October 2, 2019
Write a Restaurant Business Plan in 7 Steps [+ Free Template]
A restaurant business plan is a blueprint for starting and operating your restaurant. You can use it to explain what type of restaurant you’re opening, why you’re in business, what food you serve, and how you will be profitable. Additionally, a business plan can help you to obtain funding from a bank or investor. The steps and sections below can help you create a business plan. However, if you feel that you need more assistance, particularly with the financial projections, consider using a business plan software. is the most popular business plan software available. It prompts you to provide information and organizes it into a business plan. Additionally, LivePlan’s tools organize your income and expense forecasts into charts and graphs. Sign up to start using LivePlan today. Downloadable Free Restaurant Business Plan Template The restaurant business plan template is designed for you to fill out as you follow along with the guide below. We recommend opening the template in another browser and filling it out as you read through each section. For the financial projections portion of the plan, we recommend using the Service Corp Of Retired Executives (SCORE) free excel template. To download, click the link, download the financial projections template, and save it to your computer. We recommend to download the Word business plan template because that is the most functional template. With the Word version, you can make changes to document, and the table of contents can be updated as well. With the PDF and Google Doc versions, the page numbers for the table of contents will remain static, meaning they may not match if the amount of information you add pushes a section to the next page. To start using any of the templates below, click the desired link to download the template. Save the template to your computer so your changes will be saved. First Pages of the Restaurant Business Plan The first page of your restaurant business plan should be the cover page. On it, you should include your restaurant’s name, the company’s name―one that’s registered with the state―address, and creation date. The second page should be your table of contents. The table of contents should include the name of the sections, subsections, and corresponding page number. Although it isn’t a requirement, you may want to add a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) at the beginning of the plan and have the reader sign it. An NDA is needed if you believe the person reading the business plan may use or disclose any of the information, such as a business idea. Here are the seven sections to include in your restaurant business plan. 1. Executive Summary The executive summary is an overview of the entire business plan. Keep it to one or two pages in length. Review the most important sections and write a quick summary. Even though it’s the first section after the table of contents, it’s often easier to write the executive summary last, after finishing the other sections. Some investors will only ask for your executive summary, so make it informative and persuasive. They should understand how your business will operate and make money after reading it. In the executive summary’s opening paragraphs, include the following information: Your restaurant description: This is similar to a 30-second pitch describing your restaurant and what makes it unique. Products and services: Mention the type of food the restaurant will provide and describe the service that will be provided. Local competitors: Briefly describe your biggest competitors and why your restaurant will succeed despite them. Management and organization: Discuss the owners’ backgrounds and emphasize how it will help the restaurant succeed. Additionally, briefly discuss management structure within the restaurant, such as who is running day-to-day operations and who will be high-level. Restaurant location: State where the restaurant will be located and why that location is a benefit. Target market and ideal customer: Outline who your ideal customers will be and why they are going to dine with your restaurant. Financial data and projections: Provide brief financial data and projections, like how many customers per week you expect, sales data, startup costs, and at what month the restaurant will be profitable. Financing needed: Wrap up the opening paragraphs with an explanation of the startup funding sources and the amount of financing being requested. The information mentioned above can be combined into several paragraphs. You don’t have to include formal headers for each topic. If you’re seeking investors for funding, you may find that they only ask for the executive summary. Make sure it’s less than two pages but has enough detailed information so that the reader knows the problem potential customers have, the proposed solution, target market, your team, and the financial projections. Restaurant Business Objectives Business objectives are specific and attainable goals for your restaurant. You can include business financial objectives as well. To illustrate, you could set goals like, “Be the No. 1 Google rated Mexican-style restaurant in South Tampa by our third year in business” and “Achieve $500,000 in revenue by our second year in business.” Include at least five business objectives. Restaurant Mission Statement A mission statement is a brief statement about the restaurant's purpose and what it stands for. You may find that some restaurants use its mission statement as a marketing slogan. However, that is not a requirement. For example, Chipotle's mission statement is, “To provide food with integrity.” Whereas Jimmy John’s mission statement is “Everything about Jimmy Johns―from the menu to the marketing to franchise management―is about keeping it simple. No games, no gimmicks. Bottom line―we make gourmet sandwiches, and we avoid anything that complicates the process or our image.” Restaurant Keys to Success The keys to success are a few statements about what you believe will make the restaurant a success. It’s essentially your competitive advantage. For example, your key to success could be your location, the quality of your chefs, or a unique loyalty program that encourages repeat business. Include at least four keys to success. 2. Restaurant Company Summary The company summary provides a general background and a description of your restaurant. In the opening paragraph, include specifics about your current or potential address, who will own the business, and what makes it unique. Also, include the restaurant’s hours of operation. Consider creating a chart if the hours are complicated. Restaurant Startup Summary Give a brief overview of how much it will cost to open up the restaurant and source of the costs. Discuss the location you’re seeking and how the build-out will get completed. Mention where the funds for opening the restaurant will come. Additionally, list the startup costs, which are the expenses incurred before opening the restaurant, in a chart. For example, include startup expenses like legal, payroll, equipment, inventory, grand opening advertising, licenses, and insurance. Restaurant Location & Facility Describe the location of the restaurant in depth. Explain the area in which it will be located and mention any location-specific benefits. Discuss local complementary businesses that would be a benefit to your business. State the demographics of the population, median household income, age, type of housing, and any major companies near the facility. Additionally, spend several paragraphs describing the restaurant you’re opening and what will make it unique. Include visual artist renderings in the appendix below. Restaurant Ownership & Management In this section, describe the owners of the restaurant and their backgrounds. Discuss their experience in the restaurant industry and emphasize management experience. If you are seeking funding to open a restaurant and none of the owners have management experience in a restaurant, consider finding an owner who does. Banks typically won’t make a commercial loan to owners who don’t have management experience within the industry in which they’re lending. In addition, the owners need to discuss the organizational structure. Include information about a general manager, chef, assistant chef, line cooks, part-time personnel, and freelance professionals like marketing and accounting. State their roles and to who they report. Include a paragraph on any management team gaps. Be honest about shortcomings and the type of consultants you may need to hire to assist in the early stages of running your restaurant. 3. Food, Products & Services for Your Restaurant In the Food, Products, and Services section, provide an overview of the food you plan to serve and how the business operates. Open the section with a couple of paragraphs giving a high-level overview that describes the products and services the restaurant provides, like a limited breakfast, buffet-style lunch, and full-service dinner. Product Description Give a detailed explanation of the type of food you will be serving. For example, consider explaining the type of cuisine and specific foods you’ll serve and how they will change throughout the day. Be creative with the food description to make it appealing to an investor. Additionally, discuss other nonfood products your business provides. For instance, if you’re opening a sports bar, discuss the televisions, sports packages, special events, music, in-restaurant games, and Wi-Fi. Daily Operations and Production Write several paragraphs describing the systems and administrative tasks within the restaurant. You need to show that you’ve thought through business operations. Mention tasks that aren’t customer-related like keeping track of inventory, ordering inventory, and cleanliness checks. Also, customer-related tasks like how customers will be seated, how food will be served to customers, and closing and opening shift responsibilities are important to elaborate on so that readers understand how your restaurant operates. Food & Product Sourcing Investors and bank lenders want to know where you’re getting the food and products from that you prepare in the restaurant. Write a couple of paragraphs detailing where food will be purchased. Mention if you already have relationships with these suppliers. Also, mention if you have a backup supplier in the event of a shortage or natural disaster. Products like silverware, plates, cups, and interior design can be discussed as well. Pricing and Profitability for Items on Menu We recommend that you review each item on the menu and describe its profitability. This can be organized in a chart. For example, if you’re opening a steakhouse, list each type of steak, its wholesale cost, and the menu (selling) price. The difference between the menu price and wholesale price is the profit. Creating a chart with profitability by menu item shows a banker and lender that you’ve thought through your pricing and menu selections. 