Thursday, January 17, 2008

BBQ Business Plan

Many of us who cook bbq in contests, for friends, or even in competition have spent some time thinking about the in's and out's involved in starting a bbq restaurant.

There are books about starting businesses available for free at the local library and many other good ones for sale at the local book store, or you can order them from Amazon. Sooner or later though, you're going to need some detailed information regarding the profit potential, start-up costs, and working capital requirements for various formats of a bbq restaurant.

You can get the specifics from someone else who already operates the style of restaurant you're considering, if they are willing to assist. You can search around on the internet for restaurant statistics via small business websites, but perhaps one of the more relevant sources of information is to purchase an actual business plan that was used to open a bbq restaurant.

I haven't read this business plan and cannot vouch for it's contents, but based on the outline it looks like it just might fit the bill. For anyone thinking of spending $200,000-$300,000 to start a restaurant, $25 seems like a wise investment.

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Eric Devlin said...

Great post! I wonder if any of the various sanctioning bodies have a mentoring program.

I'm not aware of any professional associations for BBQ restaurateurs, but other industries with affiliated associations often have mentoring programs. There usually is no concern about sharing information as your mentor could be five states away and wouldn't be direct competition.


Eric Devlin said...

I just wanted to point you in the direction of:

This site seems to have a lot of useful info on opening up a BBQ joint.


The BBQ Guy said...

I agree. Martin's BBQ is a great website about a restaurant started in Nolensville, TN. My sister-in-law lives there and eats at Martin's all the time. It's one of the best bbq restaurants in the Nashville area.

Brad Simmons said...

What is the net profit you are shooting for in a BBQ restaurant? I've read 4% for full service, 7% for limited service (likely for a BBQ joint) and 20%+ for a Subway. That is all over the board.

very confusing - tons of articles tell of certain failure. I know there are tons of restaurants doing well - with mediocre food... Thoughts? Ideas on the profitability?

The BBQ Guy said...

I can't vouch for accuracy of the 4-7% #, since I have operated a bbq restaurant but I did operate a breakfast restaurant for a couple of years as manager. 20% would not be uncommon for breakfast. I'd agree with the potential of your sandwich shop # also.

I suspect it's a 3-4 year struggle to attain break even from a start up operation. But, a restaurant that is currently in operation is a different story. I did a lot of due diligence on a restaurant in TN a few years ago and came close to buying the business. The owner was willing to rent the building to me, but she was elderly and it seemed a risk that her heirs would want to continue leasing to me, so I passed on the deal but your 4-7% would have lined up with the 5 year performance of her restaurant based on her tax returns.

Smokin Pop said...

This is good information for a BBQ Joint. I would be interested in getting similar information about opening a BBQ Supply Store. I want to open a retail store that sells grills, rubs, sauces, wood chips/chunks, lump charcoal and BBQ accessories.

Any idea where I could get information on that?