5 Keys to Building a Better Restaurant Business Plan
Opening Soon is a weekly show about the journey of opening a restaurant featuring conversations with some of the world’s greatest chefs, restaurateurs and the vendors that help take their business from an idea to opening soon. Opening Soon is hosted by the founders of Tilit NYC, Jenny Goodman and Alex McCrery, who bring their unique perspective as hospitality industry insiders and many questions as the former proprietors of a now shuttered restaurant. Each week we'll extract the strongest takeaways from our guest interview so that if you don't get the chance to listen you can still get the drop.
Special thanks to Ryan Butler, Hugo Murray and Rod Caligado of Butler Bakeshop for their business plan insight.
1. Don't skimp on the opening cash reserve. Investors are more willing to take interest in your business plan financials if you've accounted for a cash reserve that can cover your expenses for the first several months of business. Don't forget to account for payroll (including yourself), utilities and purchasing.
2. Look at as many spaces as possible. Hugo and Rod rode their bikes through Brooklyn and looked at over 40 spaces before taking a lease on their first shop. They investigated each based on competitive business, foot traffic and more.
3. Pay yourself. Foregoing a salary in your first year should be a last ditch effort to make your numbers balance and stay in business. If you don't pay yourself, your customers will notice and your energy in the business will suffer.
4. Consider incentivizing advisers and vendors with sweat equity. If you can't afford to hire the best accountant to evaluate your early business decisions, perhaps pitch them the business plan and see if they'll advise you for a piece of equity or a discount on their investment share. This can work with other advisers and vendors before you generate cash flow.
5. Excite investors with future growth. While it's not necessary to write a business plan for each additional outlet or opportunity your business might have, it's a good idea to include the possibilities that can come following your successful first opening.
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