Developing a Strategic Restaurant Business Plan

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Do you consider yourself to be an independent, determined food extraordinaire? Have you always harbored the notion to own your own business? If these questions hit home for you, it’s likely that you’ve contemplated starting up a restaurant business before. By opening a restaurant, you can have the opportunity to delve more into your desire to cook while also satisfying your entrepreneurial spirit. Although this is easily tempting, you must also ensure that you are well-prepared for entering an industry filled with obstacles or empty results. Cornell University presents a daunting fact that about 60% of restaurants fail within their first three years after the doors open.

For a better opportunity to have your customers lining up at open each day and keeping your reservation spots full, yet again, it’s highly suggested that you have a solid business plan ready before you get your hands too dirty. Regardless of if you’re writing the business plan yourself or hiring a business plan consultant, you’ll need some promising tactics to end up succeeding. In this article, we’ve included some factors about  your business plan that might increase your chances of making in impact in the industry.

Health, safety, and other regulatory considerations
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First and foremost, you must be able to meet and follow all the standards for restaurant health and safety. One of the components of the restaurant industry is that each one is kept track of and is monitored somewhat closely be health inspectors so it’s mandatory that you learn and abide by the regulations. When you hire your staff, you’ll want to have someone who has numerous years of experience in food services and has the ability to easily assist you in interpreting the guidelines. Additionally, this person should actively strive to involve practices that ensure the qualifications are reached. You’ll be glad you hired this person upon your first random health inspection.

Initially, it is very important that you know how to meet all the health and safety policies. Restaurants are watched relatively closely by regulators so following all required codes is simply not optional, but mandatory. You’ll want to work with someone who has several years of experience in the food & beverage industry and is capable of assisting you with interpreting the numerous codes as well as the tools that will ensure those codes are being met – especially upon the restaurant’s first surprise visit from a health inspector.

Strictly following the sanitation and food preparation regulations isn’t something you should do because you have to, but because you care about what you do and you care about your customers. Exceeding all of these standards is something you should adamantly focus on and take joy in following through with consistently — this will only increase or reinforce continued business from your customers. This aspect is so necessary that even one fateful occurrence of food being mishandled can be your business’s demise. Keep in mind that customers will have quick and convenient access to information regarding food poisoning incidents at your restaurant. So, it’s of the utmost importance that you ensure that there are clear and proper guidelines for your employees.

Strategic marketing
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Obstacles for new businesses entering the industry continue to increase as the quantity and diversity of restaurants seem to grow at an exponential rate. In many situations, it’s hard for any given new restaurant to find their selling point to set them out in front of the numerous surrounding other businesses. For example, New York City consists of over 4,200 restaurants by itself. Using the most recent market data, you will have access to a host of resources that aren’t available to the average person. An efficient business utilizes market research to analyze industry trends and make informed decisions. You must not just be able to find the information, but also be able to use your results to identify “spots” in the marketplace that are relevant to your business’s strengths

In addition finding your “spot”, effective research will help you devise an effective marketing strategy. You must use a set of tools to compile a business plan that will cause your restaurant to stand out to the public. There are a variety of ways this can be done, such as social media or a focused marketing effort, but it needs to be created to work with the vision of your company as well as the market trends that you’ve researched.

Finding suppliers

There are numerous obvious reasons, including the timely arrival of deliveries and food quality, why you must take the time to choose your supplier wisely. As social media has become prominent not just for personal use, but business as well, UrbanSpoon is something that may very well make or break a starting restaurant business. Since your restaurant’s supplier is an important partnership, choosing them can very well have an effect on whether your UrbanSpoon ratings drop or skyrocket.

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Matthew Khalili – MBA Business Consultant

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