Running a restaurant of any type can be a complicated business venture. A successful restaurant requires multiple moving parts to maintain a high standard for quality and ensure customer satisfaction. A restaurant's strategic plan covers these expectations along with other aspects of the business, such as advertising and market analysis.
Market analysis is an integral component of the strategic planning process for a restaurant. Analysis of the market entails an examination of the regional market your restaurant serves, from the needs of consumers to the existing restaurant competition. This market analysis can shape your menu prices to be in line with the median income of consumers in your area, determine what food choices are lacking in the market and what restaurants consumers are frequenting the most. If the market is saturated with fine dining restaurants, perhaps a more family-oriented establishment would satisfy consumers needs in a way the market is not currently doing. Your restaurant stands a better chance of integrating successfully into the market and edging out the competition when you are armed with a thorough market analysis.
Business Exterior and Advertising
A strategic plan for a restaurant should involve decisions regarding advertising and how customers view the restaurant from the outside. As a business owner, you want customers to easily locate your business from the street with an exterior that is easily recognizable and in keeping with the theme of your establishment. A business lacking an adequate sign out front may cause customers to have difficulty in locating it and may compel them to choose another restaurant. Your advertising strategy should address your customers in a way that is geared toward your primary demographic. For example, if your target demographic is early to mid-20s, a social-networking presence may be a smart advertising strategy, while an older crowd may be more apt to pay attention to radio advertisements.
Daily Business Operations
How your restaurant operates on a daily basis is part of its strategic plan. This includes everything from how customers are greeted when they enter to how long it takes them to be seated and how servers interact with them. Your strategic plan also should include the dining experience you expect servers to provide for guests and how the interior decor of the restaurant helps enhance that experience. The choice of restaurant decor informs the guest of what type of establishment they are entering and generates a certain expectation for cuisine and service. The nicer your decor, usually the higher the expectation. Your strategic plan must address this level of expectation from all levels of service.
Food Preparation and Cleanliness
A clean restaurant informs the guest that the staff and ownership care about the establishment and the quality of the food. Your strategic plan should include how the restaurant is to be cleaned each night, the expectations for appearance before the restaurant opens and who is assigned to perform certain cleaning tasks. Additionally, your strategic plan should address food quality and standards for presentation, noise from the kitchen and standards regarding food delivery to tables.