succeed in this market.

Here's an example of the page layout:  

Restaurant Name: [Restaurant Name]

Location: [Restaurant Address]

Contact: [Restaurant Phone Number] | [Restaurant Email Address]

Owner: [Owner Name]

Experience: [Owner Name] has over [Number] years of experience in the restaurant industry. They have worked in various roles, including [List of Roles]. They are passionate about food and creating a memorable dining experience for their guests.

Legal Standing: [Restaurant Name] is a [Type of Legal Entity] registered in [State/Province].

Short-term Goals:

  • Generate [Amount] in revenue within the first year of operation.
  • Achieve a [Percentage] customer satisfaction rating within the first six months of operation.

Long-term Goals:

  • Expand to a second location within five years.
  • Become a recognized leader in the regional food industry.

Market Study:

The regional food industry is experiencing a number of trends, including:

  • An increasing demand for fresh,  local ingredients.
  • A growing interest in ethnic cuisine.
  • A preference for casual dining experiences.

3. Market analysis

The market analysis portion of the restaurant business plan is typically divided into three parts.

3.1 Industry analysis

What is your target market? What demographics will your restaurant cater to?

This section aims to explain your target market to investors and why you believe guests will choose your restaurant over others.

Comprehending your target market is key to customizing your restaurant offerings to their preferences and needs.

By diving into demographics, preferences, dining habits, and trends, you can fine-tune your concept and marketing strategy to reach and appeal to your target audience effectively.

An example of analyzing your target market

  Comprehending your target market is key to customizing your restaurant offerings to their preferences and needs.

Demographics and preferences

Identifying your primary target market involves considering factors such as:

For example, a neighborhood with a high concentration of families might prefer a family-friendly restaurant with a diverse menu catering to various age groups and dietary preferences.

Conversely, a trendy urban area with a predominantly young and affluent population may gravitate towards upscale dining experiences and innovative cuisine.

Cultural and ethnic backgrounds also have a significant impact on restaurant preferences, with people from different backgrounds having distinctive tastes and customs that influence their dining choices.

By thoroughly understanding the demographics and preferences of your target market, you’ll be better equipped to create a restaurant concept that resonates with them and ultimately drives success.

Dining habits and trends

As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, staying informed about dining habits and trends is crucial for adapting your offerings and attracting customers.

For example, the rise of online ordering and delivery services has significantly influenced dining habits, with many consumers seeking the convenience of having their meals delivered to their doorstep.

Health trends have also had an impact on dining habits, with an increasing number of individuals seeking healthier options when dining out.

By staying abreast of current habits and trends, you can anticipate the needs and desires of your target market and tailor your restaurant’s offerings accordingly.

This forward-thinking approach will not only help you stay competitive but also foster long-term success in the ever-changing restaurant landscape.

  • How to find your restaurant's target market

3.2 Competition analysis

It's easy to assume that everyone will visit your new restaurant first, so it is important to research your competition to make this a reality.

What restaurants have already established a customer base in the area?

Take note of everything from their prices, hours, and service style to menu design to the restaurant interior.

Then explain to your investors how your restaurant will be different.

3.3 Marketing analysis

Your investors are going to want to know how you plan to market your restaurant. How will your marketing campaigns differ from what is already being done by others in the restaurant industry?

How do you plan on securing your target market? What kind of offers will you provide your guests? Make sure to list everything.

The most important element to launching a successful restaurant is the menu . Without it, your restaurant has nothing to serve.

At this point, you probably don’t have a final version, but for a restaurant business plan, you should at least try to have a mock-up.

Add your logo to the mock-up and choose a design that you can see yourself actually using. If you are having trouble coming up with a menu design or don’t want to pay a designer, there are plenty of resources online to help.

The key element of your sample menu though should be pricing. Your prices should reflect the cost analysis you’ve done for investors. This will give them a better understanding of your restaurant’s target price point. You'll quickly see how important menu engineering can be, even early on.

5. Employees

The company description section of the restaurant business plan briefly introduces the owners of the restaurant with some information about each. This section should fully flesh out the restaurant's business plan and management team.

The investors don’t expect you to have your entire team selected at this point, but you should at least have a couple of people on board. Use the talent you have chosen thus far to highlight the combined work experience everyone is bringing to the table.

Download our free restaurant business plan  It's the only one you'll ever need. Get template now

6. Restaurant design

The design portion of your restaurant business plan is where you can really show off your thoughts and ideas to the investors. If you don’t have professional mock-ups of your restaurant rendered, that’s fine.

Instead, put together a mood board to get your vision across. Find pictures of a similar aesthetic to what you are looking for in your restaurant.

The restaurant design extends beyond aesthetics alone and should include everything from restaurant software to kitchen equipment. 

7. Location

The location you settle on for your restaurant should be well aligned with your target market (making it easier to cater to your ideal customer) and with your business plans.

At this stage in the process, its not uncommon to not have a specific location in mind - but you should at the very least have a few options to narrow down.

Tip: When you approach your investors about potential locations, make sure to include as much information as possible about each venue and why it would be ideal for your brand. Go into as much detail as possible - including everything from square footage to the demographics of the area.

Example for choosing an ideal location

Choosing the ideal location for your restaurant is a pivotal decision that can greatly influence your success. 

To make the best choice, consider factors such as foot traffic, accessibility, and neighborhood demographics.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you’ll be better equipped to maximize visibility and attract your target market.

Foot traffic and accessibility

Foot traffic and accessibility are essential factors in selecting a location that will attract customers and ensure convenience.

A high-traffic area with ample parking and public transportation options can greatly increase the likelihood of drawing in potential customers.

Additionally, making your restaurant accessible to individuals with disabilities can further broaden your customer base and promote inclusivity.

It’s also important to consider the competition in the area and assess whether your restaurant can stand out among existing establishments.

By choosing a location with strong foot traffic and accessibility, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving restaurant that appeals to your target market.

Neighborhood demographics

Analyzing neighborhood demographics can help you determine if your restaurant’s concept and cuisine will appeal to the local population.

Factors such as income levels, family structures, and cultural diversity can all influence dining preferences and habits.

By understanding the unique characteristics of the neighborhood, you can tailor your offerings and marketing efforts to resonate with the local community.

Conducting a market analysis can be a valuable step in this process.

To gather demographic data for a particular neighborhood, you can utilize resources such as the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and reference maps.

Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about your restaurant’s concept, menu, and pricing, ensuring that your establishment is well-positioned for success within the community.

Conducting market research will further strengthen your understanding of the local demographic.

8. Market overview

The market overview section is heavily related to the market research and analysis portion of the restaurant business plan. In this section, go into detail about both the micro and macro conditions in the area you want to set up your restaurant.

Discuss the current economic conditions that could make opening a restaurant difficult, and how you aim to counteract that. Mention all the other restaurants that could prove to be competition and what your strategy is to set yourself apart.

9. Marketing

With restaurants opening left and ride nowadays, investors are going to want to know how you will get word of your restaurant to the world.

The next marketing strategy and publicity section should go into detail on how you plan to market your restaurant before and after opening. As well as any plans you may have to bring a PR company on board to help spread the word.

Read more: How to write a restaurant marketing plan from scratch

10. External help

To make your restaurant a reality, you are going to need a lot of help. List any external companies or software you plan on hiring to get your restaurant up and running.

This includes everything from accountants and designers to suppliers that help your restaurant perform better, like POS systems and restaurant reservation systems .

Explain to your other potential investors about the importance of each and what they will be doing for your restaurant.

11. Financial analysis

The most important part of your restaurant business plan is the financial section . We would recommend hiring professional help for this given its importance.

Hiring a trained accountant will not only help you get your own financial projections and estimates in order but also give you a realistic insight into owning a restaurant.

You should have some information prepared to make this step easier for the accountant.

He/she will want to know how many seats your restaurant has, what the check average per table will be, and how many guests you plan on seating per day.

In addition to this, doing rough food cost calculations for various menu items can help estimate your profit margin per dish. This can be achieved easily with a free food cost calculator. 

  • Important restaurant metrics to track

A well-crafted restaurant business plan serves as a roadmap to success, guiding every aspect of the venture from menu design to employee training.

By carefully considering each component of the plan, aspiring restaurateurs can increase their chances of securing funding, attracting customers, and achieving their long-term goals.

Remember, a restaurant business plan is not just a document to satisfy investors; it is a living tool that should be revisited and updated regularly as the business grows and evolves.

By staying committed to the plan and adapting it as needed, restaurateurs can ensure that their culinary dreams have a solid foundation for success.

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Saif Alnasur

Saif Alnasur used to work in his family restaurant, but now he is a food influencer and writes about the restaurant industry for Eat App.

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How to write a restaurant business plan.

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A small restaurant business plan is the roadmap you use to open a successful spot. As a first step to creating yours, ask your friends and colleagues to share restaurant business plan examples. Their restaurant business plan samples can inspire yours.

Once you’ve studied those examples, it’s time to start writing your own. No matter how much thought you’ve put into your concept or how many trusted colleagues have assured you of its greatness, you must write a restaurant business plan. It will prove the viability of your concept to potential investors and provide them with a clear and engaging answer to the question: “Why does the world need this restaurant?”

“The point of a business plan is to show that you’ve done your homework,” says Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla , a fine casual Greek restaurant in San Francisco that has received national acclaim since opening in the spring of 2014.

“You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.”

Quick links Branded cover Table of contents Concept Sample menu Service Management team Design Target market Location Market overview Marketing and publicity Specialists and consultants Business structure Financials

1. Branded cover

Include your logo (even if it’s not finalized), the date, and your name.

2. Table of contents

A table of contents in a restaurant business plan provides an organized overview of the document’s structure and content. It typically appears at the beginning of the plan and lists the major sections and subsections with their corresponding page numbers.

The table of contents is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows readers to quickly navigate through the plan, enabling easy access to specific sections of interest. Secondly, it helps in presenting a professional and well-structured document, showing that you have carefully organized your thoughts and ideas. It also improves readability and comprehension, as readers can easily locate and refer back to relevant information

Image depicts a restaurant worker in a new restaurant.

A restaurant owner contemplates the design of a new space as part of their business plan. | Credit: Getty Images

3. Restaurant concept

Describe your restaurant concept and get the reader excited about your idea. Specify whether the restaurant will be fine dining or more casual. Include an executive summary and go into detail about the food you’ll be serving, inspiration behind your concept, and an overview of service style.

Define clearly what will be unique about your restaurant and include your mission statement. This section should include a market analysis that shows how your restaurant will be similar and different from competing restaurants.

4. Sample menu

The menu is the most important touchpoint of any restaurant’s brand, so this should be more than just a simple list of items. Incorporate your logo and mock up a formatted menu design (tap a designer for help if needed).

Your sample menu should also include prices that are based on a detailed cost analysis. This will:

  • Give investors a clear understanding of your targeted price point
  • Provide the info needed to estimate check averages
  • Show the numbers used create financial projections for starting costs
  • Show investors that you’ve done the homework
  • Prove you can stay within a budget

This section is most relevant for:

  • Fine-dining concepts
  • Concepts that have a unique service style
  • Owners who have particularly strong feelings about what role service will play in their restaurant.

It can be a powerful way of conveying your approach to hospitality to investors by explaining the details of the guest’s service experience.

Will your restaurant have counter service and restaurant hostess software designed to get guests on their way as quickly as possible, or will it look more like a theater, with captains putting plates in front of guests simultaneously?

If an extensive wine program is an integral part of what you’re doing, will you have a sommelier? If you don’t feel that service is a noteworthy component of your operation, address it briefly in the concept section.

Image depicts two restaurant workers discussing finances.

Two restaurant workers review finances for a new restaurant as part of their business plan. | Credit: Getty Images

6. Management team

Write a brief overview of yourself and the team you have established so far. You want to show that your experience has provided you with the necessary skills to run a successful restaurant and act as a restaurant business owner.

Ideally, once you have described the strong suit of every member of your team, you’ll be presenting a full pitch deck. Most independent restaurant investors are in this for more than just money, so giving some indication of what you value and who you are outside of work may also be helpful.

Incorporate some visuals. Create a mood board that shows images related to the design and feeling of your restaurant.

Whether you’re planning to cook in a wood-burning oven or are designing an eclectic front-of-house, be sure to include those ideas. Photos of materials and snippets of other restaurants that you love that are similar to the brand you’re building are also helpful.

8. Target market

Who is going to eat at your restaurant? What do they do for a living, how old are they, and what’s their average income? Once you’ve described them in detail, reiterate why your specific concept will appeal to them.

Image depicts two restaurant workers having a discussion.

Two restaurant workers discuss a business plan. | Credit: Getty Images

9. Location

There should be a natural and very clear connection between the information you present in the “Target Market” section and this one. You probably won’t have a specific site identified at this point in the process, but you should talk about viable neighborhoods.

Don’t assume that potential investors will be familiar with the areas you’re discussing and who works or lives there—make the connections clear. You want readers to be confident that your restaurant’s “ideal” diner intersects with the neighborhood(s) you’re proposing as often as possible.

If you don’t have a site , this is a good place to discuss what you’re looking for in terms of square footage, foot traffic, parking, freeway accessibility, outdoor seating , and other important details.

10. Market overview

Address the micro and macro market conditions in your area and how they relate to licenses and permits. At a macro level, what are the local and regional economic conditions?

If restaurants are doing poorly, explain why yours won’t; if restaurants are doing well, explain how you’ll be able to compete in an already booming restaurant climate. At a micro level, discuss who your direct competitors are. Talk about what types of restaurants share your target market and how you’ll differentiate yourself.

11. Marketing and publicity

The restaurant landscape is only getting more competitive. Discuss your pre- and post-opening marketing plans to show investors how you plan to gain traction leading up to opening day, as well as how you’ll keep the momentum going.

If you’re going to retain a PR/marketing company, introduce them and explain why you’ve chosen them over other companies (including some of their best-known clients helps). If not, convey that you have a solid plan in place to generate attention on your own through social media, your website , and media connections.

Image depicts two restaurant workers having a discussion over a tablet.

Using technology, like these two restaurant workers, can streamline discussions about a business plan. | Credit: Getty Images

12. Specialists and consultants

List any outside contractors you plan to retain, such as:

  • General contractor
  • PR and marketing

Briefly explain the services they’ll be providing for you, why you chose them, and any notable accomplishments.

13. Business structure

This section should be short and sweet. What type of business structure have you set up and why did you make that specific decision? You will need to work with an attorney to help you determine what business structure is best for you.

“Step one: write a business plan. Step two: hire a good attorney. In addition to helping me build a smart, sustainable business structure, my attorney was also a great resource for reviewing my business plan because she’s read thousands of them. She was a very helpful, experienced outside perspective for more than just legal matters,” says Charles Bililies.

14. Financial projections

Let your accountant guide you through this portion of your business plan. It is crucial that whoever you hire to help you with your finances has a wealth of restaurant experience (not just one or two places). They should be familiar with the financial specifics of starting a restaurant and know what questions to ask you.

Before creating realistic financial projections, your accountant will want to know:

  • How many seats the restaurant will have
  • What your average check will be
  • How many covers per day you plan to do

Being conservative in these estimations is key. These three data points will be used as the basis for figuring out whether your concept is financially feasible.

Lou Guerrero, Principal at Kross, Baumgarten, Kniss & Guerrero, emphasizes, “You’ll get a lot of accountants that tell you that they’ve done a couple of restaurants, but you have to choose someone that has a deep expertise in what you’re doing. There’s nothing to gain from going with someone that doesn’t have a very restaurant-centric practice.”

A well-vetted accountant with restaurant experience will know exactly what you’ll need to have prepared to show investors.

The key projections you can expect to work on are:

  • Pro forma profit and loss statement for the first three to five years of operation
  • Break even analysis
  • Capital requirements budget

Writing a comprehensive restaurant business plan is a crucial step towards opening a successful establishment. By seeking inspiration from examples, demonstrating your expertise, and addressing all the essential components, you can prove the viability of your concept to potential investors.

Remember, a well-prepared business plan demonstrates professionalism and a clear understanding of your goals, increasing your chances of achieving long-term success in the competitive restaurant industry.

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Restaurant Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Restaurant Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your restaurant business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners with how to write a restaurant business plan to help them start or grow their restaurants.

Below is a restaurant business plan template to help you create each section of your business plan.

Restaurant Business Plan Example

Executive summary, business overview.

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is a new restaurant and steakhouse located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The menu of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will include bistro-type dishes that are authentically created and crafted by acclaimed Chef Peter Logan. It will be located in the trendy part of town, known as the Plaza District. The restaurant will be surrounded by classy art galleries, live theater, high-end restaurants and bars, and expensive shopping.

Owned by emerging restaurant operators Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette, Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse’s mission is to become Oklahoma City’s best, new restaurant for patrons to celebrate their next big event, have a nice date night, or gather with friends or family for a fun evening while dining over finely crafted entrees, desserts, and cocktails.

Products Served

The following are the menu items to be offered by Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse:

  • Soups & Salads
  • Gourmet sides
  • Wine, Beer & Spirits

Customer Focus

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will target adult men and women between the ages of 21 – 65 with disposable income in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Within this demographic are millennials, young professionals, newlyweds, young families, more established families, and retirees. Because of the pricing structure of the menu, the patrons will likely be upper middle class to the wealthy population of Oklahoma City.

