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The Watertower Cafe

Executive Summary



The Sweet Auborn District in Atlanta Georgia is in need of a cafe that serves the residents and people that work in the area. The population is growing and the places where people can get a meal are over crowded. The cafe that was serving the function,  Cafe Apres/Diem moved out of the area leaving a opening.


The Watertower is a full-service restaurant/cafe located in the Sweet Auburn District of Atlanta. The restaurant features a full menu of moderately priced “comfort” food influenced by African and French cooking traditions, but based upon time honored recipes from around the world. The cafe section of The Watertower features a coffeehouse with a dessert bar, magazines, and space for live performers.


The casual dining/full service restaurant market is a $100+ billion industry in the United States, with annual increases in revenue outpacing 5% yearly. More and more people are choosing to eat out. One of the most common reasons cited by restauranteurs and industry associations is that women have joined the workforce in record numbers. In fact, from 1955 to 1995, the dollars spent for food away from home rose by almost 20%, coinciding with the number of women entering the work force. With two income earners per household, neither person may have time to fix meals. Since the 1950s, commercial food service sales have continued to rise as more and more people find that eating away from home suits their lifestyles


The general nature of the competition is typically a 70 to 150 seat restaurant with outdoor seating. The menu prices for entree’s range from $7.00 to over $25.00. All of the surrounding establishments serve, at a minimum, beer and wine. Most serve liquor-spirits as well.

Why Us?

The Watertower will provide accessible and affordable high quality food, coffee-based products, and entertainment to the thousands of residents and hotel visitors located within a five-mile radius. In time, The Watertower will establish itself as a “destination” of choice to the many residents of the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, as well as numerous out-of-town visitors.



We expect income to approach $2.1 million for calendar for the first year in business. It should increase to $2.57 million by the end of the third year.

Financial Highlights by Year

Chart visualizing the data for Financial Highlights by Year

Financing Needed

We will start with getting $214,000 dollars to get going.  That is $124,000 from investor 1 and $64,000 from investor 2. We will also be getting a $30,000 loan. We will be able to pay the loan and the investment back by year 3


Problem & Solution

Problem Worth Solving

The Sweet Auborn District in Atlanta Georgia is in need of a cafe that serves the residents and people that work in the area. The population is growing and the places where people can get a meal are over crowded. The cafe that was serving the function,  Cafe Apres/Diem moved out of the area leaving a opening. 

Our Solution

The Watertower concept is built upon the success stories of Atlanta’s many casual dining and coffeehouse venues. Located in the Sweet Auburn District of Atlanta adjacent to the Studioplex on Auburn residential loft development, The Watertower will provide accessible and affordable high quality food, coffee-based products, and entertainment to the thousands of residents and hotel visitors located within a five-mile radius. In time, The Watertower will establish itself as a "destination" of choice to the many residents of the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, as well as numerous out-of-town visitors.

The establishment will provide a "complete, high-quality" evening experience for those searching for something that is rapidly becoming popular among Atlanta diners. Not only will patrons be able to dine on "comfort" food based upon time honored recipes from the world over, they will do so in a facility containing ample patio space for a favorite pastime of Atlanta’s residents: alfresco dining. Patrons will also have the option of enjoying coffee, desserts, and live entertainment in The Watertower’s coffeehouse or, a relaxed game of bocci in the gardens located adjacent to the patio space.

The cafe’s aim is simple. It will provide a completely sophisticated, sensual, yet casual dining and/or coffeehouse experience for the many Atlantans and visitors who frequent the city’s casual dining spots and entertainment venues. It will be an affordable venture for patrons, one that will encourage them to return on many occasions. The menu will feature hearty fare of the type that is frequently out of the reach of the typical young professional…out of reach because time frequently prevents her/him from cooking hearty meals like those featured on our menu.

Finally, and quite significantly, The Watertower will provide a much needed neighborhood-based retail food operation that is currently unavailable to the southern end of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Not only is it projected that the business will generate 21 new jobs, the partnership responsible for creating The Watertower will generate additional revenue specifically dedicated to assisting the Historic District Development Corporation in its efforts to bring affordable housing, new jobs, and commercial activity to the Old Fourth Ward.

