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A deli might be commonplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s fail-proof – customer expectations for what a deli should do could lead to success for a contemporary take on a classic, or force you to amend your vision. The customer experience and service of a new deli, just as much as its food, will attract and solidify the regular customer base that keeps delis profitable.
Planning to enter a community with a new business can seem overwhelming but starting a business plan is the way to chart a path to success for the deli of your dreams. Your aunt’s corned beef recipe and that mac and cheese with the secret cheese blend can only be voted the best in your city once you start to sell them!
The executive summary is the first section of any business plan. As an introduction and summary of your vision for the restaurant, this section includes information about products, consumers, and the team. A basic outline of the business’s path to success and financial plans is also found in the executive summary.
We’ll share business plan writing tips that will help you attract attention and build a compelling executive summary.
How to Write a Deli Business Overview
A business overview is an introduction that “hooks” the reader – it should provide just enough description of your restaurant to get the reader interested in learning more about the business plan. Include an outline of the ownership structure, location, type of restaurant, and customer experience in the business overview.
This section might also introduce key members of your team and a staff training and retention plan. Potential investors will want to see not just that your business plan is exciting but also that it is sustainable.
Finally, paint a detailed picture of the deli’s brand. In addition to written descriptions, use branded graphics, sample color schemes, and photos of the style of decor you imagine. Show readers that you’ve considered all the details.
What Menu Items Will the Deli Serve
The kind of deli you want to start influences a lot of other decisions. Continue the executive summary by outlining the menu items that your restaurant will serve. In this section, work to capture the imagination of potential investors – you’ll have a chance to impress them with your business savvy later in the restaurant summary.
Is your deli focused primarily on the lunch time rush and will specialize in elevating classic sandwiches? Or are you going to use premium ingredients and go after the high end of the market with your offerings? The origins and inspirations of your menu are selling points for your brand.
The kind of menu your deli serves is directly related to the restaurant’s concept. Include information about what makes your concept and menu unique. Investors will want to be sure that your restaurant fills a gap in the market.
Who will be the Target Consumer
Competition in the food industry is fierce, which makes finding a unique niche imperative. Potential investors will want information about how your restaurant stands out in the market.
Build a few customer personas – describe a few potential customers using market data about the demographics, characteristics, and behaviors of diners. Then, describe how your restaurant will cater to those guests.
How will your location affect your clientele? Does the neighborhood your deli is located in match the prices points that are consistent with that neighborhood?
It’s cliche but “location, location, location” is the song of good business–even the best business plans will struggle to find footing unless they cater to the locals. Make decisions for your business based not only on local tastes but also on the local economy. Describe how your menu’s price point is accessible to the target market.
Who are the Key Management Team Members
Restaurants can’t run without people, and you can’t do it all yourself. Write a concise description of the critical roles in your business’s management structure. Describe how the butcher and suppliers are integral to your restaurant’s success.
If your business relies on the talents of a specific chef or the operations manager, include descriptions of those people (and their qualifications) in this section. If you still need to hire for key roles, describe the hiring and retention strategy for the highly-skilled labor your restaurant needs.
What are the Deli Success Factors
What does success look like for this deli? What contingencies have to go your way? What are the risks of your business model? Having concrete goals and knowing what obstacles stand in the way will impress potential investors.
If you are operating a premium deli, how can you cross sell customers wine speciality wines or other high margin items, in addition to your sandwiches? If you are a more standard sandwich shop, how can you keep your food costs low but still offer a tremendous end product?
It might seem better to avoid writing about potential pitfalls in your restaurant business description. But, showing investors that you have a plan to succeed and that you know how to overcome setbacks lets readers know that you’re serious about the business.
What is the Deli Financial Plan
The executive summary of your deli’s business plan should also include an overview of the financial plans. Answer common questions that investors and banks will need, such as how much funding you need to raise, loans and lines of credit you’ll rely on, and how long it will take for the business to become profitable.
Calculate and report on the upfront fixed costs of opening your restaurant. These are the costs that you know you’ll have to keep up with to keep the business afloat, such as equipment, maintenance, and loan repayments.
Then, give investors an idea of the variable costs per month. Things like labor, raw materials, marketing, and food costs are likely to change from month to month. Provide a range of the total variable costs per month.
In a later section of the business plan, you’ll provide different reports and financial projections. For the executive summary, focus on the broad strokes of your financial plans. Answer questions like how you plan to raise startup funds and potential profit margins based on projected sales.
Writing your Deli’s Executive Summary
Writing about finances can be a challenge–here’s how you can make the details of your restaurant’s finances an interesting read.
Always keep the audience in mind. Use some of the financial vocabulary introduced in this article and write for your potential investors.
Find your voice. As the first section, the executive summary is about making an impression. Investors are often just as interested in your business savvy as the strength of your business plan. Infuse your unique vision and voice into your writing style.
Keep it simple and clear. It's tempting to throw in lots of clever flourishes when writing, but clarity should be the number 1 priority, especially when discussing financial details.
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