Management Team

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is owned and operated by fellow Oklahoma City natives and culinary enthusiasts, Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette. Both come with a unique skill set and complement each other perfectly. They formerly worked together at another OKC fine dining establishment and made a great team for serving guests delectable food and wine while ensuring the highest level of customer service.

Chef Peter will manage the kitchen operations of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse, while Anastasia will oversee front of the house operations, maintain and ensure customer service, and manage all reservations.

Financial Highlights

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is seeking $300,000 in debt financing to open its start-up restaurant. The funding will be dedicated for the build-out and design of the restaurant, kitchen, bar and lounge, as well as cooking supplies and equipment, working capital, three months worth of payroll expenses and opening inventory. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Restaurant Build-Out and Design – $100,000
  • Kitchen supplies and equipment – $100,000
  • Opening inventory – $25,000
  • Working capital (to include 3 months of overhead expenses) – $25,000
  • Marketing (advertising agency) – $25,000
  • Accounting firm (3 months worth and establishment/permitting of business) – $25,000

business plan for small restaurant

Company Overview

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is a new restaurant and steakhouse located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will serve a wide variety of dishes and beverages and will cater to the upper middle class to wealthier population of Oklahoma City. The menu of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will include bistro-type dishes that are authentically created and crafted by acclaimed Chef Peter Logan. It will be located in the trendy part of town, known as the Plaza District. The Plaza District is one of Oklahoma’s trendy neighborhoods and is considered the “it” area for newlyweds, millennials, professionals, and young singles. The restaurant will be surrounded by classy art galleries, live theater, high-end restaurants and bars, and expensive shopping.

Owned by emerging restaurant operators Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette, the restaurant’s mission statement is to become the best new steak restaurant in OKC. The following are the types of menu items Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will serve- shareables, steaks, soups, gourmet sides and salads.

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse History

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is owned by two Oklahoma City natives, Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette. They have both worked around the country in fine dining establishments and have a combined twenty years in the restaurant industry. Upon working alongside each other at another fine dining establishment in Oklahoma City, the two of them became good friends and decided to venture into owning their own restaurant.

Chef Peter is the kitchen guru and critically acclaimed chef, while Anastasia manages the front of the house and is a certified Sommelier. Together, with both of their expertise and knowledge, Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is destined to become Oklahoma City’s next big restaurant.

Industry Analysis

The Restaurant industry is expected to grow to over $220 billion in the next five years.

Consumer spending is projected to grow. The Consumer Confidence Index, a leading indicator of spending patterns, is expected to also grow strongly, which will boost restaurant industry growth over the next five years. The growth in consumer confidence also suggests that more consumers may opt to segment their disposable income to eating outside the home.

Additionally, an increase in the number of households earning more than $100,000 annually further contributes to the industry growth, supporting industry operators that offer more niche, higher-end products.  This group is expected to continue to grow in size over the next five years.

The urban population represents a large market for the industry. Specifically, time-strapped individuals living in urban areas will likely frequent industry establishments to save time on cooking. The urban population is expected to increase, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market, customer segmentation.

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will primarily target the following customer profile:

  • Upper middle class to wealthier population
  • Millennials
  • Young professionals
  • Households with an average income of at least $75k
  • Foodies and culture enthusiasts

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will be competing with other restaurants in Oklahoma City. A profile of each competitor is below. The Press Located in the trendy area known as the Plaza District, The Press has reimagined our favorite foods of the surrounding regions through the lens of home.

The menu consists of appetizers, soups, burgers and sandwiches, bowls, main dishes, sides, desserts, and a large selection of alcoholic beverages. The Press serves craft beer, domestic beer, wine spritzers, house cocktails, wine, and mimosas. They also offer brunch. The menu of The Press is affordable with the most expensive dish being $16. The wine menu is also not pretentious as the wine is sold either by the glass or bottle, with the most expensive bottle being $52 for the Gruet Sparkling Brut Rose. Oak & Ore Oak & Ore is a craft beer and restaurant in OKC’s Plaza District. They have a 36-tap beer selection and offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free dining options. Oak & Ore offers a rotating, 36-tap selection of their favorite brews from Oklahoma and around the world. Each beer is thoughtfully paired with a craft beer-inspired dining experience.

The food menu of Oak & Ore offers starters, salads, wings, fried chicken, sandwiches, tacos, banh mi, and sides. They also have a selection of kids dishes so the whole family can enjoy comfort food while sampling one of their delectable beers.

The Mule OKC The Mule is a casual, hip restaurant offering a large beer and cocktail menu plus sandwiches and more. Located in the constantly growing and buzzing hub that is the Plaza District, The Mule takes the timeless favorite and contorts it into a whole menu of wild offerings.

There is also a fantastic assortment of soups offered and The Mule shakes up a seasonal list of cocktails designed by their bar staff. During the winter months, patrons can stave off the cold with their versions of hot toddies and buttered rum. For the beer drinkers, they always have a reliable line-up of fresh cold brews on draft, as well as a wide selection of can.

Competitive Advantage

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse offers several advantages over its competition. Those advantages are:

  • Gourmet dishes elegantly prepared to the finest standard.
  • Selection of steaks sourced from local Oklahoma farms.
  • An exclusive and unique wine menu that includes a wine selection of all price points.
  • Highly sought after location: Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will be located in the trendy and attractive neighborhood known as The Plaza District.
  • Trendy, welcoming, and energetic ambiance that will be perfect for a night out or a celebration.

Marketing Plan

Promotions strategy.

The marketing strategy for Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is as follows: Location Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse’s location is a promotions strategy in itself. The Plaza District is a destination spot for locals, tourists, and anyone looking for the trendiest food fare in Oklahoma City. The Plaza District is home to OKC’s most popular bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, and boutique shopping. The millennials, young professionals, and foodies will frequent Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse for the location itself.

Social Media Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will use social media to cater to the millennials and Oklahoma City residents. Chef Peter and Anastasia plan to hire an advertising agency to take professional photographs of the menu items and location to create appealing posts to reach a greater audience. The posts will include pictures of the menu items, as well as upcoming featured options. SEO Website Marketing Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse plans to invest funds into maintaining a strong SEO presence on search engines like Google and Bing. When a person types in “local fine dining restaurant” or “Oklahoma City restaurant”, Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will appear in the top three choices. The website will include the full menu, location, hours, and lots of pictures of the food, drinks, and steaks. Third Party Delivery Sites Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will maintain a presence on sites like GrubHub, Uber Eats, Doordash, and Postmates so that people looking for local food to be delivered will see Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse listed near the top.

Operations Plan

Operation functions:.

The company will hire the following:

  • 4 sous chefs
  • 2 bartenders
  • 2 hostesses
  • The company will hire an advertising agency and an accounting firm

Milestones:

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse aims to open in the next 6 months. The following are the milestones needed in order to obtain this goal.

7/1/202X – Execute lease for prime location in the Plaza District.

7/2/202X – Begin construction of restaurant build-out.

7/10/202X – Finalize menu.

7/17/202X – Hire advertising company to begin developing marketing efforts.

8/15/202X – Start of marketing campaign

8/22/202X – Final walk-thru of completed restaurant build-out.

8/25/202X – Hire team of sous chefs, servers, and bussers.

9/1/202X – Decoration and set up of restaurant.

9/15/202X – Grand Opening of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will be owned and operated by Chef Peter Logan and Anastasia Gillette. Each will have a 50% ownership stake in the restaurant.

Chef Peter Logan, Co-Owner

Chef Peter Logan is an Oklahoma City native and has been in the restaurant industry for over ten years. He was trained in a prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked in some of the nation’s most prestigious fine dining restaurants. His tenure has took him from the west coast to the east coast, and now he’s back doing what he loves in his hometown of Oklahoma City.

Chef Peter will manage the kitchen operations of Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse. He will train and oversee the sous chefs, manage inventory, place food inventory orders, deal with the local food vendors, and ensure the highest customer satisfaction with the food.

Anastasia Gillette, Co-Owner

Anastasia Gillette was born and raised in Oklahoma City and has garnered over ten years in the restaurant industry as well. While in college, Anastasia worked as a hostess at one of the area’s most prestigious restaurant establishments. While there, she was eventually promoted to Front of the House Manager where she oversaw the hostesses, servers, bussers, bartenders, and reservations. Her passion always led to the beverage portion of the restaurant so she obtained her Sommelier certificate in 2019. With her wine education, Anastasia is able to cultivate an interesting and elegant wine selection for the restaurant.

Anastasia will oversee front of the house operations, maintain and ensure customer service, and manage all reservations. She will also be in charge of the bar and wine ordering, training of front of the house staff, and will manage the restaurant’s social media accounts once they are set up.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse will come from the food and drink menu items being offered daily.

The cost drivers will be the ingredients and products needed to make the menu items as well as the cooking materials. A significant cost driver is the fine dining equipment, serving dishes, and beer and wine glasses. Other cost drivers will be the overhead expenses of payroll for the employees, accounting firm, and cost of the advertising agency.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Bluehorn Restaurant & Steakhouse is seeking $300,000 in debt financing to open its start-up restaurant. The breakout of the funding is below:

Financial Projections

Income Statement

  Balance Sheet

  Cash Flow Statement

Restaurant Business Plan FAQs

What is a restaurant business plan.

A restaurant business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your restaurant business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your restaurant business plan using our Restaurant Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Restaurants?

There are many types of restaurant businesses. Restaurants can range in type from fast food, fast casual, moderate casual, fine dining, and bar and restaurant types. Restaurants also come in a variety of different ethnic or themed categories, such as Mexican restaurants, Asian restaurants, American, etc.  Some restaurants also go mobile and have food trucks.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Restaurant Business Plan?

Restaurant businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. Another option for a restaurant business is to obtain a small business loan. SBA loans are a popular option as they offer longer loan terms with lower interest rates.

What are the Steps To Start a Restaurant Business?

1. Develop A Restaurant Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed restaurant business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your restaurant business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your restaurant business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Restaurant Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your restaurant business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your restaurant business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Restaurant Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your restaurant business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your restaurant business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful restaurant business:

  • How to Start a Restaurant Business

Where Can I Get a Restaurant Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free restaurant business plan template PDF here . This is a sample restaurant business plan template you can use in PDF format.

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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan + Free Template

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You have cracked the recipe for good food & great ambiance and are planning to start a restaurant, fantastic!

Whether starting a cozy corner cafe, a theme-based fine dining restaurant, or growing an existing one, you will need a restaurant business plan as a roadmap for your business success.

But writing a business plan is complex, isn’t it? That is why we are here with our comprehensive restaurant business plan template to help you in writing yours.

Key Takeaways

  • Highlight the concept of the restaurant along with the ambiance, types of cuisines, customer base, and USPs of the restaurant in the plan.
  • Utilize tools for SWOT analysis to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for making informed decisions.
  • Craft an impactful executive summary that outlines your restaurant’s concept, marketing approach, financial outlook, and team expertise to attract potential investors and partners.
  • Conduct thorough market research to understand market trends, consumer preferences, and the needs of your target market.
  • Analyze the competitive landscape, and identify direct & indirect competitors, to develop strategies that maintain your restaurant’s competitive advantage.
  • To ensure efficient daily operations, provide in-depth operational plans that incorporate staffing, additional services, inventory control, and customer service.
  • Create realistic financial projections for sales revenue, expenses, and profit forecasts while considering contingencies & emergencies.

Why is a restaurant business plan important?

Crafting a restaurant business plan is daunting but its significance cannot be underestimated. It is essential to drive your business toward success.

In the competitive atmosphere where there are 700,000+ restaurants in the USA, having a proper plan will help you get funding and better adaptability in a constantly changing business environment.

Even if funding isn’t a primary concern, a plan provides the restaurant owner or manager with clear direction on how to create actionable strategies for reaching business goals.

Your business plan will also help solidify the viability of the restaurant’s idea and concept.

In short, think of it as a guide for running all the aspects of the business smoothly.

How to write a restaurant business plan: Step-by-Step Guide

Since we are talking about a restaurant business plan; let us walk you through this restaurant business plan outline step-by-step without any delay:

1. Executive summary

An executive summary is the first section and the most significant section of any business plan. It captures the essence of your whole plan summarizing it for a quick understanding of your business.

Think of it as a sneak peek for the readers that draws their attention to the entire restaurant business plan.

You should start your summary with a compelling introduction with the name of your restaurant. It should also focus on the essence of your restaurant concept.

Give a brief overview of your unique selling points, emphasizing what makes your restaurant special. It might be the signature dishes, innovative ambiance, prime location, or some new cuisine experience.

Apart from the above essential points, your executive summary should include:

  • Mission statement
  • Vision statement
  • Execution structure
  • Potential costs
  • Expected return on investment

Many readers will read the executive summary before making a judgment, so if this is all they read, make every word count.

Also, SBA advises to include financial projections in your executive summary if you’re using your business plan to request funding.

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business plan for small restaurant

2. Company Overview

Company overview is a part where you fully introduce your restaurant business including legal business structure, location, and your restaurant’s proposed concept.

Here you have the liberty to be a little more creative in describing your restaurant in the whole business plan.

Here are some points to incorporate in the company overview:

  • Detailed vision and mission statement
  • Type of restaurant (fine dining, small restaurant, bistro, cafe, etc.)
  • Legal business structure
  • Service style
  • History and background of the restaurant (if existing)
  • Owners’ names and qualifications
  • Cusinies & menu highlights
  • Restaurant size and seating capacity
  • Operating hours & meal plans
  • Related service availability (delivery, catering, etc)

Mainly emphasize the chosen location because easily accessible locations with high foot traffic will attract more walk-in customers. And if you haven’t decided on a specific location yet, then mention the type of place you are looking for to give an idea about it to your readers.

Besides, mention the short-term and long-term goals of your restaurant business in the later part of the company description. Along with that mention regional industry trends and your USPs.

business plan for small restaurant

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3. Market analysis

The market analysis section provides you with a clearer picture of your target market, competitors, and industry trends.

Based on the above details, one can make informed decisions while creating strategies. Therefore, make this section precise and concise to understand.

Here are some steps to follow to write an engaging market analysis section of the restaurant business plan:

  • Define your customer base: Identify and describe whom you are going to serve. Make a consumer base after considering the demographics, location, and concept of your restaurant.
  • Competitive analysis: List out the names of other restaurants in your location and do the SWOT analysis. You can get the competitive advantage of your restaurant this way.
  • Market trends: Discuss any shift in consumer behavior like healthy choices, an increase in vegan food consumption, or technological breakthroughs that might affect your restaurant.

Consider conducting market research, TAM-SAM-SOM analysis , and SWOT analysis to get insights for this section.

Remember, this section helps your readers and potential investors understand your target market, restaurant market overview, market size, and growth potential, so make sure you play your cards right.

4. Sample Menu

The most vital step in launching your restaurant business is the menu. A well-curated menu design will sell itself for your restaurant. Even if you are a new restaurant, then present the sample menu with the name and logo of your restaurant on it.

The menu will showcase all the unique offerings your direct competitors might not provide. Not just the list of cuisines but the pricing is also crucial. This way potential investors and readers can understand your restaurant’s target price point.

Plus your menu should be in sync with target customers; for example, a restaurant near the university should contain more beverages and delicious food options for brunch as students prefer those things more.

Consider your menu as a part of branding, choose the same theme for the menu as for the restaurant.

5. Restaurant Design

Restaurant design is the part where you can show your restaurant concept to potential investors and readers practically. Moreover, create a mood board to explain things smoothly.

Utilize this section to show the uniqueness of your restaurant, and how it is different from competitors.

Explain how your design represents your restaurant’s branding and visual identity. Furthermore, mention how your target market will enjoy and appreciate the ambiance you plan to provide.

Note that restaurant design is one of the key elements to running a successful restaurant, so match the theme and cuisines accordingly.

In this section, you also have to provide a detailed description of how many seats are going to be there along with the floor plan of your restaurant.

6. Management Team

As the name suggests, the management team section of your restaurant’s business plan introduces restaurant owners, key executives, and the management team. It also incorporates the experience, qualification, and restaurant industry knowledge of every individual who is on the team.

A strong management team section can be essential to weigh authority and help potential investors be confident about your restaurant’s idea and vision.

You might consider including the following information in the management team section:

  • Business owner or founder’s information
  • Executive chef and culinary team
  • Front-of-house manager
  • Operations and back-of-house team
  • Advisors/consultants
  • The organizational structure of the team

Showcase how each member fits and what roles & responsibilities they will play.  You should include a resume-styled summary for each person in the restaurant’s management section.

7. Operations Plan

The operations plan section outlines the daily business processes and activities centered on achieving the restaurant dream and objectives described in the rest of the plan.

A detailed operations plan helps you and your team define your responsibilities, daily tasks, and short-term goals you need to achieve, keeping track of your long-term objective.

Here are a few key elements to include in your operations plan section:

  • Staffing and training
  • Operating hours
  • Operational process
  • Tools and equipment
  • Inventory control
  • Technology and software
  • Quality control measures
  • Customer service policies

Remember it should incorporate all important daily tasks. Also, an operations plan is a living document, you can change it often according to the change in the dynamics of the work.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Operations Planning

8. Marketing Plan

Even with great food, prices, and ambiance, you won’t attract enough diners without marketing.

Thus, a well-crafted restaurant marketing plan is necessary to spread awareness and build a strong brand presence.