Target Market

Market Size & Segments

Market Segmentation

The "Market Opportunity Analysis for Residential and Commercial Uses along the Auburn Avenue Corridor," written by Robert Charles Lesser & Co., makes the following points about food retail for The Watertower at the Studioplex on Auburn site:

Studioplex is in proximity to new and existing residences, including the affluent, and immediately adjacent Inman Park neighborhood; a restaurant would be a destination space within the neighborhood.

A restaurant/coffeehouse would provide one of the best food and beverage opportunities for the more than 500,000 annual visitors to the Martin Luther King Historic District.

Location is close to employment centers or within retail corridor.

Studioplex patrons and residents will provide primary support; secondary support will come from area residents and hotel visitors/conventioneers.

Cross-selling opportunities exist with coffee beverages and magazines.

The coffee shop and the magazines sold there will be positioned to fill a niche demand for people interested in art, architecture, design photography, and home and garden pursuits.

Target market audience is a mix of Studioplex residents, artists, patrons, intown residents, downtown hotel visitors/conventioneers, and workers.

The immediate market area is within a four-mile radius of The Watertower and Studioplex and includes the neighborhoods of Sweet Auburn, Fairlie Poplar, Downtown, Grant Park, Inman Park, Poncey Highlands, Virginia Highland, Little Five Points, Lake Claire, Midtown, East Atlanta, Candler Park, Morningside, Cabbagetown, Druid Hills, and adjacent neighborhoods.

Target Market Segment Strategy

The Watertower will appeal to urban professionals residing in the targeted intown neighborhoods, the many downtown hotel visitors/conventioneers, and workers who desire a sophisticated yet casual eating, coffeehouse entertainment experience. The business will also meet an under-served need for a pedestrian-friendly dining/coffeehouse establishment for the numerous residents in the area, particularly newcomers to the immediate area.

Members of this market segment dine out frequently, approximately three times or more per week. The market segment is largely made up of singles between the ages of 25 and 40, married couples in the same age bracket without children, graduate and professional students attending area universities, tourists, and conventioneers.


Current Alternatives

Current alternatives to the Watertown Cafe: 

Loca Luna: Located in the heart of Midtown, this establishment features a Latin house band which is often a group of four Brazilian musicians. The menu is primarily a Spanish tapas style menu with other entree offerings. The venue also features a small dance floor.

Yin Yang Cafe: Located on Spring Street, just north of Atlanta’s landmark Varsity restaurant, the club features a limited menu and a regular offering of acid jazz, hip-hop, and R&B acts.

Kaya: A bistro and large scale nightclub located on Peachtree Street in Midtown, Kaya boasts an impressive array of entertainment, from Latin music, to hip-hop, disco, and live bands. The restaurant is located on the Peachtree Street side of the club. In the evening, the restaurant generally features a dj or a live band, while the large club portion in the rear of the establishment features a large dance floor and a dj.

Cosmopolitan: Cosmopolitan is located in a converted house in Midtown. It is a very small venue featuring a casual-upscale dining menu. The club is converted to a cocktail bar/nightclub in the evening with a small dance floor. It has no designated parking.

The Somber Reptile: Located in downtown Atlanta on Marietta Street, the club features live rock bands and a cajun oriented menu. The clientele is growing steadily as the club’s reputation grows. It offers an alternative to the traditional Atlanta nightlife scene.

Cafe/Apres Diem: Cafe Diem, the first coffeehouse/restaurant to be located south of Ponce De Leon Avenue on the northeast side of Atlanta, has enjoyed extraordinary success. Formerly located on Highland Avenue, the business recently (and reluctantly) located to a strip mall in midtown after a lengthy dispute with its former landlord. It’s departure from the immediate area provides an extraordinary opportunity for The Watertower to capitalize on an even greater unmet need for a casual restaurant/coffeehouse experience.

Highland Bagel/Caribou Coffee: Located on North Highland Avenue, this is a traditional corporate coffeehouse which provides morning coffee and sandwich service. The owners are currently expanding to provide evening service.