4. Market & Industry Analysis for Your Restaurant In the market analysis section of your business plan, you’re tasked with making the case as to why your restaurant type will succeed based on data from market research. Obtain this data from free sources like the United States Census and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regarding a paid tool, provides professionally curated reports for more than 1,000 industries. In the opening paragraphs of your restaurant’s market analysis, give an industry overview, and discuss any trends. Market Segmentation for Your Restaurant Market segmentation is the process of dividing potential customers into different groups. Don’t fall into the trap of defining your market as “everyone.” This will be an instant turn off to investors and bankers because every restaurant appeals to certain groups of people. Make your segments broad categories, like millennials, business people, travelers, and parents. Once you’ve identified at least three market segments, use data to explain they’re living near your restaurant and ideally, show they’re a growing segment. Target Market Segment Strategy After showing data that proves your market segments are located near your business, briefly outline how you will market to them. Give every segment a different paragraph. Discuss what your restaurant will attract that segment of people. Additionally, you can briefly discuss the type of marketing and advertising you will do to attract them. For example, if you have a family restaurant that appeals to local athletes, you could have a sports channel TV package and be a sponsor for the local football team. Main Competitors for Your Restaurant The competitive comparison section is where you should list at least five competitors within a five-mile radius of your restaurant. In this section, you want to be honest about your competitors. However, you want to persuade the reader why customers will choose your restaurant over competitors. You may find that you don’t have direct competition, but indirect competition. For example, you may be the first ramen restaurant in your city. However, you need to know who the closest competitors are, such as other noodle or Asian-based cuisines. Consider creating a matrix comparison chart for the competitor section. This will make it easy for an investor or banker to compare your local competitors. In this chart, include the distance from your restaurant, overall pricing, atmosphere, advantages, and disadvantages. 5. Marketing Strategy & Implementation Summary The marketing strategy and implementation summary section covers how you will market and position the restaurant to potential customers. A position is your customers’ perception of your brand and products. You try to control your image to customers through your restaurant’s interior presentation, type of food, staff personality, and marketing. In this section’s opening paragraphs, discuss your overall marketing and branding strategy, and how it will be implemented. Your Restaurant’s Competitive Advantage Also called a competitive edge, the competitive advantage is what you will rely on to outperform your competitors. Competitive advantages could be superior food, customer service, cost, experience, chef creativity, location, or owner experience. Your competitive advantage may be evident to customers, like the products, or it could be hidden to the public like relationships with superior suppliers. Restaurant Marketing Strategy and Positioning If you have an in-depth marketing strategy, discuss it in this section. For example, include all targeted marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, email marketing initiatives, birthday programs, pricing strategies, and event, online, and social media marketing plans. Also include your positioning statement, which is a short paragraph stating what your restaurant will provide. The positioning statement is similar to a 30-second pitch explaining your restaurant to a new customer. Traditional Marketing and Advertising for Your Restaurant Traditional marketing is considered the paper-based and in-person marketing strategies of your business. Outline those in detail here and indicate where and when they will be completed. For example, state where the business cards, flyers, to-go menus, and direct mailings will be created along with their associated costs. Also, include any advertising-like local magazines or grand opening costs. Online Marketing and Advertising for Your Restaurant Online marketing for your restaurant includes topics like the website, online directories, online reviews, email marketing, and social media marketing. Outline who will have the responsibility of maintaining these channels, what the cost will be, and a strategy for each. Additionally, if you’re focusing on specific online marketing strategies like social media marketing with video, go into detail about what that will look like on your Facebook or Instagram page. Restaurant Sales Strategy & Forecast Create an overview of your annual sales forecast for the first three years. Organize total sales by broad categories, like food, beverages, and others, which may include merchandise, music tickets, or event rentals. Additionally, include broad costs like for food and payroll. Subtract expenses from sales to obtain your profit. This information will be broken down further in the profit and loss financial projection chart below. Provide a year-by-year chart summary in this section. Restaurant Milestones Include a chart of restaurant milestones during the startup phase. In the chart, list the name of the milestone, start date, end date, budget, person overseeing the milestone, and the entity responsible. For example, the marketing plan may have a four-month completion date and a budget of $5,000. Come up with at least eight milestones for your restaurant. 6. Financial Plan & Projections The financial plan and projections are the most difficult section of a business plan. This is where you outline how much money it will take to open the business and predict your restaurant’s performance during the next three years. Additionally, you should use the projections below to track the success of your business over the next three years. Use this with a fictional coffeehouse and bistro as guidance to help you complete the subsections below. In the opening paragraphs of this section, state the assumptions made about your financial projections. Use as many specific numbers as you can. Examples of assumptions include a growing economy without a recession, no disruptive changes in technology, like artificial intelligence, tax rate trends, average sales prices for meals―breakfast, lunch, and dinner―and the total number of tables and seating capacity available. Restaurant Startup Costs Create a chart listing the specific costs incurred with starting a restaurant. This chart shows a potential investor or banker that you have done the research to determine how much money is necessary to open your restaurant. Include all costs and be as detailed as possible. After the chart, include a paragraph stating from where the funds to pay the startup costs will come. It’s helpful to use an existing Excel worksheet to document the financial projections, including startup costs. Break-even Analysis The break-even analysis shows how many sales are required for the business to be profitable. Before completing the break-even chart, write a paragraph stating the point at which sales will hit a break-even point, which is when revenue equals total costs―both fixed and variable. Also, state the average sale amount per patron that the sales analysis is based upon. Regarding costs, state the fixed monthly expenses used in the break-even analysis and how much you intend to incur per patron. Projected Profit & Loss The projected profit and loss chart is a month-by-month breakdown of income and expenses, including startup expenses. The profit and loss chart shows the month during which the business will earn a profit. Typically, business owners want their restaurant to show a profit within the first year of operating with an increased amount in years two and three. Be sure to show income and expenses month-by-month for the first two years in operation and create a separate chart that shows them year-by-year for the first three years. Projected Cash Flow The cash flow section shows the business’ incoming and outgoing cash. This is broken down in a month-by-month table and should cover the first two years in business. Projected cash flow is different than the profit and loss projections because it focuses specifically on cash within the business. In the paragraph before the month-by-month projected cash flow table, mention the expenses that revenue would go towards after costs are covered, for example, long-term debt. Projected Balance Sheet The balance sheet shows the net worth of the business and the financial position of the company on a specific date. The balance sheet is different than the profit and loss statement because it focuses on the assets and liabilities of the restaurant, whereas the profit and loss focuses on income and expenses. Prepare a projected year-by-year balance sheet for the first three years. Business Ratios Business ratios are a way to evaluate the performance of your restaurant. You need to compare your restaurant’s business ratios to the industry standard. Project business ratios by year for the first three years. For example, you should know your restaurant's current ratio, which is the total existing assets―cash and other assets that can be liquidated easily―to total current liabilities―short-term debts due in less than a year. If you have $2,000 in current asset and $2,000 in current liabilities, your current ratio would be 1:1. A 1:1 current ratio means that, for every $1 of current assets on the books, your business has $1 of current liabilities. Anything below a 1:1 could indicate your business will not be able to pay its debts, which would be a red flag to lenders and investors. 