The marketing plan can help you streamline your marketing efforts and create impactful and effective marketing campaigns while keeping track of the projected budget and maximizing return on investment.

Hence, this is the section in which you give an idea to your potential investors about how you will acquire new customers and retain existing ones. This section should include:

  • Target market and their dining habits
  • Branding and positioning
  • Marketing strategies (website, social media accounts, etc.)
  • Marketing Calendar
  • USPs of your restaurant (unique ambiance, amiable staff, new cuisines in the local area)
  • Your marketing goals
  • Customer retention strategies (loyalty program, giving coupons or discounts on bulk orders or events)

Even if you are going to hire a PR agency for marketing, then mention it and the reason why you chose them.

After taking care of marketing, let us move further to finances.

Read More: Step-by-Step Guide to Restaurant Marketing Plan

9. Financial Plan

The financial plan is the most crucial and demanding section of any business plan. It is one of the deciding factors for potential investors, banks, or any financial institute to invest in your restaurant business.

This section of your plan details your restaurant’s financial information and how it will reach its financial goals or how much revenue potential it has.

Here are key components and statements that you should include in your financial plan section:

  • Pro forma profit and loss statement
  • Break-even analysis
  • Balance sheet
  • Sales forecast
  • Detailed cost analysis
  • Cash flow projections
  • Business ratios
  • Funding request
  • Tax considerations
  • Exit strategy

Before you create financial projections, know how many seats the restaurant will have and what services you plan to provide. This will help you in making realistic financial projections if you are going to start a new business.

Also, if you are asking for funding, then mention where you will utilize your funds.

We hope that this sample restaurant business plan will provide you with an idea for writing a successful plan.

Restaurant Industry Highlights 2024

  • Growth forecast : National Restaurant Association predicted US restaurant sales to reach $898 billion in 2022 which would further grow by 4% yearly to reach $1.2 trillion by 2030.
  • Technology is everywhere : Automation is helping staff maximize their efficiency by handling orders, deliveries, and communication effectively.
  • Sustainability & ethical sourcing : Eco-friendly practices such as minimizing food waste, avoiding single-use plastics, and ethical plus local sourcing are encouraged by customers.
  • Delivery is the new deal : People prefer deliveries over dining out as they are time-saving. So, there is an incline in the number of delivery apps and delivery services providing restaurants.
  • Kiosks are the preference : The number of people who prefer ordering and paying through kiosks is increasing due to the convenience.

How to Refine & Present a Restaurant Business Plan

Once you have written your entire business plan, it is time to read and re-read it and make it error-free. You have to be confident about every aspect of the plan before you present it in front of your audience.

Moreover, alter your plan to suit different audiences to enhance your communication. For instance, keep your plan professional and include all the growth potential, profitability, and ROI data when you present your restaurant business plan for seeking funding.

Also, when you present your restaurant business plan to potential partners or vendors, emphasize collaboration benefits and how it can help in their individual growth.

Apart from the above points, make sure your plan has various engaging visuals, interactive elements, and enhanced storytelling to present all the data interestingly. Thus, make a digital presentation of your plan to incorporate all the above things clutter-free.

Once you are confident, it is time to email your plan to the people already on your mind. And give a pat to yourself for finally taking that step.

Download a sample business plan for a restaurant

Ready to kick-start your business plan writing process? And not sure where to start? Here you go, download our free restaurant business plan pdf , and start writing.

This intuitive, modern, and investment-ready template is designed specifically for restaurants. It includes step-by-step instructions & examples to help in creating your own restaurant business plan.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

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Related Restaurant Resources

  • Restaurant Marketing Plan
  • Restaurant Financial Plan
  • Restaurant Operations Plan
  • Restaurant Industry Trends

Discover how Upmetrics can help you write a business plan

With Upmetrics, you will receive step-by-step guidance, customizable templates, 400+ sample business plans , and AI assistance to streamline your business planning process.

In fact, if you are not adept with finances, the financial forecasting tool Upmetrics provides will help you create realistic financial forecasts for 3 or more years.

Whether you’re starting a new venture or looking to grow one, Upmetrics offers the resources and insights you need to develop a successful & professional business plan that aligns with your goals.

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a restaurant business plan.

A solid business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful restaurant business. It helps to get clarity in your business, raise money, and identify potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

How to get funding for your restaurant business?

There are several ways to get funding for your restaurant business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

  • Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
  • Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
  • Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought startup options.

What is the easiest way to write your restaurant business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of restaurant business plan samples and edit it as per your needs. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

Can a good restaurant business plan help me secure funding?

Indeed. A well-crafted restaurant business plan will help your investors better understand your business domain, market trends, strategies, business financials, and growth potential—helping them make better financial decisions.

What's the importance of a marketing strategy in a restaurant business plan?

Marketing strategy is a key component of your restaurant business plan. Whether it is about achieving goals or helping your investors understand the return on investment—an impactful marketing strategy is the way to do it!

Here are a few pointers to help you understand the importance of having a marketing strategy:

  • It provides your business an edge over your competitors.
  • It helps investors better understand your business and growth potential.
  • It helps you develop products with the best profit potential.
  • It helps you set accurate pricing for your products or services.

About the Author

business plan for small restaurant

Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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Download How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan + Free Template

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan: Free Template & Tips

By Dana Krook

Restaurant owner writing business plan

If you want to open a restaurant, the first thing you need to do is create a restaurant business plan. This essential document serves as a blueprint for your vision and details all the different steps you’ll need to take in order to turn your business dreams into reality. 

However, if you’ve never written a business plan before, the process can seem a little intimidating. So to help you get started, we’ve put together a complete guide to writing a business plan for your restaurant. In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • What is a business plan?
  • How and when to write a restaurant business plan
  • The 7 sections of every business plan
  • A free restaurant business plan template

What is a Restaurant Business Plan?

A restaurant business plan is a written document that outlines your business goals and how you will go about achieving those objectives. Put simply, a business plan acts as a written roadmap for a new restaurant from a financial, operational, and marketing perspective. Additionally, a restaurant business plan is also an important document for attracting outside financial investments – especially if you do not have an existing track record.

Though the length of a business plan varies from business to business, this type of document usually spans 15 to 20 pages. All business plans also tend to have the same basic elements, including an executive summary, a detailed description of the business, its services, and its products, a market analysis, an operations plan, and a financial analysis.

Two women reviewing a restaurant business plan.

Why You Need a Business Plan

As mentioned above, a restaurant’s business plan is a very important document, because it serves as a step-by-step guide for bringing your new business to life. By putting all the necessary information in your business plan, you’ll be able to clearly navigate each stage of the journey – from construction to daily operations.

Your business plan is also essential for raising money from investors. Opening a restaurant is expensive and often you’ll need capital from outside investors. Your business plan can help to convince investors to provide you with funding by showing them that you have a well-throughout plan for success and a sound financial strategy.

Restaurant Business Plan Template

Download this customizable restaurant business plan template to create a professional business plan for your new venture.

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan: The 7 Sections Your Business Plan Template Should Include

While no two business plans are alike, they all include a few common elements. Below, we’ll explain the process of writing a restaurant’s business plan, including the seven key sections to include and what to write in each. You can also follow along and start filling out your own business plan – digitally or on paper – by downloading our restaurant business plan template .

1. Executive Summary

Look at any restaurant business plan example and you’ll see that it starts with an executive summary. The executive summary for a restaurant business plan introduces your new business and serves as a summary for your vision. The goal of this section is to provide an overview of what will be discussed in your business plan and to entice readers (likely investors) to want to know more.

In your executive summary, be sure to touch on your restaurant mission statement , your proposed concept, and how you’ll execute your business plan. You should also list any business partners and, if you’re targeting investors, detail the funding requirements.

And while this section is important, remember to keep it concise. Aim for 600 words max to encourage your reader to dive further into your business plan.

2. Business Description 

A business description section should follow your executive summary. The purpose of this section is to provide your reader with a high-level overview of your restaurant idea and to answer key questions that investors may have, such as the business concept, service model, and ownership structure.

Describe your restaurant concept in detail by providing information on the following:

  • Business structure: Is your restaurant a sole proprietorship, partnership, or something else?
  • Concept: Define your concept and what makes it unique compared to other restaurants. Be clear on the defining theme for your restaurant and what type of cuisine you will serve. Do you have any restaurant names in mind? Include them here.
  • Service Model: Explain what level of service you will offer – whether that’s limited service, full service, or something in between.
  • Menu: Include a small sample menu in your business plan and explain the inspiration behind the menu. 
  • Design and Layout: Provide an overview of your restaurant interior design and layout. Touch on key elements such as plateware, lighting, uniforms, and more.
  • Management and Ownership: Provide more information about yourself and the management team you’ve assembled for your new restaurant, highlighting any relevant experience that will aid in your success. 

Keep in mind that this section can easily come across as a bit dry and mundane – especially for investors who have read dozens of business plans. Think about how you can make your business idea stand out with passionate language and unique details.

3. Target Market and Market Analysis

Whether you’re buying or leasing , this section is where you describe the specific location of your new restaurant and the current market conditions. In addition to general information about your target market, you also want to explain your unique positioning in the market, your ideal customer profile, and how you’ll make your restaurant stand out.

In this section, you’ll clearly define:

  • Location: Explain the location (or prospective location) of your new restaurant and why you chose that specific area.
  • Target Audience: Include both demographics and psychographics.
  • Market Need: Describe the market need your restaurant will satisfy. Maybe you’re a coffee shop appealing to millennials who crave immersive coffee experiences.
  • Positioning and Strategy: Descibe how you’ll meet your market need. Using the coffee shop example, you may choose to provide guided tours of your roastery or host workshops on making coffee.
  • Competition and Opportunities: This includes both direct and indirect competition. Research the market by visiting your competition, seeing how they do things, and pinpointing what you can do better. You can then lay all this information out for investors by sketching out a SWOT analysis .
  • Competitive Advantage: List your competitive advantage. Start by looking at your competition and see where you fit in.
  • Market Trends: Find statistics to prove there’s demand for your concept. For example, a simple Google search for coffee demand in the U.S. yields ample results.

4. Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan section details the restaurant marketing ideas , strategies, and tactics you’ll employ to get the word out about your restaurant. This section should go into detail about how you plan to market your restaurant, and after you open.

For instance, you might want to hire a PR team to drum up excitement ahead of your grand opening. And then after you open, you might want to leverage local food influencers to grow your social media presence.

5. Operations Plan

Your operations section is where you get into the nitty gritty of how your restaurant will operate once you’re up and running.

In this section, include details about:

  • Your Team: Who will be working at your restaurant? If you haven’t filled any positions yet, simply list the roles that need filling.
  • Supplier Relationships: List your suppliers across various categories like food, alcohol, cleaning services, and more.
  • Technology: What’s the best restaurant POS system for your venue? Will you be using third-party food delivery apps or a direct online ordering system ?
  • Insurance: Ensure you follow mandatory restaurant insurance requirements and research any other special coverage you may need.
  • Licensing: Licenses you’ll probably require include a business license, liquor license , music license, sign permit, and food handler’s permit.

6. Financial Analysis and Growth Plan

Your financial analysis is one of the last sections of your business plan, but it’s also one of the most important sections. In fact, many investors may skip straight to this section to determine how viable your idea is and whether your business is an attractive investment (or not). 

Make sure you complete a financial forecast that includes the following: 

  • Pre-opening or startup costs (you may need to get some restaurant startup quotes )
  • Financing, loans, and other funding
  • An investment plan and budget (using a restaurant budget template may be helpful)
  • A sales forecast
  • A projected profit and loss (P&L) statement
  • A break-even analysis 
  • Expenses and expected cash flow

7. Appendix

Adding an appendix section is optional, but highly recommended. This section is a great place to include charts, plans, graphics, pictures, a detailed budget, or any other material investors may find useful.

In your appendix, you may want to include:

  • A sample menu
  • Blueprints or pictures of your restaurant floor plan
  • Additional financial charts and figures
  • Design mockups

Ready to get started? Grab the template!

Man reviewing business plans in a restaurant.

9 Tips for Writing a Great Plan

Now that you understand what key elements to include in your restaurant’s business plan, let’s look at 9 tips for writing yours.

1. Use a Business Plan Template

Before writers start writing, they usually have a basic outline that acts as a template – a starting point – for their idea. By following the same approach when writing your business plan, the entire process will be much smoother. And lucky for you, we have a free restaurant business plan template available to help you get started.

2. Create a Detailed Outline

Using our template, create an even more detailed outline. Make your way through all the sections of your business plan and jot down key points under each section.

3. Embrace the “Good Enough” Mindset

As you move through the sections of your plan, you may get stuck and have nothing to say. If this happens, make a note to come back to it later and move on. You can always include more detail after you’ve done more research.  

4. Research to Find Statistics and Inspiration

You will need to research to find statistics to back up your arguments, with specific sections requiring more research than others (i.e. the “Market Analysis” section). You may even want to find a sample restaurant business plan that will spark your creativity and give you ideas on how to better present yours.

5. View Your Plan as a Work in Progress

Writing a business plan takes time as you get a grip on the details and fine-tune your message. The key is to embrace this process and view your business plan as an ever-evolving document you can add to over time. 

Ready to kickstart your restaurant business plans?

6. know who your audience is.

Who are you writing for? Investors? Just you and your staff? Your audience will dictate the contents of your plan, the level of detail, and what language you’ll use. 

If you’re writing for investors, your plan will need to be more detailed than if you’re writing for internal stakeholders. And because investors may have limited knowledge of restaurant terminology, avoid industry jargon and instead use plain English. It’s helpful to look at another restaurant business plan example to see how these types of documents are written.

7. Use Visuals, Charts, and Tables

Use images, graphics, tables, and charts to explain complex ideas, add color to your document – both literally and figuratively – and present specific information. 

8. Summarize Each Part of Your Business Plan

After you’ve completed a section of the plan, write a short summary that highlights the critical details and key takeaways of that section.

9. Write Your Executive Summary Last

An executive summary for a restaurant business plan summarizes your entire document so you should try to write it last – after you’ve covered all the details.

The Importance of Business Plans in the Restaurant Industry

Writing a restaurant business plan is essential – even if you already own a restaurant. A business plan acts as a blueprint you can follow, reduces stress, and boosts investor confidence. And when you start with a restaurant business plan template , the process moves that much faster.

Photo of Dana Krook

Dana is the former Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.

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Restaurant Business Plan

Restaurant Business Plan: What To Include, Plus 8 Examples

  • Business Growth & Management , Templates & Guides

Do you want to ensure the success of your new foodservice endeavor? Write a restaurant business plan.

In this article, the experts at Sling tell you why a business plan is vital for both new and existing businesses and give you tips on what to include.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Restaurant Business Plan?

Why is a restaurant business plan important, questions to ask first, what to include in an effective restaurant business plan, how to format a restaurant business plan, efficient workforce management is essential for success.

Man looking at charts on a wall for his restaurant business plan

At its most basic, a restaurant business plan is a written document that describes your restaurant’s goals and the steps you will take to make those goals a reality.

This business plan also describes the nature of the business itself, financial projections, background information, and organizational strategies  that govern the day-to-day activity of your restaurant.

Empty fine-dining restaurant

A restaurant business plan is vital for the success of your endeavor because, without one, it is very difficult — sometimes even impossible — to obtain funding from an investor or a bank.

Without that all-important starting or operational capital, you may not be able to keep your doors open for long, if at all.

Even if funding isn’t a primary concern, a business plan provides you — the business owner or manager — with clear direction on how to translate general strategies into actionable plans  for reaching your goals.

The plan can help solidify everything from the boots-on-the-ground functional strategy  to the mid-level business strategy  all the way up to the driving-force corporate strategy .

Think of this plan as a roadmap that guides your way when things are going smoothly and, more importantly, when they aren’t.

If you want to give your restaurant the best chance for success, start by writing a business plan.

Man on laptop writing a restaurant business plan

Sitting down to write a restaurant business plan can be a daunting task.

As you’ll see in the What To Include In An Effective Restaurant Business Plan section below, you’ll need a lot of information and detail to ensure that the final document is both complete and effective.

Instead of starting with word one, it is hugely beneficial to answer a number of general questions first.

These questions will help you narrow down the information to include in your plan so the composition process feels less difficult.

The questions are:

  • What problem does the business’s product or service solve?
  • What niche will the business fill?
  • What is the business’s solution to the problem?
  • Who are the business’s customers?
  • How will the business market and sell its products to them?
  • What is the size of the market for this solution?
  • What is the business model for the business?
  • How will the business make money?
  • Who are the competitors?
  • How will the business maintain a competitive advantage?
  • How does the business plan to manage growth?
  • Who will run the business?
  • What makes those individuals qualified to do so?
  • What are the risks and threats confronting the business?
  • What can you do to mitigate those risks and threats?
  • What are the business’s capital and resource requirements?
  • What are the business’s historical and projected financial statements?

Depending on your business, some of these questions may not apply or you may not have applicable answers.

Nevertheless, it helps to think about, and try to provide details for, the whole list so your finished restaurant business plan is as complete as possible.

Once you’ve answered the questions for your business, you can transfer a large portion of that information to the business plan itself.

We’ll discuss exactly what to include in the next section.

Man mapping out a restaurant business plan

In this section, we’ll show you what to include in an effective restaurant business plan and provide a brief example of each component.

