Lounge Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Lounge Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their lounge companies.
If you’re unfamiliar with creating a lounge business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.
In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a lounge business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your lounge business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a lounge business or grow your existing lounge company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your lounge business to improve your chances of success. Your lounge business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Lounge Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a lounge business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan (hand it to them in person or email to them as a PDF file) and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for lounge companies.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Lounge Business
If you want to start a lounge business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide and sample below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your lounge business plan.
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of lounge business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a lounge business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of lounge businesses?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.
- Give a brief overv iew of the lounge industry.
- Discuss the type of lounge business you are operating.
- Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
- Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
- Offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company overview, you will detail the type of lounge business you are operating.
For example, you m ight specialize in one of the following types of lounge businesses:
- Party lounge business : Any party can take on exotic or compelling variations when a special lounge is created by a party lounge business. This type of business caters to client preferences in any number of themed lounges. Design, setup, teardown and transport is typically included.
- Corporate lounge business: Attendees at trade shows and conferences can utilize a corporate lounge for resting, collaborating with partners or holding team meetings. The lounge is constructed as small spaces, with cube tables and other semi-private places for corporate personnel. Lounges are typically delivered to the venue, with setup and teardown provided.
- Wedding lounge business: Wedding lounge settings can be as simple or elaborate as wedding party planners want them to be. Venues can be built to resemble Arabian tents with lanterns or grand ballrooms with Venetian chairs. This is a premium business with high-end offerings for elaborate wedding receptions and parties. Services include delivery, setup, teardown and return transport.
- Pop-up lounge business: Fun, vibrant temporary lounges can be set up easily for corporate meetings or trade show events. These are designed to hold several small spaces, seating 2 to 4 people, with privacy for quiet conversations. Fabric curtains or tents may be used to add privacy. All services are included for this type of lounge business.
In addition to explaining the type of lounge business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of corporate clients served, the number of wedding receptions held, reaching X number of customers in pop-up lounge services, etc.
- Your legal business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the lounge industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the lounge industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.
The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your lounge business plan:
- How big is the lounge industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your lounge business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your lounge business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, couples, wedding planners, corporate event planners, community planners.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of lounge business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporate event planners, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers. Ideally you can speak with a sample of your target customers before writing your plan to better understand their needs.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are othe r lounge businesses.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes event halls, hotel ballrooms, trade show meeting rooms and outdoor picnic areas. You need to mention direct competition, as well.
For each direct competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What type of lounge business are they?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide appetizers and beverages within your lounges?
- Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a lounge business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type o f lounge company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide indoor garden lounges, pop up breweries, or corporate gourmet coffee lounges?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of yo ur plan, yo u are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the site of your lounge company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your lounge business located in a busy retail district, a business district, or a standalone office? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your lounge marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
- Reach out to event planners, wedding planners, community and corporate planners
- Distribute flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Advertise on social media platforms
- Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your lounge business, including answering calls, planning lounge themes and services, billing customers and maintaining furnishings, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to build your Xth lounge, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your lounge business to a new city.
To demonstrate your lounge business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing lounge businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a lounge business or successfully running a small themed party business.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance s heet, and cash flow statements.
An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you see 20 customers per day in your lounge, and/or offer package pricing for large lounges ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your lounge business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement
Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a lounge business:
- Cost of equipment, furnishings and office supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a list of secured contracts for the next 6 months.
Writing a business plan for your lounge business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the lounge industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful lounge business.
Lounge Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my lounge business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your lounge business plan.
How Do You Start a Lounge Business?
Starting a lounge business is easy with these 14 steps:
- Choose the Name for Your Lounge Business
- Create Your Lounge Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Lounge Business
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Lounge Business (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Lounge Business with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Lounge Business
- Buy or Lease the Right Lounge Business Equipment
- Develop Your Lounge Business Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Lounge Business
- Open for Business
Where Can I Download a Free Business Plan Template PDF?
Click here to download the pdf version of our basic business plan template.
Our free business plan template pdf allows you to see the key sections to complete in your plan and the key questions that each must answer. The business plan pdf will definitely get you started in the right direction.
We do offer a premium version of our business plan template. Click here to learn more about it. The premium version includes numerous features allowing you to quickly and easily create a professional business plan. Its most touted feature is its financial projections template which allows you to simply enter your estimated sales and growth rates, and it automatically calculates your complete five-year financial projections including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Here’s the link to our Ultimate Business Plan Template.
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OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You
Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success. Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan writers can create your business plan for you.
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Step By Step Guide To Write A Bar Business Plan
Opening a new bar requires grit and determination - as well as a fantastic bar business plan to act as your roadmap. This document can determine the future success of your new venture, so it’s essential to make it as comprehensive as possible.
But for first-time bar owners, figuring out where to start can be challenging. Our step-by-step guide to writing a business plan will help you pinpoint the finer details to consider when building a thriving bar business.
How to Write a Bar Business Plan in 9 Steps
1. bar overview.
