In the previous post, I wrote about how to do start your business planning process with some big picture visioning. In case you missed it, you can read part 1 here.
In this post, you’ll learn what you need to include in your business plan and you’ll get some helpful resources, too.
First, let’s start with why you need a business plan. Your business plan is the roadmap for your restaurant. During the process of writing your business plan, you’ll develop your restaurant concept, how you’ll run your restaurant, who your customers will be, how much money you will need to get started and to stay in business and what the competitive landscape looks like and how you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Writing a business plan for your restaurant will also help you anticipate any roadblocks and have a way to deal with obstacles before you reach them. Being prepared before you open the doors of your restaurant will help position you for success.
Business plans can range from a simple outline to a 50-page document. Consider who will be reading your business plan and for what purpose to determine how much detail you should include. If it is for you and a partner who will be self-funding, a shorter plan may do. If you will be looking for capital, you should plan to include more detail so that investors can see that you have a solid understanding of what you need to achieve your restaurant’s financial goals and to provide them with a return.
You asked, we answered.
We received a question from a reader who asked:
I am in the beginning phases of starting a restaurant. I’ve got the concept and the food nailed down, but I am not sure about the business plan. I have looked at different business plan outlines, but I haven’t found one that’s easy to follow. Do you have any advice as to where I might start? –Tom B.
Great question, Tom. As regular readers of this blog know, we talk about how your brand is the sum of all that you do. Your brand is bigger than your logo, tagline or your marketing efforts. Having a strong restaurant brand means you’ve got a winning concept, you serve really good food and you deliver an awesome experience. On top of that, these things all need to be aligned with your business goals.
With your concept and the food part nailed down, you can focus on your business plan. Here’s a time efficient approach we recommend.
OOOPS for some reason you may have gotten this blog twice. Technology has its ways of mysteriously making us wonder, “What just happened?”. Sorry! If you didn’t get this blog post last week, it’s a good one on ways to leverage small budgets and get big ideas. Read on.
Operating a start up or even small restaurant can be lonely. There’s so much to do. Identify the right location, find funding, decide on a concept, create a menu, hire the best people and design and plan for your brand.
And then you need to accomplish a lot of this, fast on one half of a shoestring. YIKES!
Not too worry. There are millions of talented people who are drinking coffee while wearing flurry slippers and PJs that are willing, ready and able to help you get your branding going. And the cool news, they are just a click away.
Publicity can be a low-cost, high-exposure home run for any brand.
Here are three simple ideas that scored a lot of ink and broadcast eyes. Remember staying top of mind is important for your brand and often can be the deciding element that gets a consumer to select your place for their next meal out.
Check out these examples, and then ask yourself and your team, how you can take advantage of this brand-building tactic with your restaurant in the very near future.
While the value of a restaurant brand may be measured in terms of what the public, your customers and the local community thinks, feels and expects from your place, there’s another group with whom your brand value must rate high. Successful operators invest more (and often even before they spend on any external branding) on the inside brand with employees.
Starbucks®, Zappos® and Whole Foods® are all examples of major brands that started small, today are international power brands that built their brands from the inside out. The leadership behind these companies believed that when your internal culture rocks, the rest things like attracting customers and delivering on brand promises comes easier and more efficiently.
So as a restaurant operator how does this thinking translate to your business, especially if you are small and have limited resources that need to go a long way?
Like we preach in almost every blog post on Restaurant branding, great branding starts and grows when operating from a clear brand essence (purpose, values, points of distinction, personality, positioning and promise). This is critical to start any type of internal branding initiative.
Whether you are on the giving or receiving end of a receipt, how much attention do you pay to it? If you’re printing it out and delivering it to a customer, it might take two seconds to print, tear and hand off.
You might spend 5 to 10 seconds if you are paying a check. You’ll glance at it to make sure it looks OK then pay. Your final copy probably ends up in the circular file, otherwise known as the garbage can.
This small piece of paper is an often overlooked touch point that you can use to build your brand and your relationship with your customers.
Most restaurants miss out on this opportunity to connect with their customers. This could be your last chance to make a great impression before customers leave.
Take advantage of this opportunity and do something unique or special on the receipt.