PLAN for Success or be Doomed for Failure: Have a Researched and Sound Business and Marketing Plan!

From Tip 1 – We created your Brand Experience
From Tip 2 – We learned about your Customers
From Tip 3 – We explored your identity
From Tip 4 – We created your Space
From Tip 5 – We created your Physical Space
Now that you have your brand, space plans, and researched data regarding your new cafe, you can create a thorough business and marketing plan (See previous Tips 1-5). The written business and marketing plans of your restaurant allows you to communicate the vision, the goals, the mission, the Performa projections, the research, and the strong brand that you will be conveying to customers.
There are 3 important reasons to have a solid business and marketing plan before signing a lease and finalizing your concept:
•    Having a sound business, marketing, and design package communicates that you are ready to open a cafe, are knowledgeable, and have information and solid data to back-up your enthusiasm.
•    Having these solid plans BEFORE looking for a space and opening a restaurant or café will give you the confidence you need to push ahead in difficult times.   Including projections that you have received from industry trends, experts, and colleagues will provide you the realistic information you need for your plan and reflects your understanding of the risks and rewards.
•    Having solid plans will provide family, friends, banks, and others investors in your cafe to have confidence in your concept and therefore will be more apt to provide loans at reasonable rates and time periods.
Business and Marketing Plan formats can vary. There are many templates on the web – but at the end of the day, the content of the information is the most important in order to get an accurate and usable view of your new business. Items to receive from manufacturers, distributors, consultants, or café owners include:
Monthly Costs:
•    Food costs – work with local distributors
•    Beverage – coffee, tea, wine, beer
•    Soft Goods – plates, napkins, cups, etc.
•    Equipment leases
•    Staff Costs – on-going staff training
•    Health plan, benefits, and other employer costs
•    On-going marketing, advertising, promotions, collateral, and social media costs
•    Lease + NNN costs
Start-up Costs:
•    Construction Costs – obtained from a contractor – based on your plan drawings
•    Professional Fees for design and construction team
•    Start-up Staff Training
•    Furniture
•    Equipment
•    Menu and other collateral
•    Brand, logo, and website
•    Grand Opening Launch – Soft and Hard Openings
•    At least 6 months to 1 year worth of savings to live on in the event the café is losing money or breaking even
Projecting your income conservatively over the next 1 and 3 years will provide you with the assurance to get through the start-up phase. Look at the average ticket sales and quantity of guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (according to your hours of operation) at competitive cafes.
And, remember to register your business with the State, City, or County as needed. If planning to sell beer or wine, many states require separate applications and background checks – so plan ahead for this.  This may also include food handler’s and other permits.
If you have never owned or operated a café, it might be a good idea to work with a consultant with this experience to receive hands-on consulting input regarding the day to day operations. Having sound business, marketing, and design packages will illustrate to everyone that you are approaching your new café concept in a serious and successful manner. And, this will give you the confidence to support your passion to open a café!
Our 10 Tips Jumpstart Café pocket books allow you to write your thoughts in one complete booklet and includes questions to consider.
Stay tuned every month for valuable tips. Melanie Corey-Ferrini is the founder of Dynamikspace ( and offers services from consulting to full service café creation.

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