The first step in writing a bar business plan is to establish an overview of the type of bar you want to open. You need a concept and location to shape your business model and create an executive summary for your new venture:
One of the defining aspects of your establishment is its concept and theme, which you’ll need to describe clearly in your business plan. Whether it’s a simple sports bar, speakeasy, or high-end nightclub, have a fully developed idea of what your venue will be and what purpose it will serve.
You also need to consider how to meet market needs. If you’re following trending concepts, you’ll know that roof-top bars and lounges are popular now. Or, perhaps you want your venue to be an activity-based bar that offers an art gallery, board games, or mini-golf?
Part of your business plan also includes setting your mission statement and goals. These should outline your vision and will influence who invests in your bar. Your mission statement should be a comprehensive statement that details what sets you apart from other bars and should include your company’s values.
It’s important to link your statement to your business concept. You should consider how your values and goals are influenced by what makes your bar unique - including your overall purpose.
Next, you need to propose a location for your bar. Venues close to stores, shopping, centers, and tourist attractions, typically get good visibility and attract a lot of foot traffic. Because of the number of people moving through these areas daily, they also usually offer a decent level of security for your customers.
Another consideration for location is to avoid suburban areas where neighbors might lodge noise complaints. Should this happen, it can mean regulations stipulate earlier closing times for your venue so as not to disturb the peace.
Finally, look for a space where there’s low competition, and your business can shine. There are plenty of strips crowded with bars and nightclubs. While these might attract a decent amount of foot traffic, you’ll need to work much harder to draw people into your place if one establishment has already made a name for itself.
For this reason, aim to secure a spot with little competition. It could mean having a unique concept bar that overshadows the competition. Or it could mean selecting a space where your type of bar doesn’t yet exist.
Ease of Accessibility
Potential customers need to be able to access your bar easily, or they will go elsewhere. They might drive, take public transport, or use a ridesharing company to travel to your venue. It’s up to you to ensure there are ways and means to get them conveniently to the front door.
Here, you should be looking for a venue where you can offer parking to your patrons. It should also be accessible to ride-hailing services and close to public transport.
2. Customer Overview
No bar establishment would be successful without its customers. As part of your bar business plan, include a profile of the type of customer you hope to attract. Consider who your target market is and how it aligns with your bar concept.
You should also outline your demographic's age, income, and interests. You’ll need this information later when developing marketing strategies for your business.
3. Management Overview
The next step in your bar business plan is building a team structure. Your crafty bar concept requires talented people to execute it properly.
Your bartenders are the face of your establishment. Essentially, they can make or break your customer’s impression of your venue. When going through the hiring process, you’ll need to consider each individual’s personality, qualifications, experience, and skills.
Ideally, you want at least one experienced bartender who knows the ropes and can help set up operations, deal with bar management, and train the team. They will also be able to help streamline any teething issues that come up as a result of starting a new business.
From the get-go, outline your bartending teams’ possible responsibilities and the duties they’ll need to undertake. This can help set expectations ahead of advertising jobs and interviewing potential candidates.
Bar-backs don’t need as much experience as bartenders or servers as they aren’t in the customer eye as much. But they must be willing and eager to learn. They are essential to keeping everything running smoothly and work closely with the bartender as an assistant.
For this reason, they need a solid foundational knowledge of the industry, ingredients, and barware in general.
Depending on your business concept and operational model, you may or may not need to employ servers. Some high-end venues have servers to reduce the crowd around the bar and deliver drinks to the table. Additionally, you’ll need to hire servers if you offer any food.
When building out your staffing plan, you’ll need to determine where your establishment lands with that requirement. Make a note here to look for bar industry candidates with alcohol training who know how to serve alcohol safely and legally.
4. Drinks Menu Plan
Your drinks menu is your bar’s product. To be successful, it’s essential to get this offering right.
While your beverage list will undoubtedly change over time, don’t neglect to include a sample menu in your business plan. This will give potential investors an idea of what’s in store and possibly help you secure funding.
Your drinks menu is the selling point of your bar business and the star of the show. If you can excite and entice patrons with promises of wonderful flavors, you’ll be onto a gold mine.
So, it’s important to include product descriptions in your menu, particularly for signature drinks. Each listing should detail the ingredients of individual drinks, any garnishes they may come with, and add-ons your customers can choose from.
A successful bar is only as strong as its product. So, aligning your drinks with your bar’s brand and concept is important. Get together with a mixologist to create one or several signature drinks that will be uniquely your own. Give these drinks names that play to the overall theme of your business.
Many establishments lean on particular products as their claim to fame. For example, you might want to be known as a French wine bistro, local brewery, or craft cocktail spot. Decide what you wish your unique story to be and reflect this in your plan for product sourcing.
Of course, sourcing locally is the most sustainable way to go. You can also build relationships with vendors in your community, which can help bring people into your venue.
It’s essential to do your research and stay abreast of industry trends. Note what these are in your business plan, as this will help keep customers walking through your doors.
