Creating Your Restaurant Mission Statement


A mission statement declares your restaurant’s reason for existing.

Mission statements can vary in length, but they are usually anywhere from one to three sentences and approximately 50 words.

There is, however, no hard and fast rule for length. Some are simple, one sentence statements.

Some restaurant mission statements can be created for different audiences, including customers, investors, employees, and franchisees.

The most effective mission statements are ones you can easily remember.

As a general rule, your mission statements should follow these principles:

Describe value

Describe how you fill diners’ needs and what you add to the restaurant industry.

Inspire your audience

The statement should encourage and inspire your staff and customers.

Be realistic

Your mission should make reasonable promises.

Be specific

Only express what’s necessary to describe your mission.

Example

Chang Thai Restaurant

“To provide our customers with an authentic Thai dining experience, which is enjoyable, delicious, and represents the best quality of service. Our customers will experience Thai culture and Thai dishes which are the same as those found in all four regions of Thailand. Chang Thai is the ‘High Class restaurant at Middle Class prices’.”

Value

Chang Thai Restaurant expresses their value by stating, “an authentic Thai dining experience” and “Our customers will experience Thai culture and Thai dishes which are the same as those found in all four regions of Thailand.”

Inspiration

Chang Thai Restaurant inspires their customers by promising an “authentic Thai dining experience, which is enjoyable, delicious, and represents the best quality of service.”

Realistic

The mission statement doesn’t make any outlandish promises. They don’t claim to be the best Thai food in the world. Instead they express the basics: customers can expect authentic Thai food and good customer service.

Specific

The mission statement touches on:

  • the food customers can expect
  • their target market (a middle-class income level)
  • the quality of the food
  • the quality of service and affordability

Creating Your Restaurant Mission Statement

Why Should I Have a Mission Statement?

Defining your restaurant’s mission statement is important for many reasons. If someone asks you about your restaurant’s main focus and business goals, a mission statement is a great way to let them know what you’re all about.

You’re going to need to get used to talking about your restaurant. A lot.

Here are a few reasons why it’s so important to define a sound mission statement for your restaurant.

To clearly define your restaurant’s purpose to customers and stakeholders.

You customers need to know what to expect. Will they find home-made comfort food at your restaurant? Or will they be getting an authentic cultural experience?

You’ll want to describe what you do at a very high level. Your mission statement should remain the same even when your menu or operations are revised.

To narrow your focus when you’re completing your business plan.

Your mission statement is your foundation for all activities defined in your business plan. Come back to your mission statement when you select menu items, determine customer service standards, and set your marketing strategy.

To tell customers and stakeholders how you’re different.

While there may be ten burger joints in your neighborhood, there’s something that sets you apart from the herd. That something should be clear in your mission statement.

To help customers remember you.

A well-written mission statement can shape a customer’s experience before and after they visit your restaurant. You goal is to ensure their experience matches your mission.

What Makes a Good Mission Statement?

You might be asking yourself: what makes a good mission statement? A good mission statement describes:

  • What your restaurant does
  • How you deliver your customer experience
  • Why you opened your restaurant
  • What your customer can expect
  • The value you provide customers, employees, and stakeholders

When your mission statement is effective, it:

  • Uses succinct language
  • Sets expectations
  • Addresses customer needs
  • Provides direction to your restaurant’s activities
  • Declares your competitive advantage
  • Describes your value in simple terms
  • Drives all decisions

Example

Lotus Seed Mission Statement

“To be catalyst for positive action by serving healthy meals. Offering high quality vegetarian food without compromising the taste and reasonable pricing is the perfect answer to our healthy and conscious customers.”

Lotus Seed’s mission statement expresses:

  • What their customer can expect: “high quality vegetarian food”
  • Their price point and customer needs: “reasonable pricing”
  • Their target customer: “healthy and conscious customers”
  • Their differentiating value: “to be catalyst for positive action by serving healthy meals”

Lotus Seed avoids excessive marketing jargon that would add bulk to their statement. Instead they describe their value concisely in under three sentences.

What Makes a Bad Mission Statement?

You can recognize what makes a bad mission statement when it:

  • Beats around the bush
  • Could apply to any restaurant
  • Uses complex language
  • Is too long
  • Combines mission and vision into one statement

Example

McDonald’s Mission Statement

“McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers’ experience.”

While McDonald’s mission statement starts out strong, it fails to announce what they offer, uses internal jargon with little explanation (Plan to Win), and is very vague.

How to Write a Mission Statement for a Restaurant

Now that you know what a mission statement looks like and why you should have one, here’s how to write a mission statement for a restaurant.

Step 1: Determine your audience.

You can write your mission statement for customers, investors, employees, or all of the above. Before you start, make sure you’re clear on which audience you’re speaking to.

Step 2: Perform a quick brainstorm.

