Dinner Theater Business Plan

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Executive Summary

Belle Epoque will be a restaurant and exciting Dinner Show located in Bigsmalltown, Upstate, that celebrates the era of cultural refinement, social elegance, and general prosperity in the last decades of the 19th and first decade of the 20th centuries.  The exuberance of the "Gay 90s" era will be rekindled as we model our restaurant on the establishments of the Montmartre district of Paris such as the famous Moulin de la Galette.

The decor will be similar to that of the restaurant/dance hall/theatres of 1890s, and feature artwork of the Impressionists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassat, and Berthe Morisot.  Hosting and serving staff will dress in period costume.

The combination of a Montmartre dance hall, bon vivants, famous artist and lively music is why our restaurant is so dynamic.  The exciting and exhilarating aspect of this restaurant is that it transcends beyond decorations and moves into a real life, first person experience - face to face.  From the singing aloud of ditty's, to the hearty, back-slapping laughter or breathtaking can-can dancing - every second is a treasured, emotional meeting with Alfred Dreyfus or Madam La Goulue, "look-alikes."

Our menu is a varied, international, tasteful extravaganza.  Each page is highly illustrated with artists' drawings of the regional cuisine, a tiny map of the world showing the region and indigenous ingredients.  The majority of the menu is the cuisine of France, and America, though we will offer specialties from Japan, Korea, Phillipines, Italy, Germany, France, Mexico, Spain, Belgium and Middle East.  A few pages are devoted to White House and Camp David stylings where Chef Joachim served the First Family.  We will offer a 10 item wine card "By the Glass Daily Selection", wines by the bottle, and a special cellar collection.

Belle Epoque is the first in what hopefully will become a chain of similarly themed restaurants.  It offers a new and exciting concept that is already being done in other successful era's such as, "Capitan Hook" www.capitanhook.com and "Medieval Times" www.medievaltimes.com.  These concepts are expanding with cash driven proofs of winning financial operation.  Originally laughed at and stereotyped as ridiculous for a dining concept, these outlets are reaching new potential and breaking previously set sales figures.  Medieval Times started as a single location and opened its eighth restaurant and show in March, 2004.  We aim to attract customers from the same market niche, but with a Impressionist/Moulin Rouge theme. 

Executive Chef Joachim Oignons will lead the management team.  Chef Joachim is retiring from a 30-year military career during which he won many awards, served as Executive Chef to the President of the United States, and managed multiple U.S. government restaurant/food service venues world wide.

1.1 Mission

Belle Epoque offers an impressive, blockbuster revue of international food, fare and drink centered around the high culture and exuberant night life of the Montmartre district of 19th century Paris.  Our combination is wonderful food and Impressionist history.  This revue also includes our shows, acts, skits, original music and entertainment for the customer - whom we live to impress and make happy.

In each and every facet of all that we do - the focus remains on the customer.  Likewise, our employees never work "for us" - rather they work "with us" - and as such - they are our customers also.  We are all serving each other in some capacity. 

Our focus includes community service, involvement and family.  We will always be deeply involved with the community and people of Bigsmalltown.  Belle Epoque is also an excellent place to work, a professional environment that is challenging, rewarding, creative, and respectful of ideas and individuals.  Belle Epoque ultimately provides excellent value to its customers and fair reward to its owners and employees.  

1.2 Keys to Success

  1. Production of a high quality menu and superior ingredient sourcing.
  2. Training of a crack workforce, with paper lists that detail daily actions, and managerial follow-up that ensures winning goals are completed.  Food production books, recipes, management routine, records and returns will be detailed.
  3. Practice by dinner show participants and actors will produce a fantastic show.  Continued excellence in performance will come in diversity of workforce training and a, "Qualification Card," system - similar to the system successfully used by the U.S. Navy.
  4. Distribution of some profits to the workforce will breed cyclical results that exceed first five year goals. 
  5. Unusual interior design and outdoor landscaping.
  6. The actors and staff learn habits, quips, funny answers and anecdotal comments for customer enjoyment.  Similar in concept to the highly profitable and world known, "Ed Debevics" "50's" diner in Chicago.
  7. Excellence in fulfilling the promise - reliable, trustworthy expertise in operation, leadership and management of the show and restaurants.
  8. Developing visibility to generate new business leads.
  9. Leveraging from a single pool of expertise into multiple revenue generation opportunities: bar, restaurant, catering, show, and events.

Among the National Restaurant Association highlights for this year in the restaurant industry are:

  • The restaurant industry's anticipated sales of $440.1 billion equal 4% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
  • This coming year will mark the 13th consecutive year of real growth for the restaurant industry.
  • The number of restaurant locations in the United States will grow to 878,000.
  • The restaurant industry will employ 12 million people, making it the largest private-sector employer in the nation.
  • Continued expansion will occur, driven by Americans' need for convenience and socialization, and a healthy increase in disposable income.
  • New menu items in response to diners' increasingly sophisticated tastes, and heightened interest in health and nutrition.
  • Greater efforts by lawmakers to regulate restaurants.

According to Norwalk, CT based Adams Beverage Group and Restaurants and Institutions magazine (June 1)

  • Wine sales in restaurants rose 8.1% lat year

1.3 Objectives

  1. Build and create a restaurant that celebrates the belle epoque/gay 90s era in European/American history.  Celebrating the high society of that era will be done via skits, acts, drinks, music, demonstrations, food, a small museum, fantastic show and dance. The measurable objectives will be:
    • Opening night in full regalia and profitability within two months
    • Gross sales receipts of $1,000,000 by third month
    • Food costs not to exceed 35% total operation
  2. Deliver a stunning, unbelievable, international menu to the local and summer "swell" community that produces 96% satisfaction surveys or higher and profits in excess of 200% Return on Investment (ROI).  Surveys to be done for sixteen weeks by an independent third-party review agency.
  3. The international menu will reflect the Belle Epoque era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  This objective will be reviewed by a number of friends who are Presidents and Continental Directors of their respective countries in the World Association of Cooks Societies (WACS)(www.wacs2000.org). 
  4. Continuous analysis and outsider inspections will be held to fine-tune objectives via goal planning, Directives, Operations, Objectives ands Milestones (DOOM) and weekly Best Objectives Review Evaluation (BORE) meetings.
  5. Objectives will be handled in a planning and strategy sense espoused by business leaders.  Business will be conducted monitoring our Profit and Loss statement numbers, local business owners of restaurants and their own marketing ploy, advertising and profits.  Consultants will be on minor, as needed retainers not to exceed $10,000 per annum.