For example, one of the most popular cocktail trends in the bar scene is smoke-infused or smoked cocktails. Some mixologists may also use smoke bubbles to infuse the cocktail with a smoky aroma. This trend has gained fame in the last few years and adds a new twist to the cocktail-drinking experience.
Small Food Menu (Small Bites)
Food and beverages go hand in hand. If you plan a small menu with, say, tapas or easy eats, you can increase your revenue. It will prevent your guests from leaving to find something to eat.
Suppose you don’t want the hassle of food storage and preparation. In that case, consider formulating a partnership with a local eatery or small food business that can deliver a menu of select freshly-made items to your establishment.
It’s key to plan out your business licenses carefully. If you don’t have the right ones in place, you won’t be able to operate.
When putting together your bar business plan, it’s important to research whether you need a tavern license. It’s a government-issued license for restaurants, bars, or businesses with more than 50% liquor sales.
Beer and Wine License
If you’re planning on starting a beerhouse or wine lounge, you may only need to apply for a beer and wine license. This will restrict your sales to wine and malt beverages, as you won’t be able to sell hard liquors like spirits. Whether you need to apply for this license depends on your bar's concept.
Health/Food Service License
With a small food menu, you’ll likely need to note on your restaurant and bar business plan to apply for a food service license. It’s a requirement to serve any type of food within your establishment. To obtain a food service license, you’ll need to ensure that your bar follows strict rules and regulations laid out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .
Music is one of the key elements of creating ambiance in a venue. But did you know that streaming music from your digital subscription with Spotify or Deezer is not actually operating within the law? This is true even if you’re playing music through a TV or radio.
The right way to go about this is to pay a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) or music service that will send royalties to the relevant artists. For the most part, this doesn’t apply to bands or performers who play live at your venue.
6. Market Research
Performing market research as part of your bar business plan is key to understanding your opportunities and how to capitalize on them.
Part of your research should be to determine the market size you can potentially snag. Look at other bars already operating in the area, consider the industry as a whole, and determine what trends are driving it forward.
What needs will your bar solve for your target market? You can find out who they are and what they want by considering the local neighborhood and bar type.
It’s also an idea to look at census data to see how many potential customers within a certain demographic live within a reachable radius of your proposed location.
Market Share and Price Point
When doing your market analysis, consider similar bar businesses that have come before you. What do their successes and failures look like? Why did they crash and burn, or soar to new heights? Take these lessons and figure out how to apply them so your business can succeed.
Furthermore, what will your entry into the market mean for the local community? Are you creating new job opportunities? Or are you going to bring in an unruly crowd of patrons they hope to avoid? Knowing this information will help you be accepted and create connections rather than catastrophes.
Lastly, consider what your ‘competitors’ or other similar industry businesses are charging for their drinks and services. Run a competitive analysis in the area to determine your potential price point and how you can stand out.
7. Bar Marketing
Utilizing a marketing plan in the right way helps you take measured steps to get your establishment in front of potential customers. Here are the strategies to get started:
Create a Brand
The key to starting a successful business - and keeping it open - is to create a memorable brand identity. Your toolbox for promoting your brand should include your logo, colors, and ‘personality.’ Use these in a way that becomes synonymous with your bar, no matter where people interact with it.
Besides developing your brand identity, consider the channels you can market on to attract customers. At the very least, it should include your social channels, website, and media influencers.
8. Other Avenues to Increase Revenue
Besides being a bar and welcoming guests who come in with reservations or foot traffic, there are other avenues to increase your revenue.
Hosting events such as karaoke nights, wine tastings, or live music is an excellent way to attract larger crowds to your bar. You are guaranteed certain sales, can charge a cover fee, and get new people walking through the door.
If you go this route, we recommend using event management software to keep everything on track and work effortlessly with your team.
It’s no surprise that all businesses go through an ebb and flow of customer traffic. A great way to increase cash flow during slower periods is to introduce ideas like drink specials and happy hour discounts.
When you’re writing up a business plan, don’t forget to brainstorm ideas for a pre-opening promotion as a way to test the market. This can be as simple as a soft launch or as elaborate as a grand-opening celebration.
An important aspect of your business plan is to outline your potential start-up costs. These, along with the costs of day-to-day business operations, and financial projections, will attract or deter potential investors.
Your business plan should also highlight possible funding options like loans and investment opportunities you have available. Additionally, you’ll need to draw up a break-even analysis to determine how much revenue it will take to turn profits.
Realizing your dream of owning the hottest bar in town starts with a great business plan. It will need to cover everything from your mission statement to your concept and drinks menu. This will help you build a sturdy management team, hire great employees, and attract people to your venue.
Want to know more about Perfect Venue for event management? Try it free to find out how it can be a fit for your new business.
Have thoughts on the article? Feel free to email us at [email protected] - we'd love to hear from you!