Our Advantages

The Watertower maintains a competitive edge in several significant areas:

  • The facility’s location puts it into close proximity to substantial populations of affluent Atlantans.
  • The owner, a 16-year-resident of Atlanta, was educated in and works professionally in northeast Atlanta. His early work experience included a substantial period working within a casual/upscale restaurant in the mid-to-late 1980s in Virginia Highland. As the Dean of Students at Emory University School of Law, he has conferred over 1,300 law degrees during his tenure, most of them have remained in the Atlanta area. His position at Emory also required him to manage significant catering budgets. The owner, through his business, academic, and community activities, maintains a substantial Atlanta-based network of professionals.
  • The facility’s construction will easily allow for flexible dining/coffeehouse/entertainment options making it attractive to numerous populations.
  • The facility’s location in an Empowerment Zone and local Enterprise Zone provides significant tax advantages.

Keys to Success

Keys to Success

The keys to success in this business are:

  1. Product quality: We think our customers will appreciate quality: Food, coffee-based beverages, and entertainment are our products. They must be of the high quality and value. We buy they pay, we will watch inventory and make sure that it turns over before the food goes bad. 
  2. Service: Our patrons are paying to have a good time. Their experience will suffer if service is not of the highest caliber. Each member of the staff will be courteous, efficient, and attentive. These will be measured by word of mouth, return customers, reviews on Facebook and Twitter. We will be very aware of what is being said and will be making constant changes to make sure our customers know they are being heard. 
  3. Marketing: We will need to target our audience early and often. While the business is located in a central and accessible location, many people will have to be re-introduced to the neighborhood surrounding the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and Auburn Avenue. This will be measured by the number of business lunch reservations, have a delivery service, and Social Media will run a campaign allowing them to get a discount if they use certain codes the first time. Credit card reciepts will keep track of our return customers. 
  4. Management: Proper inventory, employee management, and quality control is central to our business. We will keep a very close eye on our business operations  so that we can keep our prices competitive


Marketing & Sales

Marketing Plan

 Our food, beverage, newspaper/magazine, and entertainment products must first sell themselves through word of mouth.

We plan on running a social media campaign. We will be running a Twitter Facebook and Instagram campaign. We want our clients to let us know their favorite dishes and drinks. We will also encourage our customers to share positive reviews with each other and will address any negative reviews we see. We always want to make our service and our dishes better. 

Next, the packaging of The Watertower’s concept and external messages have to fit our positioning. We offer an upscale feel without a required "pinch" in your wallet. We then communicate this through the free weekly media (Creative Loafing,Southern Voice, and others), radio advertising on particular jazz, acid-jazz, Latin, and dance-oriented music shows, and traditional public radio sponsorships.

Through establishing relationships with the concierges of the local hotels and with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, we will then attempt to create opportunities for visitors to the city to look forward to experiencing The Watertower.

Sales Plan

The first category of our sales strategy is to establish and maintain a position with our primary constituents: intown Atlanta residents within a 4 mile radius of The Watertower’s location. We will depend upon keeping these people happy with our food and beverage products and entertainment options.

Our second strategy is to utilize the downtown hotel/convention business through developing and maintaining close relationships with the planners of upcoming conventions and their respective attendees in order to create a "private function/party" option for corporations visiting Atlanta during the early part of the week, as well as encouraging individual visits by conventioneers later in the week. This strategy will also target the many hotel concierges who are available to promote dining options located within two miles of downtown hotel venues.

Our third strategy targets the more than 500,000 visitors to the Martin Luther King National Historic Site. This segment provides mainly lunch business.

Fourth, the restaurant will target sales to downtown and midtown businesses (particularly law firms) for regular business lunch and dinner entertaining.


Locations & Facilities

The Watertower will be located in a newly renovated facility designed by the architectural firm of Richard Rauh & Associates, Atlanta, GA.

The facility will be divided equally between the cafe/restaurant function and the coffeehouse/entertainment function. The restaurant will feature dining room seating for approximately 100 patrons and flexible indoor/outdoor patio seating for an additional 40 patrons. The cafe/coffeehouse will provide a full-service dine-in and carry-out coffee-based beverages, as well as a dessert bar. The coffeehouse/cafe portion of the business will also contain a full-service bar, a small entertainment stage, and niche magazines and newspapers available for purchase. The coffeehouse will maintain ample indoor/outdoor seating under a covered patio space shared with the restaurant.

