Last week marked the launch of How to Open a Restaurant, OpenTable’s complete digital guide to starting and growing a restaurant business. We partnered with hospitality consultant Alison Arth to share tips, stories, and best practices from the best in the business (think the groups of Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, plus restaurateurs Gavin Kaysen and Aaron London). PLUS: we’re giving away a $38,000 prize package to help one restaurant industry professional fund his or her dream project!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be excerpting some of our favorite (and most valuable) content from the guide. Today, it’s all about how to build a business plan that makes investors pay attention. Read on, then get the guide and enter the contest here.
Your business plan will be the road map from which your new restaurant develops. No matter how much thought you’ve put into your concept or how many trusted colleagues have assured you of its greatness, you absolutely must write a business plan. It will prove the viability of your concept to potential investors and provide them with a clear and engaging answer to the question: “Why does the world need this restaurant?”
“The point of a business plan is to show that you’ve done your homework,” says Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla, a fine casual Greek restaurant in San Francisco that has received national acclaim since opening in the spring of 2014.
“You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.”