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How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan in 2023 (Step by Step Guide with Templates)
Jan 31, 2023 6:30:00 AM
Have you decided to open a restaurant? Has it been something you've thought of doing for years and are finally in a position to make it happen?
Regardless of how much time you've spent conceptualizing your idea and researching the industry, without proper planning, your restaurant is doomed for failure.
That's where a restaurant business plan comes in. A restaurant business plan is a framework that guides you to plan and forecast every element of restaurant management and operations; from menu design, location, financials, employee training, and a lot more, and helps develop your restaurant ideas into a reality.
Read on for everything you need to know about writing a restaurant business plan along with samples and tips.
Why is a Restaurant Business Plan Important?
Many new restauranteurs fail to put together a well-thought-out restaurant business plan because the process can be a bit difficult and time-consuming. But without a proper restaurant business plan, you're shooting in the dark without an aim. It's unlikely that you would be able to secure an investor to help fund your restaurant dream without a proper plan. And even if you do, the lack of proper planning, regulations, and forecasts will set your restaurant up for failure.
Your restaurant business plan is what is going to map out how you plan on turning a profit from your business as well as where your restaurant fits into the saturated market and how you plan on standing out.
A little time and pain early on are worth the reward of a successful restaurant in the long run.
11 key steps a restaurant business plan should include
A good business plan varies from restaurant to restaurant and takes into account factors like style of restaurant, target market, location, etc. If you're new to the restaurant game, the idea of creating a business plan can be daunting. To help you get started, we have highlighted the key elements you need to include when writing a restaurant business plan.
Depending on who you are presenting your business plan to, you can change the order of the sections to reflect priority.
Here are the main components of a restaurant business plan
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Restaurant Design
- Market Overview
- External help
- Financial Analysis
1. Executive Summary
A restaurant business plan should always begin with an executive summary. An executive summary not only acts as the introduction to your business plan but also a summary of the entire idea.
The main aim of an executive summary is to draw the reader (oftentimes an investor) into the rest of your business plan.
Common elements of an executive summary include:
- Mission statement (learn more about how to write a good mission statement here )
- Proposed concept
- A brief look at potential costs
- Expected return on investments
An executive summary is imperative for those looking to get investors to fund their projects. Instead of having to comb through the entire restaurant business plan to get all the information, they can instead just look through the executive summary.
2. Company Description
This is the part of the restaurant business plan where you fully introduce the company. Start this section with the name of the restaurant you are opening along with the location, contacts, and other relevant information. Also include the owner’s details and a brief description of their experience.
The second part of the company description should highlight the legal standing of the restaurant and outline the restaurant’s short and long-term goals. Provide a brief market study showing that you understand the trends in the regional food industry and why the restaurant will succeed in this market.
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis portion of the restaurant business plan is typically divided into three parts.
3.1 Industry Analysis
What is your target market? What demographics will your restaurant cater to? This section aims to explain your target market to investors and why you believe guests will choose your restaurant over others.
3.2 Competition Analysis
It's easy to assume that everyone will visit your restaurant, so it is important to research your competition to make this a reality. What restaurants have already established a customer base in the area? Take note of everything from their prices, hours, and menu design to the restaurant interior. Then explain to your investors how your restaurant will be different.
3.3 Marketing Analysis
Your investors are going to want to know how you plan to market your restaurant. How will your marketing campaigns differ from what is already being done by others? How do you plan on securing your target market? What kind of offers will you provide your guests? Make sure to list everything.
The most important element to launching your restaurant is the menu . Without it, your restaurant has nothing to serve. At this point, you probably don’t have a final version, but for a restaurant business plan, you should at least try to have a mock-up.
Add your logo to the mock-up and choose a design that you can see yourself actually using. If you are having trouble coming up with a menu design or don’t want to pay a designer, there are plenty of resources online to help.
The key element of your sample menu though should be pricing. Your prices should reflect the cost analysis you’ve done for investors. This will give them a better understanding of your restaurant’s target price point. You'll quickly see how important menu engineering can be, even early on.
The company description section of the restaurant business plan briefly introduces the owners of the restaurant with some information about each. This section should fully flesh out the restaurant management team.
The investors don’t expect you to have your entire team selected at this point, but you should at least have a couple of people on board. Use the talent you have chosen thus far to highlight the combined work experience everyone is bringing to the table.
6. Restaurant Design
The design portion of your restaurant business plan is where you can really show off your thoughts and ideas to the investors. If you don’t have professional mock-ups of your restaurant rendered, that’s fine. Instead, put together a mood board to get your vision across. Find pictures of a similar aesthetic to what you are looking for in your restaurant.
The restaurant design extends beyond aesthetics alone and should include everything from restaurant software to kitchen equipment.
The location you end up choosing for your restaurant should definitely be in line with your target market. At this point, you might not have a precise location set aside, but you should have a few to choose from.
When describing potential locations to your investors, you want to include as much information as possible about each one and why it would be perfect for your restaurant. Mention everything from square footage to typical demographics.
