Charcuterie is a display of prepared meats paired with cheeses and plain vegetables on a traditional board. Charcuterie is the culinary art of preparing meat products such as bacon, salami, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit professionally. Till today, this has remained a popular way to feed guests on a budget for small parties or wine tastings, and a person that prepares charcuterie is called a Charcutier.

Charcuterie business is a subset of the culinary cum food services industry and available data shows that the food service industry is the largest retail employment segment in the world. In the United States, sales of food and beverages were over $700 billion and over $1.2 trillion when combined with retail food supermarkets.

Steps on How to Write a Charcuterie Business Plan

1. Executive Summary

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. is an American-based restaurant business that will major in preparing and serving different flavors of charcuterie boards. Our restaurant will be located in a facility in the heart of West Sacramento, California.

At Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc., we make our food fresh to order with only the finest and freshest ingredients. We take great care and pride in all of the dishes (charcuterie boards) we make. Chef Tom Madison is the founder and CEO of Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc.

  1. Company Profile

a. Our Products and Services

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will be involved in;

  • Preparing and serving different flavors of charcuterie
  • Preparing and serving niche foods
  • Sale of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
b. Nature of the Business

Our charcuterie restaurant will operate with a business-to-consumer model.

c. The Industry

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will operate under the culinary cum food services industry.

d. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a standard and world-class charcuterie cum niche restaurant business that will sell franchises all across the United States of America and other countries of the world. We want to become a household name when it comes to serving charcuterie boards.

e. Vision Statement

Our vision is to establish a charcuterie restaurant brand that will become the number one choice for both residents and tourists in and around our restaurant locations.

f. Our Tagline (Slogan)

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. – Delicious and Well-Prepared Charcuterie Board.

g. Legal Structure of the Business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, LLP)

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will be formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLP).

h. Our Organizational Structure
  • Chief Chef (Owner)
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Accountants (Cashiers)
  • Chef (Cooks)
  • Kitchen Assistants
  • Waiters and Waitress
  • Cleaners
i. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members
  • Tom Madison (Owner and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) 52 Percent Shares
  • Jane Madison (Board Member) 18 Percent Shares
  • Daniel Julius (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Julie Joel (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Bethany Joseph (Board Member and Sectary) 10 Percent Shares.
  1. SWOT Analysis

a. Strength
  • Ideal location for a charcuterie board restaurant
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Access to finance from business partners
  • Excellent customer testimonials
  • A reliable and efficient method of preparing charcuterie board.
b. Weakness
  • Financial Constraints
  • We will be competing with well-established charcuterie cum niche restaurants.
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want
c. Opportunities
  • A rise in people who want to experiment with charcuterie
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets
  • Increase of the number of families in West Sacramento.
i. How Big is the Industry?

Although the culinary cum food services industry is a massive global industry that is worth over $700 billion and over $1.2 trillion when combined with retail food supermarkets, it is important that state that the charcuterie restaurant business is a very small segment in the industry.

ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?

The charcuterie restaurant business is growing because loads of people are beginning to embrace the charcuterie board.

iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry

The future trends when it comes to charcuterie board business will revolve around technology. Software that is meant to predict what customers want from a charcuterie restaurant.

iv Are There Existing Niches in the Industry? If YES, List them

No, there is no existing niche ideas when it comes to the charcuterie board restaurant business because the business is a subset of the restaurant industry.

v. Can You Sell a Franchise of your Business in the Future?

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. has plans to sell franchises in the nearest future and we will target major cities with thriving niche restaurant markets in the United States of America.

d. Threats
  • The arrival of new niche restaurants that also serve charcuterie board within our market space
  • Unfavorable government policy and regulations.
  • Steady wage expenses and increasing prices of gas amid low demand
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Liability problems
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses like ours.
i. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Brick Farm Charcuterie
  • Olympia Provisions
  • New England Charcuterie
  • D’Artagnan
  • Olympia Provisions (Handcrafted Meats & Charcuterie)
  • Brooklyn Cured – Charcuterie
  • French Gourmet Food
  • North Country Charcuterie
  • Elevation Charcuterie
  • Graze Craze
  • Board and You.
ii. Is There a Franchise for Charcuterie Business? 

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for the charcuterie business, and they include;

  • Graze Craze
  • Board and You.
iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Charcuterie Business?

Yes, there are county or state regulations or zoning laws for charcuterie business. Players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing similar food-related businesses in the county where their business is domiciled.

