Before we start, some of you might question whether it is essential to write a business plan for a new Food & Beverage [F&B] business. Having a business plan for your business is one of the most important steps in starting a new business. A business plan will provide a backbone and structure to how you will proceed with your exciting new venture. I would highly recommend writing one, putting everything on paper will allow you to have a clearer picture of your strengths and also identify any missing parts that you might have overlooked. So, what should you include in your business plan?


    • Executive Summary

      General length guideline for the executive summary is 5-10% of the entire report. Begin with a summary, include justifications, recommendations and end off with a conclusion. Keep it concise and the reader should be able to read the executive summary independently from the entire business plan document.

    • Company Overview

      This section should answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why questions related to your business. Be as specific and thorough as possible in this section.

      • Unique Selling Proposition

        • What is unique about your F&B business? What differentiates you from the competition? Find your niche that you’re good at, excel at those specific cuisines or restaurant service style and you’ll fare better than trying to cater to everyone. Do note that if you try to please everyone, you are pleasing no one.
      • Target Market

        • Define your target market, this will path the way for you to determine other factors such as pricing and menu. Ask yourself this if you are unsure of who your target market is, describe the customer whom you’d like to serve day in day out at your F&B outlet.You can segment your target market by generation, each generation poses different kind of opportunities which you can tackle. The different generations represents different purchasing power. They also prefer different restaurant service styles. Even the timing which they are most likely to visit your F&B establishment differs. For example, most “Foodies” are from the Gen X demographic, it’ll be advisable that your outlet is Insta-worthy and place greater emphasis on ambience and culinary presentation. By doing so you can leverage on them to promote your F&B establishment on social media. They are also more likely to visit hipster cafes and coffee joints, you’d want to keep that into consideration when engineering your menu for this demographic.
          • The different generations are listed below:
            • Gen Z [Born after 2001]
            • Gen X [Born between 1981 and 2000]
            • Gen Y [Born between 1965 and 1980]
            • Seniors [Born between 1964 or earlier]
      • Location

        Location is one of the most important factors to consider for the retail industry. What questions should you be asking when filling up this portion of the business plan?

        – What kind of foot traffic are the neighbouring businesses bringing in?
        – Is the floor area large enough and does it meet your requirements for your desired floor layout?
        – Are there negative elements which might affect your business in the surrounding vicinity?
        – Are there sufficient parking space?
        – Is the location served by public transportation?
        – Are there competitors within the area? Can you compete for wallet share in the area?
        – Does the location allow for future expansion?
        – And last but not least, the costs involved.

        The questions are not limited to the ones stated above. You should ask similar questions from both operational point of view as well as marketing and business perspective.

        As the old saying goes, “Location, location, location.” further stress the importance of selecting one that suits your business needs.

      • Style of Service

        This will be determined by your USP, target market and location. There are several styles of service that you can adopt, below is a list which you might want to consider. Each have their own appeal to the different target markets and you might want to consider having a hybrid between the different styles to best suit your business needs.

        1. Fast Food
        2. Fast Casual
        3. Fine Dining
        4. Casual Dining
        5. Others
      • Restaurant Concept

        There are plenty unique cafes all over the world, Toilet themed cafe in taiwan, Owl Cafe in Japan, Cat Cafes in Singapore or even Boba Cafes which in New York just to name a few. Sports bars may be popular now, but in the future e-gaming cafes might gain popularity by having live streaming of e-sports such as League of Legends and StarCraft 2. Is there a gap which you can fill and capitalize on based on your strengths?

      • Sample Menu

        1. The colour and font used will have an impact on your menu, how do you choose?
        2. How many items would be optimum for your opening night?
        3. How will you price your menu items?
        4. Do you need to outsource the menu design to a graphic designer?
        5. For more information on menu engineering, do visit this website.


  • Business Environment Analysis.

      • SWOT Analysis

        Analyse your Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats.

        Click here for sample SWOT analysis for restaurants.

      • Competitive Analysis

        There will be a lot of hurdles and challenges that you will face during the process of starting a restaurant and also when you are running the restaurant business. Hence it is essential that you understand the business environment before diving into the retail F&B business.

        Click here for more in depth information on what needs to be done for your competitive analysis.

        “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril” Sun Tzu


Having covered this much, do not fall in love with your plan and always anticipate changes that will occur and adapt whenever required. You should always look back to the business plan which you have written and make revisions to it. Do keep in mind, writing a business plan is a process. I hope this article have provided a general overview about writing a business plan for your F&B business. Next week we will be covering part 2 of this article, we will cover the Operations and Marketing section of the business plan for your F&B business.