8. Market Overview
The market overview section is heavily related to the market analysis portion of the restaurant business plan. In this section, go into detail about both the micro and macro conditions in the area you want to set up your restaurant.
Discuss the current economic conditions that could make opening a restaurant difficult, and how you aim to counteract that. Mention all the restaurants that could prove to be competition and what your strategy is to set yourself apart.
With restaurants opening left and ride nowadays, investors are going to want to know how you will get word of your restaurant to the world. The marketing and publicity section should go into detail on how you plan to market your restaurant before and after opening. As well as any plans you may have to bring a PR company on board to help spread the word.
Read more: How to write a restaurant marketing plan from scratch
10. External Help
To make your restaurant a reality, you are going to need a lot of help. List any external companies or software you plan on hiring to get your restaurant up and running. This includes everything from accountants and designers to suppliers that help your restaurant perform better, like POS systems and restaurant reservation systems . Explain to your investors the importance of each and what they will be doing for your restaurant.
11. Financial Analysis
The most important part of your restaurant business plan is the financial section . We would recommend hiring professional help for this given its importance. Hiring a trained accountant will not only help you get your financial estimates in order but also give you a realistic insight into owning a restaurant.
You should have some information prepared to make this step easier on the accountant. He/she will want to know how many seats your restaurant has, what the check average per table will be, and how many guests you plan on seating per day.
In addition to this, doing rough food cost calculations for various menu items can help estimate your profit margin per dish. This can be achieved easily with a free food cost calculator.
Restaurant Business Plan Template
Ready to get started? Download our free restaurant business plan template to guide you through the process.
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How to Write a Killer Bar Business Plan
- Growth Strategies
- Food & Beverage
- Starting Your Business
Congratulations: you’ve decided to open a bar . Making this decision is an exciting first step, but before you go any further, you need to write a business plan.
Not sure what that should include? We’ve got you covered.
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To kick things off, write an executive summary to outline the key point of your business plan. This helps give readers an idea of what you’ll be highlighting throughout the plan.
Start with your vision for the bar. Do you imagine a sports bar filled with patrons during the big game, or a speakeasy space with craft cocktails? Every bar caters to a different type of clientele — be very specific about yours.
Next, create a mission statement and include the key factors for your bar’s success. Your mission is a summary of your company’s values that highlights how your bar distinguishes itself from the competition.
This statement will trickle through every aspect of your business and may influence who decides to do business with you. Your mission can also help you clearly identify what you need to focus on to draw in customers and beat out the competition.
Think of your company description as the “who, what, when, where, and why” of your business. Include the most important aspects of your bar including the theme or concept, location, and your target market. If you have investors or stakeholders, this piece should give them your business’s most salient details.
Make sure to go into detail about your bar’s location and design. Is there parking nearby? Or space for ride sharing or public transit? (You want to make your bar easily accessible.) The design should create an experience that engages customers and encourages loyalty over time.
To attract investors, you want to show you know your stuff when it comes to the industry and market. So you need a market analysis that compiles industry insights, customer information, and competitive analysis and helps you define what success looks like.
Start with a service industry analysis and then dive deeper into your specific industry segmentation. If you’re a sports bar, cocktail bar, wine bar, or nightclub, you should compare forecasts and trends in your market.
Next, describe your market segmentation and target customer and why your bar will appeal to them. Creating a customer profile (a description of your ideal customer) can help you later on when you need to develop a marketing plan. This does not mean you’re excluding people from coming, but it helps you focus your marketing efforts.
Then analyze your competitors. How many other local bars are there and how do they stack up? Are there larger bars that would take customers from you?
Finally, write a SWOT analysis for your bar. Discuss your bar’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By running a SWOT analysis, you can discover what advantages you have over the competition and plan to take advantage of opportunities.
Product line and menu
What you offer on your menu can attract customers (and investors). List out everything on your menu with descriptions, from cocktails and liquor to mixers, garnishes, and other add-ons.
Many purchasing decisions are based on emotion, so naming drinks and including the right type of menu descriptions is a crucial component of your marketing plan. Take your time when writing out these descriptions so you can convey the right message to your customers.
Next, talk product sourcing and where everything’s coming from. For some bars, touting 100+ beers on tap is a point of pride, so make sure to identify what your claim to fame will be. Also, think about sourcing locally, as this can be attractive to certain customer groups.
After you decide what to source, lay out how you’ll manage your products and ingredients. Developing an inventory management system for your bar is important to optimize your daily operations and cut down spending.
Finally, write up your competitive comparison to other bars in the area. Are you offering the same beer selection as everyone else on your block? Are you the only one serving craft cocktails? Keeping track of your competitors allows you to diversify and use your menu as a competitive advantage.
A marketing strategy is the section of your business plan that outlines your overall strategy for finding, attracting, and retaining customers. Here’s what you need in this section:
- A positioning statement: This should include a description of your target market, as well as how you want that group to perceive your brand.