The facility’s perimeter will feature a simple garden and bocci courts which will provide comfortable waiting areas during the warm weather months.

Finally, an historic 200+ foot watertower forms the centerpiece of the grounds immediately adjacent to the proposed business. This watertower, constructed in 1906, features extraordinary cathedral-like interior space. It is our hope that our construction plans will support dramatic lighting of the tower after sundown, creating a rather visible nighttime landmark for northeast Atlanta.


The Watertower logo is protected by federal trademark laws. All of our menu creations will not necessarily have the same protections, however, when possible, popular "trade-names" will be protected. The business of The Watertower is not dependent upon process technology or patentable inventions.

Milestones & Metrics

Milestones Table

Milestone Due Date
Opening Day
Jan 03, 2020
Soft opening
Jan 16, 2020
Grand opening
Jan 30, 2020
Legal Research
June 13, 2020
Purchasing Research
July 11, 2020
Entertainment Research
July 25, 2020
Marketing Plan
Aug 08, 2020
Equipment Installation
Aug 29, 2020
Design Management
Sept 05, 2020
Interior Design
Oct 03, 2020
Begin Construction
Oct 20, 2020
Leasehold Buildout
Nov 07, 2020
Fixture Table Constructions
Dec 05, 2020

Milestones Table

Milestone Due Date
Opening Day
Jan 03, 2020
Soft opening
Jan 16, 2020
Grand opening
Jan 30, 2020
Legal Research
June 13, 2020
Purchasing Research
July 11, 2020
Entertainment Research
July 25, 2020
Marketing Plan
Aug 08, 2020
Equipment Installation
Aug 29, 2020
Design Management
Sept 05, 2020
Interior Design
Oct 03, 2020
Begin Construction
Oct 20, 2020
Leasehold Buildout
Nov 07, 2020
Fixture Table Constructions
Dec 05, 2020



Ownership & Structure

The Watertower is a privately held limited liability corporation wholly owned by David N. Patton IV(80%) and the Historic District Development Corporation (20%).


Management Team

David N. Patton IV – Owner and General Manager: Mr. Patton worked for 6 years as the Dean of Students for Emory University School of Law. While working at Emory, he was responsible for special event planning and catering, particularly related to student centered events. Mr. Patton is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Historic District Development Corporation, an organization devoted to the redevelopment of the properties and neighborhood surrounding Atlanta’s Martin Luther King National Historic Site and Preservation District. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Atlanta Executive Network, a 1,000+ member business organization in Atlanta, and the past Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fulton County Court Appointed Special Advocates. Prior to his position at Emory, Mr. Patton worked as an attorney for a Cincinnati, Ohio-based law where he specialized in litigation and small business development. Mr. Patton received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1991 and his undergraduate degree from Emory University in 1988. Mr. Patton put himself through college working in a casual dining establishment in the Virginia Highland neighborhood in the late 1980s.

The following potential managers are under consideration for employment

Nicolas Godebert – Chef: Mr. Godebert is currently the Executive Chef of the Chanteclair Restaurant, St. Martin, F.W.I. He has been in this position since 1997. Prior to this appointment, he was the sous-chef at Dessirier Restaurant, Paris, France and the sous-chef for the Raphael Hotel Restaurant, Paris, France. He received his apprenticeship and cooking school certificate from the Sous l’Olivier Restaurant and the Ecole de Paris des Metiers de la Table in 1993, respectively.

Cristina Brito – Manager: Ms. Brito, currently a food and beverage supervisor for the Westin Atlanta North hotel, received her start in the hotel and restaurant business in Recife-PE/ Brazil. At the Mar Hotel, she was responsible for the sales and marketing of a five-star establishment. She maintained extensive contact with corporate clients, thus requiring her to speak English, French, Italian, and Portuguese fluently. Ms. Brito has extensive experience in Atlanta’s catering industry dating from 1988, as well as experience as a chef.