1) Executive Summary

You should always start any business plan with an executive summary. This gives the reader a brief introduction into common elements, such as:

  • Mission statement
  • Overhead costs
  • Labor costs
  • Return on investment (ROI)

This portion of your plan should pique the reader’s interest and make them want to read more.

Fanty & Mingo’s is a 50-seat fine-dining restaurant that will focus on Sweruvian (Swedish/Peruvian) fusion fare.

We will keep overhead and labor costs low thanks to simple but elegant decor , highly skilled food-prep staff, and well-trained servers.

Because of the location and surrounding booming economy, we estimate ROI at 20 percent per annum.

2) Mission Statement

A mission statement is a short description of what your business does for its customers, employees, and owners.

This is in contrast to your business’s vision statement which is a declaration of objectives that guide internal decision-making.

While the two are closely related and can be hard to distinguish, it often helps to think in terms of who, what, why, and where.

The vision statement is the where of your business — where you want your business to be and where you want your customers and community to be as a result.

The mission statement is the who , what , and why of your business — it’s an action plan that makes the vision statement a reality

Here’s an example of a mission statement for our fictional company:

Fanty and Mingo’s takes pride in making the best Sweruvian food, providing fast, friendly, and accurate service. It is our goal to be the employer of choice and offer team members opportunities for growth, advancement, and a rewarding career in a fun and safe working environment.

3) Company Description

Taking notes on restaurant business plan

In this section of your restaurant business plan, you fully introduce your company to the reader. Every business’s company description will be different and include its own pertinent information.

Useful details to include are:

  • Owner’s details
  • Brief description of their experience
  • Legal standing
  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals
  • Brief market study
  • An understanding of the trends in your niche
  • Why your business will succeed in these market conditions

Again, you don’t have to include all of this information in your company description. Choose the ones that are most relevant to your business and make the most sense to communicate to your readers.

Fanty & Mingo’s will start out as an LLC, owned and operated by founders Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Washburne. Mr. Reynolds will serve as managing partner and Ms. Washburne as general manager.

We will combine atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and menu variety to create a unique experience for our diners and to reach our goal of high value in the fusion food niche.

Our gross margin is higher than industry average, but we plan to spend more on payroll to attract the best team.

We estimate moderate growth for the first two years while word-of-mouth about our restaurant spreads through the area.

4) Market Analysis

A market analysis is a combination of three different views of the niche you want to enter:

  • The industry  as a whole
  • The competition your restaurant will face
  • The marketing  you’ll execute to bring in customers

This section should be a brief introduction to these concepts. You can expand on them in other sections of your restaurant business plan.

The restaurant industry in our chosen location is wide open thanks in large part to the revitalization of the city’s center.

A few restaurants have already staked their claim there, but most are bars and non-family-friendly offerings.

Fanty & Mingo’s will focus on both tourist and local restaurant clientele. We want to bring in people that have a desire for delicious food and an exotic atmosphere.

We break down our market into five distinct categories:

  • High-end singles
  • Businessmen and businesswomen

We will target those markets to grow our restaurant  by up to 17 percent per year.

restaurant menu board

Every restaurant needs a good menu, and this is the section within your restaurant business plan that you describe the food you’ll serve in as much detail as possible.

You may not have your menu design complete, but you’ll likely have at least a handful of dishes that serve as the foundation of your offerings.

It’s also essential to discuss pricing and how it reflects your overall goals and operating model. This will give potential investors and partners a better understanding of your business’s target price point and profit strategy.

We don’t have room to describe a sample menu in this article, but for more information on menu engineering, menu pricing, and even a menu template, check out these helpful articles from the Sling blog:

  • Menu Engineering: What It Is And How It Can Increase Profits
  • Restaurant Menu Pricing: 7 Tips To Maximize Profitability
  • How To Design Your Menu | Free Restaurant Menu Template

6) Location

In this section, describe your potential location (or locations) so that you and your investors have a clear image of what the restaurant will look like.

Include plenty of information about the location — square footage, floor plan , design , demographics of the area, parking, etc. — to make it feel as real as possible.

We will locate Fanty & Mingo’s in the booming and rapidly expanding downtown sector of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Ideally, we will secure at least 2,000 square feet of space with a large, open-plan dining room and rich color scheme near the newly built baseball stadium to capitalize on the pre- and post-game traffic and to appeal to the young urban professionals that live in the area.

Parking will be available along side streets and in the 1,000-vehicle parking garage two blocks away.

7) Marketing

Chef working in a restaurant

The marketing section of your restaurant business plan is where you should elaborate on the information you introduced in the Market Analysis section.

Go into detail about the plans you have to introduce your restaurant to the public and keep it at the top of their mind.

Fanty & Mingo’s will employ three distinct marketing tactics to increase and maintain customer awareness:

  • Word-of-mouth/in-restaurant marketing
  • Partnering with other local businesses
  • Media exposure

We will direct each tactic at a different segment of our potential clientele in order to maximize coverage.

In the process of marketing to our target audience, we will endeavor to harness the reach of direct mail and broadcast media, the exclusivity of the VIP party, and the elegance of a highly trained sommelier and wait staff.

8) Financials

Even though the Financials section is further down in your restaurant business plan, it is one of the most important components for securing investors and bank funding.

We recommend hiring a trained accountant  to help you prepare this section so that it will be as accurate and informative as possible.

Fanty & Mingo’s needs $250,000 of capital investment over the next year and a half for the following:

  • Renovations to leased space
  • Dining room furniture
  • Kitchen and food-prep equipment
  • Liquor license

Projected profit and loss won’t jump drastically in the first year, but, over time, Fanty & Mingo’s will develop its reputation and client base. This will lead to more rapid growth toward the third and fourth years of business.

working on restaurant business plan

Most entrepreneurs starting a new business find it valuable to have multiple formats of their business plan.

The information, data, and details remain the same, but the length and how you present them will change to fit a specific set of circumstances.

Below we discuss the four most common business plan formats to cover a multitude of potential situations.

Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short summary of your restaurant business plan’s executive summary.

Rather than being packed full of details, the elevator pitch is a quick teaser of sorts that you use on a short elevator ride (hence the name) to stimulate interest in potential customers, partners, and investors

As such, an effective elevator pitch is between 30 and 60 seconds and hits the high points of your restaurant business plan.

A pitch deck is a slide show and oral presentation that is designed to stimulate discussion and motivate interested parties to investigate deeper into your stakeholder plan (more on that below).

Most pitch decks are designed to cover the executive summary and include key graphs that illustrate market trends and benchmarks you used (and will use) to make decisions about your business.

Some entrepreneurs even include time and space in their pitch deck to demonstrate new products coming down the pipeline.

This won’t necessarily apply to a restaurant business plan, but, if logistics permit, you could distribute small samples of your current fare or tasting portions of new dishes you’re developing.

Stakeholder Plan (External)

A stakeholder plan is the standard written presentation that business owners use to describe the details of their business model to customers, partners, and potential investors.

The stakeholder plan can be as long as is necessary to communicate the current and future state of your business, but it must be well-written, well-formatted, and targeted at those looking at your business from the outside in.

Think of your stakeholder plan as a tool to convince others that they should get involved in making your business a reality. Write it in such a way that readers will want to partner with you to help your business grow.

Management Plan (Internal)

A management plan is a form of your restaurant business plan that describes the details that the owners and managers need to make the business run smoothly.

While the stakeholder plan is an external document, the management plan is an internal document.

Most of the details in the management plan will be of little or no interest to external stakeholders so you can write it with a higher degree of candor and informality.

Sling app for managing a restaurant business plan

After you’ve created your restaurant business plan, it’s time to take steps to make it a reality.

One of the biggest challenges in ensuring that your business runs smoothly and successfully is managing  and optimizing  your team. The Sling  app can help.

Sling not only includes powerful and intuitive artificial-intelligence-based scheduling tools but also many other features to help make your workforce management more efficient, including:

  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Built-in time clock
  • Labor cost  optimization
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Messaging and communication
  • And much more…

Sling's scheduling feature

With Sling, you can schedule faster, communicate better, and organize and manage your work from a single, integrated platform. And when you use Sling for all of your scheduling  needs, you’ll have more time to focus on bringing your restaurant business plan to life.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com  today.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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Restaurant Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

how-to-start-a-restaurant (1)

If you want to start a restaurant or expand your current one, you need a business plan.

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their restaurants. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a restaurant business plan step-by-step so you can create your restaurant’s business plan today.

Download our Ultimate Restaurant Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Restaurant Business Plan?

A restaurant business plan provides a snapshot of your restaurant business as it stands today, and lays out your projected growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research, information about your target market, and a sample menu to support your winning restaurant business plan.

Why You Need a Restaurant Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a restaurant or grow the existing restaurant you need a business plan. A restaurant business plan will help you secure funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your restaurant in order to improve your chances of success. Your restaurant business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Restaurants

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a restaurant are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your restaurant business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest.

To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional restaurant business plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a restaurant is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Private equity groups are also a good source of funding for restaurant chains looking to expand further.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a restaurant business plan.

Use the following restaurant business plan template which includes the 10 key elements for how to write a restaurant business plan that will help you start, grow, and/or secure funding for your business.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your restaurant business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your business plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of restaurant business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a restaurant that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of restaurants?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your business plan. For example, give a brief overview of the restaurant industry. Discuss the type of restaurant you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer a financial analysis of your business.

Company Overview

In your company analysis, you will provide a brief description of the type of restaurant you are operating.

For example, are you writing a small restaurant business plan or a business plan for a restaurant franchise. Further, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Fine Dining : characterized by the fancy decor, a dress code, and high prices
  • Casual Dining : offers waiter/waitress service in a nice (but not overly fancy) atmosphere with moderate prices
  • Fast Casual : characterized by quality food (close to the quality of casual dining) but no waiter/waitress service in an accessible atmosphere
  • Fast Food : quick service style provided at the counter or via a drive-through. Lowest quality food and lowest prices
  • Steak Restaurant : focuses on steak entrees and is usually a higher priced and fancier restaurant
  • Buffet Restaurant : may or may not offer waiter/waitress service. Patrons serve themselves from buffet food selection
  • Ethnic Restaurant : focuses on a specific ethnic cuisine such as Indian food, Mexican food, or Moroccan cuisine.

Within these types of restaurants, there are also ethnic food specialties such as American, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, etc.

In addition to explaining the type of restaurant you operate, the Company Analysis section of your restaurant business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • Your mission statement and how it connects to your restaurant’s brand.
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new restaurant openings, etc.
  • Your legal business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, also called a Market Analysis, you need to provide a market overview and an overview of the industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the restaurant industry educates you. It helps you understand the target market in which you are operating.

Secondly, research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards speedy restaurant services, it would be helpful to ensure your business plan calls for take-out or other quick-service options.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your business plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your restaurant business plan:

  • How big is the restaurant business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your restaurant? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your restaurant business plan must detail the customer base or target market you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: business executives, college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of restaurant you operate. Clearly, baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and sample menu options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.

Try to break out your customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to diner demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and average income levels of the new customers you seek to serve. Because most restaurants primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. This should also include how your customers choose where they should eat, their dining habits, and how much they are willing to spend on a meal.

The answers to the following questions should be included in your customer analysis:

  • Who is your target market?
  • What are their needs and wants?
  • How do they make dining decisions?
  • What motivates them to choose one restaurant over another?

The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and building customer loyalty.

Finish Your Restaurant Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Restaurant Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

This competitive research should help you identify the direct and indirect competitors that your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other restaurants.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t directly competing. This includes restaurants, supermarkets, and customers preparing dishes for themselves at home. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone frequents a restaurant each day.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other restaurants with which you compete. Your greatest competitors will be restaurants located very close to your specific location, who are of the same type (e.g., fine dining, casual dining, etc.) and who offer the same cuisine (Japanese, Italian, etc.).

For each such competitor, provide an overview of the other businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of repeat customers do they serve?
  • What menu items do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the existing customers’ perspective. And don’t hesitate to find out this information from customers by reviewing your competitors’ Yelp listings and other review pages.

The final part of this section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior food items?
  • Will you provide menu items that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your meals?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about your unique selling points that will help you outperform your competition and document them in this section of your business plan.

    Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Marketing plan.

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a restaurant business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of restaurant that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific menu items you offer/will offer.

Price : Document the prices. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your restaurant. Perform a location analysis and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your restaurant located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym? Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. Also, if you operate or plan to operate food trucks, detail the locations where the trucks will operate.

Promotions : the final part of your restaurant marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Making your restaurant’s front store extra appealing to attract passing customers
  • Search engine marketing and optimization
  • Social media posting/advertising
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your restaurant business plan explained your goals, your operational plan describes how you will meet them.

This section of your restaurant business plan should have two key elements as follows:

  • Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your restaurant such as serving customers, procuring supplies, keeping the restaurant clean, etc.
  • Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 1,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your restaurant’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the restaurant business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience operating restaurants and/or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Pro-Forma Profit & Loss Statement / Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows how much revenue you expect to earn or have earned, and then subtracts your costs to show your actual or projected profit.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 100 customers per day or 200? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Pro-Forma Balance Sheets

While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities.

For instance, if you spend $250,000 on building out your restaurant, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Pro-Forma Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

For example, let’s say a company approached you with a massive $100,000 catering contract, that would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for ingredients, supplies, equipment rentals, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180-day period, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a restaurant:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of equipment like stoves, refrigerators, blenders
  • Cost of ingredients and maintaining an adequate amount of supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections, detailed cost analysis and/or break-even analysis in the appendix of your business plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your store design blueprint, location lease, or initial menu design.

Taking the time to write your own restaurant business plan for your business is a worthwhile endeavor. It will help you communicate your ideas and provide potential investors with the information they need to make an informed decision about investing in your restaurant.

A well-crafted business plan will also give you a road map for growing your business and achieving your long-term goals. So, while it may take some time to put together, it will be well worth the effort in the end.

If you follow the restaurant business plan template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the restaurant business, your competition, and your existing customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful restaurant concept.

Want more tips? Check out our related articles:

  • How to Start a Restaurant
  • Restaurant Startup Costs: How Much Does It Cost To Start a Restaurant?
  • How To Write a Restaurant Marketing Plan + Template & Examples
  • How To Get Funding To Start and/or Grow Your Restaurant

Restaurant Business Plan Template FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my restaurant business plan.

Growthink’s Ultimate Restaurant Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your restaurant business plan.

Where Can I Download a Free Restaurant Business Plan PDF?

You can download our restaurant business plan PDF template here . This is a restaurant business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Where Can I Find a Small Restaurant Business Plan PDF?

Our small restaurant business plan PDF is a free resource to to help you get started on your own small restaurant business plan.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Restaurant business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan professional services can help you create a winning business.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide for Small Businesses

Small Restaurant Business Plan PDF [With Free Sample!]

Sick of vague advice on writing a restaurant business plan?

Struggling to make all the pieces come together?

This guide details exactly what to include in each section of your plan, with a downloadable template PDF and real sample plans to simplify the process.

You’ll have the comprehensive roadmap to launch your restaurant right.

Table of Contents

Key Sections of a Small Restaurant Business Plan

A business plan serves as your roadmap as you establish and grow your restaurant.

While you can mold it to your specifications, certain components should be present.

Here are some of the major sections to incorporate.

Executive Summary

The executive summary outlines your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. Even though it appears first, it’s often easiest to write this after completing the rest of your plan.

Aim for a 1-2 page overview highlighting your restaurant concept, target market, competition, management team, and projected financials.

  • Open with your restaurant concept in one sentence – “Rosie’s Diner is a 50’s themed diner serving classic American comfort food in downtown Springfield.”
  • Include the exact address or intersection if you have a location selected.
  • Specify your main offerings rather than just cuisine type – “The menu will feature items like juicy burgers, hearty meatloaf, flaky pot pies, thick milkshakes, and fresh apple pie.”
  • Share total estimated startup costs based on contractor quotes and equipment sourcing – “Total startup costs are projected at $550,000, including $350,000 for buildout and renovations, $125,000 for key kitchen equipment, $50,000 initial food and beverage inventory, and $25,000 for furnishings and decor.”
  • Note specific experience that qualifies you to launch this restaurant, like “The owner has 10 years experience managing diners in the region and a degree in Culinary Arts from ABC Institute.”
  • Give concrete first-year financial goals – “The diner is projected to generate $1.2M in revenue and $150k in profit in Year 1 with an average of 250 covers daily at an average check of $18 per person.”
  • List strategic partnerships or vendors secured like Sysco for ingredients or Groupon for pre-opening deals.

This section is critical for engaging potential investors.

“There is a growing demand for healthy, organic fare with vegan, gluten-free, and paleo options. As Julie Morris, author of Superfood Kitchen, notes, ‘Diners today prioritize fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients. Restaurants need to adapt menus to cater to these preferences.'”