7. Appendix & Menu Samples The appendix is where you include supporting documentation for the information you state in your business plan. For example, in addition to describing the interior of your restaurant, include artist renderings in the appendix. You can also include a menu sample for bankers and investors to review. Consider including the following items in your restaurant’s business plan appendix: Building permits Artist mock-up of the interior Floor plan Leases and agreements Equipment documentation Supplier agreements Incorporation documents Licenses and permits Trademarks Media coverage Marketing materials Letters of recommendation An appendix is not required in a business plan, but it is highly recommended for a restaurant. There are several visual aspects to a restaurant that are hard to picture with only words. If your appendix becomes too long, more than 10 pages, consider creating a second table of contents placed before the appendix. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for a Restaurant Business Plan This section includes the most frequently asked questions about a restaurant business plan. How much money do you need to open your own restaurant? How much money you need to open a restaurant depends on location, size, interior build-out, marketing materials, exterior design, and equipment. For the typical restaurant, you need at least $300,000. However, if you open a small 200-square-foot, pizza-by-the-slice restaurant with low overhead and payroll, you may be able to get your startup costs to less than $80,000. Where can I find a business plan example? One of the best resources to find a restaurant business plan is . They have more than 40 fictional business plans specifically for restaurants, like for a sports bar, steakhouse, fine dining, ethnic food, coffee shop, and deli. Included in all the business plan examples are detailed financial projections, which you can use as a guide when creating your own projections. What is needed to start a restaurant business? What you need to start a restaurant business is determined by the type of restaurant you’re opening. Regardless, some costs are universal, such as a lease or building cost, payroll, interior buildout, marketing, licenses, employees, insurance, inventory, point-of-sale (POS) system to accept payments, bank account, and accounting system. How can I start a restaurant with no money? You can start a restaurant with no money, but it will be difficult. Most likely, it will be a combination of financial sources, like a crowdfunding campaign, an angel investor, and a cosigner on a business loan. In this situation, you will likely be a minority owner or a general manager in the business. It’s unlikely that the investor will give you majority ownership in the business if they are assuming a majority of the financial risk. How much does it cost to start a small restaurant? You can start a small restaurant for less than $100,000. This type of restaurant will offer primarily takeout orders because of the small interior size. Typically, it costs $350 per square foot to open a restaurant. If you open a simple restaurant like a pizzeria with low overhead and low payroll, you can keep the costs down. Bottom Line Opening a restaurant is a challenging but rewarding business to open. A well-thought-out business plan helps you prepare for the uncertainties of opening a restaurant. It also helps you plan out the restaurant’s startup costs and gives you an idea of when it profitable. If you need funding from a bank or investor to get started, a business plan is a requirement. If you’re struggling to create the business plan after downloading our template and following the guide above, consider using a business plan software. is a low-cost business plan software that stores your information in the cloud. A benefit of LivePlan is that after you open your restaurant, you can continue to use it to track your financial progress and make financial goals for your restaurant. Sign up to start using LivePlan today.
March 5, 2019
Top 37 Free & Low-Cost Restaurant Menu Templates
Before your customers ever eat at your restaurant, you need to showcase your food with a well-designed menu. However, what if you don’t have the budget to build a menu design from scratch? Fortunately, high-quality restaurant menu templates are now available online, many of them free. Read below for the best restaurant menu template options. Free Menu Templates We searched to find the best free menu template available. We looked for unique layouts, eye-catching color combinations, and easy-to-read font options. All of these can be used for free and edited to suit your needs. Here are the top 20 free restaurant menu templates. 1. Format: Photoshop (.psd) This popular free restaurant menu template comes in a clean, classic layout that’s very customizable in terms of fonts, color, and photos. The large size gives enough space to include your menu offerings and prices. 2. Christmas Menu Template Format: Microsoft Word (.docx), Photoshop, (.psd), Pages (.pages) This is a template that is specifically meant for your holiday menus. It is designed with holiday colors and fonts that reflect the season. It is easy to edit text and colors. 3. Format: Canva Editing Tool Start your customer’s dining experience on a good note with a well-presented wine list. This menu template is both classic and elegant with a clean layout to showcase your cellar. The template is fully editable via , so you can quickly change any element to match your company brand. Downloadable in .jpg or a print-ready .pdf 4. Cafe Menu Template Format: Canva Editing Tool This calming cafe menu will showcase your menu items beautifully. You can edit the photos easily and include and add pages in image editor. Once you are finished editing, you can download your completed menu in a .jpg or .pdf. The .pdf is print-ready. 5. Format: Canva Editing Tool Complete your coffee shop’s relaxed, cozy mood with this monochromatic themed coffee shop menu template. The layout features a simple and clean design with an easy-to-read font and enough space to add photos of your brews and pastries. Once you are finished editing the menu, you can download your completed menu in a .jpeg or .pdf. The .pdf is print-ready. 6. Wedding Menu Template Format: Microsoft Word (.docx), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), Pages (.pages) This pretty menu template is designed specifically for wedding receptions or other more formal occasions. It is easy to edit and fully customizable, and it only used readily available fonts so that you can use the entire template at no cost. 7. Responsive Website Restaurant Menu Format: Website Restaurants need to take a different approach for their online menu. Because visitors will access your website from laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, your menu needs to be responsive, which means it will shift to look good on screens of any size. Check out our article on Fit Web Themes: Restaurant Edition, a free WordPress template designed specifically for restaurants. This article will walk you through the entire set-up process, getting your site live in less than an hour. Get started here. 8. Format: Canva Editing Tool This colorful sushi restaurant menu template offers color block design that makes for a nice presentation. It has fully editable sections, colors, text, and layout. You can use this template for free, once you sign up for a . Once you are finished editing the menu, you can download your completed menu in a .jpeg or .pdf. The .pdf version is print-ready. 9. Bar Menu Template Format: Microsoft Word (.docx), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), Pages (.pages) This is a simple but elegant bar menu template. Download this template for free to create a high-quality menu to list your beverages and food. This template is print and digital-ready. 10. Format: Canva Editing Tool This pretty and playful cupcake menu will entice your customers to look at all the cupcakes you have to offer. This menu template is fully customizable on design tool, so you can change each component to match your brand. Once you are finished editing the menu, you can download your completed menu in a .jpeg or a print-ready .pdf 11. Coffee Shop Menu Template Format: Microsoft Word (.docx), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), Pages (.pages) This is a simple, minimalistic coffee menu for your cafe. It is high-quality, with easy-to-edit text. You can change out pictures easily too. This file is available to use online, on your website or other listings sites, or to print out once you are finished editing. 12. Barbecue Menu Template Format: Microsoft Word (.docx), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), Pages (.pages) If you’re looking for a menu that is focused on barbecue, then this template is perfect. This template is editable, fully customizable, and free to download. You can change the text, font type, and images in any way you choose. 13. Burger Menu Template Format: Microsoft Word (.docx), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), Pages (.pages) Show your customers why you have the best burger joint around with this burger menu template. Build your own attractive and appetizing menu for your restaurant. It’s easy to edit, printable and can be downloaded for free. 14. Format: Canva Editing Tool Part of an Italian restaurant’s charm is its unique character, and what better way to emphasize this than by a well-presented restaurant menu? The classic color theme and font on this restaurant menu template sets the right tone for a classic Italian dining experience. It’s completely customizable in and free to download when you are finished in both a .jpeg and a print-ready .pdf. 15. Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) Thai restaurants have started to gain popularity, and this menu template is a great way to greet customers looking for an authentic Thai dining experience. The layout is clean and elegant with gold, classic, Asian-inspired borders and can be fully customized using Adobe Illustrator. This restaurant menu template is free to download with proper credit to the host website, Freepik.com. 16. Steak House Restaurant Menu Template Format: DesignBold Editing Platform This restaurant menu is classy with an elegant feel that boasts the dark backdrop in the content layout. You can add in your menu and keep the design as-is, or you can make it your own by customizing everything from the background to the graphics in online editing tool. This restaurant menu template is free to download upon sign up with Designbold.com. 17. Fast Food Restaurant Menu Template Format: DesignBold Editing Platform This fast-food menu template is sure to catch your customer’s attention with its large graphics and festive red, white, and orange theme. The layout has space for photos of your dishes, but there isn’t a lot of room to add text (text is limited to price and the name of the food item). This restaurant menu template can also be edited to match your brand using online editing tool and download free after signing up. 18. Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) Whether it’s authentic or fusion Indian cuisine, this Indian restaurant menu template is a sure-fire way to complete your theme. The black backdrop with elegant gold fonts add a nice touch, and all you need is an Adobe Illustrator program should you want to make some changes to the layout to fit your needs. This restaurant menu template can be downloaded for free from Freepik.com and can be used at no extra charge with proper crediting. 19. Format: Canva Editing Tool This crisp menu template is designed specifically for lunch menus. It is fully customizable on Canva’s platform. The fonts, colors, and images can all be edited or removed. Once you are finished editing the menu, you can download your completed menu in a .jpeg or .pdf. The .pdf is print-ready. 20. Format: Canva Editing Tool This bright and colorful Mexican food menu will delight your customers. It is fully editable on editing platform. Photos, fonts, and colors can be added or changed. When you are finished editing the menu and are ready to use or print it, you can download your completed menu in a .jpeg or .pdf. Low-cost Templates These menu templates are low-cost, easy to edit, and offer a bit more flair than some of the free ones. Many of them offer specialized fonts and images as part of buying the template. You will want to be sure that you pick the ones that are a fit for the software you own, like Adobe InDesign or Photoshop. Here are the top 17 low-cost menu templates. 21. Cafeteria Menu Template Format: Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $6 This is a great template for a cafeteria to use. It allows total customization of images and easy-to-edit font, text, and colors. It is available for download in the Adobe Photoshop format. 22. Format: Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $5 For pizza lovers, there are few things more appealing than a great, mouthwatering pizza photo. This restaurant menu template uses a theme that emphasizes photos in a dark backdrop to catch the customer’s eye and then draws your attention to the details. Purchasing the license gets you two labeled .psd files and one readme .txt file detailing text and graphics sources. 23. Format: Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $6 For restaurant owners, event organizers, and even for DIY wedding planners, this very professional wedding menu template is a must-see. The template is designed with a bouquet of pink flowers and an abstract decorative wallpaper pattern on a textured background. Purchase of the license gets you a high-resolution .jpeg file where you can add your own text for easy customization. 24. Format: Canva Editing Tool Cost: $1 This easy-to-read Chinese menu utilizes a layout that has plenty of room for dish descriptions. Use online editing platform to change the background colors, add your own photos, and even create an additional page. When you are done editing this template with Canva’s editing tool, you can download the completed version as a .pdf or .jpeg. 25. Format: Adobe InDesign (.innd) Cost: $12 One of the more popular restaurant menu templates available online is the blackboard restaurant menu template. This layout, featuring a blackboard texture and white font, has a casual vibe and will work great for any bistro or upscale burger joint. The file includes menu templates in trifold and bifold versions, using Adobe CS4 format, and available to download with purchase of its regular license fee. 26. Format: Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $12 Check out this modern vintage restaurant menu template if you’re looking for a rustic vibe. This is perfect for restaurants that serve Mediterranean cuisine, especially Greek and Italian foods, as it’s the perfect balance between Old-World opulence and casual eatery. This menu template is customizable easily with its smart object layers function and fully editable text. Purchasing the regular license gets you a print-ready A4 size menu template in .psd format, a font download link to match the vintage feel, as well as a user guide that you can work with as you add your personal touch. 27. Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ia) Cost: $9 Even fancy restaurants don’t need to spend so much on an elegant menu. This trifold, A4 size elegant food restaurant menu template exudes vintage with a twist, and a bold color scheme of orange and black, with customizable text and graphics. This layout comes in a set with an A3 menu poster, table tent, a personal card, and stamp templates. 28. Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) Cost: $17 Designed for the minimalists out there, this beautiful restaurant menu template showcases your fresh ingredients to complement your list of dishes on the menu. The fonts are playful, allowing your content to stand out on the simple yet elegant background. This restaurant menu template comes in a print-ready bundle that includes a brochure, trifold, and bifold menu versions, as well as table tent and poster format. It even has a business card template to complete your marketing requirements. 29. Format: Adobe InDesign (.indd) Cost: $9 For restaurants offering a tropical vibe, you need to check out this six-page, colorful, balmy, and vibrant restaurant menu template. It uses 300dpi CMYK color code to help keep that bright summer tone to your menu once you print them and comes in United States letter size with free fonts and content that is fully editable. Get this layout in Adobe InDesign format when you buy the license. 30. Format: Adobe InDesign (.indd) Cost: $9 This sophisticated cocktail and bar menu template will surely impress your customers. It uses a black and gold theme to highlight vibrant, colored photos. Add more pages if you also sell food items. Layered and customizable, this cocktail menu template is 8.5x11-inch in size, using CMYK color code and includes two .psd files with images and free fonts. Download this menu template by purchasing its regular license. 31. Format: Adobe InDesign (.indd) Cost: $8 This Caribbean restaurant menu template is for any restaurant that needs a takeout menu with an island theme. It features bright, tropical colors that are both fun and engaging. The menu template is easy to edit with its organized layers and is print-ready. 32. Vegetarian Restaurant Menu Template Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) Cost: $8 This four-page restaurant menu template fits right into the vegetarian vibe with its shades of green color theme. The colors and photos will make your customers want to order right away. The layout uses free, high-quality fonts and with the standard licensing fee, plus you get four pages at A5 size, a bifold on A4 paper, and an A3 size poster. You will need an Adobe Illustrator editing program to customize your menu template. 33. Format: Adobe InDesign (.indd) Cost: $9 Black and white give off a classic vibe in this restaurant menu template that works well for bistros and fusion restaurants. This menu template showcases a laid-back feel with a clean layout that effectively highlights your content. It uses A4 size paper with 300dpi resolution in CMYK color code and free fonts that are all editable. 34. Format: Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $15 This menu template features a fun, contemporary design that works well, especially for seafood restaurants. It’s also editable using Adobe CS where you can replace any component to fit your needs. The file comes with as a front and back menu template in .psd format with a transparent background. There are also separate files of seafood doodles you can use on your menu. 35. Modern Restaurant Menu Template Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $12 This modern restaurant menu template is simple but elegant. Its clean and simple design makes it easy to read; additionally, photos of dishes and ambience create a warm atmosphere. It allows you to create additional pages using the same format and is available for print and online. 36. Food Truck Menu Template Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $9 This food truck menu template offers the ability to show off delicious food creations. It only uses fonts that are readily available, and all of the text, images, and the layout are editable. 37. Beer Pub Menu Format: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Cost: $20 This menu template is the perfect solution for pubs and bars, as well as cafés and restaurants. It can be printed on craft paper to give the design an artisan look. It includes several different-sized templates and can be completely customized to fit your needs. 5 Best Menu Creation Tools When you are creating your menus, you might need tools to do various things with your images, like Canva, LightSpeed Restaurant, DesignBold, or iMenuPro. Alternatively, you may want to hire someone to create your menu from . Whatever your needs, we’ve assembled the tools you need to complete your menu. Here are the five best tools to assist with your menu creation: : Use Canva to design and edit your menu or any other images that you want to include in your menus : Use Fiverr to find and hire an expert designer to create your menus : DesignBold offers templates that you can customize on its editing site : iMenuPro will help you create an eye-catching menu from pre-designed options; this makes menu creation simple : Allow your customer to order from an iPad or kiosk, complete with colorful food images and the ability to send their orders straight to the kitchen The Bottom Line Menu creation can be difficult for restaurant and café owners. But, creating beautiful menus for your customers is vital to giving your customer smooth, pleasant ordering experiences. With these templates and tools, you can create gorgeous menus without spending too much time or money in the process.