Answer the following questions:

  • What does your restaurant offer?
  • What kind of environment does your restaurant create?
  • How does your restaurant achieve its goals?
  • Who does your restaurant cater to?
  • What are your restaurant’s values? List five.
  • What separates you from the competition?
  • Why does your restaurant do what it does?
  • How do you treat your guests and employees?
  • What does your restaurant promise?

Step 3: Write your mission statement in long form

Using your initial brainstorm as your point of reference, write out your answers in long form. Don’t worry about length or word count at this point. The purpose of this exercise is to put together the building blocks of your mission statement.

Example:

At BeefLess VegMore Burgers:

  • We offer gourmet burgers without meat.
  • We want to create a relaxed but gourmet dining experience.
  • We want to create a relaxed but gourmet dining experience by offering exceptional. service, a laidback atmosphere, and quality food.
  • Our restaurant caters to vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters alike.
  • Our restaurant values sustainable, meat-free meals that don’t taste like they’re vegetarian and exceptional service that caters to every dietary restriction.
  • Our restaurant is different from the competition because our recipes are 100% vegetarian and make meat-eaters forget that they’re missing the meat.
  • We do this to promote a more sustainable world and prove that food can be delicious without meat.
  • We treat guests and employees like family.
  • Our restaurant promises vegetarian burgers, exceptional service, and sustainable ingredients that meat-eaters will love, too.

Step 4: Distill your long-form answers into a single paragraph.

Once you’ve listed out the answers to your initial brainstorm, put them together into one large statement. This might look something like this:

“At BeefLess VegMore Burgers we offer gourmet burgers without meat. We want to create a relaxed but gourmet dining experience. We want to create a relaxed but gourmet dining experience by offering exceptional. service, a laidback atmosphere, and quality food. Our restaurant caters to vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters alike. Our restaurant values sustainable, meat-free meals that don’t taste like they’re meat free and exceptional service. Our restaurant is different from the competition because our recipes are purely vegetarian and make meat-eaters forget that they’re missing the meat. We do this to promote a more sustainable world and prove that food can be delicious without meat. We treat guests and employees like family. Our restaurant promises vegetarian burgers, exceptional service, and sustainable ingredients that meat eaters will love, too.”

Step 5: Edit, edit, edit.

Cut all the fluff. You’ll notice that the answers you’re working with overlap. Your task here is to convey essential information without repeating it.

Tips for editing

Identify recurring themes.

Identify parts of your brainstorm that you’ve repeated more than once. They are important to your mission! These themes will be the base of your mission statement.

Delete redundancies.

You only need to say you’re a vegetarian restaurant once. Once you’ve identified trends, cut parts that you’ve repeated more than once.

Write in an active voice.

“We hope to offer” is wordier and less direct than “we offer.” Always use direct language.

Be positive.

Using negative language makes your copy longer and weaker.

Don’t use two words when one will do.

Be concise in your language. “We always promise,” says the same thing as, “We promise.”

Use strong adjectives or none at all.

When used incorrectly, adjectives can make your mission statement longer. Adjectives add fluff and you want to be direct. Instead of saying, “world-class dining experience” or “delectable, mouth watering food”, get to the point.

Example:

“We offer gourmet burgers without meat. We want to create a relaxed but gourmet dining experience. We want to create a relaxed but gourmet dining experience by offering exceptional service, a laid back atmosphere, and quality food. Our restaurant caters to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Our restaurant values sustainable, meat-free meals that don’t taste like they’re meat free and exceptional service. Our restaurant is different from the competition because our recipes are purely vegetarian and make meat-eaters forget that they’re missing the meat. We do this to promote a more sustainable world and prove that food can be delicious without meat. We treat guests and employees like family. Our restaurant promises vegetarian burgers, exceptional service and sustainable ingredients that meat eaters will love, too.”

Step 6: Refine your draft.

Once you’ve axed redundant information, the next step is to reduce your first draft to three sentences.

When you’re merging ideas together, don’t complicate them. Too many concepts in a single sentence can confuse your future readers. At the same time, be careful you don’t lose key parts of your mission by cutting statements that are actually important.

It’s good to note that creating multiple drafts is a good thing! Your first draft will never be your final draft.

Example:

Our mission…

Gourmet vegetarian burgers so decadent that vegetarians and carnivores alike will forget they’re meat-free. Our guests experience a relaxed dining experience, with dishes created from sustainable ingredients and service that make all customers feel at home. We operate under the belief that a meat-free, sustainable world can still be delicious.

Step 7: Check your mission statement draft against essential criteria.

Check your mission statement against the following questions:

Who: Does your mission statement identify your customer?

Yes: Vegetarians and meat-eaters.

What: Does your mission statement describe what your restaurant offers?

Yes: Vegetarian burgers and a relaxed dining experience.