Personnel Table

2020 2021 2022
Owner $48,000 $48,960 $49,939
Chef $36,000 $36,720 $37,454
Manager $30,000 $30,600 $31,212
Sous Chef/ Line Cook (2) $55,200 $55,200 $55,200
Assistant Manager / Senior Server (2) $45,984 $46,904 $47,842
Baristas / Bartenders (4) $86,400 $88,128 $89,892
Servers (5) $90,000 $91,800 $93,635
Dishwashers/ Bussers (5) $72,000 $73,440 $74,910

Financial Plan


Key Assumptions

The most important indicators in our case are are daily seating "counts" and weekly sales numbers. We must also make sure that we are turning our inventory rapidly so as to avoid food spoilage.

We must target net profit/sales figures toward the 14% level with gross margins around  45%. Marketing costs should never exceed three percent of sales. We will use Social Media Facebook Twitter and Instagram to reach to the community and listen to our customers while keeping the costs down. 

Revenue by Month

Chart visualizing the data for Revenue by Month

Expenses by Month

Chart visualizing the data for Expenses by Month

Net Profit (or Loss) by Year

Chart visualizing the data for Net Profit (or Loss) by Year


Use of Funds

We will use the funds to: move into a space that has enough room for a restaurant and coffee service. renovation, buy all the equipment we need to set up, and decorate as well as train our people to give really good service. 

Sources of Funds

We plan on getting 180,000 dollars from two investors. We will also get a 30,000 dollar loan that will be paid off in 2 years. 


Projected Profit & Loss

2020 2021 2022
Gross Margin $1,050,192 $1,159,200 $1,258,080
Operating Expenses
Salaries & Wages $463,584 $471,752 $480,084
Employee Related Expenses $92,717 $94,350 $96,017
Lease – For both coffeehouse and Resturaunt $180,000 $180,000 $180,000
Sales and Marketing $78,000 $78,000 $78,000
Leased Equipment $12,000 $12,000 $12,000
Utilities $24,000 $24,000 $24,000
Insurance $18,000 $18,000 $18,000
Legal $2,000
Stationary $500
Brochures $500
Consultant $1,500
Debt Service $5,000
Licences Tax Deposits $12,000
Expensed Equipment $36,000
Soft Opening $3,000
Grand Opening $4,000
Interest Incurred $1,099 $483 $6
Depreciation and Amortization $6,700 $6,700 $6,700
Gain or Loss from Sale of Assets
Income Taxes $8,767 $21,914 $29,061
Total Expenses $2,087,074 $2,163,000 $2,286,788
Net Profit $100,826 $252,000 $334,212

Projected Balance Sheet

2020 2021 2022
Cash $216,839 $445,683 $791,181
Accounts Receivable $0 $0 $0
Inventory $104,650 $113,577 $113,577
Other Current Assets
Total Current Assets $321,489 $559,260 $904,758
Long-Term Assets $67,000 $67,000 $67,000
Accumulated Depreciation ($6,700) ($13,400) ($20,100)
Total Long-Term Assets $60,300 $53,600 $46,900
Accounts Payable $19,598 $20,937 $20,937
Income Taxes Payable $7,863 $5,484 $7,263
Sales Taxes Payable $52,880 $48,300 $52,420
Short-Term Debt $15,309 $1,314
Prepaid Revenue
Total Current Liabilities $95,649 $76,035 $80,620
Long-Term Debt $1,314 $0 $0
Long-Term Liabilities $1,314 $0 $0
Paid-In Capital $184,000 $184,000 $184,000
Retained Earnings $100,826 $352,826
Earnings $100,826 $252,000 $334,213

Projected Cash Flow Statement

2020 2021 2022
Net Cash Flow from Operations
Net Profit $100,826 $252,000 $334,212
Depreciation & Amortization $6,700 $6,700 $6,700
Change in Accounts Receivable $0 $0 $0
Change in Inventory ($104,650) ($8,927) $0
Change in Accounts Payable $19,598 $1,339 $0
Change in Income Tax Payable $7,863 ($2,379) $1,779
Change in Sales Tax Payable $52,880 ($4,580) $4,120
Change in Prepaid Revenue
Investing & Financing
Assets Purchased or Sold ($67,000)
Investments Received $184,000
Dividends & Distributions
Change in Short-Term Debt $15,309 ($13,994) ($1,314)
Change in Long-Term Debt $1,314 ($1,314) $0
Cash at Beginning of Period $0 $216,839 $445,683
Net Change in Cash $216,839 $228,845 $345,498