January 7, 2019
5 Types of Customer Satisfaction Surveys + Free Templates
A customer satisfaction survey is a questionnaire that businesses send to shoppers after they have made a purchase or received a service from your business. There are five different situations in which businesses would want to measure customer satisfaction. Each serves a different purpose, so it is important to ask the right questions. Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Templates The five most common types of customer satisfaction surveys are: 1. Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey NPS Survey Template An NPS, or Net Promoter Score, survey measures customer loyalty by asking a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? Customers can score from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). Businesses use NPS to measure customer loyalty and overall customer sentiment, instead of feedback on a specific product or experience. NPS is widely used across many industries, so it can be a good tool to measure your customer loyalty and satisfaction against competitors. NPS can also be used to identify detractors, or customers likely to switch to competitors or spread negative feedback about your business. NPS surveys are typically sent out to customers through email surveys or text messages. However, for online businesses, they sometimes also appear as a pop-up or chat box on the site. is one example of a customer feedback software that collects NPS data and provides businesses with NPS insights. Customers are placed into three categories based on how they answer that question: Detractors. Customers who respond between 0 and 6 are considered detractors. Not only are you at risk of losing these customers, but they are also likely to impede the growth of your business through negative word-of-mouth. Passives. Customers who respond between 7 and 8 are considered passive customers. They are satisfied with your business but are not raving fans. Passives could leave your business for a competitor or could be converted into raving fans. Promoters. Customers who respond between 9 and 10 are considered promoters. These are loyal customers who are likely helping to grow your business through referrals. To calculate your Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. For example, let’s say you have 100 survey results and 10 scored between 0 and 6, 20 scored between 7 and 8, and 70 scored between 9 and 10. You would have: 10% Detractors 20% Passives 70% Promoters 70% Promoters - 10% Detractors = 60%. So, your Net Promoter Score would be 60. Your NPS score can be anywhere from -100 to 100. Any positive NPS score is considered good, above 50 is considered great, and above 70 is considered world class. For small businesses, NPS is a great tool to identify and reward your loyal customers as well as identify any unhappy customers to improve their experience. 2. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey CSAT Survey Template CSAT, or customer satisfaction survey, is used to measure a customer’s satisfaction with your products or services (unlike NPS, which is used to gauge customer loyalty). CSAT surveys consist of a variation of the question: How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the products/service you received? Customers would then choose from the following 1 to 5 scale: 1. Very unsatisfied 2. Unsatisfied 3. Neutral 4. Satisfied 5. Very satisfied Only customers who choose “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” are considered satisfied customers. To calculate your business’ CSAT score, take your number of satisfied customers and divide by the total number of survey respondents, then multiply by 100. Therefore, if you have 100 survey respondents and 70 of them responded “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied,” your CSAT score would be 70%. (70 / 100 = .7) x 100 = 70% Businesses should use a CSAT survey to measure whether or not their products and services are meeting customer expectations. CSAT surveys allow businesses to fix individual customers service issues and look at how specific products and services are performing overall. For example, if customers consistently rate a product as a 1 through 3, it needs to be improved. If customers consistently rate an item as a 4 or 5, it’s a strong product that you should promote. 3. Post-Purchase Survey Post-Purchase Survey Template Post-purchase surveys are sent to customers after they have bought a product or a service from your company. These types of surveys are meant to get feedback on the specific experience the customers had with this transaction (as opposed to a survey like NPS, which gauges overall loyalty). This type of survey should be used to pinpoint specific areas of the business that need to be improved. For example, if your NPS score is low, using post-purchase surveys helps businesses understand whether they need to focus their attention on their customer service or quality of products. Post-purchase surveys can be open-ended, but typically they ask customers to rank different aspects of their experience on a scale of “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree” or “Poor” to Excellent.” Since these surveys can be longer than one question, they are typically sent via a link in an email. is a popular email marketing service that offers survey tools. They have a free 60-day trial, and packages with survey features start around $40 per month. 4. Product or Service Development Survey Product Development Survey Template Also known as Concept Testing, development surveys are sent to customers before businesses launch a new product to get a feel for how likely existing customers are to purchase the product. The goal of a product development survey is to see if the new product or service is profitable and/or receive feedback to make improvements on the product before launching it. For this survey, you want to show customers a sample of the product you are testing, either in-person or online, including price. Then, ask questions to gauge their reactions to the product and leave space for open-ended feedback. These surveys are best to send to your most loyal customers and your highest spending customers. 5. Usability Survey Usability Survey Template Usability surveys, or user experience surveys, are used by online businesses to receive feedback on their website to create a better experience for the customer. These surveys usually pop up while a shopper is on your site. They can be multiple-choice questions, open-ended questions, or even live messaging that directs shoppers to the information they are looking for. Usability surveys are best for trying to improve the customer experience, streamline content, or improve website navigation. There are many survey and messaging tools that can help collect customer feedback and provide a better shopping experience, such as Freshdesk Messaging. Freshdesk Messaging is a messaging tool that uses artificial intelligence bots and your own customer service team. Freshdesk Messaging has a free version and offers a 30-day free trial for other plans. How to Integrate Customer Satisfaction Surveys into Your Business While there are some specific instructions for each type of survey, there are some general guidelines businesses should follow with any customer satisfaction survey to ensure a smooth and effective process. For example, determining your goal for the survey ahead of time and getting all of your employees on board are crucial steps for a successful survey. Here are six steps every business should follow when setting up a customer satisfaction survey: Determine Your Need Before you begin, it is important to pin down exactly why you need this survey and what insights you want to get out of the survey results. For example, if you are trying to reduce your customer churn rate, a product development survey won’t be as helpful as an NPS survey. By determining your need for the survey first, you can choose the survey type that will give you the most relevant data. Choose a Medium After determining your need and choosing a survey type, you need to pick a medium. Will you be sending your survey over email, text, in-app, on paper, or in person? Most surveys are collected over email, but some product development surveys could be done in person. Surveys that measure a website’s ease of use can be done as pop-up surveys on the site itself. Select a Survey Tool Once your survey type and delivery method are chosen, it’s time to pick a survey tool that can accommodate the type of survey you are looking to deploy. Obviously, price is a big consideration, but also think about whether this is a one-off survey or if you want to incorporate customer satisfaction surveys into your business indefinitely. Set a Process After you have your survey type, medium, and software in place, it’s time to set a process for executing your survey. If you are doing a survey with custom questions, this is when you would sit down and create them. This is also when you determine during which part of the buying process shoppers will receive their surveys. Be sure to show a copy of the survey to your employees, and let them know what their role is in the process if they have one. Gather Feedback Now that your survey is in place, start monitoring your results. Check feedback regularly for any common themes or customers service opportunities. If your