In this article, we explain step by step how to develop a business plan to set up a restaurant, bar or cafeteria, from the definition of the project to the economic-financial viability plan.
Setting up our restaurant, bar, or cafeteria goes beyond choosing the place and getting started. To guarantee the success of our business to a certain extent, it is necessary to develop the coffee shop business plan in which we will develop the key aspects of our business and help us shape our project.
1. Executive Summary
It is a kind of "curriculum vitae" of our business plan. You have to sell the catering business, not describe it. It should include the key ideas that will be developed through the entire plan, and the recipient needs to be able to extract the most important points from the business idea presented to them.
2. Presentation of the project
At this point, we must collect both the origin of the idea and the bases on which it is based and the evolution of the project. It is important to be able to communicate our business idea and value proposition and the competitive and differential advantages over the competition.
For example, a restaurant can stand out for being specialized in a type of product or cuisine or for originally offering its services.
Another important point is to present the project promoter team since the project's success is based on the talent of those behind it. It must be clear that everyone is not good to set up a restaurant. An entrepreneur who decides to set up this type of business should meet these four characteristics:
- Knowledge of the operation, organization, and marketing keys of a restaurant business.
- Professional cooking knowledge. Cooking at home has nothing to do with cooking at a successful restaurant.
- Organizational, leadership, and motivation skills of human teams.
- Hourly availability to be able to work on weekends and in the noon and night shifts.
3. Market Study
There is no project destined for success without an adequate market study to support it. Therefore, it is necessary to know and expose the market's situation and evolution in which we want to integrate and know the clientele, public, or profiles that comprise it.
Choice of location and adequacy of facilities
The premises' ideal location is a commercial or busy area, in locations frequented by pedestrians and preferably close to public places that allow constant customer turnover. It is also advisable that the place has areas with easy parking and/or public transport access.
In addition, we must make sure that the chosen location meets our business's needs, both structurally and with the required space: The customer service area must have two differentiated areas, the bar itself and the dining room for diners.
Do not forget about the independent toilets that are properly adapted for disabled people. The bar area will have a bar and stools or stools that allow the customer to have a quiet drink before or after eating.
For its part, the dining area will have the necessary tables and chairs; it is advisable to maintain the appropriate distance between them for greater comfort of customers.
The work area, where customers do not enter, is subdivided into the part behind the bar and the kitchen and warehouse.
Market and customers
Competition: It is important to know the competition that we have around us and assess whether it can act positively or negatively in our future sales generation. To study your competition, you can follow these practical tips.
Clients: We must define our target audience or client, that is, the one or those groups that you want to target as a priority to later adapt your marketing actions to their characteristics. To do this, we recommend two actions:
Observation of customers in restaurants that serve as a reference: a good way to gradually increase your knowledge of your potential clientele is to go to your competition and look at how their customers are and act: socioeconomic characteristics, products most in-demand, impulses and purchase motivations and consumption, etc.
Discussion group: if possible before opening, or just before opening, invite about eight potential customers, who are not known, to lunch
yours, and ask for their feedback and suggestions
- In short, what you want to know about your customers are the characteristics
- Socioeconomic: average age, sex, educational level, purchasing power, social groups of reference, where they are from.
- Motivations: What drives them to go to one establishment or another?
- Consumption habits: how often do you eat out? What are they looking for, quality, or price?
4. Commercial and marketing strategy
Our product or service's marketing strategy will also be key and can make an important differentiation from our competition.
At this point, we have to include 3 basic strategies:
- Product strategy: We must ask ourselves: What do I sell? And even more, what I sell is what my clients want?
- The food or gastronomic offer: a variety of the menu, quality of the product itself, and preparation and presentation.
- Space: this includes decoration, atmosphere, lighting, and how cozy and pleasant the establishment is. Although we must also assess the option on the rise of home delivery as a complementary route.
- Service: customer service provided by our staff. Both in the living room and the kitchen (adaptations to specific requests).
5. Financial, economic analysis
This is perhaps the most tedious and complicated point to put together, but it will determine our project's viability. Remember that our templates " How to Build a Restaurant " and " How to Build a Tapas Bar " include templates in Excel with the economic-financial viability plan of a typical business with these characteristics. The template is also easily adaptable to your project and business plan.
Thus, at this stage, we must include:
Forecast of results
Once we have estimated income and expenses, we can see the expected profits or losses in our business in the results table. It must be taken into account that sales do not grow indefinitely, they have a significant growth cycle but then slow down. It is normal.
Normally in this type of business, you can always increase gross margins, of course, at the cost of decreasing quality or having the negotiating capacity to pressure suppliers.
6. SWOT analysis
Finally, and having gathered and ordered all the above information, we must cross it with the market situation and prepare a SWOT analysis, a matrix that allows us to obtain at a single glance the weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities of our project.