6 Important Aspects to Include in A Successful Restaurant Business Plan

Having your own restaurant is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable business ventures. Food is a renewable commodity. This means that people won’t stop looking for different sources of food because dining out is entertaining as well as functional.

Every business needs a business plan. Business plans are meant to lay down the different conditions and characteristics that should be inherent in the business. The availability of a good business plan which has been carefully formulated is a step towards success. You will find information about creating a business plan in an upcoming chapter, however, some points to consider are:

• Crystal clear description of the concept of the restaurant
The objective and the general description of the concept of the restaurant need to be specific. This will give a general overview of what the restaurant intends to do and for whom it intends to do it. The concept of the restaurant needs to be established because it is the core idea by which everything else will follow.

There are many things to be considered in designing the overall concept of the restaurant (excluding food) such as:
– What type of restaurant do you want?
– What special features would it have which would set it aside from all the other similar restaurants in town?
– What’s the overall selling factor of the restaurant?

• Ownership
An enthusiast may consider creating a small corporation or a partnership or a single proprietorship to be able to give the restaurant a legal entity. You should check the local requirements for creating such institutions

• Target market
The restaurant’s target market needs to be identified. No single restaurant should try to aim at targeting all kinds of people. Even fast food restaurants have a specific target market, even though it may seem at first that it caters to people of all walks of life.

The concept of the restaurant needs to be aligned with the target market. The target market will depend on the owner of the restaurant, and the selection can be based on the type of food or even the personal preference of the owner.

• Food category, food items and their prices
Before starting a restaurant or even before entertaining the thought of opening up a restaurant, the kind of food to be served is usually identified first.

Most owners put up restaurants according to their favorite kind of food. There are also restaurants which are inspired by one-time experiences such as eating excellent foreign foods.

There are many choices that are available for aspiring restaurant owners. The details of the food category should be identified next. The specific items in the menu should also be identified. Of course, the pricing of these items is very important for it will determine the feasibility of the business.

• Financial evaluation
After the prices of the food items have been determined, it’s time to develop the financials of the project. You can hire a professional consultant in determining the financial viability of the restaurant. All the project costs and risks should be included in the business plan.

• Marketing plan
Include a marketing plan because it is integral to the success of the restaurant.

Ray Freeman is the author of “How To Start A Restaurant Business Following A Profitable System”. If you would like to learn more about this topic, please visit: www.how-to-start-a-restaurant.com


Top 5 Books Every Restaurant Owner Should Read – Rewards Network

Too busy to read? Never! Grab a cup of coffee and steal a moment for yourself to savor tricks of the trade from some of the best restaurant professionals in the industry. Inspiring and enlightening, I think these books are more than worth your time. – 

Restaurant Success by the Numbers: A Money-Guy’s Guide to Opening the Next Hot Spot Paperback

by Roger Fields

Don’t let the title scare. For those restaurant romantics, Roger Fields does an amazing job providing insight about creating and maintaining sound financial decisions while catering to a broad audience. Instructional, informative, and entertaining, this book is chocked full of valuable information from deciding bar size to understanding your market’s needs. He reinforces the importance of knowing your customers by providing some interesting facts. Did you know that eighteen to twenty-four year olds eat out more often than any other group? Written with authority and encouragement, Restaurant Success by the Numbers is one of those books that can inspire great decisions.

See more at: Top 5 Books Every Restaurant Owner Should Read – Rewards Network

Coffee Shop Secrets

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There are some people within the coffee shop industry who have not been telling the truth about how much it actually cost to open a coffee shop or open a coffee service business. There are two reasons for this.

1. They are trying to sell you something. Either some really expensive equipment, or some expensive consulting.

2. “They” don’t want to create more competition for themselves (ie, other coffee shop owners).

Wayne Mullins a former co-owner of two successful coffee shops have written this e book called Coffee Shop Secrets which is designed to walk you through the entire process of opening a coffee shop

Coffee Shop Secrets is not for people who think they can sit on their couch and have a coffee shop magically open for you. Opening a coffee shop is work! But Coffee Shop Secrets will guide you straight through the process with the fewest possible mistakes (saving you money and your valuable time).

To know more or purchase Coffee Shops Secrets, please CLICK HERE


Let Customers Promote your Restaurant by Sending Postcards -Restaurant Promotion Idea # 9

Promotion Ideas #9. Using Postcards

Let your customers promote your restaurant by sending postcards. At the entrance of your restaurant, place beautiful postcards of your signature dishes or restaurant. So customers can send out to their friends.
When I stay in hotels, I’ve noticed that most of the hotels give out a postcard or two in their rooms for their guest to mail to their friends. They normally put pictures of their buildings or their interiors on it. I feel that this is also a great promotional tool for a restaurant too.