For example, since 2013, The California Homemade Food Act has allowed home cooks to make and sell certain low-risk foods from homes, such as baked goods, jam, and granola—but it does not allow vendors to sell hot, home-cooked foods.

  1. Marketing Plan

a. Who is Your Target Audience?

i. Age Range

Our target market comprises adults above 18 years who have the finance to purchase charcuterie board from us.

ii. Level of Educational

We don’t have any restriction on the level of education of people we will welcome to our charcuterie restaurant.

iii. Income Level

There is no cap on the income level of those we will sell charcuterie boards to.

iv. Ethnicity

There is no restriction on the ethnicity of the people who will purchase charcuterie boards from us.

v. Language

We won’t restrict our customers by language.

vi. Geographical Location

Anybody from any geographical location is free to purchase a charcuterie board from us.

vii. Lifestyle

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will not restrict any customer from purchasing charcuterie board from us based on their lifestyle, culture, or race.

b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies
  • Deliberately Brand All Our Vans and Trucks.
  • Tap Into Text Marketing.
  • Make Use of Bill Boards.
  • Share Your Events in Local Groups and Pages.
  • Turn Your Social Media Channels into a Resource
  • Develop Your Business Directory Profiles
  • Build Relationships with players in the manufacturing and culinary cum food services industry.
i. Traditional Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing through Direct Mail.
  • Print Media Marketing – Newspapers & Magazines.
  • Broadcast Marketing -Television & Radio Channels.
  • OOH, Marketing – Public Transits like Buses and Trains, Billboards, Street shows, and Cabs.
  • Leverage direct sales, direct mail (postcards, brochures, letters, fliers), print advertising (magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards), referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), radio, and television.
ii. Digital Marketing Strategies
  • Social Media Marketing Platforms.
  • Influencer Marketing.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing.
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing.
iii. Social Media Marketing Plan
  • Start using chatbots.
  • Create a personalized experience for our customers.
  • Create an efficient content marketing strategy.
  • Create a community for our target market
  • Gear up our profiles with a diverse content strategy.
  • Use brand advocates.
  • Create profiles on the relevant social media channels.
  • Run cross-channel campaigns.
c. Pricing Strategy

When working out our pricing strategy, Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will make sure it covers profits, insurance, premium, license, economy or value, and full package.

In all our pricing strategy will reflect;

  • Cost-Based Pricing
  • Value-Based Pricing
  • Competition-Based Pricing.
  1. Sales and Distribution Plan

a. Sales Channels

Our channel sales strategy will involve getting partners and third parties such as referral partners, affiliate partners, strategic alliances in the tourism industry, the culinary cum food services industry, and freelancers to help refer customers to us.

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will also leverage the 4 Ps of marketing which are place, price, product, and promotion. By carefully integrating all these marketing strategies into a marketing mix, we can have a visible, in-demand service that is competitively priced and promoted to our customers.

b. Inventory Strategy

The fact that we will need a constant supply of wooden boards and food ingredients, means that Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will operate an inventory strategy that is based on a day-to-day methodology for ordering, maintaining and processing items in our warehouse. We will develop our strategy with with great attention to detail.

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will make sure we work with “Just-in-time (JIT) inventory” – (JIT involves holding as little stock as possible, negating the costs and risks involved with keeping a large amount of stock at hand.)

c. Payment Options for Customers

Here are the payment options that Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees

At Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc., our customers are our top priority. Please call us as soon as you notice that there was an error in your order and you may come to pick up the correct food item.

For credit card payments, you will be refunded the sales price amount associated with the error and recharged for the new items’ price.

For cash payments, you will be asked to pay the difference of the balance if the new food has a greater value than the food received in error. In the same way, you will receive the difference of the balance back as credit for the new item if less than the food received in error. In some cases, we may offer you store credit.

Your order will be a priority if you come to pick it up. In all cases, please return the food order in the original container(s) to our host.

e. Customer Support Strategy

Our customer support strategy will involve seeking customers’ feedback. This will help us provide excellent customer service to our clients, it will also help us to understand their needs, experiences, and pain points. We will work with an effective CRM software to be able to achieve this.

  1. Operational Plan

Our operational plan will cover capacity planning, location planning, layout planning, quality planning, and methods planning.

