Idea in a Nutshell
Looking to conduct a feasibility analysis on a new restaurant? If your goal is to set up a new restaurant (fast food restaurant, pizzeria, cafeteria or fine dining) your organisation will need a feasibility study to draw investors.
Have you heard of feasibility studies? Feasibility studies exist in all businesses. A feasibility study for your new restaurant is something that, you as a restaurant entrepreneur, can conduct yourself without paying for a professional.
You can take your feasibility study in one of two ways. You can create it in the spirit of independence and, if your findings say there is no business case for your new restaurant, then you can decide to not go ahead. Or you can write your feasibility study as a marketing document, designed purely to give your business idea the best practical showcase.
What is a restaurant feasibility study?
Essentially, a restaurant feasibility study is a document that can set you on your first big step towards owning and running a restaurant in the GCC.
What is the purpose of a restaurant feasibility study?
The feasibility study has one goal: to prove that your new business can work.
Your restaurant feasibility study sets out to answer one question:
Is it feasible (practically possible) to run my new restaurant business in the way planned?
What does my restaurant feasibility study boil down to?
The figures. This is principally a financial document.
Who is my restaurant feasibility study aimed at?
Your feasibility study is aimed squarely at potential investors in your business. Your objective is to prove that is worth their while investing in your new restaurant.
What is the difference between a restaurant feasibility study and restaurant business plan?
This is a good question. That’s because part of your restaurant business plan should include a feasibility study of some kind. The reality is, you can use both in the vital early stages of developing your business. You can use material from your feasibility study in your business plan.
Restaurant feasibility study: sections
You can structure your restaurant feasibility study how you please. But we recommend that you consider the following sections; only leave sections out if there is a special reason to do so.
This is the key section of your study. Make it as short as possible. However long you choose to have it, be sure to have a single first page of key bullet points. You need to summarise each of the points your study goes on to make in the following sections:
You need to show here that you have fully scoped out the market for your restaurant.
This section is where you can really get into the strengths of your new business. You need to explain the concept of your restaurant, the specific cuisine you are focussing on – as well show what you personally are bringing to the business in the way of expertise and experience.
Here’s where you need to get your facts straight! Potential investors will need to be impressed in this section.
ROI (Return on Investment) projection
Create a simple table which shows how much money investors can expect to make on their initial investment. In one column, you can show sample amounts of investment (from small to large). In the next column, you can show the projected total return an investor can expect to receive. In a third column, show what percentage return this comprises.
When will your business break even? When can investors expect to start receiving their Return on Investment? Here is the place to put down firm dates.
Startup costs projection
Supply a single figure showing how much it is going to cost to start the business. Then break down this figure into individual costs.
Ongoing costs projection
How much does it cost to run your restaurant over one month? Tot up every single cost.
The big one! If your restaurant has a great location, you are halfway there to a successful business. Investors will be delighted if you can show – with clear maps and photographs – that your business is in an area of high footfall.
One way to make this section very convincing is to conduct your own research on footfall around your proposed restaurant location. That means literally sitting there all day and into the night and counting how many possible customers walk past. Do this for a week, and take an average footfall count per hour throughout the day.
The advantage of a feasibility study is that you, the new restaurateur, get to decide how it fits together. Feel free to add other sections to your document as you see fit – but don’t get bogged down in too much detail. You might, for example, have a great marketing plan that you see as a key aspect of your business’s success in the future. Be sure to outline the strengths of this plan, but don’t go into the details (you can do that in your business plan).
Summarise your argument and leave investors with a single sentence to get them thinking! Say something tantalising that will make potential investors want to consider your project for fear of missing out. You’ve provided all the facts and figures – in this concluding section, it is time to make an appeal from the heart. If you want, deliver a short personal message.
Get some professional help with drafting your feasibility study
The principle of a feasibility study is easy to understand: we are just trying to show, as simply as we can, that our plan for our business is viable. But ultimately the feasibility study is a document; and, as a restauranteur, maybe documents are not your thing? If so, don’t worry. There are plenty of consultants in restaurant development who can pass on valuable experience.
A key tip when preparing your study is to use plenty of visuals. That means maps, photographs and charts. This material will make your study accessible and authoritative.
Thank you for reading Raqtan’s guide to creating your own feasibility study for your new restaurant.
Producing documentation to support your business development can sometimes be stressful. As restaurateurs, we are not accountants or lawyers! So relax and keep it simple. Be reassured that if your business does have a great future, plenty of investors will see that. Some might not. Prove them wrong!
Remember: the key thing about your feasibility study is to keep it short and impactful. Potential investors do not want to sit down and read a book about your business. They want a few pages of bullet points and tables they can skim over and get a quick idea of your business. They will then, if the feasibility study is good, want to ask questions. With another layer of financial and operational detail prepared, be ready for follow-up questions!
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