Promoting your Speciality with Postcards

You can create Postcards with photos of your restaurant’s signature dishes on the front and put it at the entrance of your restaurant where your customers can take it. They might mail it out to their friends and family or keep it as a souvenir. When they mail it out, they will be promoting your restaurant for you. Just imagine the number of people that will see your dishes cause the picture is not hidden in an envelope. A postcard passes through a few hands before it reaches its destination. And also the customer pays for the postage. Take mouthwatering shots like the pink area in the lamb or beef when you cut it. If you can afford it, get help from a professional food photographer to take out beautiful shots. Food shots is better than pictures of your restaurant interiors as I feel most people are use too seeing buildings and architecture on the postcard. So it will be just another postcard with a picture of a building. If your restaurant is part of the hotel, why don’t put photos of your signature dishes on the front and give to your guests instead of the normal practice of putting photos of your building or interiors.

Postcards as Greeting Cards

For festivals or birthdays, instead of using the normal greeting cards do something different. Do a postcard maybe with all your restaurant staff in their festive garb. You can send to your regulars a Beautiful Postcard wishing them a Merry Christmas instead of a greeting card that’s in an envelope. No matter how beautiful your greeting card is, only the one receiving can view it. But a postcard can be viewed immediately as there is no envelope to open first. You can even create a thank you postcard to send to your customer. These simple gestures will make your restaurant customers feel that they are appreciated. For more ways of making your customer feel appreciated, please go to my previous post Promoting your Restaurant through Great Customer Service
Instead of sending coupons in envelope, put in on a postcard. Most people throw away letters from unknown senders without even opening it. Whereas a postcard gets noticed before its discarded.
The back of the postcard is equally important as the picture in front. Don’t forget to put your restaurant name, address, contact details and maybe a little map. Vary your pictures, don’t always use the same ones. Don’t always do the same design, you might not know that maybe the postcards from your restaurant might be a collectors item like baseball cards.


Do Little Tournaments – Restaurant Promotion Ideas #5

Promote your Bar with Tournaments

Do Little Tournaments to promote your restaurant or your sports bar.As part of our restaurant promotion on weekends we did little dart tournaments.

We had a lounge in the hotel where I worked, that was not doing too well. We hired a band during festive holidays but people still didn’t come. Furthermore the salary of the band was eating into my profits. I noticed that customers preferred watching live football matches on the big screen than listening to the band. So I stopped the band, invested in some dartboards, bought another big screen TV and converted the whole bar into a sports bar. Business was great on weekends when the hotel was full and there were live matches. Now I needed a way to get in business on the weekdays. I found out that there were quite a number of avid darters in our area. So I organized on a bi monthly basis small dart tournaments. Below are the steps I took.

How I organised a Dart Tournament

Step #1. Decide What Prizes you Want to put up for Your Tournament
Brainstorm and decide what you want offer. Do a little research with the dart community in your area. Make sure the prizes are enticing to the darters. As for me prize money is always the favorite. But make sure the prize money doesn’t eat up your profit. What we did was collect registration fees and uses it for the prize money. How we did it was to divide the collection, where the winner got 50% of the collection. The second place got 25% and the third got 10%. So if the collection was $400, the winner got $200, second got $100 and the third got $40. And the balance 15% goes back to cover whatever miscellaneous expenses you spend. By doing this you don’t have to fork out a lot of money. You can also get sponsors from your suppliers.

Step #2. Tournament Promotional Materials

Now we come to promoting your tournaments. There are numerous ways. If you are using banners, make the design suits the location where you will put it up. Example if placed at the side of the road it should be short and simple, people driving will have little time to read it. Try not to use fancy fonts. As for us it was only five lines with the prize money on the side. We also created posters to put up in offices bulletin boards.

Step #3. Collect Names and Entry Fees
Start early by collecting names. With this you will be able to plan how many dart boards you need to have. You can also foresee how many days you need to run the competition. Create a form where the participants can fill in their details. Later you keep the address in the form for your mailing list.

Step #4-Organize your Tournament Bracket
After you got your marketing activities going. Now its time to choose your tournament bracket. We chose the round robin preliminaries with the best of three. To us Round Robin was the best cause every player gets a chance to play and you might sell more drinks due to it takes a long time to finish the game. Put all the names in a hat or bucket and pull them out randomly to decide who will compete against whom first. But if there is too much players than you need to split in two to three groups and play for two or three days. Order of play can either be decided by each throwing a dart at the center of the bull, the nearest being the player to throw first, or by a toss of a coin. We chose the nearest to bull.

The Outcome
Our first dart competition was a success, we received 25 participants. After deducting everything we broke even. The plus point is we managed to get additional orders of beverages and also free advertisement that we have a sports bar in our hotel. So we intend to do this tournament every two months.