Company Description

Your company description provides an overview of key details of your business. Include information like:

  • Outline ownership structure – “Rosie’s Diner is registered as an LLC in the state of Oregon with John Smith as 51% owner and Jane Doe as 49% owner.”
  • Note years of relevant experience such as “John has 15 years experience managing diners in Portland and Jane has 10 years as a head cook for retro-style cafes.”
  • Share mission statement or brand ethos – “Rosie’s mission is to provide fresh, wholesome comfort food with quick friendly service in a charming retro diner atmosphere.”
  • If purchasing an existing restaurant, detail transfer terms – “Rosie’s is purchasing Scramblers Diner for $300k with inventory and select equipment included. The current owner will transfer all licenses and permits to continue uninterrupted operation.”
  • For growth goals, get specific – “We plan to expand Rosie’s to a second location in Eugene in 2025 once the Portland location is well-established. Future locations will maintain the core menu with some localized specials.”
  • Note any community initiatives – “Rosie’s will partner with the Springfield Food Bank, donating 10% of weekly pie sales and excess food inventory to support our neighbors in need.”
  • If relevant, provide a brief history – “Rosie’s founder Jane Doe opened the first Rosie’s on Route 66 in Arizona in 2000 before relocating to Oregon. Her passion for quality diner fare sparked this new endeavor.”

This helps readers understand the foundational elements of your operations.

Market Analysis

A market analysis examines your business environment. The goal is to determine if there’s room for your restaurant to thrive.

Research your geography and demographics to assess demand. Study competitors to see how you can differentiate. Interview prospective customers to gauge interest in your concept.

The data collected guides your direction by revealing target audiences, pricing ability, busy hours, and similar insights. Omitting this step means operating blindly.

  • Pull demographics for a 3-mile radius showing 75k population, median income of $62k, and competitors like Betty’s Cafe, AJ’s Diner, and Pancake Palace.
  • Highlight market research insights like “82% of surveyed residents visit a diner 2+ times per month and 76% want more milkshake options.”
  • Note market gaps like no diners in the area open after 8 p.m. or with pie shakes.

“Our market research and concept validation interviews indicate customers feel there are not enough family-friendly Italian restaurants in the area. As Marco Bruno, owner of Bruno’s Bistro shares, ‘Families are looking for authentic Italian cuisine with great service but also some entertainment to keep kids engaged. There’s room here for a restaurant catering to that niche.'”

Management Team

Your business plan should detail how you and your team are qualified to launch and manage the restaurant. Highlight experience and training as applicable.

If you need to bring on more partners or employees, outline those roles and ideal qualifications. Investors want to partner with those demonstrating expertise for restaurant success.

  • List owners’ names, roles, and 2-3 bullet point bios conveying experience.
  • Specify key hires needed like a head chef with 5+ years diner experience and front-of-house manager.
  • If you lack experience in any area, list qualified mentors, coaches, or advisors you will partner with.

“Having an experienced chef at the helm is critical for new restaurants to produce consistent, high-quality cuisine. As chef David Burke advises, ‘Hire a head chef with leadership skills, creativity, and a proven track record of succeeding in the kitchen. They set the tone for the entire operation.'”

Products and Services

Clearly describe your restaurant concept and offerings. Share your theme or cuisine type, bar options, price points, special menus, etc.

If you’ll provide catering or private event services, have dedicated sections on those as well. Thoroughly explain how you’ll execute your vision.

  • Give a sample menu with specific items like “Classic Cheeseburger – $12”, “Chicken Pot Pie – $15”, “Vanilla Milkshake – $6”
  • List sides, beverages, desserts, kids and seniors menus.
  • Describe specials like Friday Fish Fry, Sat. Prime Rib, and Sunday Brunch.
  • Note catering offerings and private event spaces if applicable.

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan depicts how you’ll promote your restaurant to ideal customers. Identify strategies for advertising, social media engagement, specials, loyalty programs, and any partnerships.

Set realistic budgets for each initiative based on local marketing costs and your financial situation.

  • Define promotional strategies like social media ads, partnerships with local hotels, direct mail coupons, and PR outreach to local media.
  • Set specific goals like getting 10k Instagram followers in Year 1 and running 2 ads per platform per week.
  • Allocate budgets like $3k/mo for social ads, $1.5k for branded merchandise, and $2k for signage.

“Social media is integral for restaurants today to reach and engage customers. Sara Brito, CEO of Brito Social Media Consulting says, ‘8 out of 10 diners discover new restaurants on social media. Small businesses must dedicate 15-20% of marketing budgets to digital platforms for success.'”

Operations Plan

Your operations plan addresses the logistics of running your restaurant. Detail day-to-day management duties, staffing requirements, vendors/suppliers, technology needs, and general policies.

This helps you strategize for smooth operations while giving investors confidence in your preparation level.

  • Outline systems for inventory, ordering, payment processing, scheduling, and customer management.
  • Estimate staffing needs like 2 cooks and 4 servers on weekdays and add roles for weekends.
  • List specific equipment and vendors secured like POS systems, food suppliers, and beverage distributors.

Financial Plan

The financial plan includes startup costs, operating expenses, sales projections, and funding needs. Breakdown costs associated with buildout, equipment, inventory, payroll, rent, etc.

Determine the financing you need to launch and operate until revenue is steady. Share expected profit margins and repayment plans if you have debt.

  • Breakdown costs for buildout, equipment, inventory, marketing, labor, rent, etc with real estimates.
  • Project monthly and annual sales and profit goals based on market research and capacity.
  • Share specific financing terms like an SBA loan of $250k through ABC Bank, repaid over 10 years at 5% interest.

The financials demonstrate the viability and profit potential of your business.

An appendix adds supplementary materials for context.

This can include photos/drawings of your space, menus, licenses/permits, owner resumes , market research data, letters of intent from suppliers, and more.

References build credibility and allow a deeper understanding of your operations.

Download the Small Restaurant Business Plan PDF

To help you get started, you can download a PDF template of a sample business plan tailored for a small restaurant.

It contains placeholders for each section along with explanatory notes on what to include. You can easily customize it by inputting your text and numbers.

Having an example is useful for structuring your document properly. It also ensures you cover all the fundamental components.

Sample Small Restaurant Business Plans

To further illustrate effective business plans, below are excerpts from two restaurant examples:

Example 1: Natalie’s Cafe

“This breakfast and lunch cafe highlights the owner’s experience operating popular restaurants in town.

Their market research showed an unmet need for healthier options in the area.

The marketing plan emphasizes social media engagement and partnerships with local gyms for promotions.”

  • This plan excels at clearly conveying the cafe’s unique value proposition of healthy, locally sourced menu options. The market research supports the unmet demand for this positioning.
  • The marketing plan is comprehensive with a good mix of partnerships, digital campaigns, and promotions to attract their target customers. The budget allocation seems reasonable.
  • While they outline a 3-year growth plan, more detail on future locations, timeline, and financial projections would strengthen it. Plans to scale need concrete facts.

Example 2: Rico’s Pizzeria

“Rico has years of experience as a head chef for Italian restaurants in the city.

His business plan focuses on affordably priced pizza, pasta, and salads in a family-friendly setting.

He has negotiated extensively with vendors to keep food costs low.”

  • Rico has clearly leveraged his extensive restaurant experience into the operations plan, especially regarding vendor relationships, inventory management, and cost control. This establishes credibility.
  • The menu and price points are well-researched to appeal to families in the area based on competitors and customer interviews.
  • The financial plan could be more robust with 3-5 year projections and funding requirements for growth. Investors will want to see the longer-term vision.
  • Including photos of menu items and restaurant, design will help bring the concept to life since there is no operating history.

Perusing real samples helps you identify components to model for your own restaurant’s success. Analyze plans in your cuisine niche or area to make the biggest impact.

Next Steps After Completing Your Small Restaurant Business Plan

With your business plan complete, here are the next steps to take:

  • Finalize your budget and financing to cover all start-up expenses.
  • Start scouting locations and negotiate lease terms if needed.
  • Obtain all required licenses, permits, and legal documents.
  • Begin designing and outfitting your restaurant space.
  • Start the hiring process to build your team.
  • Develop your website, online profiles, and pre-opening promotions.
  • Connect with vendors and finalize supplier logistics.
  • Host soft openings or a VIP launch event.
  • Continually review your plan and modify it as needed.

As you begin your entrepreneurial endeavor, let this sample plan and guide set you up for success.

With grit and perseverance, your dream of owning a thriving restaurant can become a reality.

Here’s to bringing your culinary vision to life!

Related Posts:

  • Small Scale Poultry Business Plan PDF
  • Smoke Shop Business Plan PDF
  • Small Bakery Business Plan PDF

FAQs On Small Restaurant Business Plan

Can you start a small restaurant with $10,000 dollars.

Yes, it’s possible to start a small restaurant with $10,000, but it would require finding an inexpensive location, buying used equipment, and starting with a limited menu.

How Much Money Should You Have to Open a Small Restaurant?

You should plan to have at least $50,000-$100,000 saved to open a small restaurant once you factor in rent, renovations, equipment, inventory, licensing, and operating expenses for the first few months.

What Do You Need for a Restaurant Business Plan?

A restaurant business plan should include a concept summary, market analysis, management team, menu and pricing, financial projections, marketing strategy, operations plan, and funding requirements.

Is Restaurant a Profitable Business?

Operating a successful, profitable restaurant requires experience, solid business planning, efficient operations, quality food, good marketing, and the ability to adapt to challenges.

How Many Pages Should a Restaurant Business Plan Be?

A restaurant business plan should be around 15-30 pages long, covering all key areas like the concept, market, operations, management, and financial projections in sufficient detail.

Rahul is a former medical student turned business blogger who founded NamesPilot to share his passion for entrepreneurship. After successfully launching several online ventures, he now runs his blog full-time, providing tips and insights to help others build their own businesses.

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Moscow's culinary opportunities: How to open a restaurant

business plan for small restaurant

Having a nice family-style restaurant in the Russian capital with a flavor of your home country is a popular business option for many expats. But it’s not as easy as it might seem. Here are a few things to consider for potential restaurant-owners.

Thinking it through

First and foremost, one should make sure that owning a restaurant, even a small one, is really something you would like to do. As any kind of business, it takes a significant amount of time and money to manage and develop. “Success in public catering requires hard work, without weekends or holidays,” Ilias Iliadis, owner of Pita&Suvlaki Greek restaurant in Moscow, told Russia Beyond. “It is not as hard to open a place as running it.”

One will need to learn everything about every aspect of a business, from legal, fire and sanitary requirements to managing business partner relationships and hiring experienced staff. “There are many difficulties in this sphere, so you need to be totally in love with what you do to be successful,” says Radomir Krajinovic, owner of Serbian restaurant Optimist.

The number of national cuisine restaurants have grown in Moscow over the last few years.

The number of national cuisine restaurants have grown in Moscow over the last few years.

Market trends

As we noted previously, the economic crisis had led to many Russians cutting back and, as a result, there has been a growth in interest in developing fast food outlets.

Yet, the general dynamic for restaurants is toward growth: According to Poster company 2017 review of trends in the restaurant business, healthy eating, vegetarian food, open kitchen format, craft beer, food trucks (mobile cafes), and regional cuisine are becoming more popular in Moscow. The number of restaurants and bars grow and they compete for custom by offering special deals and interesting dining formats.

“Over the last few years the number of national cuisine restaurants have grown,” says Krajinovic. ”Yes, the crisis has led to fewer people visiting us, but we are still doing well - we are opening a new restaurant soon.”

Iliadis’s venture is also experiencing growth: He opened his first café in city center in 2014 – now he has opened a second restaurant and a third one is on the way.

Of course, setting up a firm without back is impossible. “To open a small restaurant or a cafe one would need 5 million rubles ($87,160),” Vladimir Shalaev, a lawyer at BMS Law Firm, told Russia Beyond. Iliadis confirms this figure. “In our case it was a year before it paid off. Our small restaurant became popular quickly so we had to find a bigger place,” he adds.

“The biggest part of what you’ll need to pay is rent. It is very expensive here,” Krajinovic says. “Other things depend on what one wants. A home-style restaurant might require from seven to 10 million rubles of investment which will pay off in two years.”

Russian banks also offer business loans. “You need to have 30 percent of the necessary investment for the new project and the bank will cover the remaining 70 percent,” says Igor Glukhov, deputy director of Credit Department of RosEvroBank.

If you serve good food and your clients sense it, they will become regulars and inspectors will not come often if they don’t receive complaints.

If you serve good food and your clients sense it, they will become regulars and inspectors will not come often if they don’t receive complaints.

Legal aspect

The procedure of setting up a legal entity is no different for a foreigner than for a Russian national. “You need to gather all necessary documents to register a firm: Passport, various papers, a receipt of registration fee payment; foreign citizens need to provide a certified passport translation as well,” Shalaev said.

Of course, just registering a company will not be enough. You need to get a license for selling alcohol, rent a place for your café, add it to the commercial register, then get all necessary permits from sanitary and fire inspections, as well arrange for garbage disposal, Shalaev added.

“The legal framework is very similar to that in Greece,” Iliadis says. “The Russian requirements gradually develop to European standards. Of course, like in Greece, there are still some outdated rules, such as having a separate room for peeling potatoes, but inspectors don't take it seriously. No one terrorizes you every day without reason. If you serve good food and your clients sense it, they will become regulars and inspectors will not come often if they don’t receive complaints.”

Krajinovic, who has been running his restaurant since 2012, agrees. “There are no problems. If you follow all the necessary requirements and use fresh products, no one will bother you asking for money,” he says. “A good thing here is that 3-4 months after starting a business you know how much tax you will need to pay, as opposed to Europe, where the percent might change. Here we pay 15-20 percent of our profits.”

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Moscow's Best Rooftop Restaurants

Moscow City Night View

Built on seven hills and spread over two thousand square kilometers, Moscow is quite a sight from above. You don’t have to stand on a crowded observation deck to enjoy the spectacular panoramas. Here are Moscow’s best restaurants to wine and dine with a view.

1. turandot.

Restaurant, Russian, Vegetarian, Vegan

Turandot

Luxurious interiors, a terrace with a view and exquisite food are all the things that earned Turandot a reputation as the best restaurant in the city. This palace of a restaurant is known for the best dim sum in Moscow, fantastic peking duck, honey-glazed sea bass and signature sour cherry borscht.

2. O2 Lounge

Restaurant, European, Seafood, Sushi

O2 Lounge is an opulently decorated and terrifyingly expensive restaurant, located on the roof of the Ritz Carlton hotel, that you’ll probably recognise from celebrity Instagrams . Apart from picturesque views and selfie-snapping VIPs, the restaurant boasts Moscow’s best Peruvian cuisine and state-of-the-art cocktails.

3. Timeout Rooftop Bar

Restaurant, Bar, Cocktail Bar, Middle Eastern

Housed on the 12th and 13th floors of the historic Pekin Hotel, Timeout Rooftop Bar is a winning combination of breathtaking views and extraordinary cocktails. Created by the mixologist and bar’s co-founder Alexander Khan, the cocktail menu offers a creative selection of drinks for every mealtime.

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5. Sky Lounge

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, European, Japanese

This is an upscale restaurant with spectacular panoramic views: from the Moscow State University to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Housed in the iconic building of the Russian Academy of Science, Sky Lounge features stylish interiors, delicious cocktails and impeccable service.

6. Schastye na Kryshe

Restaurant, European, Italian, French

Translating as “happiness”, this is indeed one very happy restaurant: from its rooftop location, to the romantic terrace swing, to live music on weekends – everything here is designed to make sure you’ll have a great time. The food here is also on point – apart from a wide selection of grilled fish, meat and seafood, the restaurant is loved for its late breakfasts, signature cocktails and a beautiful view on Pushkinskaya square.

Restaurant, Italian, Russian, European, Japanese

With its lovely Mediterranean terrace, Balkon is perfect if you’re looking for a respite in Moscow’s centre. Once the elevator stops at the 7th floor of the futuristic Lotte Plaza, you find yourself in a welcoming spacious hall that comprises seven kitchen islands, where you can choose a meal to your taste: from Asian dishes to home-style Italian food and tempting desserts.

Restaurant, European, Italian, Seafood

Located on the roof of the 14-storey Central City Tower, Karlson masterfully combines spectacular panoramas of Moscow with upmarket Italian cuisine. Views on the Kremlin , Moskva-river and the city’s historic center serve as a stunning background to the restaurant’s cosy interiors, open flame kitchen, original desserts and tempting selection of cocktails .

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Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

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Moscow Restaurants 2023 (15 Best Places to Eat and Drink)

Hello everyone! In this post I would like to talk about some of the best restaurants in Moscow that you should visit during your stay in the city. The best means that these restaurants are in high demand, their summer verandahs are packed, ladies sitting at the tables are hot and cars parked at their entrances are high class! Welcome to Moscow during one of the steepest economic downturns.

Feel free to jump to the desired section:

Wine and Crab

  • Boston Seafood & Bar

Café Pushkin

Dr. zhivago.

  • Chicago Prime

Burger Heroes

  • B&B Burgers

White Rabbit

erwin restaurant

Erwin is a seafood restaurant that occupies 2 floors of the building located at the bank of the Moscow River. That’s just steps away from the Radisson Royal Hotel. Erwin has 230 seats inside plus a large summer verandah making it possible to seat almost 400 guests during summer months.

They use local seafood products to prepare most of the dishes you'll find on the restaurant's menu. That's the main reason why a meal at Erwin can fit almost any budget. You can order a portion of local whitefish fillet for 580 Rubles or you can go with the King Crab from Murmansk that costs 9000 a piece. I can tell you that it’s a pretty big crab weighting almost 3 kilos (about 6 pounds)!