- Pricing strategy: Achieving a successful bar is almost impossible without pricing your drinks the right way. To calculate your price, start by adding up the cost of ingredients. Then, choose a pour cost percentage (or profit margin) to target. Price the drink by taking the cost of your ingredients and dividing by the target pour cost. That equals your price. Good target pour costs to target are 20 percent for beer, 14 percent for liquor, and 22 percent for wine.
- Pre-opening promotion strategy: Describe whether you’ll have a soft opening , a pop-up prior to opening , or a grand opening, and how you’ll execute it. Also, make sure to describe how you’ll generate buzz for it.
- Marketing programs : Once you’re open, you need to encourage your regulars to keep coming back and entice new customers to try your bar. You want to think about all the channels you might use to do this — email, social media, PR, paid ads, etc. — as well as the types of events and promotions that would attract customers. The range of industry options include guest bartending nights, happy hours, reverse happy hours, live music, and karaoke.
- Website: The final piece of the marketing strategy is your online presence . Forty-four percent of consumers we surveyed said a website was very or extremely important in their decision to try a business. So include screenshots of your website and describe the content customers can find on it. You should also utilize your social media presence as an extension of your website; most customers expect to find the same types of information on a business’s social profiles as its website. Of course, social media is also a chance to expand on your website and really show your bar’s personality.
Spell out the type of business entity you will select for the bar, like sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC. This is important when filing your tax return, so be sure to speak with a legal consultant when selecting the right business entity for you.
A sole proprietorship allows you to be your own boss, but you’re also liable for all of the company’s debts. A partnership helps alleviate all the work that goes into opening a bar. The downside to partnerships is that partners are legally liable for both their actions and the actions of their partners. Finally, an LLC shields you from personal liability, but the company can never go public.
Next you need to lay out the building blocks of your organizational structure. Who is on your management team and what is your personnel plan? How many bartenders, bar backs, and other staff do you need to get started? This is important to include to give a picture of payroll costs.
Finally, outline what technology you need to run your bar. A point of sale allows you to take payments and control your daily operations. Ideally, you want a system that lets you keep tabs open, incorporates tipping, and conducts sales reporting so you can uncover inefficiencies and improve how you run your bar .
Last, talk financials. A financial plan is important to lay out what the sales need to be for the business to be successful. The financial plan section includes bar startup costs and a break-even analysis .
Your bar startup costs are the expenses incurred during the process of starting up your business. Startup costs vary depending on the type of bar. For dive bars, seating and real estate (or size) is your biggest cost. For a cocktail bar, your biggest startup cost is getting the interior design right.
Funding for your bar can be difficult at times, so it’s important to brainstorm your options and lay out a plan. Is it self-funded? Are you looking for investors? Can you take out a small business loan ? There are various funding options that should be assessed when you’re starting out.
Then look at how much revenue it takes to break even — to cover all the fixed and variable costs of starting and running your bar. Finally, discuss your profit and loss forecast, what type of cash flow you need, and how you will manage a balance sheet. Include a profit loss analysis, which is a financial statement that summarizes the revenues, costs, and expenses incurred during a specific period of time (usually a fiscal quarter or year).
Writing out all of these technical and financial items in your bar business plan helps you ensure your bar’s success. Of course, if you’re inexperienced with these types of analysis, you might reach out to a financial, tax, and/or legal professional to give you a helping hand.
Bar business plan tips
Sports bar business plan tips.
Maximize your indoor and outdoor space for viewing: The last thing you want is for customers to show up and realize they can’t see the game they came to watch. As you plan out your location and your equipment investments (TVs, cable subscriptions), prioritize the sports fan experience on game days.
Decide on your atmosphere: Are you going for a rowdy atmosphere or a quieter escape? Targeting all sports fans or a specific fanbase? Having a strong sense of your potential customer base will better set you up for success.
Create a sports-specific marketing plan: Take a look at the upcoming calendar and map out the likely slow and busy times. How will you stand out from the competition for big events, and what promotions can you run on quieter nights?
Wine bar business plan tips
Find distributors: Relationships with importers and distributors can make or break a wine bar. Early on in the process, settle on the partnerships that will be crucial to your bottom line and how that sets up the rest of your business.
Decide on your food investments: There are pros and cons to offering food at your wine bar, and you can always evolve your approach over time. Some wine bars across the country have lowered costs and increased their reach by partnering with local restaurants and food pop-ups so they don’t have to worry about the prep and storage.
Consider multi-hyphenate opportunities: Wine bars are a particularly good fit for branching out into everything from retail to personal care if you have the space and expertise.
Cocktail bar business plan tips
Be specific: A generic cocktail bar can have trouble breaking through. Having a clear vision for the look and feel of the space, the target audience, the price ranges, and your unique value propositions will help you out early on.
Consider the competition: What is missing in your area and what will drive customers to your business specifically? Take a look at the successful cocktail bars in your neighborhood and your city. What can you replicate and what gaps can your business fill?
