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“With every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we're working to cultivate a better world.”
Which restaurant comes to mind when you hear that sentence? We won’t make you guess, but if you said “Chipotle,” you’re spot-on.
Chipotle’s mission statement — like any good restaurant mission statement — clearly communicates what their company stands for, what purpose they serve, and what makes them different from their competitors. And while Chipotle is a large-scale example, you can apply the same thinking to your restaurant’s mission statement no matter your size.
In this article, you’ll learn what a restaurant mission statement is, why you need one, and how to write the right mission statement for your restaurant — along with example mission statements to get you feeling inspired.
What Is a Restaurant Mission Statement?
A mission statement is used to convey your restaurant’s raison d'être — its whole reason for being — to potential customers, the media, investors, or anyone who hasn't come in contact with your brand before. Sometimes it’ll be your first impression with a guest, while other times it can be a way to remind people why your restaurant exists and what you believe in.
Your mission statement is an integral part of your restaurant’s brand identity, along with your vision and values. But it’s important to distinguish between the three, so let’s do just that.
Restaurant mission statement
A restaurant’s mission statement drives the business. It’s what you do, the heart of your business. From the mission statement come your objectives and what it takes to reach those objectives. It should be short and memorable, but also specific enough that people will easily understand what you do and what makes you different from your competitors.
Restaurant vision statement
A restaurant’s vision statement looks to the future and helps give the business direction. It communicates your goals and what you hope to become. A strong vision statement helps you and your team stay focused on what matters most, and invites innovation to help you realize the vision you’ve created.
Restaurant core values
Your restaurant’s core values are what you care about, what you believe in, and what you stand for. They define how your actions will positively impact your staff, your customers, and your community. They should also act as your business' compass, guiding all business decisions including hiring, menu adjustments, marketing, and management style.
When going through the steps of how to open a restaurant, developing a mission, vision, and core values should be high on your list. Your mission, vision, and core values should play a part in every decision you make for your restaurant business, from what products you purchase, to who you hire, to the community initiatives you support. Also, if you're in the process of opening your first restaurant, be sure to get your free copy of the Opening a Restaurant Checklist. It'll help you set your new business up for success.
What Are the Benefits of a Restaurant Mission Statement?
A restaurant mission statement is more than just a cute collection of words — it can actually have real impact on your business. Here are just a few of the benefits of writing a restaurant mission statement:
It makes you really stop and think about why you got in this business in the first place.
It aligns the many moving parts within your restaurant under one consistent message.
It makes business decisions easier, regardless of who on your team is in the driver's seat. When faced with a choice, you and your staff need only ask yourselves: Does this move the restaurant's mission forward? If not, why are we doing it?
It's a crucial part of restaurant marketing: it tells the world what you're all about and separates you from your competition.
It can help you hire the talent you’re looking for by attracting people who fit your culture and share your values.
Now that we’ve covered the why behind creating a restaurant mission statement, it’s time to learn how to craft one for your restaurant.
How to Write the Right Mission Statement
When writing your restaurant’s mission statement, you have to do some soul searching. You’ll have to spend time thinking through your core values (if you haven’t already), then mapping your mission, vision, and brand. It’s a trickle-down effect: You choose your values, and your business and culture begin to take shape from there.
This might seem kind of obvious, but your values should be things you really believe in — things you might aspire to but also things you already live and breathe.
Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself when writing your restaurant’s mission statement:
What does my restaurant do?
Who do we serve? And how do we serve them?
What are my restaurant’s goals?
What do we believe in? How do we strive to bring those values to life?
Remember to get creative and have fun with it. Focus on what makes your restaurant unique and different from the rest.
Your restaurant is a voice in the community it serves. And your team is paying attention to it.
Get Inspired by These Example Restaurant Mission Statements
Now that you know just what a restaurant mission statement is and how you can start to craft one for your restaurant, it’s time to get inspired. The following is a list of some mission statements from restaurants big and small to get your creative juices flowing. You’ll see that many of them follow a similar formula — one you can use and plug your own values into.
Burger King: “Offering reasonably priced quality food, served quickly, in attractive, clean surroundings.”
Butcher & Bee: “Butcher & Bee opened on King Street in 2011 with the simple mission of serving honest-to-goodness sandwiches made with flavor combinations and food quality usually reserved for fine dining.”
Chipotle: “With every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we're working to cultivate a better world.”
Culver’s: “Our mission today is the same as it’s always been: That every guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy.”
Domino’s: “Domino's is a company of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world.”
Dunkin’: “Everything we do is about you. From chefs who create exciting new flavors, to crew members who know exactly how you want your drink — we prioritize what you need to get you on your way. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.”
Everytable: “Our mission is to make nutritious, fresh food affordable and accessible to all.”
Flour Bakery + Cafe: “Make amazing food. Offer warm welcoming service. Give back to the neighborhood. Run an efficient, profitable business. Make Flour a better place for both our customers and ourselves.”
Freshii: “To help citizens of the world live better by making healthy food convenient & affordable.”
Harmony Cafe: “Our mission is to serve high-quality and nutritious meals based upon pay-what-you-can pricing. In a socially engaging environment that encourages all people to dine together.”
Homeroom: “Homeroom exists not just to make the world’s best mac + cheese, but to be a model for a new way of doing business.”
Il Fornaio: “At Il Fornaio, our mission is to provide our guests with the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy.”
In-N-Out Burger: “Since 1948, we have maintained a simple philosophy — serve only the highest quality product, prepare it in a clean and sparkling environment, and serve it in a warm and friendly manner.”
Jamba Juice: “To make eating better fun and easy by providing access to everything you need to support your active lifestyle.”
McDonald’s: “To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
Mei Mei: “We're on a mission to provide not only great food and wonderful service, but also a thoughtfully crafted dining experience that seeks to address the complicated ethics that surround restaurant food and restaurant work.”
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt: “To make life sweeter, by creating a memorable treat experience that is all about you.”
Panda Express: “To deliver exceptional Asian dining experiences by building an organization where people are inspired to better their lives.”
Panera Bread: “Food served in a warm, welcoming environment, by people who care. To us, that’s good eating and that’s why we’re here.”
Pieology: “We didn’t set out to create just another create-your-own pizzeria. We’re here to nourish and inspire — to serve creativity — and celebrate people coming together to connect.”
Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Sweetgreen: “Our mission is to inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.”
Tasty Burger: “Our mission is to serve a fresh, flavorful, flat patty burger made from the finest American beef, while becoming a real part of every neighborhood in which we open.”
Union Square Hospitality Group: “Our mission is to nourish individuals, businesses, and communities through the practice of Enlightened Hospitality.”
Zaxby’s: “Every company has one. Not every company means it. We do. Consistently create encore experiences that enrich lives, one person at a time.”
99 Restaurant & Pub: “Four simple words comprise the Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub's mission statement: a passion to serve.”
What Will Your Restaurant Mission Statement Say?
Whether it's your restaurant's mission to create radical change, introduce a new cuisine to your community, or be a strong community partner, you’re following your dream and standing for something. Craft a mission statement that clearly shouts that out to the world, expressing why you do what you do and providing your business with guidance for the road ahead.