Restaurants have one of the highest failure rates. The nature of the business in dealing with perishables and the fickle tastes of people is difficult to grasp. Many lenders simply exclude them from their portfolios in general but everyone knows a great restaurant can create a lot of wealth for the owners.
Never forget this statement, lenders and investors are sophisticated in commerce and they know when someone is on their level in business knowledge. You must distinguish yourself, just like stock market investors, lenders invest in people. Do not fear your short comings but show how you HAVE experienced advisers available.
Most necessary information related to business is basic but they want to see you have a basic insight into overall economic influences as well. Read and watch financial television to learn and be comfortable with discussions in those areas. After a time you will begin to see the conversations are very similar. You now have insight into the content of your restaurant business plan, it is the same discussion.
Another suggestion to prepare for writing your plan is go online and search for annual reports for restaurants traded on the stock exchange; they are usually free of charge and useful even if they are old. Most of them are mind numbing at first, study until you see the same pattern you found watching the TV shows. Get some basic information about financial statements just to learn the layout and how the numbers relate and tell the health of the company. Buy a book about investing in stocks to absorb the mindset of an investor.
You should be able to demonstrate a clear and fundamental understanding of how the economy and other outside factors will affect your enterprise. Knowing facts about your competitors and even publicly traded restaurants will show a level of experience you may not even have but they will see you belong to the top 1/10% of your industry and every other person who brings a deal in front of them.
Unless you intend to raise a million dollars or more you should research and write your restaurant business plan yourself. The preparation to do so will ingrain the process into your mind and the command of the information will impress your lending prospect. Be sure to highlight every small difference related to why you believe in your venture. Keep in mind very small improvements in long established industries have made many people very successful.
Read a little about persuasive writing and use a formal style with no contractions, slang or industry jargon which is not explained.
Buying a template will help you organize your thoughts and provide a framework for all your expertise to be displayed. These are very helpful. Once you master the basics, admittedly a large body of information, begin to focus on your specialty, here are two examples:
• Maybe you are interested in starting a café and need a café business plan. Here you will begin to build your case about why you think you have found an opportunity. This could be how an area under served because it has experienced huge growth and residents drive a long distance.
• Regretfully, the bar business does well in a good location with a bad economy. Keep in mind people do not go to a bar to drink, they go to socialize. Bars should work well anytime but they can be recession proof. Your approach will be the social aspect of writing the bar business plan and why you have the edge to make one work.
Hopefully you are very talented and suited for the restaurant industry but remember, every talent, once discovered, must be developed. Know where you want to go, this is a clear goal. Identify every possible need to reach the goal, and then list what you have. This is the first step to writing a great restaurant business plan.