Have a staffing plan: It’s hard to build up customer loyalty if people are waiting a long time for their drinks. Plan out how you’ll appropriately staff for the size of your space, and look into QR-code ordering so customers can stay at their tables while their cocktails are prepared.
Brewery business plan tips
Define what makes your brewery stand out: In a crowded space, it’s important to know your edge and appeal. Are you making your own beer? Have you secured a great space for large groups? Is the location clamoring for a brewery?
Pursue partnerships: Many great breweries across the country build interest with weekly partnerships. From restaurant residencies at your space to beer debuts to one-off pop-ups, these kinds of mashups with other local businesses can build momentum early on.
Look at self-serve options: More and more customers want flexible ways to order and pay. QR codes work well at breweries, but also look into ideas like ordering ahead for pickup or allowing customers to pour their own beer for a fixed price over a set amount of time.
Running a business is no easy feat, but Square is here to help. We have all the tools you need to start, run, and grow your business, whether you’re selling in person, online, or both. And we’ve made all our tools to work together as one system, saving you time and money — and making decisions easier. So you can get back to doing the work you love and focusing on whatever’s next. See how Square works .
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Food & Beverage Business Plans
Did you know each of these plans was created in LivePlan? Learn More
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Everybody’s got to eat and there’s still plenty of niche aspects of food and beverage business for entrepreneurs to explore. Locally sourced, organic, farm-fresh, delivery, craft, pick a buzz-word and there’s an opportunity there.
So if you think you have the makings of the next top chef, developed a secret whiskey recipe that will blow people’s minds, or even have a better way of doing delivery, you may want to enter the food and beverage business.
Start cooking up your business plan with our library of foodie-themed sample plans or build a more modern plan to easily manage your restaurant, bar, or cafe with LivePlan . It contains the same food and beverage templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.
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Restaurant, Lounge & Bar Business Plan Consulting
Home » Industry Experience » Restaurant, Lounge & Bar
Need an expertly written restaurant business plan? In a hyper-competitive industry, our bar, lounge, and restaurant business plan consultants can help make the difference – we’ll use our industry expertise to create a customized plan and strategy to help you reach your specific business goals. Our restaurant business plans consultants have developed successful business plans for:
- Coffee Shops
- Ethnic Restaurants
- Fine Dining Restaurants
- Food Service Kiosks
- Food Trucks
- Franchisee/Franchisor Concepts
- Lounges and Nightclubs
- Quick Casual Restaurants, Cafes, and Bistros
- Quick Serve and Drive Through Restaurants
- Specialty Bars
- Specialty Restaurants
- Sports Bars
We hired Cayenne for two reasons. The first was Cayenne’s experience in food service and the second reason was that they promised that they would complete the project within our requested time frame. They really came through for us and we are very pleased with the result. — Michelle Hamilton, Co-Founder , RedMac (Subway Franchisee), Henderson, NV
Want to see Restaurant Business Plan Samples?
Several of our clients have allowed us to share these real-world examples of their bar, lounge, and restaurant business plans on our website. Get a sense of how our restaurant business planning expertise can best serve you:
You can see other restaurant business plan examples here .
Restaurant, Lounge & Bar Experience
Developed business plan, financial forecast, investor presentation, and related materials for Island Luau, a stand-alone 30,000 sq. ft. restaurant, retail store, and banquet facility in Mesa, Arizona.
Developed business plan, financial forecast, investor presentation and related materials for Arena Sports Pub in Bellingham, Washington. The restaurant was capitalized by a $450,000 SBA 7a guaranteed loan.
Prepared a business plan and financial forecast for YoNaturals. YoNaturals is leading the fight against junk food in vending machines with the most comprehensive, healthy vending program in the nation.
Specialty Beverage Franchise
Worked with a national specialty beverage company to expand nationally via franchising. Developed and revised UFOCs/FDDs and related contracts, and negotiated franchisee leases.
Developed the business plan and related materials for a high energy, upscale restaurant that combines ambience, great wine, fine food, and impeccable service in the Pacific Northwest.
Developed business plan, financial forecast, capital formation strategy, and assisted with bank financing negotiations for the expansion of a Thai Restaurant chain in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Served as a long-term strategic and financial advisor to a leading provider of premium specialty beverages packaged in environmentally-friendly, biodegradable containers.
Health Food Restaurant
Created a business plan and financial projections for a chain of health food restaurants and an online seller of health food products based on a proprietary food preparation method.
Greek Food Importer
Developed a business plan, financial forecast, and pitch deck for an importer of premium Greek olive oils, cheeses, and other foods. Successfully raised more than $1 million in funding.
Developed business plan, financial forecast, and related materials for a restaurant management company in Pacific Northwest.
Prepared the business plan and financial model of an energy cookie balanced with protein and taste for children.
Organic Restaurant Franchise
Developed business plan, financial forecast and provided capital formation strategy for an organic food restaurant chain based in North Carolina.
Prepared a business plan, pitch deck, and financial forecast for a bakery cafe in Las Vegas that specializes in European-style pastries.