survey tool gathers and analyzes data for you, make sure your employees have access to see the customer feedback. If your survey tool doesn’t package feedback for you, manage the feedback yourself with a spreadsheet or CRM software and set regular times to share feedback with your staff. Enact Change Going through the process of setting up surveys and collecting feedback is only worthwhile if you gain actionable insights for your business. Take the common themes you notice from the surveys to change business policies, better train employees, or adjust your products and services. Tips for Creating a Customer Satisfaction Survey Ask One Question at a Time Make sure there is only one variable in each question. For example, asking “How satisfied are you with our product selection and pricing?” asks customers to rate two separate elements in one answer. This could lead to inaccurate results and customers being unsure of how to answer. The better alternative is to ask separate questions: “How satisfied are you with our product selection?” and “How satisfied are you with our pricing?” Don’t Require Customers to Answer Every Question If your survey contains multiple questions, don’t require customers to answer every question in order to complete the survey. If customers are forced to answer a question they are unsure of, they will likely just abandon the survey altogether. Instead, make each question optional and include a space for comments either after each question or at the end of the survey. Limit Open-Ended Questions It’s important to have space for comments if customers want to write them, but limit the number of open-ended questions. If your survey feels like work, customers won’t take the time to complete it. Shorter surveys with multiple-choice questions will yield the most response. Frequently Asked Questions How often should I change my survey? In order to be able to compare survey results over time with accuracy, you need to stick with the same exact survey. So, if you change the introduction to the survey, its delivery method, or any of the questions, you will be essentially starting over with your tracking. That is why it’s important to carefully plan out your customer satisfaction survey before executing. How often should I send customer satisfaction surveys? Send out customer satisfaction surveys no more than once per transaction. Sending surveys more frequently than that can become confusing. Generally speaking, you want to send out surveys often enough to have updated information, but not so often that they annoy the customer. When is the best time to send a customer satisfaction survey? You want to ask customers for feedback while the experience is fresh in their minds—ideally within 24 hours of their purchase, while they still remember all the details. For online purchases, send the survey a day or two after the customers have received their items. Bottom Line Customer satisfaction surveys are an important tool for every business. They collect honest feedback to improve services, increase customer satisfaction, and build loyalty. Customer satisfaction surveys can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be—just make sure that whatever type of survey you use, it is a process you can consistently follow through on. There are many Customer Feedback Software Programs that help automate the process.
October 11, 2018
28 Free and Paid Punch Card Templates & Examples
A loyalty program is a popular marketing strategy that encourages your customers to continue buying your products or using your service. Designing your punch cards using elements that align with your industry or brand will help your customers quickly remember them, better encouraging its use by keeping it front of mind. We curated a list of 28 punch card templates, examples, and tips you can use to come up with your own design to get the most out of your loyalty program. A very simple loyalty card design that can adapt to fit any type of business. The smart use of font type and color over a chalkboard background gives it an edgy feel which can be easily customized to match your brand’s colors. This loyalty card is designed to exude sophistication. Long black rectangular shapes remind you of piano keys and elegant hands while the classic black white and gold colors complete the sophisticated feel any woman would love. The layout also makes it easy to access the designated punch hole portion of the card. Eye-catching and playful, this loyalty card is undeniably from a sushi restaurant. The entire design, from the color to the punch hole shapes, will easily remind you of freshly caught seafood. It would be easy to spot this loyalty card from all the other cards in your wallet. 4. Health and Wellness Loyalty Card Template This template makes use of grunge texture for an earthy look. Combining it with muted colors and handwriting fonts completes the organic feel that’s very appropriate for a health and wellness business. Replace the image with your logo’s silhouette and apply the same muted tones to your brand color, and find out if this loyalty card design works for you. This design works on glossy hard paper typical of admission tickets. We like how the card includes details such as business hours and a website address that customers can check for event schedules on their mobile. Use this for businesses that offer venues for sports and performances. If you sell novelty items, your loyalty card should tell customers that at a glance. This template is playful from the colors to the design, which you can customize to fit your brand. Keep the back of the card plain but with just your logo and contact details. One colorful side to display your style and the other in a simple white background. We love how this template can be both an appointment card and a loyalty card in one with the right layout. Consider adding your logo in plain black outline while using your brand colors for the background. 8. Hair Salon Loyalty Card Template The image in black and gray theme is associated with sophistication and fits perfectly with the idea of a modern woman. Replace the photo with one of your own, perhaps of your salon’s facade for customization. If you’re a hairstylist, add your name to build better relationships with your clients. 9. Auto Detailing Loyalty Card Template As an auto detailing business, you will have clients who will frequently visit your shop. A simple design for your loyalty card will do, but having a stand-out design makes it easier for customers to pick your card out anywhere. This one uses large fonts and a simple car silhouette, but the life-like water droplets make it unique. 10. Go Digital with Your Rewards Program Maggie Alland, Editor, Fit Small Business Why go physical when you can go digital? has created a small business-friendly rewards platform that is completely online. You can choose your rewards and track visitors from your smartphone or computer, and all you need to do is ask for your customer’s phone number. They’ll get a text to confirm, and they are signed up! . Flower shop marketing materials are always pretty to embody a floral feel, including loyalty cards. Notice how the color theme for this design matches the colors on the flower image, so make sure to choose flower photos that fit your brand identity. As a fast food restaurant owner, it can be tempting to add photos of your entire menu on all your marketing materials. But you don’t want the purpose of your loyalty card lost in a noisy design. Choose the best-selling food on your menu, pair it with large fonts for the details, and make the colors bright and attractive. A salad and bistro loyalty card can get lost without a cleverly branded design. This template’s design gives a fresh and vibrant feel while making sure the details can be easily read. It uses bright yellow fonts to emphasize important details that should be found in any loyalty card. There are enough cupcake varieties to cater to all kinds of demographics, so your loyalty card must be designed in the same way. This template provides an example where the sweet cupcake type reflects the design. Consider using a real photo of your product and customize the background as well as the fonts. 15. Tanning Salon Loyalty Card Template This is a very straightforward design for a tanning salon loyalty card. Notice how the template makes use of the color brown, with an appropriate stock image to help emphasize what the card is for. Be creative with the image and replace red with your brand color. 16. Combine Your Loyalty Program with Your POS Gavin Graham, Editor, Fit Small Business covers all of the features you are likely to require in a POS software, including setting up a rewards program that allows you to provide your customers with digital punch cards to incentivize them to purchase more frequently. Best of all, Square is completely free and comes with no fixed monthly cost for credit card payments. . This pinafore design is generic yet stylish enough for a number of businesses. The red and white color theme is eye-catching (which you can change to better fit your brand). Include a friendly message to get your customers coming back for more. 18. Footwear Retail Loyalty Card Template This template is simple, but the contrasting colors make the design stand out. Try replacing them with those of your brand and add your logo to match the font style. 