Same thing with the drinks. You can order a bottle of some Spanish red wine for 3600 Rubles (about $100) or 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova for 15600 Rubles (about $260).

Other dishes on the menu worth mentioning are all kinds of tartars and salads, seafood pastas, Russian and Pan Asian fish soups, several kinds of caviar.

best restaurants in moscow

B&B Burgers

The first B&B Burgers restaurant was opened in 2014. Later it has managed to expand into a chain that currently operates 12 restaurants in Moscow. The menu of B&B Burgers includes 9 kinds of burgers, ribs and several kinds of sandwiches. All burgers are priced at 380 Rubles (about 6usd). Double burgers will cost you additional 150 rubles (about 2usd).

novikov farsh restaurant

Farsh is another burger chain that was started in Moscow several years ago. Novikov Group - the company that owns Farsh have been in the restaurant and food business for decades as opposed to other similar places opened by younger entrepreneurs.

At the moment there are 8 Farsh restaurants in Moscow. The anchor restaurant is located near The St. Regis hotel on Nikolskata street. All of the items on their menu are made from local products. Classic cheese burgers cost 250 Rubles (about 4usd). The menu also includes several kinds of craft beer.

white rabbit moscow

That’s actually the only restaurant in Moscow and in the whole Russia that has managed to appear in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 3 years in a row. It is listed on the 23rd position after the Quintonil restaurant located in Mexico City and Amber in Honk Kong.

White Rabbit is known for its signature cuisine that is focused around classic European dishes with a slight Russian touch. They serve traditional Russian borscht soup with “baked beans, fried crucians and sour cream”. They have cutlets made of boar meat served with “puree of celery root and rowan jelly”. Most of the menu items look interesting and delicious.

The restaurant is located in the center of Moscow on the 16th floor of Smolensky Passage department store. This makes it a great observation point of the city.

gorynich restaurant

Gorynich Restaurant

You'll finds lots of barbecue and grill dishes on the menu of Gorynich restaurant located near the Tsvetnoy Boulevard shopping center. There is a huge grill that they use to make most of their dishes placed inside the main hall. It was shipped here from Italy. There are also many vegetarian dishes marked with a green leaf on the menu.

Gornich serves excellent breakfasts every day from 8:00 in the morning till noon. Breakfast menu includes pancakes, omelets, burgers and several kinds of soup.

The seafood section of the menu has a number of decent options as well. Checkout their crab phalanges, tiger prawns and salmon fillet.

pinch restaurant moscow

Pinch is located in the heart of one of the most upscale districts of Moscow called Patriarch Ponds (Patriki as locals call it). The area became especially famous after it was mentioned in several scenes that took place in Master and Margarita novel written by Bulgakov. Today Patriki has lots of nice bars and restaurants that attract locals and foreign tourists.

Pinch is a gastropub famous for its open kitchen and unique author's menu compiled by Italian chef. It gets really packed and loud during weekend evenings, so make sure to make your reservation in advance.

Moscow Restaurants

Wine & Crab has an extensive list of dishes made from several kinds of crab shipped here directly from the Russian Far East . The most popular kinds include Blue King Crab, Spiny and Hairy crab.

Checkout their "Russian Pelmeni" with crab for 620Rubles (10usd). These are very delicious, so as the crab cakes that cost 750 Rubles per portion (about 12usd). One of the local sommeliers can help you pick your perfect wine from more than 600 bottles available on the wine list.

The restaurant is located in the basement of Teatralny Proezd – Moscow’s high fashion shopping street with all the high end designer brand boutiques.

best moscow restaurants

Boston Seafood & Bar

This is an excellent seafood restaurant chain that has two locations. The first one was opened in the new business district of the Moscow located near Belorusskaya subway station. The second one is located on Paveletskaya station inside the business center close to the Courtyard Moscow hotel.

Both of the restaurants have modern bright interiors with lots of light , high ceilings and wooden furniture. Local menu is very extensive and has all kinds of dishes made of fish, crab and shrimp including Boston chowder and crab cakes. They also have several kinds of beer that they serve in large bottles.

valenok restaurant

Valenok is owned and operated by Alexander Novikov one of the pioneers of the Moscow restaurant scene. Located on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, it has a large sitting area with an open kitchen. Outside there is a large summer verandah.

The cuisine is mixed and focused around the local ingredients. This allows to keep the menu prices at a reasonable level. What’s remarkable about Valenok is that on weekend evenings it turns into a night club packed with lots of beautiful Russian women. The music inside sucks but the girls look really nice:)

cafe pushkin moscow

Café Pushkin is an award winning restaurant that specializes on Russian cuisine and attracts a lot of customers from all over the world. It was opened in 1999 and still remains one of the major attraction points on the Moscow restaurants scene.

Pushkin’s menu has an extensive list of dishes ranging from caviar to pirozhki, borsch and Russian sterlet. You’ll like its 19th century classic dark interior design with tall ceilings. The restaurant is located near Pushkin subway station on beautiful Tverskoy Boulevard.

dr. zhivago

Basically it’s probably the only rival of Pushkin restaurant that also focuses on Russian cuisine. It also occupies one of the best central locations in the city - opposite Red Square inside the 5 start National Hotel. Its menu has lots of Russian dishes that include pelmeni, caviar, borscht, blini and ukha.

The main difference between the two restaurants is interior design. Dr. Zhivago’s interiors are really bright and meant to resemble Soviet era. Inside there are lots of white and red colors. The waiters have red stars printed on their uniforms.

voronezh restaurant moscow

Voronezh has an excellent location on Prechistenka street , opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It combines a meat restaurant located on top floor and a bistro where you can have a quick meal or make an order "to go" located on the first floor. Most of the menu items include all kinds of steaks and ribs. The fish section is smaller and includes 5 kinds of oysters, crabs and sea urchins.

All of the dishes are made from the local products that are shipped directly from a number of local farms located in the Russian countryside.

novikov restaurant in moscow

Ryby Net (No Fish)

Rybi Net is translated from Russian as No Fish. So it’s a steak house located inside The St. Regis hotel on Nikolskata street minutes away from the Red Square. Ryby Net is part of the famous Novikov restaurants company. The restaurant has a modern expensive interior with a large open kitchen.

Some of the best items I can mention are “Prime filet mignon” and “Veal pelmeni”. All dishes at Rybi Net are made from local products. During weekend evenings the place gets really packed and the music played in the background becomes a little louder.

top moscow restaurants

Chicago Prime Steak House

This is a good quality premium steak house located close to Tverskaya subway station. The interior design of Chicago Prime Steak House looks so much like steak houses of the same class in US.

Leather couches, white tablecloths, furniture made of massive red wood as well as photos on the walls make you think like you have teleported to Morton’s. The menu includes all kinds of steaks and some fish dishes. The Clam Chowder was really good. All dishes are made from the locally farmed products.

Burger Heroes moscow

It all started with the food truck that the co-owners of Burger Heroes brought to Moscow from Germany in 2014. The idea was to start cooking and selling sandwiches at various food festivals around the city.

One year after the start they were able to open their first burger restaurant. It was a small place in the center of Moscow with half of the space taken by the open kitchen. Their creative approach to making good quality burgers combined with reasonable prices allowed them to grow their business into a chain.

Today there are 8 Burger Hero restaurants in Moscow and they plan to expand to other regions of Russia. In 2016 Burger Heroes received the “Best Moscow Burger” award based on the votes of the readers of Afisha Daily magazine.

Their classic burgers are priced at 280 Rubles (about 5usd) and their gourmet burgers prices range from 330 to 380 Rubles (about 7usd);

More Restaurants in Moscow

Steyk Khaus Bison "Butcher"

Butcher Steak House (formerly known as Bison) is a quality steak house chain that has 6 restaurants in Moscow. Four of these restaurants are located in the central part of the city. Comfortable interiors include brick walls and leather couches.

Probka

The flagship Probka on Tsvetnoy boulevard is the only restaurant opened by Aram Mnatsakanov in Moscow. In St. Petersburg which is his home town he owns 9 restaurants that specialize on Italian cuisine.

Uilliams

The restaurant holds the name of it’s chef and co-owner Uilliam Lamberti, who has been working on the Moscow restaurants scene since 1996.

Mr. Lamberti initially arrived to Moscow to work with one of the local restaurateurs on a number of dining venues. Today he is the brand chef of 2 restaurants managed by Ginza Group.

Bar Luch

The building where Luch is located was constructed before revolution and during soviet times belonged to electro-lamp production plant. The renovated building has tall ceilings, one of the longest bar tables in town, restaurant and a beautiful summer veranda.

Dr Zhivago

Dr. Zhivago is one of the newer restaurants with Russian cuisine opened by Alexander Rapoport who is the man behind a number of other well-known restaurants in the city that include Kitayskaya Gramota, Meat club and Black Thai.

In 2014 Alexander was awarded his Restaurateur of the Year title by GQ Russia.

Boston Seafood & Bar

Boston Seafood & Bar restaurant in Moscow was opened by the two owners of Torro Grill steak house chain. In fact Boston Seafood & Bar is located just across the road from the flagship Torro Grill restaurant near Belorusskaya subway station.

La Bottega Siciliana

La Bottega Siciliana was opened by the company that owns and operates two well-known restaurants with Italian cuisine in Moscow - Semifreddo Mulinazzo and Academiya.

La Bottega Siciliana is managed by Nino Graziano who has been in charge of the kitchen at Semifredo Mulinazzo for more than 10 years!

Food Market 21

Food Market 21 is a food court located on New Arbat. The place has more than 20 food joints. There are all types of dishes and cuisines you can find here: Russian dishes, Italian pizza, burgers, Mexican tacos, Pan Asian soups and pasta, Greek gyros, Belgian waffles, American burgers and hot dogs, Caucasian pies, select Turkish and Jewish dishes.

Ugolek

The main attraction of Ugolek is its open kitchen with 6 cast iron stoves used to prepare various kinds of meat dishes.

Interiors of the restaurant feature brick walls, tall windows and custom made wooden furniture. The windows are kept open during warm summer months transforming the main hall of Ugolek into a large verandah.

Chips

Chips combines a restaurant and a bar lounge located in the heart of Moscow, close to TSUM department store, Bolshoy Theater and a number of upscale hotels. During summer they open a large summer verandah located on top of the building.

Torro Grill Belorusskaya

Sixty restaurant is located on the 62nd floor of Federation Tower in the modern “City” business district. “Moscow City” is well known for its skyscrapers that symbolize new Russia. It is definitely one of the best restaurants with a view and the highest dining venue in Europe.

Prichal

Prichal is one of the upscale restaurants in Moscow located in the famous Rublevka area 12 kilometers outside city center.

On summer weekends this place gets really packed with wealthy locals and the restaurant's parking lot gets filled with the latest models of high end autos like Bentleys and Maseratis.

White Rabbit

China News was opened by a native Russian that has managed to gain recognition both from locals as well as Chinese community that resides in the city. China News focuses on authentic Chinese cuisine that includes various types of dumplings (240-280 Rubles), noodles (220-620 Rubles), wok, BBQ dishes, soups and numerous other dishes all at reasonable prices.

Cafe Pushkin

Pushkin restaurant was opened in the late 1990s. It was named after the famous Russian writer recognized all over the world. The restaurant is located in a 19th century mansion in the heart of the city. Today it is famous both among locals as well foreign businessmen visiting Moscow from all over the world.

Bistrot

Bistrot restaurant located in Moscow was created in close cooperation with Davido Vaiani who is the owner of original Bistrot located in Forte dei Marmi, Italy.

Sem Pyatnits (Seven Fridays)

Seven Fridays is located inside a historical Moscow mansion built in the beginning of the 20th century. Inside, the restaurant features pre-revolutionary interiors made up of 6 rooms filled with antique furniture: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian rooms.

Vogue Cafe

Vogue Café is a trendy restaurant in the premium location. The restaurant is located in the heart of Moscow’s high end shopping area close to TSUM department store and Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow hotel. So, productive shopping can be completed with a nice lunch.

Elarji Restaurant

Aist is one of the oldest higher class restaurants in Moscow. This place is managed by the famous Novikov Group and includes three levels. The first one has a lounge area with comfortable couches. On weekend evenings they invite DJs that spin stylish electronic music there creating pre-party atmosphere.

El Gaucho

El Gaucho is a small chain of high class steak houses that serve some of the best meat dishes in town. Tenderloin, Rib eye and other fine cuts of select beef are shipped here from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and other countries.

Nobu

The first Nobu restaurant was opened in 1994 in New York by Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and the famous Hollywood actor Robert Deniro. Success of the New York venue started expansion of Nobu to capitals around the world including London, Tokyo, Miami, Los Angeles and many other.

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The Booming Business of Cutting Babies’ Tongues

One family’s story of “tongue-tie release” surgery on their newborn..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Sabrina Tavernise, and this is “The Daily.”

A “Times” investigation has found that doctors are increasingly performing unnecessary medical procedures that generate huge profits while often harming patients.

Today, my colleague Katie Thomas — on the forces driving this emerging and troubling trend in American health care and the story of one family caught in the middle of it. It’s Monday, February 19.

So Katie, tell me about this investigation.

So I am a health care reporter who writes about the kind of intersection of health care and money. And I was working with two other colleagues, Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg. And together, the three of us had long been interested in, are the medical procedures and the tests and other things that we get when we go to the doctor or into a hospital — are they always necessary?

But what we were really interested in exploring was not just are these procedures and are these tests, et cetera — are they necessary, but in some situations, could they actually be harmful to patients? And so that’s what we decided to try and take a look at. And so we had gotten started in our reporting when we got a tip. And it was from a mom in Boise, Idaho. And her name was Lauren Lavelle.

Nice to meet you.

Hi, how are you?

And my colleague Jessica Silver-Greenberg and I went to her house to meet with her.

And where does her story start?

I am a mom of two. I live in Boise. My daughter, June, is four, and I have a 17-month-old, Flora.

Her story starts when Lauren gets pregnant with her daughter, June.

So by the time we got pregnant with June, November of 2018, about eight months after we had the miscarriage, I think I was just more hesitant and nervous than anything.

Lauren and her husband had trouble conceiving, and so they were so happy when they learned that they were going to have June. And like most first-time parents, they were also a little bit nervous.

But being type-A and super prepared, I did all my homework. We hired a doula. I wanted an epidural. Having a natural childbirth absolutely was not for me.

And Lauren is very organized. She’s always on top of everything, and she makes all sorts of plans. And she gets a lot of different providers lined up ahead of time —

I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding, like zero things.

— including one that she has hired to help her with breastfeeding.

Where did you find out about her?

So I asked our doula for a list of recommendations, and she gave me a very short list. At the time, there were very few lactation consultants in the Valley. And Melanie was one of them.

She ended up deciding to work with Melanie Henstrom, who was a local lactation consultant in Boise.

She sold this package at the time. I don’t know if she still did, but it was like prenatal visit breastfeeding class. And then, she’ll come to the hospital and help you latch, and then she’ll come to the house a couple of times after. And I thought, well, this sounds perfect. Great. You know, I’m covered there.

So one week after her due date, she gives birth. And it was a difficult labor. It took 24 hours. Lauren was completely exhausted. But once June arrived, the family was very, very excited to have her.

And I remember June coming out and that surreal feeling have when you see your first baby for the first time, like oh, my God, there’s a baby in the room.

And June was a healthy baby, but she was having trouble breastfeeding.

She would not latch. Like, she wouldn’t even attempt. She would scream. It was the only time she ever cried — if you tried to make her to breastfeed.

And so as her pediatrician was making the rounds, they noticed that June was having trouble and said that June’s tongue is really tight.

We can clip it if you’d like.

And that they could clip it.

What does that mean exactly, Katie — clipping her tongue?

What it means is that there’s a small percentage of babies whose tongue is very tightly tethered to the bottom of their mouth. And for a very small percentage of babies, their tongue is almost tied so tightly down that they can’t nurse well.

So it makes breastfeeding very difficult if a baby has a tongue like this.

Exactly. If you bottle-feed your baby, the baby can basically adjust and make do. But if you want to breastfeed, some babies have trouble, basically, latching on to their mother when they don’t have that tongue motion. And so some version of clipping these tongue ties has been done for centuries. Midwives have been doing it. Pediatricians do it.

And traditionally, what it’s been is a very quick snip right underneath the tongue just to loosen up the tongue. And traditionally, that procedure is extremely straightforward. There’s little to no follow-up care. And basically, the baby naturally heals as it learns to breastfeed.

And so we said, OK. They explained that it was completely painless. They’d do it with scissors. She wouldn’t even feel it. And all of that was true. They clipped it. I don’t even think she woke up.

But in June’s case, it didn’t seem to help much, and she and Lauren were still having problems breastfeeding afterwards. So while she’s still in the hospital, she calls up the lactation consultant that she had hired — Melanie Henstrom — just to let her know what was going on. And from talking to her on the phone, Melanie said that the situation was actually much worse than Lauren had thought and that Lauren’s baby needed another tongue-tie procedure — a deeper cut under the tongue.

How did she make this diagnosis, Katie? Was it over the phone? How did she know this?

Yes, Lauren told us that it was from a phone conversation. And in addition to that, she also warned her that, basically, Lauren and her husband should really take this seriously and consider getting it done, because if she doesn’t get it fixed, it could lead to a whole host of problems beyond just problems breastfeeding.

