We’ve covered the basics of writing a restaurant business plan in another article, but here are some more tips to help you really make your plan pop and create an extremely positive impression on your partners, lenders or investors when you present it for their inspection.
Do add an extensive appendix
You can throw everything in here you can think of- the more there is, the more you give the impression you have been hard at work on gathering info, doing research and generally getting things started as opposed to simply wishing it was going to happen.
You can include things like a sample menu, marketing materials, sample coupons, a supplier list, a staff list, an equipment list, floor plans or blueprints, decorating item photos, uniform samples, a printout of the restaurant website design, the sign design, the restaurant logo, sample printed materials, your incorporation papers, a copy of your health permit, and literally anything else handy.
Do recruit and list an advisory board
The more people you can attach to the project, the more considerable it looks. Try to find people with extensive restaurant experience, business experience or preferably both. They don’t have to agree to do anything more than meet with you occasionally to review your progress and allow you to use their names as advisors. The more the better.
Don’t worry about fancy binding
It really makes no difference. This is one area that people simply don’t care about. It is what inside the cover that counts.
Do include financial projections
You can tell a great story, but sooner or later any serious investor or banker wants to talk numbers. Not including solid and industry standard financial projections in your plan makes it look amateur at best or like you are hiding something or simply don’t know at worst.
Do include a comprehensive list of the competition
People aren’t starving to death waiting for you to open, so there must be some alternatives to your restaurant concept. Include each one, and explain why you can out do them, or simply co-exist with them. Not acknowledging the competition shows a kind of arrogance and inexperience most serious money sources will shy away from.
Don’t spend a lot of time on national statistics
Trends may be up or down nationally, but who cares? It is what is happening in your neighborhood that counts. Make sure you can explain the local numbers in terms that work in your favor.
Don’t write a lot of vague, wishy washy or unsubstantiated claims
A business plan is no place to “hope things work out” and ask that “people just give me a chance to show what I can do”. This is business, and if you aren’t sure you can succeed, don’t expect other people to want to invest in you. Stick to facts and avoid anything that sounds emotional, unsure or like pleading.