19. Massage and Spa Salon Loyalty Card Template The large image makes this loyalty card impossible to miss. It’s important to choose an image that’s recognizable to your brand and keep the caption simple on the side with the photo. Keep the opposite side clean and consider adding an appointment form along with your contact details. Large coffee shop businesses are famous for their well-crafted marketing materials, including ones for their loyalty programs. This template shows how it can be done with enough creativity in the design at minimum cost. However, remember to make sure that important details don’t get lost in the layout by using shapes and colors that stand out. 21. Dog Grooming Loyalty Card Template Your clients will love this unique and organic design. The earthy colors, the simple image and handwriting font give off a personal touch that works best for a dog grooming business brand. It can also be used by pet sitters, house sitters and child carers, where clients look for a more personal approach in their service. This loyalty card template is not the simple kind. The activity is more engaging—which calls for an equally engaging design. More colors are used to accent key points of the loyalty program. This can also be used as loyalty card template for arcades, ice cream shops and other establishments that want to offer more than the standard loyalty card. Pizza loyalty cards are popular because everybody loves pizza. Make sure that your fonts don’t get lost in the images and overall layout so your customers will want to engage more. Remember to that your design should show off your most popular dish to keep them coming back for more. 25. Elegant Retail Loyalty Card Template If your business is into artisanal, or special handcrafted items, this elegant loyalty card template will suit best and will easily fit any kind of budget. Keep it simple with the colors and use beautiful fonts. You also have an option to use textured paper.to complete the one-of-a-kind look that matches your products. 26. Yogurt Shop Loyalty Card Template This yogurt shop loyalty card template combines a simple layout with fun shapes, colors and fonts to stand out. When customizing the design to reflect your brand, make sure to keep the design neat and the overall feel vibrant. This modern design combines both a business card and loyalty card in its layout. The images and colors suggest a hint of exclusivity that loyal customers are looking for in this kind of establishment. Achieve this look by keeping the paper texture glossy and words minimal. 28. Get Your Loyalty Cards Professionally Printed Neva Paule, Supervising Editor, Fit Small Business Once you’ve got your design all set up, make sure that your loyalty cards are professionally printed with Vistaprint. is the business card provider of choice for small businesses, with its affordable price and great turnaround time. And if you still haven’t finalized your loyalty cards design, you can easily choose from their over 10,000 templates or get help from one of their professional designers. Over to You How your loyalty card looks is as important as the rewards you offer to your customers. These designs will help ensure that your business continues to impress and provide the best experience to your customers. Did you find your personal favorite punch card template? Let us know in the comments!
April 26, 2017
24 Innovative Coffee Shop Name Ideas
The coffee industry has a ton of international coffee chains that seem to be taking over. However, there are still many entrepreneurs who are trying to compete by offering great alternatives to cookie-cutter establishments. If you are an entrepreneur who feels inspired to start your own coffee shop but clueless on how to name your cafe, we’ve gathered some tips on how to come up with cool and memorable coffee shop name ideas that will resonate with your target market. Once you’ve chosen a name for your coffee shop, check out our guide to designing a restaurant website which comes with a professionally-designed template you can use for free with any WordPress site. 1. Get help from a restaurant name generator. Maggie Aland, Fit Small Business Use this restaurant name generator to have instant access to dozens of ideas for your coffee shop name. All you have to do is enter your name, the type of food you plan to serve, and your location and a long list of suggested establishment names will be automatically generated for you. Many restaurant name generators just put together cool sounding or random words. However, in general, this is bad practice because you want people to instantly know that your business is a coffee shop. 2. See how your potential name would look on a coffee mug When you’re opening a coffee shop, mugs with your shop’s name are essential. If you print your potential name on a mug and don’t like the way it looks, that should make it clear that the name is not meant to be. Click here to see how your name looks on a coffee mug. 3. Make the name humorous. Julie Pech, Owner, The Chocolate Therapist The name should be humorous because it's easier to remember. People come in all the time saying "The Chocolate Therapist? Book me a session!" or "I need therapy" or other comments that let's me know they like the name of the shop. I've also seen other coffee shops with names like "Romancing the Bean," "The Ink Spot," and "The Laughing Goat," which are more likely to stick with people. 4. Use pun-ny names. Nick Lucs, Work Pulse You’ve already got the coffee theme, but these days that’s not always enough. It’s time to get creative and add an extra layer. Whether you’re looking for a name of your own, or you just need a good laugh to remind you that you’re not the only punny entrepreneur out there, check out this laughable list of coffee shops that really went for broke. Bean There, Drank That Steaming Hotties Tea’se Me Has Beans Brewed Awakening Sacred Grounds Fleetwood Macchiato Deja Brew Thanks a Latte Perkatory Whole Latte Love Espresso Patronum (only Harry Potter lovers will get this!) Espresso Yourself 5. Buy a .com domain name for your cafe. Richard Harroch, Contributor, Forbes After deciding on a name, secure the “.com” domain name for your business rather than alternatives such as .net, .org, .biz, or other possible domain extensions. Customers tend to associate a .com name with a more established business. It’s likely that someone will already own your desired .com name, but many domain owners are willing to sell the name for the right price. You can who owns a specific domain by using the WHOIS lookup at Network Solutions. Once you register your domain name, learn how to setup a WordPress website. Also make sure to grab your desired business name on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. 6. Experiment with word play. Lorri Mealey, The Balance Paula Deen’s first restaurant business was called The Bag Lady, because she and her sons went around delivering bagged lunches to local businesses. This is a great example of playing with words. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck called his earliest restaurant Spago, (Italian slang for spaghetti.) Fun restaurant names are easier to remember and better for passing on by word of mouth. 7. Name it after someone special. Wendy’s Opening your own establishment entails emotional investment and sometimes owners find it fitting to name their restaurant after someone dear to them. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s named his restaurant after one of his daughters. After trying all five of his children's names for the restaurant, Dave decided on daughter Melinda's nickname - Wendy. Today, Wendy’s is still one of the most well-loved fast food chains around the country. 8. Pick a name that shows what your shop is about. Karen, Surfers Coffee Bar Our cafe, Surfers Coffee Bar, is a non-profit coffee shop in Wahiawa, Hawaii, run completely by unpaid volunteers who love to surf, and exists to bring people together by providing a great atmosphere, amazing music, and coffee of the highest quality. We are linked with another non-profit humanitarian organization, Surfing the Nations, whose mission is to meet needs and change lives through the sport of surfing and selfless service. 9. Reflect your passions in the name. Adam, COFAX Cofax’s name came about from playing around with the phrase “coffee on Fairfax.” Once “coffee on Fairfax” was in the discussion, we started to talk about the Dodgers and how fun it would be if we had a Dodger theme for our shop. Of course, Koufax came up and we realized if we merged the phrase “coffee on Fairfax” we get Cofax, which coincided with our Dodger theme. From that, the name was born. We are all Los Angeles natives, and Dodger fans, so for us it just sounded right and that’s what we feel was most important when choosing a name. 10. Protect your business identity. Kiah Treece, Staff Writer, Fit Small Business Once you’ve decided on a name, you should choose a business structure and establish your coffee shop as a legal entity. Use a reputable provider, such as , to walk you through the entire process. Not only will Incfile work with you to reserve your trade name, but it will help you decide what type of business to register your shop as. Its agents simplify the process of getting a business license and the necessary permits, and even offer to do the paperwork for you. . 