She’ll have scoliosis, and she’ll suffer from migraines, and she’ll never eat, and she’ll have a speech impediment, and she won’t sleep — I mean, just, like, the long list of things over the phone.

And Lauren starts panicking.

I mean, first of all, I felt — I’ve never felt more terrible in my life than that first day or so after giving birth. Like, the comedown from the hormones, the drugs — all of it — the sleep deprivation. And then, here was this baby we’d wanted, we were told we probably would never have after one miscarriage. And she’s so perfect, like, the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. And you think that she has some deformity that’s going to ruin her.

But Melanie says it’s OK. She has a solution. And she tells Lauren that there’s a dentist in town who can handle cases that are as severe as June’s.

A dentist? Why a dentist?

Well, there’s a procedure that’s done in a dentist’s office that’s a laser surgery. And dentists use this high-powered laser machine that can quickly cut the flesh that connects the lips and the cheeks to the gums. So according to Lauren, Melanie tells her that by chance, this dentist has an opening, because she said a family coming in from Oregon had just canceled their Saturday appointment.

So I thought, OK, wow, people are coming in from Oregon to see him. So we talked about it. We both felt unsure. But we said, well, let’s at least take the appointment, and then we can at least meet with the dentist, and also, someone can look at her mouth and assess.

And so Lauren agrees to go in and meet the dentist.

Like, I think some people, when they hear this story, think, like, why would you believe that? It just sounds so scammy. But to me, there is a lot of things that you hear in the hospital that sound insane. Like, it’s no different than someone saying, like, your baby’s orange because their bilirubin levels are too high, so we got to go put them under these lights. Like, that sounds insane. That sounds more insane than, your baby’s having a hard time eating because their tongue is too tight and it needs to be cut. Like, that seems rational, actually.

And all of this seemed really weird to Lauren at the time. But in the context of the hospital and having a baby, lots of things about health care are weird.

So one day after they got back home from the hospital, Lauren and her husband pack up the car and go to the office early in the morning.

You know, I was wearing my hospital diaper and an ice pack, took the elevator up to his office, and —

And what happens?

So Melanie greets them at the door. They sign some paperwork, and pretty soon, the dentist, Dr. Samuel Zink, arrives.

And then, he, like, very briefly — very briefly — looks in her mouth and is like, yeah, she’s got whatever — however he classified it — grade 4 or whatever he says — class 4 — and she has a lip tie, which — that had never been mentioned to us before, so it’s very much on the spot, this new piece of information.

You know, pretty quickly, the dentist diagnosed June as having a couple of ties. He confirmed that she had a tongue tie, and he said it was severe. He also said that she had tightness under her top lip, called a lip tie. And so the baby actually needed to get two cuts. And again, Lauren said that the dentist and the consultant told her how important it was for her to do this for her baby.

One of us says, like, what happens if we don’t do the procedure? , Like what are our alternatives? And it was basically like, there’s no alternative. Like, you have to do this. Otherwise, again, long —

So Lauren and her husband decided to do it. But before the procedure starts, Melanie actually stopped Lauren from coming into the room.

Melanie turned around and put a hand on my shoulder and said, oh, no. And I said, oh, am I not going with you? She goes, well, we can’t tell you no, but if you hear her cry, it’ll impact your milk supply, like, adversely.

What do I know? So I said, oh, OK. And she pulled out the white-noise machine and said, what do you want to listen to? And I had no idea what she was talking about. I had no idea what it was. And so then she just turned it on — white noise — and left.

What happens next is, Melanie turns on a white-noise machine in the room.

And that was the moment that I was like, get your baby and get out of here. And I didn’t listen to it. It was like all of my mom intuition firing, being like this isn’t right, you know. It’s like, I don’t know how to describe it, but your full body — you have to get your baby and get out of here. And I just ignored it.

She said her maternal instincts really kicked in, and she just had this instinctive fear about the procedure and whether June would be OK. But the procedure itself was very quick. Within just a couple of minutes, Melanie returns with June.

And she was screaming. Like, screaming, and so worked up. This was, like, hysterical, inconsolable. And she was also choking on something, like, gagging.

And June was so worked up. Lauren had only had her for a couple of days, but she said that this was on a different level than any other way she had ever seen June crying. And June just wouldn’t stop crying.

And she looked over to Melanie, and Lauren said that she remembered Melanie saying this was very typical. And so they pay the dentist. They pay $600 for the procedure, and then they go home.

Over the next several days, June did not get better as Melanie had assured them. You know, she was basically inconsolable, Lauren said — just crying hysterically. And Lauren and her husband — they don’t know how to comfort her. They’re new parents. They’ve only had a baby a couple of days. And they’re almost beside themselves.

There was nothing we could do. And I remember finally, I said, like, this is not normal. We’re going to an emergency room.

And they decided to go to the emergency room, where a doctor looks inside June’s mouth and finds a large sore in her mouth that he says is probably causing her so much pain.

And so he said, you know, it breaks my heart to see a sore that big in a baby this small. It was like the floodgates opened, and there was nothing but guilt and shame. Like, unmanageable guilt and shame.

Like, what have we done? Who are these people? What have I done to my baby? Will she ever be the same? Like, what did I do?

So at this point, Lauren is really understanding that her intuition about this surgery was probably right and that she and her husband may have really made a mistake with this. What does June’s recovery look like?

So June never did end up breastfeeding successfully, which was the main reason why Lauren and her husband had decided to do this procedure.

That was the whole point, right?

That was the whole point. Right. And over the next couple of years, June had a number of issues that there’s no official medical diagnosis for, but Lauren has attributed a lot of her behaviors to what had happened to her when she was just a few days old.

I mean, you couldn’t close a fridge door too loud, or else it would set her off. Or, we would attempt to take her for a stroller walk on the Greenbelt, which is the walking path, and she’d be asleep in her car seat, you know, stroller, and someone would try to pass us on their bike and ring their bell, and it would startle her, and it would just set her off. So she just was very, very, very fragile.

So Lauren just wanted to get answers, and she really wanted to hold Melanie and the dentist accountable. So she gathered all of the paperwork that she had — texts, emails, other correspondence — and she went to the Idaho Board of Dentistry, where she filed a complaint against the dentist. And then, she also went to a professional organization that certifies lactation consultants and filed a complaint with them as well.

And did she get anywhere with either of them?

At first, no. The Idaho dentistry board didn’t want to investigate, and Lauren appealed, and she lost her appeal. And she didn’t initially hear back at all from the lactation board.

No one wanted to take responsibility. That’s the thing. No one wanted to stick their neck out there. What’s the alternative? The story never gets told?

And that’s when she decided to reach out to us. And after our story came out, the lactation board finally told Lauren that they were investigating Melanie.

And Katie, you guys were reporting the story. I’m assuming you reached out to both the dentist and to Melanie. What did they say?

Beyond a very brief phone conversation that I had with Melanie in which she defended her work and she said that she had a number of very satisfied customers, she didn’t respond to detailed questions about Lauren’s story or the stories of her former clients. And Dr. Zink did not respond to our requests for comment, but he did tell the dentistry board that Lauren’s baby’s procedure was uneventful and that an extremely small percentage of patients do not respond well to the procedure.

And how big of an issue is this, Katie? I mean, how common is it for mothers to have an experience like Lauren’s?

So after we got the tip from Lauren and we dug deeper into her story, we found ourselves really surprised by how big this industry was for tongue-tie releases. And in part, it’s been driven by this movement for breastfeeding and the Breast is Best campaign and a growing number of parents who are choosing to breastfeed their children.

In turn, that has sparked this big boom in tongue-tie releases. One study that we found showed that these procedures have grown 800 percent in recent years.

Yeah. And also, as we started talking to other parents around the country, we learned that some of them had similar stories to what Lauren had told us. There’s plenty of instances where there’s no harm done to the baby at all when they get these procedures.

But we also found cases where babies were harmed, you know, where they developed oral aversions, which basically means that they don’t want to eat because they fear having anything put in their mouth, including a bottle. We found cases where babies became malnourished, had to be hospitalized. We found more than one instance in which babies had to be given a feeding tube just weeks after the procedure.

So these sounds so painful and awful for a newborn — these problems. But I guess there’s always a risk, Katie, in any medical procedure, right? I mean, how much of this is just the risk you sign up for when you agree that your baby should have a surgery?

Well, that’s true. I mean, there’s always a risk. But what you’re supposed to do is weigh the risks against what the potential benefits of a procedure are. And when we really started drilling down into what those benefits were and into the medical research, we found there just wasn’t a lot of potential benefit for these procedures, if at all, in many cases.

Really? So the procedures don’t have a medical reason to exist?

That’s right. We reviewed all of the best-quality medical research on this. And other than that old-fashioned snip under the tongue, which does show that in some cases, it can reduce pain for breastfeeding mothers, but otherwise, all of this growth and all of these other more invasive procedures — we found there just wasn’t good evidence that they helped babies. And the more we looked into tongue ties and started to connect it to the other reporting we were doing, we started to realize that it was driven by some really big forces in our health care system that really had the potential to harm patients.

We’ll be right back.

So Katie, we talked about this new surge in a procedure that surgically unties infants’ tongues from the bottom of their mouths, often needlessly, sometimes even harmfully. And you said your reporting found that this surgery was actually part of a broader trend. Tell me about this trend and what’s driving it.

So that’s what this investigation was really about — to find the procedures that are doing unnecessary harm to patients and to really understand why this is happening. You know, like, what’s driving the prevalence of these procedures? And there’s just a lot of unnecessary surgeries out there, but we decided to center our reporting on three particular surgeries that had the potential to harm patients, in addition to tongue ties. We focused on a particular hernia surgery, a bariatric surgery, which can be overdone and cause harm, and a vascular surgery done on patients’ legs to help us understand the forces that were at work that were driving all of this.

And what did you find when you dug deeper into those surgeries?

Well, it’s very complex, but we ultimately found three main drivers that were underlying all of these. First, there’s a financial incentive for the doctors to perform these surgeries. There’s also a real push from the medical device companies that make these surgeries possible. And last, there’s a huge information void for solid medical advice that a lot of these doctors and companies take advantage of in order to push the surgeries.

OK, so let’s start with the money, Katie. How exactly is that incentivizing doctors to perform a lot more of these procedures? Like, what are the mechanics of that?

So the reality of our health care industry today is that in many places, even in places like non-profit hospitals, the doctors who work there are not getting a salary, a straight salary that’s just kind of, you get paid for showing up to work that day. Instead, they’re actually getting paid based on the procedures that they’re doing, how complex those procedures are, or possibly how lucrative.

And it’s not every doctor. There are still doctors that get paid salaries. But it’s increasingly the case that doctors have — at least a part of their pay is tied to the procedures that they’re doing.

Interesting. So the procedure is growing in importance in terms of actual compensation for doctors.

Right. I mean, in part, it’s kind of baked into the health care system that we’ve always had. You can even think about it as the small-town doctor who operated his own independent practice or her own independent practice. It’s essentially a small business, and they would get paid based on the patients that they saw.

But increasingly, even in, for example, large hospital systems where you might think that a doctor is just getting paid a salary to work in a hospital, in fact, a chunk of their bonus, for example, can sometimes be tied to the procedures that they’re doing, and that is increasingly the case.

Interesting.

And so one particularly egregious example of this was at a hospital that’s in New York — Bellevue Hospital. And basically, what my colleagues found there was that they had basically turned their surgery department into an assembly line for bariatric surgery, which makes your stomach smaller and can lead to weight loss. But what we found was that they were greenlighting patients that, basically, didn’t meet the qualifications for the surgery, which is a serious surgery. And what they found was that there were several situations where people had very serious outcomes as a result of getting the bariatric surgery there.

OK, so this is an extreme case of a hospital turning to a particular surgery to drive profits. And it wasn’t uncommon in your reporting, it sounds like.

No, it wasn’t the only example, but it was the most striking. And when we reached out to Bellevue, they defended their work, and they said that their practices were helping patients who wouldn’t otherwise get care. But our reporting was pretty conclusive that the program was churning through a record number of surgeries.

So what else was driving this increase in harmful surgeries that you guys found?

So we found it wasn’t just the hospitals who were benefiting. The other major player that benefits are these companies that are making the tools and the products that doctors are using during the procedures. And in order for them to sell more of their products, a lot of time, what they end up doing is promoting the procedures themselves.

So like medical device makers, like the company that made the laser in June’s surgery.

Right. And they do this in a number of ways. They’re giving them loans to help them buy the equipment, and in some cases, they’re even lending them money to help set up those clinics where the procedures are performed.

So they’re really underwriting these doctors so that they can perform more surgeries and, ultimately, sell more machines.

Yes. And the other things that they do is — the laser companies, for example — they will host webinars where they will have dentists who frequently perform these procedures show other dentists how to do the procedures. We even discovered this conference that was created by one of the laser companies, and it had kind of a wild name. The name of the conference was Tongue Ties and Tequilas.

(CHUCKLING) Right. It brought in dentists to talk about how to make money off the procedures. You know, how to promote themselves on social media, how to actually perform the procedures, and of course, when they were all done, they got to celebrate with an open tequila bar.

OK, so a lot of this really amounts to these companies trying to popularize these procedures, basically, like, to get the word out, even if the procedures don’t really work or, in some cases, cause harm.

Right. But they also play a big role in the other factor that’s driving a lot of this, which is the information that they put out there about the surgeries. These companies often sponsor research, which doctors often rely on to guide their practices. And part of what we’ve found is that it can create this echo chamber where doctors feel more comfortable and justified in doing these procedures when they have this whole alternate universe that is telling them that it’s OK to do these procedures, and in fact, it’s beneficial to patients.

So tell me about this echo-chamber effect.

The best example of this we found was a doctor in Michigan named Dr. Jihad Mustapha. He calls himself “the Leg Saver.” And what we found was that he and several other doctors do these procedures called atherectomies, which is basically like inserting a tiny roto-rooter inside an artery to get the blood flowing.

And Dr. Mustapha in particular was not only a very prolific performer of these procedures, but he actually founded his own medical conference, and he even helped start a medical journal that was devoted to using these procedures. And you know, tongue ties — there’s really no good evidence that these are actually beneficial to patients. And in fact, despite his nickname as “the Leg Saver,” one insurance company told Michigan authorities that 45 people had lost their limbs after getting treated at Dr. Mustapha’s clinic over a four-year period.

45 people lost their limbs?

I mean, that is the ultimate version of harm, right?

Right. Now, he did speak to us, and he defended his work and said that he treats very sick people. And despite his best efforts, some of these patients are already so sick that they sometimes lose their limbs.

And how much did he receive for each procedure?

Doctors like him typically receive about $13,000 for each of these atherectomy procedures.

But we found that misinformation, or poor information, also applied when doctors were learning new types of surgeries.

Really? Like how?

So one of the areas we looked at was the area of hernia surgery that I mentioned. And there’s a particular type of surgery. It’s a very complex version of a hernia surgery, called component separation. And the expert surgeons that we spoke to said that it’s difficult to learn, and you have to practice it over and over and over again to get it right. But one recent survey of hernia surgeons said that one out of the four surgeons had taught themselves how to perform that operation.

Yeah, not by learning it from an experienced surgeon but by watching videos on Facebook and YouTube.

I mean, how unusual is that? I guess, to me, it strikes me as very unusual. I mean, I think of learning about how to take my kitchen faucet apart on YouTube, but I do not think of a doctor learning about how to perform a surgery on YouTube.

Right. And it has actually become increasingly popular in recent years, and there’s not good vetting of the quality of the instruction. We even found videos on a website run by a medical device company that was intended to be a how-to for how to do these surgeries, but the video contained serious mistakes.

Wow. And Katie, all of these videos — some of them with serious mistakes — I mean, is this something that would be subject to medical regulators? Like, is there any kind of rules of the road for this stuff?

You know, there’s less than you would expect. Sometimes hospitals have rules about what sort of education their doctors need before performing a surgery. But we were surprised that there was a lot less regulation than we thought there would be and much less vetting of these videos than we anticipated.

So essentially, what you found was this complex, oftentimes interconnected, group of forces — device companies pushing their products, hospitals bolstering their bottom line, and rampant misinformation that, as you said, all really trace back to the same motivating factor, which is money. But wouldn’t the fear of being sued for medical malpractice prevent a lot of this behavior?

You know, this kept popping up during the course of our reporting. I do think we have this idea that any time a doctor does anything wrong, they’re going to get sued. But it just wasn’t always the case in our reporting. There’s a lot of statutes of limitations, time limits on when somebody can file a lawsuit, and other ways that make it somewhat hard to really hold a doctor accountable.

One example is the regulatory organizations that oversee doctors. The one doctor that I mentioned earlier — Dr. Mustapha — state investigators had found that his overuse of procedures had led people to lose their legs. And yet, he ultimately settled with the state, and he was fined $25,000. That actually adds up to about two of these atherectomy procedures.

So it sounds like malpractice is not necessarily going to be the route to rectifying a lot of this. But I guess I’m wondering if the federal government could actually rein some of this in before the patients are harmed.

It’s possible. But this is just a very difficult issue. Some of the themes that we explored in this reporting are really just firmly embedded in our health care system in the way that it works. The fact is that we have a for-profit health care system, right? So everyone, from doctors to hospitals to the device companies, benefit when more procedures are done. All of the incentives are pointing in the same direction.

