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Writing a Business Plan for a Fine Dining Restaurant


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There are restaurants and then there are fine dining restaurants. Adding the term “fine dining” to a restaurant description immediately implies the eating establishment will offer upscale menu items, an elegant or chic atmosphere, and premier service. This type of restaurant also has higher prices than casual restaurants so everything that goes into creating the business should justify the higher prices that customers pay.

Explaining the Differences – business plan For A Fine Dining Restaurant



Writing a business plan for a fine dining restaurant is a first step towards startup. Though opening a fine dining restaurant is similar to opening a casual restaurant, there are marked differences. For example, the fine dining establishment caters to a very specific customer base that is willing to pay higher prices for food and drinks but expects a higher level of service and exquisite recipes in return. The fine dining restaurant must stand out from the other restaurants in the area, and possibly even attract people from further distances than they normally drive to eat out. This is accomplished by hiring a master or experienced chef, offering unique recipes, and creating a memorable atmosphere.

The business plan naturally includes standard sections like marketing and operations, but it also has to convey the ambiance the restaurant owner intends on creating. That takes experience because the business plan is a formal business document. Following are some of the ways to turn an ordinary business plan into one that entices investors by conveying a full picture of the upscale restaurant:

• Describe a unique location like a renovated pier warehouse, historical downtown building near upscale lofts, or a train station

• Explain the menu in vivid terms, providing a sample; include an explanation of the type of food served (Asian, European, American, a variety, etc.) and whether there will be a prix fixe menu or a combination of fixed fare with specials added

• Describe the overall theme and how the lounge and dining area support that theme through choice of colors, furniture style, dining table arrangements, and so on

• Present a clear description of the restaurant’s interior so that readers can imagine what they would see upon entering – designs, flowers, artwork, lighting, table settings, music, etc.

• Present a personnel plan that showcases the extraordinary talent of the master chef and his/her assistant chefs; explain where the chefs were trained and their specialties

• Describe the restaurant’s services which can include drinks in the lounge, dine-in, carry-out gourmet, catering, and so on

• Describe what will set this fine dining establishment apart from its nearest competitors, i.e. ambiance, unique recipes, use of only locally sourced ingredients, organic foods, pastry desserts, service level, etc.

Higher Prices Means Higher Expenses

Fine dining restaurants usually need special kitchen equipment to accommodate the complex recipes. It is one input into the calculation of needed capital. Other factors include higher wages for experienced wait staff, more expensive building lease rates for high-end locations, a reservation system, higher-priced liquor and wine inventories, and so on. The funding request in the business plan will consider how much capital the business owners are investing versus the total amount needed.

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