Enterprise Insight: Restaurant Expansion Checklist

Are you currently running a successful fast casual concept? Do you believe you are primed for multiunit rollout and increased revenue? Even if you’re knocking it out of the park currently, there are certain concerns that demand your particular attention as you look to expand your business enterprise. We have listed below some items that you should consider when beginning this process.


1) Financial Model . . . This is the bible for your business. How many guests do you expect on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? What is your average check size? What do you expect to spend on Cost of Goods Sold in a given month? Only after rent, labor, and expenses are included can you truly begin to understand the potential for your business. Once you are operating, regular comparisons against the model will be useful in evaluating your business’ performance against expectations.


2) Market Analysis . . . Understanding your core customer base and the demographics of a potential new business site are critical to a successful expansion.  What is the population density? Who works in the area? What is the average household income? These are a few of the important points you should investigate. By analyzing the market, you can ensure you are choosing the correct location for your new unit.


3) Team Development . . . Because it is impossible to do everything yourself, a strong team is critical to the success of your operation.  Having clear on boarding procedures as well as a plan in place for continuing development and enrichment will ensure a happy and increasingly efficient team. Once you confirm these structures work for your business, you will be able to more easily replicate your success elsewhere. An added benefit is that promoting from within saves time and money on recruitment that can be better spent elsewhere!


4) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) . . . These are the backbone of your business. Every aspect of your operation should have clearly defined SOPs that can be easily transferred to a new unit. By developing SOPs, you make sure that your business practices are clear and consistent. This gives the additional benefit of always having something on hand that your employees can reference when they have a question about operations.


5) Funding . . . Without funding, it will be impossible to get your business off the ground. Identifying expected cash flow as well as a breakeven point for your business will be critical to determining how much fundraising will be necessary. These pieces, of course, tie back to your financial model. With that model in hand, you should then identify potential sources of funding and pursue them.

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