And so trying to find one or two simple solutions will probably not easily fix the issue, as much as we all hope that it could.

So is the lesson here, be much more discriminating and vigilant as a patient? I mean, to get a second opinion when you’re standing in front of a doctor — or a dentist — who’s telling you that you or your baby needs a procedure?

Yes. I think that is one of the takeaways. But look, we understood that even reporting on all of this was risky, because people could hear about these harmful surgeries and start wondering if everything that their doctors tells them is a scam. And of course, while some of these procedures are harmful, a lot of procedures are lifesaving. But ultimately, for now, patients are kind of left on their own to navigate what’s a pretty complex and opaque health care system. When you have somebody standing in front of you saying, you should do this, it can be very confusing.

And this is something that Lauren talked a lot about — just how confusing all of this was for her.

There’s a lot of information that you’re getting that is truly like someone is speaking a foreign language. And because they do it all day long, it’s not user-friendly. Like, it isn’t designed for the comfort or understanding of the person receiving the information.

There is so much blind trust and faith that you have in the system, in the providers who are giving you this information. You trust, like, this is what they do all day long. So there is no real reason to question. That is the system that we have in this country.

Katie, thank you.

Here’s what else you should know today. On Friday, the Russian authorities announced that opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in prison. He was 47.

Navalny, a charismatic anti-corruption activist, led the opposition to Vladimir Putin for more than a decade. His popularity was broad, extending far outside the realm of liberal Moscow. And that proved threatening to the Russian authorities, who attempted to poison him in 2020.

Navalny survived and later extracted a confession from his would-be assassin on tape. Navalny believed that Russia could be a free society, and he had the extraordinary ability, through sheer force of his personality, charisma, and confidence, to get others to believe it, too. Though he had been in prison since 2021, his death still came as a shock.

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

His wife, Yulia Navalnaya, made a surprise appearance at a security conference in Munich shortly after the Russian authorities announced her husband’s death.

She received an emotional standing ovation.

In Moscow, my colleague, Valerie Hopkins, spoke to Russians who were placing flowers in his honor —

— and expressing disbelief that he was gone.

Then I asked them if they believe in the beautiful Russia of the future that Navalny talked about. And they said, yes, but we don’t think we will survive to see it.

At least 400 people have been detained since his death, including a priest who had been scheduled to hold a memorial service in Saint Petersburg.

Today’s episode was produced by Asthaa Chaturvedi, Diana Nguyen, Will Reid, and Alex Stern, with help from Michael Simon Johnson. It was edited by Michael Benoist, with help from Brendan Klinkenberg, contains original music by Diane Wong and Dan Powell, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. See you tomorrow.

The Daily logo

  • February 20, 2024   •   40:44 Stranded in Rafah as an Israeli Invasion Looms
  • February 19, 2024   •   35:50 The Booming Business of Cutting Babies’ Tongues
  • February 16, 2024   •   39:24 An Explosive Hearing in Trump’s Georgia Election Case
  • February 15, 2024   •   29:38 How China Broke One Man’s Dreams
  • February 14, 2024   •   33:06 The Biden Problem Democrats Can No Longer Ignore
  • February 13, 2024   •   27:23 Why the Race to Replace George Santos Is So Close
  • February 12, 2024   •   21:57 Why Boeing’s Top Airplanes Keep Failing
  • February 11, 2024   •   42:04 The Sunday Read: ‘The Unthinkable Mental Health Crisis That Shook a New England College’
  • February 9, 2024   •   34:05 Kick Trump Off the Ballot? Even Liberal Justices Are Skeptical.
  • February 8, 2024   •   36:53 A Guilty Verdict for a Mass Shooter’s Mother
  • February 7, 2024   •   29:15 El Salvador Decimated Gangs. But at What Cost?
  • February 6, 2024   •   31:45 The U.N. Scandal Threatening Crucial Aid to Gaza

Hosted by Sabrina Tavernise

Featuring Katie Thomas

Produced by Asthaa Chaturvedi ,  Diana Nguyen ,  Will Reid and Alex Stern

With Michael Simon Johnson

Edited by Michael Benoist and Brendan Klinkenberg

Original music by Diane Wong and Dan Powell

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music

A Times investigation has found that dentists and lactation consultants around the country are pushing “tongue-tie releases” on new mothers struggling to breastfeed, generating huge profits while often harming patients.

Katie Thomas, an investigative health care reporter at The Times, discusses the forces driving this emerging trend in American health care and the story of one family in the middle of it.

On today’s episode

business plan for small restaurant

Katie Thomas , an investigative health care reporter at The New York Times.

A woman holding a toddler sits on a bed. The bed has white sheets and pink pillows.

Background reading

Inside the booming business of cutting babies’ tongues .

What parents should know about tongue-tie releases .

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We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

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Katie Thomas is an investigative health care reporter at The Times. More about Katie Thomas

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How to Write a Food and Beverage Business Plan + Sample Business Plan PDF

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Elon Glucklich

7 min. read

Updated February 17, 2024

Free Download: Sample Food and Beverage Business Plan Templates

The food and beverage sector is booming. Restaurant openings rose 10% in 2023 compared to 2022 — even higher than in pre-pandemic years.

From fine dining to food trucks, farmers to brewers, and wholesalers to coffee makers, there are opportunities across the food and beverage industry. 

But starting a business without covering the basics — your operations plan, marketing tactics, financial strategy, and more — carries huge risks. 

That’s why we recommend you write a business plan.

  • Why write a food and beverage business plan?

Writing a business plan is an easy first step that you can start for free. Plus, businesses that take time to plan are significantly more successful than those that don’t.

Many food and beverage establishments fail because of one of the following:

  • Poor inventory management
  • Underestimated expenses
  • High employee turnover
  • Misjudged the size of their market

Writing a business plan can help you:

  • Develop processes for managing inventory and logistics
  • Understand your cash flows and create a realistic expense budget
  • Budget for competitive employee pay that increases worker retention
  • Analyze your competition and determine how big your market is  

If you’re looking for funding from investors for your business, you’ll definitely need a business plan.

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  • How to write a food and beverage business plan

Many business plans follow a standard format and you can use it as a starting point when writing your own plan. Here’s what that includes:

Executive summary

  • Company summary and funding needs
  • Products and services
  • Marketing plan
  • Management team

Financial plan

For food and beverage companies, you must give extra attention to your market analysis, operations plan, and financial forecasts.

If you’re ready to start, download a free business plan template and fill it out as you read this article.

A sample business plan outline for a food and beverage business.

Every business plan should include an executive summary . It’s a brief outline summarizing the plan, no more than one or two pages.

We recommend that you write the executive summary last after fleshing out the details of your plan. 

Just summarize the vision for your business, describe your offerings and target market , and touch on your management team and financials. Don’t go into tons of detail — just provide a high-level sense of what you want your business to accomplish.

Opportunity: problem and solution

This section of your food and beverage business plan describes the opportunity you hope to capture.

Maybe you’re a farmer looking to diversify your revenue streams by distributing to grocery stores. Or a bar owner with high-end liquor that competitors in the market aren’t serving. 

Whatever your business is, describe the gap in the market and how you aim to fill it.

If you’re operating a more common type of business, like a restaurant , you can probably keep this section short. But it’s useful to document what makes your business unique and it will help focus your sales and marketing efforts later on.

Market analysis

In a field as crowded with competitors as the food and beverage space, a detailed market analysis is essential. 

Your focus should be on identifying the specific customer segments you aim to serve. 

Maybe you’re a butcher with connections to fresh livestock. Will you be more successful selling directly to consumers, or should you focus on selling to grocery stores and markets in your area?

Or, you’re opening  a diner. Should your menu focus on healthy meals or easy-to-make child-friendly options?

These are the types of questions that market research helps you answer. This section should detail the defining characteristics of your target market, including the demographics and preferences of your ideal customer and the size of the market you’re targeting. Market research questions specific to a food and beverage business could include:

  • Business location and characteristics
  • Area income
  • Local food and beverage preferences
  • Existing food and beverage options 

Elaborate on how your food and beverage offerings align with that target market ’s needs. Remember, you can’t please everyone, so focus on a specific group of people or type of person and build out from there.

Marketing and sales

For food and beverage businesses promotions are how you stand out and seize a share of your market.

The marketing and advertising chapter of your business plan is where you’ll detail your strategies for capturing the attention — and loyalty — of the customers you identified as your target market in the previous section.

With so many options for consumers in the food and beverage space, you’ll likely have to rely on multiple marketing channels , including::

  • Advertising on websites, television, and in relevant publications.
  • Content marketing — developing an engaging website and writing blog content that’s search engine optimized to drive traffic to your site.
  • Engaging with your customers on social media.
  • Offering discounts and customer loyalty programs.
  • Appearing at food and beverage industry trade shows and community events.

It doesn’t matter how delicious your recipes are, how fresh your crops are, or how innovative your cocktails are — if you don’t operate efficiently, your business probably won’t last long.

The operations strategy may be the most detailed section of your business plan, especially if you’re writing it for a bank loan or investment. This section describes how you will run your business day to day.

When writing the operations section, describe the following:

Physical space

Whether it’s a restaurant, a farm, or a food transportation business, describe the space you’re operating in, and all of the physical assets and equipment you’ll need to be successful. 

If it’s a sit-down restaurant, consider including a floorplan mockup in your appendix.

Supply chain 

List the suppliers and partners that get your product to customers. Think about the businesses you purchase ingredients from, the warehouses that goods are stored in, and the trucking companies that deliver your products to grocery stores. 

These are your supply chain partners. It’s crucial that you maintain good relationships with them.

Production processes

How long it takes to make your product, and what materials and equipment are required. Documenting how you produce your goods or services demonstrates that you understand the costs of making them. 

You may also uncover ways to produce them more quickly, or at a lesser cost.

Detail how you’ll handle matters of efficiency like order fulfillment, storage, shipping, and returns, as well as customer satisfaction. If you provide delivery services, document how you will handle the process of getting your product to customers’ homes or businesses.

List your staffing needs, training, and experience requirements for key staff. Also, document the management structure of your business. 

This helps ensure that important tasks you don’t have time to monitor are being done and that workers are being supervised.

Describe investments in payment processing systems, inventory management software, and other tools that support sales or operations in your business. Cataloging your technology systems will help you determine where it might make sense to invest in upgrades for efficiency.

Take some time to write a financial plan . Create detailed financial projections, including sales , expenses , and profitability .

If that sounds intimidating, take a deep breath, and remember that financial forecasts are really just best guesses. If you’re running an existing business, you can start with your previous year’s numbers. If you’re starting, make an educated guess about where you hope to be financially a year from now.

Investors will want to see a: 

  • Sales forecast
  • Income statement (also called a profit and loss statement )
  • Cash flow statement
  • Balance sheet 

If you use a tool like LivePlan , you’ll be able to build out your financial forecasts relatively quickly, even if you don’t have experience with business numbers.

Even if you aren’t seeking investment, the financial plan is crucial for understanding the viability of your business. It allows you to adjust your business model based on projected performance, and make informed decisions about where to spend your money.

  • Food and beverage business plan templates and examples

If you want to see how other food and beverage businesses have created their plans, check out our free library of food and beverage business plans . 

You can download all of them in Word format and jump-start your own business plan.

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

Check out LivePlan

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business plan for small restaurant

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  5. Simple Business Plan For A Small Restaurant

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

    Your restaurant business plan company overview should include: Purpose: The type of restaurant you're opening (fine dining, fast-casual, pop-up, etc.), type of food you're serving, goals you ...

  2. How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan in 2024 (Step by Step Guide

    A comprehensive restaurant business plan is a framework that guides you to plan and forecast every element of restaurant management and operations. This includes anything from your restaurant's menu design, location, financials, employee training, and a lot more. Crafting a solid business plan is important, as it helps:

  3. How to write a restaurant business plan

    A small restaurant business plan is the roadmap you use to open a successful spot. As a first step to creating yours, ask your friends and colleagues to share restaurant business plan examples. Their restaurant business plan samples can inspire yours. Once you've studied those examples, it's time to start writing your own.

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  5. How to Write a Small Restaurant Business Plan

    How to Open a Small Restaurant: Starting a Small Restaurant Business Steps Marketing The Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing [+ 14 Examples] Operations Essential Bar Equipment List: Equipment Needed to Start a Bar Read more Accounting State of Broccli Prices: Wholesale Restaurant Food Cost Trends Accounting

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  7. How to Write a Small Restaurant Business Plan

    Download our free small restaurant business plan template. Why write a small restaurant business plan? Starting a restaurant from scratch isn't cheap. Startup costs range from $175,000 to $750,000 and include hefty upfront expenses like: Building lease Kitchen equipment Ingredient sourcing Payroll Marketing

  8. How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

    A restaurant business plan is the foundation when starting a new restaurant, whether you're opening a franchise or a small family-owned restaurant.Your business plan will act as a roadmap for starting your restaurant: it can help you get loans from financial institutions, and it will be a point of reference when forecasting sales.In this article, we'll teach you all of the essential ...

  9. Writing A Restaurant Business Plan

    If you're considering opening a restaurant, your first step should be writing a business plan. A well-written business plan can help you raise money, manage your restaurant and succeed....

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    A restaurant business plan is the blueprint that outlines your entire vision, and it explains in detail how the new business will take shape and operate once the doors are open. No matter where you're at in your restaurant ownership journey, your business plan will be your north star. Whether you're at the initial stage of considering ...

  11. How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan: Free Template & Tips

    It's helpful to look at another restaurant business plan example to see how these types of documents are written. 7. Use Visuals, Charts, and Tables. Use images, graphics, tables, and charts to explain complex ideas, add color to your document - both literally and figuratively - and present specific information. 8.

  12. Restaurant Business Plan: What To Include, Plus 8 Examples

    5) Menu. Every restaurant needs a good menu, and this is the section within your restaurant business plan that you describe the food you'll serve in as much detail as possible. You may not have your menu design complete, but you'll likely have at least a handful of dishes that serve as the foundation of your offerings.

  13. Writing a Business Plan for a Restaurant

    START YOUR LLC. Starts at $0 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes. Excellent 13,345 reviews. Starting a restaurant is an exciting venture, but it requires careful planning to ensure its success. A well-crafted restaurant business plan serves as a roadmap, outlining your goals, strategies, and financial projections.

  14. Restaurant Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Written by Dave Lavinsky If you want to start a restaurant or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their restaurants.

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  16. Free Small Restaurant Business Plan Example

    Start my business plan. Start your own small restaurant business plan. Bistro Locale Value Proposition. Bistro Locale offers an intimate and authentic dining experience by serving fresh, seasonal dishes inspired by local flavors and ingredients. With its warm, inviting atmosphere and exceptional customer service, it provides a unique ...

  17. Restaurant Business Plan Examples

    Did you know each of these plans was created in LivePlan? Learn More Bed and Breakfast - Caribbean - Business Plan The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast will be a charming bed and breakfast located overlooking Vette Kat Harbour on our beautiful Caribbean island. Bed And Breakfast Business Plan

  18. Small Restaurant Business Plan PDF [With Free Sample!]

    December 16, 2023 by Rahul Paragi Sick of vague advice on writing a restaurant business plan? Struggling to make all the pieces come together? This guide details exactly what to include in each section of your plan, with a downloadable template PDF and real sample plans to simplify the process. Small Restaurant Business Plan PDF

  19. Moscow's culinary opportunities: How to open a restaurant

    Investment. Of course, setting up a firm without back is impossible. "To open a small restaurant or a cafe one would need 5 million rubles ($87,160)," Vladimir Shalaev, a lawyer at BMS Law ...

  20. Moscow's Best Rooftop Restaurants

    Apart from picturesque views and selfie-snapping VIPs, the restaurant boasts Moscow's best Peruvian cuisine and state-of-the-art cocktails. 3. Timeout Rooftop Bar. Housed on the 12th and 13th floors of the historic Pekin Hotel, Timeout Rooftop Bar is a winning combination of breathtaking views and extraordinary cocktails.

  21. Small Restaurant Business Plan Template

    1 million businesses. Download a free small restaurant business plan template with SBA-approved format. Includes pre-filled examples and step-by-step guides for a successful start.

  22. Moscow Restaurants 2023 (15 Best Places to Eat and Drink)

    B&B Burgers. Nearest Metro: The first B&B Burgers restaurant was opened in 2014. Later it has managed to expand into a chain that currently operates 12 restaurants in Moscow. The menu of B&B Burgers includes 9 kinds of burgers, ribs and several kinds of sandwiches. All burgers are priced at 380 Rubles (about 6usd).

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    The Booming Business of Cutting Babies' Tongues One family's story of "tongue-tie release" surgery on their newborn. Feb. 19, 2024, 6:01 a.m. ET. Share full article.

  24. How to Write a Food and Beverage Business Plan + Sample Business Plan

    The food and beverage sector is booming. Restaurant openings rose 10% in 2023 compared to 2022 — even higher than in pre-pandemic years.. From fine dining to food trucks, farmers to brewers, and wholesalers to coffee makers, there are opportunities across the food and beverage industry.

  25. City of Moscow is Offering Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grants

    February 1, 2022 (Moscow, Idaho) — On December 20, 2021, the Moscow City Council authorized the creation of two new grant programs to help small businesses and non-profit organizations to mitigate the financial hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Council allocated $750,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds received by the City to the two grant programs.