Business plan for potential Dunkin’ Brands Master Franchisee in Los Angeles as Dunkin’ re-entered the Southern California market.
Developed business plan, financial forecast, capital formation strategy, and franchise model for a nine-store, build-your-own gyro chain in Florida.
Note: Some items reflect experience gained prior to joining Cayenne Consulting. Cayenne does not offer services that require licensing or registration with the NASD or other authorities. Read testimonials from selected food service clients .
Why choose Cayenne for help with your restaurant business plan? Nine great reasons!
We don’t stop when the business plan is complete. We have a talented team ready to help you implement it as well, either on a retained basis as interim members of your founding team or on a project basis, as needed.
Develop a Winning Strategy
Most so-called “business plan consultants” take whatever you tell them and type it into software. We go much deeper and help develop a viable strategy for success, which we then express in a compelling business plan.
Deal directly with a senior business plan consultant from Day One – not a commissioned salesperson who will hand you off to a junior writer. Personal relationships matter, and you need to know exactly who you’re dealing with.
Save Money - Really!
We’re not cheap, but about half of our clients came to us after a business plan prepared by a less qualified business plan consultant did not work out. Why not get it right the first time and save money?
Get Investors To Notice
Most entrepreneurs can’t get investors to return their calls. A majority of our clients secure meetings with potential funders. Our team’s efforts have contributed to over $4.3 billion in financing!
Avoid Costly Mistakes
We know what works, and, more importantly, what doesn’t. A single mistake can get render your plan unfundable. We wrote the original and often-cited article on Why Business Plans Don’t Get Funded .
Some business plan writers charge extremely low fees because they have a cookie-cutter, assembly-line approach. You get what you pay for. We work from scratch to represent your unique vision, not somebody else’s.
Work With True Experts
We’ve walked in your shoes and we understand what you’re going through. Many of us have advanced degrees from institutions like Harvard , Wharton , Berkeley , Cornell , Columbia , Stanford , Yale , Dartmouth , and Chicago .
Get it Right the First Time
Funding is a binary event: either you succeed or you fail . If you fail, most investors won’t give you a second chance. Learn about the pros and cons of various approaches to developing business plans .
How to Start a Restaurant
As we’ve mentioned previously, we write many business plans for restaurant entrepreneurs. And, of course, we’ve published several blog posts on the subject. In 2014, we explained that the operational side of a restaurant is just as important as the menu, location, and quality of customer service. A year later, we argued why successful restaurant…
How to Start a Food Truck Business
In 2012, when we were just beginning to understand the popularity of food trucks, we wrote a blog post titled Food Trucks are Hot! The post discussed the increasing demand for food trucks and why they were becoming so popular. It also asked the questions that an investor or banker might ask of the food…
Execution Makes a Good Restaurant (and its Business Plan) Great
At Cayenne Consulting we’ve written dozens of restaurant business plans and created an equal number of financial forecasts for our restaurant and hospitality clients. For the most part, we can proudly claim that our clients love our work and, equally as important, our clients’ lenders and investors love our work as well. This success has…
Making Money in Pizza
My wife and I have eaten a lot of pizza this summer; way more than we usually eat. It’s not really a problem for us because we have gotten so much exercise hiking in the mountains. Our unusual pizza consumption occurred to me as I was evaluating a pizza restaurant concept that a prospective client…
Food Trucks are Hot!
Food trucks are the iPads of the restaurant industry. They are small, portable and very, very popular. We had a client recently who gave up his middle management job with a large communications firm so that he could purchase and run a food truck. He will operate the truck in Florida in the winters and…
Restaurant Business Plan Consultants
Charlie Kickham, MBA
I'd like to speak with a restaurant business plan consultant.
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Give a brief overview of the lounge industry. Discuss the type of lounge business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your
Business plans start with a concise summary of the concept for your bar and an introduction to the key elements of your business plan. This includes an overview
bar and restaurant business plan ... If you're planning on starting a beerhouse or wine lounge, you may only need to apply for a beer and
Here are the main components of a restaurant business plan · Executive Summary · Company Description · Market Analysis · Menu · Employees · Restaurant
Executive summary · Company description · Market analysis · Product line and menu · Marketing strategy · Organizational overview · Financial plan · Bar
Explore our library of Bar & Brewery Business Plan Templates and find ... Roll is a classic bowling alley, karaoke lounge, gaming parlor and restaurant.
Start cooking up your business plan with our library of foodie-themed sample plans or build a more modern plan to easily manage your restaurant, bar
Blaze - Sample Restobar - Bar & Restaurant Business Plan - Premium Plan - BPlan Experts.
Our restaurant, lounge, and bar business plan consultants prepare your business plan, financial forecast, and pitch deck. Founded in 2001. Contact us today!
In “How to use a BAR AND LOUNGE Business Plan Template” by Paul Borosky, MBA., we cover how to edit and customize a base BAR AND LOUNGE