Overall, we plan to expand our revenue by 25 percent in the second year and the plan will include a marketing, sales, and operations component. The operations component of the plan would include attracting partnership and retainer deals that will enable us boost our charcuterie restaurant service and also support revenue growth.

a. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Charcuterie Restaurant Business?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • The restaurant, serving area and kitchen are cleaned and ready for the day’s business
  • Food ingredients are purchased, washed, and ready for use or cooked
  • Customer’s orders are taken and they are served or their orders are delivered to them
  • Cashier collect’s cash and reconcile account for the day
  • Administrative duties are carried out
  • The store or warehouse is restocked as required
  • The business is closed for the day.
b. Production Process (If Any)

Preparing charcuterie starts by getting your ingredients ready. You add meats and cheese, placing larger items like sliced meats and blocks or slices of cheese on the board first. Thereafter, you add crackers and/or bread, spacing them out on the board, then fill in gaps on your board with fresh and/or dried fruit. Add garnish and serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Also note that you as can prepare a charcuterie and cheese platter a few hours ahead of time. Just wrap it in a plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. Take it out 30-40 minutes before you are ready to serve it. Leave the crackers until the last minute.

c. Service Procedure (If Any)

The service procedure for a charcuterie restaurant starts with a customer requesting a charcuterie board and perhaps drinks.

Once the request is gotten, it will be processed and the customer will be served or the order delivered to a location as requested.

d. The Supply Chain

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will rely on key layers in the tourism industry and the culinary cum food services industry to refer business deals to us. So also, we have been able to establish business relationships with wholesale supplies of cured meats, various cheeses, olives and nuts, dried fruits, crackers, jelly or jam et al.

e. Sources of Income

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. make money from;

  • Preparing and serving different flavors of charcuterie
  • Preparing and serving niche foods
  • Sales of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and water.
  1. Financial Plan

a. Amount Needed to Start your Charcuterie Restaurant?

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. would need an estimate of $150,000 to successfully set up our charcuterie restaurant in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all our staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Cost Involved?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $1,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $1,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $35,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including, commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
  • Start-up Inventory – $15,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Restaurant and Kitchen – $20,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much will it cost?

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will not build a new facility for our charcuterie restaurant; we intend to start with a long-term lease and after 5 years, we will start the process of acquiring our own facility.

d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Charcuterie Restaurant?
  • Cooking supplies such as wooden boards and food ingredients (cured meats, various cheeses, olives and nuts, fruit, crackers, or small slices of bread, jelly, or jam)
  • Utility bills (gas, internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
  • Insurance
  • Marketing costs
e. What is the Average Salary of your Staff? List the Job Position and their proposed salary based on industry rate and your startup capital
  • Chief Chef (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
  • Restaurant Manager – $39,000 Per Year
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager $38,600 Per Year
  • Accountants (Cashiers) $37,000 Per Year
  • Chef (Cooks) – $36,600 Per Year
  • Kitchen Assistants – $28,700 Per Year
  • Waiters and Waitress – $26,000 Per Year
  • Cleaners -$24,000 Per Year
f. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Charcuterie Restaurant
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The price of our charcuterie board will be between $50 and $150. It is important to state that the price will depend on the board’s size and the food on it.

b. Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $250,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $350,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $550,000
c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1) (Profit After Tax): $100,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2) (Profit After Tax): $200,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3) (Profit After Tax): $350,000
d. Profit Margin of a Charcuterie Restaurant 

The ideal profit margin we hope to make at Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will be between 20 and 40 percent depending on the board’s size and the foods we are serving.

  1. Growth Plan

a. How do you intend to grow and expand? 

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. will grow our charcuterie restaurant by first opening other restaurant outlets in key cities in the United States of America within the first five years of establishing the business and then start selling franchises from the sixth year.

b. Where do you intend to expand to and why? (Geographical locations)

Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. plans to expand to Boise – Idaho, San Francisco – California, Chicago – Illinois, Washington, D.C., Boston – Massachusetts, Miami – Florida, Seattle – Washington, Dallas – Texas, and Las Vegas – Nevada.

The reason why we intend to expand to these locations is that available statistics show that the cities listed above have the highest thriving market for niche restaurants in the United States.

  1. Exit Plan

The founder of Chef Tom© Restaurants, Inc. plans to exit the business via family succession. We have put structures and processes in place that will help us achieve our plan of transferring the business from one family member to another and from one generation to another without hitches.