11. Name it after your specialty beverages and treats. Sana Ale, Startup Guys It is a very simple approach to name your name restaurant after the specialty item you want to be known for. This also helps people in knowing what is available at your place. For instance, a continental restaurant will have a sophisticated name whereas a place serving fast-food will have a trendy and casual name. A café can go with the name of its specialty beverage or famous cake or dessert . 12. Give people a story to believe in. Bo, Thou Mayest (Kansas City, MO) We chose the name “Thou Mayest” after we read John Steinbeck’s book “East of Eden”. It means “the way is open”. We use this as our “battle cry” because we believe “Thou Mayest” is more than a name, but rather, a movement of people who want to make the spaces they inhabit more valuable by, as Cameron Sinclair beckons, “design like they give a damn”. We extracted the meaning of “Thou Mayest” to create our mission statement: We believe that coffee and conversations are best shared over great drinks. We love the community that coffee creates and our job is to instigate energy and cultivate creativity through thoughtful care of our craft. 13. A winning coffee shop name has to have a positive connotation. Susan Ward, Business writer, The Balance Many words have both denotation (literal meaning) and connotation (emotional meaning). A word’s connotation can be positive, neutral or negative, depending on the emotional associations that people generally make. The classic example is the difference between “Mom” (which has a very positive connotation) and “Mother” (which has a neutral connotation). "Rocky Mountain Cafe" has a positive connotation for most people, evoking sunny days skiing, hiking or just hanging out in a beautiful natural environment. Change the name to something like Sludge Town Diner and see if anything positive comes into your mind. What it means to you is that when you're choosing a coffee shop name, you need to choose words that have the positive connotations that you want people to associate with your coffee shop. 14. The name should reflect the cafe atmosphere you want to convey. Walt L. Jones III, Principal, SEQ Advisory Group If someone wants to start a coffee or internet bar, a name like "Wired" may be an option. If you want more of a lounge-type establishment where people could relax, have some great coffee and maybe hear some music, "Slow Roast" may be an option as it captures the essence of taking time and care. The point is, focus on the atmosphere and the message and the name will come. 15. Factor in search engine optimization (SEO). Graham Winfrey, Staff writer, Inc. Making your company easy to find on the search engine results page (SERP) is an important consideration when picking a name. If you're going to use a proper noun for your name, you should think about how that decision will impact SEO. Choosing a common term like "Bell," for example, will make it hard to place your company’s website on the first (or second) page of Google’s search results. SEO is about getting your website to rank on the top of organic (non-paid) search results when a person does a search of your cafe. 16. Use location-based restaurant names. Alyssa Burns, WebstaurantStore By basing your restaurant name on your address, you make it easy for your customers to remember where you are when they want to return or tell their friends to visit. This can be just the street name, like South Congress Cafe, which is on South Congress Ave. in Austin, TX. You can even use your entire street address, like the Boston restaurant No. 9 Park did. 17. Make the name easy to remember. Jared Miles, Writer, HubPages The perfect name should roll off your prospective customers' tongues. It should be easy to spell and pronounce, because the best publicity of a business can often be found through word-of-mouth. If adoring customers can't tell all their friends about the great service they received at Joe Blogg's Patisserie and Coffee Shop, they might just talk about Starbucks instead. 18. Don’t use obscure names. Phil Davis, Founder, Tungsten Branding Avoid making your business name so obscure that customers will never know what it means. It's great for a name to have a special meaning or significance--it sets up a story that can be used to tell the company message. But if the reference is too obscure or too hard to spell and pronounce, you may never have the opportunity to speak to that customer because they'll simply pass you by as irrelevant. If people pass by your storefront, you want them to instantly know what they can expect if they decide to come inside. 19. Write down all your name ideas and don’t filter. Julia, Blogger, Dream a Latte Start writing and make lists of all the names that come to mind. Make lists for feelings or ideas you want your brand to stand for. Don’t be afraid to write down words even if you don’t want to use them, because they may trigger other words. Since I love to be organized, I’d make multiple lists and keep what stood out on a single “namestorming page.” It helps to have your vision/mission, inspirations, and top name ideas all on one page. Make ongoing changes to this page until you find the right name. 20. Don’t be caged in by naming rules. Coffeeshop PR The Internet has helped break all the rules when it comes to naming businesses. A good example of no rules when it comes to names is “Google.” If someone said they were going to name their company “Google” 10 years ago, we would have given them a strange look. Now that word is a noun, verb, and everything in between. 21. Use identifiable visual elements in your name or logo. Andrew Hetzel, Coffee Strategies Keep the image of coffee present so that customers can quickly identify what you do. Picture driving by a business at 40 MPH and seeing the name or logo. In the blink of an eye it should be clear that you serve coffee as a primary business. On the topic of logo: be certain that the logo is clear, not elaborate and has a crisp, easily identified color scheme. 22. Collect as much info about your business as possible. Mary Ellen Spera, CFO/Market Analyst/Lead Copywriter, Parker's Voice When I craft a brand, I seek as much information as possible such as the owner’s name, type of service that differentiates it from others, theme, operating hours, what type of clientele, etc., and suggest names from there. For example: A Roma Java – it will be pronounced as "aroma," but with the "A" separated it will list higher in yellow pages. Bottomless Cup Café – especially good for the establishment that has free refills and serves food too. Daybreak Coffee – good name especially if you only serve the early risers, breakfast crowd. Good Cup of Joe – straightforward; inspires trust Lava Java – good name for a coffee shop that sources its beans from the sides of volcanoes Mr. Green Beans – reminiscent of childhood especially for Baby Boomers who grew up with Captain Kangaroo. Quiet Coffee Corner – good name for a bookstore/coffee shop Whenever Coffee – good for a 24-hour Establishment Wise Ones Cups – good alliteration; good for an establishment which also sells newspapers and magazines 23. Get opinions from others. Tatiana, Delishably After making a very long list of possible names (it is okay to list some that seem silly or outrageous, as this list will be narrowed down, and after reading these outrageous names a few times over, they may grow on you), give the list to close friends and family members and have them choose the names they like. This will give you an idea of what names will give your cafe that frontline appeal, the kind of appeal that can make all the difference. If you are really having a hard time coming up with any names, or if you find yourself stuck between a few good ones, invite a group over to discuss it over some coffee (how suitable)! Just keep sipping that coffee, the name will come to you! 24. Conduct a thorough search to see if the name is already taken. Nina Kaufman, Lawyer, Ask The Business Lawyer There are a few places that you'll want to look to see if anyone else is using the same business name as you are. First, if you are filing as a DBA -- short for "doing business as," a term that indicates an informal business name that's not your legal business name - you will want to check with your local county clerk's office. Or, if you want that to be the name of your corporation or limited liability company, you will need to check with your state's Secretary of State, which approves business entity filings. Second, depending on your plans for your business, you may also want to do a trademark search. There may be no one in your state using the same name but someone in another state may be using it as a trademark. If you have plans for expansion, you could run into conflict and possibly be prevented from using your mark. Over To You We’d like to thank everyone who contributed ideas on how to come up with creative coffee shop names. We hope that these ideas will get your creative juices flowing and that you’ll have caffeine lovers lined up at your newly opened cafe in no time. But before you open your doors, check out our review of the top cafe point-of-sale (POS) systems designed to help you run your entire operation. Some are even free and have loyalty programs built right in -- that's a sure way to help customers remember your name! Speaking of names, what's your favorite naming tip from this list? Leave your comments below and let’s talk!