9 Steps to Pitch a Restaurant Idea to Investors
An idea for a restaurant may look and sound really good on paper, but do you have what it takes to acquire funding? Read the 9 steps to pitch a restaurant idea to investors.
It is a business at the end of the day, and if you don't have the ability to self-finance it, you might have to entertain the idea of pitching your restaurant idea to potential investors.
Identify Your Investors
You need to do your homework and figure out who might be interested in investing in your restaurant. This will warrant a lot of time and effort on your part, but it will all be worth it because it is an essential first step to bringing your idea to life.
There are many capital investors who finance a range of businesses across diverse industries. For starters, you need to hone in on investors whose goals align with yours. You must be exhaustive in your search. Once you shortlist investors, the next step will be to approach them with your idea. A pivotal part of the information you present them with is to illustrate how investing in your restaurant business is going to benefit them.
Again, investors will want to know what the payoff for them will be. The idea needs to be attractive enough for them to not walk away without saying 'yes.'
While you'll be looking at the day-to-day operations of your restaurant, your investor will expect to see results. Having a stake in your restaurant will render them a partner. This is why it's important at this stage to also give some thought as to the kind of working relationship you wish to have with an investor. Some might embrace a laissez-faire approach, while others might be the complete opposite. Before agreeing to an offer, you must determine the investors work temperament.
What's Your Personal Story?
Show, don't tell.
This is essentially the mission of your restaurant idea. Even though pitching such an idea to investors is business-oriented, don't forget to focus on why you want to execute the idea in question. Don't forget to mention why you're the best person to do it.
There is no negating that your idea is linked with who you are as a person. Investors want to know your story. All businesses and brands have a feel-good, if not riveting, story that lends all kinds of personality to it. All you need to do is craft yours in a way to make it more palatable and draw investors in.
If you don't have a story per se, you can mention how you identified a problem and how the idea you're pitching is a solution for it.
In the context of the restaurant business, here's a hypothetical situation to consider. Suppose you've come across some research that states vegans love Japanese food, but there aren't many Japanese restaurants that cook using vegan ingredients. Based on this information, you want to introduce vegan-friendly Japanese cuisine.
You can even build upon this premise and mention how you've been searching for vegan-friendly Japanese food for some time now, but your efforts have been in vain. This also establishes the idea that since you're one of those affected, you're likely to have made some serious effort in searching for quality ingredients and developing tantalizing recipes.
When delivering the actual pitch, investors will expect you to dive deeper. The idea is to present your idea through the lens of a personal anecdote, statistics, facts, or problems.
Here you can read how to write a restaurant business plan
The aforementioned will be the perfect lead-in to your elevator pitch. This should take no more than a minute and address the following points:
Introduce the Team
Working on a restaurant idea might be a one-person job, but executing it takes collaborative effort. When pitching to investors, it will work in your favour to introduce core team members and highlight what they each bring to the table. This will lend your idea more credibility and create the impression that you mean business.
Market and Competitors
Here, you should tell investors everything about your market. Be sure to cover everything from market size to any nuggets of information that are not common knowledge. This part should effectively demonstrate why your restaurant idea will work.
As for competition, you should provide as much information about them as possible. If you don't know enough about the, your investors may second-guess your handle on the market. When pitching, you should be prepared to answer questions pertaining to what works for your competitors, what doesn't, and why.
This is the time to showcase all the information you've gathered about your customers. You can talk about buying behaviour, eating habits, willingness to order in or dine-in, and everything in between.
It's not enough to have an idea. How great an idea is doesn't matter unless it has the legs to help move it forward. This is where a structured marketing plan comes in.
Investors need to know you have a sound strategy in place to execute your plans and spread the word about your restaurant. Talk about what platforms you will be using, right down to a sample ad or copy that reflects your core strategy.
Read more on this other post: Effective Strategies for Restaurant Marketing
The Financial Aspect
No one is expecting you to share the nitty-gritty of your financials, but you should share the following with potential investors:
When concluding, start by thanking investors for their time. Next, tell them how much money you need to set things in motion. Be very specific and state how much equity they can expect for the stated amount. If other parties have invested in your idea, this is the moment to mention them as well.
All said and done, your decision to partner with an investor all boils down to how well you think your relationship will fare. By crafting the perfect pitch and getting to know your investors, you will be able to make an informed decision that ultimately aligns with your own long-term vision.