The restaurant business is seeing growth around the world. If you are a restaurant owner planning for expansion or renovation, then you may be looking for investors. Finding investors for your business can be a difficult task.
As a small business owner, you should be aware of how important it is to maintain a diverse network. Your connections take you a long way when you are looking for investors. If you are not able to find personal investors for your restaurants then you can look for professional investors in sites like Angel List.
What needs to be in my restaurant pitch?
Once you find the best-suited investors for your restaurant, reach out to them and set up a meeting. This meeting is your chance to make the best impression. Have your pitch deck ready with:
- Restaurant Overview
- Vision and Mission
- Your Team
- Marketing Strategies and Outcomes
- Financial Reports
- The expectations of investors
When you are proposing a meeting, be precise with the communication. Clear and brief messaging is appreciated by busy investors. If you find an investor through mutual connections, it is better to keep the intermediate person in the loop initially. This will nurture the rapport with the connecting person. Also, show how keen you are in meeting the investor by proposing times for the meetings.
I have a meeting with potential investors, now what?
When you get a slot to pitch your proposal to investors, finding the best approach can be daunting. Here are a few ideas that can be helpful:
- Have a story: Treat your investors as your most important customer. They have to connect with your brand emotionally to believe in your pitch. Tell them a compelling story about the making of your restaurant and your milestone moments so far. This will give them a context of where you are coming from and where you see your restaurant’s future.
- Be aware of your pain points: Most restaurant owners are aware of their strengths and unique selling points, but not their weaknesses. Identifying your pain points and expressing your execution strategy will impress your investors. This will also build their confidence in your business. Come up with a solution to your weaknesses before opening yourself up to investor critiques or suggestions.
- Know your numbers: You might have a finance person to handle the financial side of your business but that doesn’t mean you can forego discussing your numbers during your pitch. Investors want hard facts to make decisions that reinforce any emotional connection established during your pitch. The financial details that come from you will be reaffirming to them as it will also send a subtle message that you are on top of all the aspects of your restaurants.
- Back your claims: Your pitch might have claims or promises that your investors will be attracted to. Have a solid plan to back your claims as empty claims can be detrimental in the long-term. If an investor is interested in any of your ideas, don’t shy from detailing how you will be executing the idea. This will give you and them a sense of direction and trust in your business.
- Provide strategic content: The time-slot provided for pitches are typically thirty minutes to an hour and it is essential for you to cover all your points within this time. This doesn’t mean that you should not dig deep and get into the strategies of your restaurant business. If you are planning to do certain things to make your restaurant successful and have details supporting your strategy, then it should go in your pitch.
What are things I can do to differentiate my pitch?
Your pitch can also include:
- How well you know the market and the geography you are operating in
- The solution you are providing (especially for theme/concept based restaurants)
- Your unique menu options
- Your KPI’s (key performance indicators)
- The revenue model you have calculated
Practice your pitch multiple times before the meeting. This will help you refine and polish the pitch. Try getting an audience for a practice session and tell them to ask all kinds of questions. This will help keep your nerves under control as you will feel better prepared.
Getting investors for your restaurant is not always easy and there might be times you will not find someone even after intense search and reaching out. There are many alternative financing options for your restaurants that can be used in this situation.
Restaurants are an industry that will continue to grow and change. There are so many experimental themes and food options that are coming to markets and locations every day and money should not be the reason to restrain you from trying your idea. One innovative menu option or seasonal marketing strategy can be a game changer for your restaurant.