Writing a Restaurant Business Plan: 9 Sections to Include

Nicole Georgiev
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When you start a business, having a business plan is essential. It helps you map out the direction of your business and your intentions. If you’re planning on opening a restaurant, opening a coffee shop, opening a bakery, or thinking about the cost to open a food truck, you’ll also need to have a restaurant business plan. 

A business plan for restaurant establishments, like cafes, fine dining restaurants, and bakeries, can help you differentiate your business from others. It sorts out the details in terms of the restaurant concept, design, location, and financials. 

Putting thought and research into your potential business venture is crucial. With a business plan, you’ll have all the research in one place with the answers you and your investors need to move forward. It sets you up for success. 

So, how do you write a business plan? This article has everything you need to create a restaurant business plan and prove the viability of your idea. 

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Why Is a Restaurant Business Plan Important?

A restaurant business plan acts as the blueprint for any business venture. It provides an outline for your vision while also explaining in thorough detail how your business will operate. This plan can be shared with other owners, investors, and stakeholders. 

With a detailed business plan in place, you’ll be able to ensure that no detail is overlooked, and you can successfully grow your business. If potential problems arise during the construction, staffing, licensing, or operational process, your business plan will act as a guide. 

Many restaurants will fail and some of them do because there was no business plan in place. Coming up with a well-thought-out and detailed restaurant business plan can be tough and time-consuming. However, it can make the entire process of opening a restaurant less stressful and messy. 

A solid business plan can help bring investors on board and prove that your idea is worth it. It’s what will help you figure out how you’ll reach that break even point and start  profiting. 

How to Write a Business Plan for Restaurant

A solid restaurant business plan can vary based on the kind of food establishment you have. You have to take into account different factors of the business including the restaurant style, target or niche market, and location. 

If you’re a newbie to the restaurant industry, the idea of writing your own business plan can seem overwhelming. However, we can help you get started.

Below you’ll learn about some key elements that you should include when writing your restaurant business plan. The main parts of a restaurant business plan are: 

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Concept
  • Target Market and Competition
  • Sample Menu
  • Management and Employees
  • The Design
  • Location
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Financial Aspects

The Executive Summary

This summary should be the first section of your business plan. It plays two roles as it introduces and also summarizes the vision of your business. In the summary, you’ll want to introduce the key elements of your restaurant’s business plan so that the reader is invested. It’s best to add enough detail, but not too much so you can intrigue the reader. 

Within the executive summary, be sure to include the restaurant’s mission statement, the business concept, how you plan to execute the business, potential costs, and a brief ROI analysis. You can also include the core values of the business.

Business Concept

In the business concept section, it’s ideal to go into detail as you describe the restaurant’s concept. Identify the kind of food you’ll serve, any inspiration you have behind the concept, and the service style you want. It’s best to be as clear as possible about how your restaurant is unique compared to others. 

Target Market and Competition

The restaurant industry is quite competitive as it is. Entering it with a new idea can be tricky. This is why it’s important to find your target market as this is what will help you stand out. 

Identify the customers that you’ll attract with your new restaurant concept and what target market you want to have as repeat customers. Go into detail about your niche and how it’s relevant to the industry as a whole. Describe their characteristics, behaviors, and demographics.

In this section, you’ll also want to elaborate on what other businesses exist around the location you’re targeting. These restaurants will be your biggest competitors. Include the number of competitors  in the area and explain their concepts. This information will be important for investors to understand how your business will stand out. 

Sample Menu

Your restaurant menus (see menu meaning) will be the most important part of your business. Jotting down a list of menu items isn’t enough. You should incorporate a potential menu design and add a logo.

The sample menu in your restaurant business plan should include prices that are based on the cost analysis that you’ve done. There are different ways to find out how to price a menu, but in most cases, it will be based on potential food cost and labor cost. The prices will show investors that you’ve done your research and are confident that you can sell the menu items at the price points. 

There are countless types of menu options for you to choose from and the ideal one will be based on your restaurant concept. You can have a prix fixe menu, dessert menu, food and wine pairing menu, digital menu for wine, or table d hote menu. It’s possible to also incorporate a restaurant QR code menu.

Management and Employees

A successful restaurant business will need to have restaurant management and staff. These include a restaurant manager, bar management team, wait staff, bar staff, and an inventory control manager.

This section of your restaurant business plan should provide an overview of the team you’ve established so far. It should also highlight any new positions that you may want to add. Include the employee and management work experience and necessary skills when presenting your team. 

Be sure to include the salary or pay that you will be giving each staff member based on their roles. With this information, your investors will get a solid understanding of the potential your restaurant has to succeed.

The Design

Within the design section of your business plan, you’ll have the opportunity to show off any ideas you have to your investors. You don’t necessarily have to include professional mock-ups, but it won’t hurt. You can express your vision through a mood board using pictures of ideas or aesthetics that you like. 

The design of your restaurant goes beyond the actual look. It should also include restaurant technology and software that can be essential for the business. If you plan to cook using a wood-burning oven, you should include it in the designs. 


Picking the location is one of the most important aspects of starting a business. This should go hand in hand with the target market that you’ve chosen. You might not have an exact location picked out yet, but you should include some to choose from. 

You should be as detailed as possible about each potential location so that you can explain why it would be the ideal place for your restaurant. Include the typical demographics of the location, the square footage, foot traffic, and any other important information. 

Marketing and Advertising

The restaurant marketing and sales portion of your business plan will be crucial. In this section, you should cover the position and brand identity of your business, promotional tools and tactics, as well as sales tactics. 

You should have a promotional strategy for before and after you open your restaurant. Potential options include marketing through social media and creating a website. On that website, you should include an about us page which can be created using an about us page template or by following about us page examples. These will give your restaurant credibility.

It’s possible for you to only have some of your marketing and advertising concepts planned out. However, as you develop more, you should add them to your plan. This will happen as you continue to develop your restaurant business. 

Financial Aspects

The financial aspects of your restaurant business are crucial and a section that your investors will be interested in. You want to highlight the current financial state of your business and your expectations for one, three, and five years from now. 

Explain what you’ve spent money on already, how much you plan to spend, and on what, how you plan to secure the funds, additional costs that may incur, and potential returns. This also includes when you plan to make a profit. This can be done with a restaurant profit and loss statement

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Frequently Asked Questions About How to Write a Business Plan

What Is a Restaurant Business Plan?

A restaurant business plan acts as the blueprint of your business activities and vision and explains each detail of business operation. Business plans are essential to have before actually starting a business because they can showcase your vision to other business partners and investors. It can also guide you as you start to get your business off the ground. 

Why Is It Important to Have a Restaurant Business Plan?

It’s important to have a restaurant business plan in place because it creates a roadmap for you to follow. If written correctly, it will include benchmarks for your restaurant business that will allow you to assess the progress of your business. It can also include timelines for all of your restaurant plans and encourage you to work towards achieving your goals. 

What Sections Should I Include in My Restaurant Business Plan?

The sections that you should include in your restaurant business plan are: 

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Concept
  • Target Market and Competition
  • Sample Menu
  • Management and Employees
  • The Design
  • Location
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Financial Aspects