How to Create a Food-Service Business Plan


An effective food service business plan should show prospective investors that you understand the food you plan to produce, the customers who will be enjoying it, and the nuts and bolts of running a food service business. It should be a tool for attracting capital, but it should also be useful to you as you start and run your business. Writing the business plan provides you with an important opportunity to research your budding ideas and ask yourself necessary, important questions.

Things You'll Need

  • List of expenses
  • Sales projections
  • Menu

How to Create a Food Service Business Plan

Define your typical customer. If you plan to start a restaurant, this will be the particular demographic patronizing your establishment. If you plan to start a wholesale business, specify the types of stores and restaurants that will be buying your products. Describe in detail why your business will appeal to these customers, and how you will market your offerings to them.

Plan and describe your menu or product line. Choose appealing items that you can produce efficiently and cost effectively, and that are made from ingredients you can easily source. If your food offerings will change periodically, define the theme that will connect them.

Calculate your startup costs. Include the price of equipment such as stoves and refrigeration, as well as installation and improvements to the space where you will be operating. Add the expense of running your operation until it breaks even and starts showing a profit.

Project your cash flow for the first two years. Start with the cash you have on hand, and add the income you plan to take in on a monthly basis from food sales. Calculate your monthly expenses, including seasonal fluctuations and annual outlays. Subtract the projected expenses from the estimated cash on hand to determine whether you will have sufficient cash flow to operate your business.

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