Most restaurant owners find investors through leveraging their existing networks, including family, friends, and business contacts. You can also get creative, such as by launching a crowdfunding campaign or hosting a pop-up event to build buzz. Once you have identified potential investors, you will need to prepare a pitch deck and investment details to explain the opportunity – and hopefully secure start-up capital.
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Why Should You Seek Out Investors for Your Restaurant
Reduced Financial Risk
Additional Insights & Expertise
Initial Promotion Help
More Networking Opportunities
Downsides To Working With Investors
There is also some risk to bringing on investors, which is why it is important to consult with a lawyer and ask them to draw up or review any agreements before signing them. Ultimately, you want to make sure that you can trust your investors – who are essentially your partners – and that they are just as dedicated to its success as you are.
Having investors isn’t necessarily the right choice for every restaurant start-up. Take time to think through your options, and carefully weigh whether the benefits of having investors outweigh the potential disadvantages. If you do decide that you want investors, then the next step is to figure out how to find them.
Finding Restaurant Investors
Talk to People You Know
For example, if you have spent years working in the restaurant industry, a former boss at a successful restaurant may be a potential investor. They will know your skills, work ethic, and ambition – which may make them inclined to put money into your new venture. Alternatively, they may know someone who might be interested in investing.
The key here is to have confidence in yourself and your dream. You may feel nervous about approaching someone you know to ask them for money. Try to reframe it in your mind as giving them the opportunity to make a great investment – and then (as described below), put together a tight pitch to show why that is true.
Make Connections within the Industry
You can also join industry groups like the National Restaurant Association and then attend events. By doing this, you can connect with others who have been in your position, and who may be able to offer you insight into the process. They may even be interested in investing themselves!
Get Involved in Your Community
This can include anything from volunteering for a nonprofit to attending local events to shopping at local stores and dining at area restaurants. In this way, you can meet business owners and other people who are prominent in the community. Down the road, when you approach them about investing, they will likely remember you as someone who cares about the community – which may make them more likely to put money in or recommend other potential investors.
Use Social Media
Once you have your profile set up, you can search LinkedIn to find investors who specialize in restaurants. You can then do some research on any investors that you find to figure out if they might be a good fit and if you have any mutual friends or colleagues. You can then reach out to selected investors over LinkedIn, and if they accept your connection, send them a brief message about your potential investment opportunity.
Host a Pop-Up Event
Pitching Potential Investors in Your Restaurant
Create A Pitch Deck
A pitch deck is built on a business plan, so you will need to have that completed before you can put together your pitch. You can use a template like Canva or Google Slides to put together a slideshow.
Ideally, your pitch deck should be no longer than 10 to 15 pages (slides) – like an elevator pitch, it should be short enough to draw interest without boring your audience. Generally, you should have one slide/page for each section of your business plan.
Make sure that each page is clean and concise. The goal here is not to have investors read from a PowerPoint, but for you to talk them through your business idea with the pitch deck serving as an overview. Potential investors can review the business plan for more detailed information – but you will have to get them interested first.
Whenever possible, use visuals to make your pitch more appealing. This may include graphic renderings of what you want the space to look like, photos of dishes that you plan to put on the menu, or even a logo that you designed for your restaurant.
While you want the pitch deck to be short, it should still be consistent with your business plan. Make sure that it is professional and on brand. You should also compare it with your business plan to ensure that there isn’t any conflicting information.
Prepare & Perfect Your Presentation
During the presentation, you should make sure to talk about why the restaurant concept is unique, who your target guest will be, what the restaurant experience will be like, and where it will be located. You should also talk about practical matters, like timelines and how you intend to bring your dream to life.
When possible, try to make it personal. You can tell a story about how you came up with this plan, or why it is important to the community. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it and show some personality. You can even prepare some dishes so that investors can get a literal taste of the restaurant concept.
Of course, you also need to show that you have done your homework. Highlight the research that you have done, such as the competitive landscape, anticipated profit margins, and more. Don’t get bogged down in details – you can always direct investors to the business plan for more information.
Finally, you should have some financial details prepared. This should include information such as payback terms and structure, expected rate of return, and any perks for investors. You may choose to work with financial and legal professionals to put together the necessary documents for investors.
Work with Budget Branders
Budget Branders is dedicated to helping independently owned businesses get the products that they need at fair prices. We offer high-quality, custom-printed disposable products in smaller quantities so you don’t have to worry about paying for and storing millions of cups, bowls, bags at once.
If you’re considering using promotional items in your restaurant, we can help. To learn more or to request a quote, contact us today by pressing the live chat button, or sending us a message online.