How: Does your mission statement describe how your restaurant satisfies customer needs?

Yes: Vegetarian food, accommodates all dietary restrictions, fulfills tastes of meat-eaters.

Why: Does your mission statement describe why your restaurant exists?

Yes: To create a meat-free, sustainable world that is still delicious.

Is your mission statement to the point?

Yes: No fluffy language. Present tense.

Is your mission statement based on your competitive differentiator?

Yes: Sustainable ingredients and decadent vegetarian food that will satisfy meat-eaters.

Can your mission statement serve to motivate customers and employees alike?

Yes: Delicious vegetarian, sustainable food is better for the world but still leaves customers satisfied. Customers, employees, and stakeholders are all invited to join in.

Step 8: Get feedback.

Make your mission statement a joint effort. Solicit input from your advisors, whether those are your business partners, friends, prospective customers, or an industry expert. Even better, have your mission statement vetted by a marketing professional.

Your advisors will be able to identify the blind spots, grammatical errors, and redundancies you may not see. Remember: you’re very close to your mission statement. Distance and perspective are your best friends. (If you have a friend who’s an editor, even better!)

A clear, concise, focused mission statement will make appearances beyond your business plan.

Showcase your mission statement on your future website and in your employee handbook. If you decide to franchise one day, highlight it as your corporate mandate. Include it in your job descriptions when you hire staff.

Your mission statement helps you attract customers and staff who believe in your purpose and want to be a part of it. A great mission statement will set you on course from the beginning.

Famous Restaurant Mission Statements

McDonald’s Mission Statement

McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers’ experience.

Dunkin’ Donuts Mission Statement

To be the leading provider of the wide range delicious beverages & baked product around the kingdom in a convenient, relaxed, friendly environment, that insures the highest level of quality product and best value for money. We provide our guests the elegant service and unforgettable experience to meet their expectations in every single visit.

Buffalo Wild Wings Mission Statement

Our mission is to WOW people every day! We are guest-driven: We will WOW our guests every day by achieving the highest level of satisfaction with an extraordinary focus on friendly service, food, fun and value.

We are team-focused: We will WOW our team members by providing the same respect, positive encouragement and fair treatment within the organization that we expect Team Members to share externally with every guest.

We are community-connected: We will WOW the communities where we do business by practicing good citizenship and helping to make these communities better places to live, work and grow.

We are dedicated to excellence: We will WOW our stakeholders with outstanding, industry-leading financial results and operational performance.

Panda Express Mission Statement

To deliver exceptional Asian dining experiences by building an organization where people are inspired to better their lives.

Applebee’s Mission Statement

To contribute to the growth, joy and enrichment of all the lives we touch.

Wendy’s Mission Statement

To deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation and partnerships.

Cheesecake Factory Mission Statement

To create an environment where absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority.

Restaurant Mission Statement Examples

Here a number of restaurant mission statement examples:

Food truck

Raw Fresno

We are here to share our knowledge of health and healing, making a difference in every life we touch through education and great food.

Coffee shop

COFFEED

Our mission is to provide superior products at competitive prices, while keeping charitable giving at the forefront of all we do.

Fine dining

Gabrieau’s

As the leader in the foodservice industry, we will strive to provide the highest level of consistency in the quality and delivery of our products, services and knowledge.

Bakery

COBS Bread

The COBS Bread brand has been built on our commitment to the quality of our product, the development of our people and the delight the combination of these two elements brings to our customers.

Vegan restaurant

Bliss Raw Cafe and Elixir Bar

Eat clean. Eat raw. Live well.

Vegetarian restaurant

Lotus Seed

To be catalyst for positive action by serving healthy meals. Offering high quality vegetarian food without compromising the taste and reasonable pricing is the perfect answer to our healthy and conscious customers.

Breakfast restaurant

Sunset Grill

We strive to be the best breakfast restaurant in town. We take pride in providing a warm, friendly and clean atmosphere for our customer’s enjoyment and satisfaction. We serve only the highest quality fresh foods and use the healthiest cooking methods.

Sushi restaurant

Tokimeite

To bring the spirit of Japan to your dining table in the ultimate, authentic dining experience.

Pizza restaurant

Boston Pizza

To be a world class franchisor through selecting and training people to profitably manage an outstanding food service business. To achieve this goal we are innovative and responsive in our approach in business. We work as a team providing attention to detail but never losing sight of the larger picture. We recognize the need to provide leadership in all areas of operations, marketing and restaurant development.

Japanese ramen restaurant

Kimura Ramen Restaurant

We are committed to a traditional execution of Japanese food and culture.

Mexican restaurant

Zia Taqueria

To operate a community-minded & efficient fast-service, fresh-mex restaurant with a safe, clean, comfortable environment.

Fast food

Chipotle’s

Better food accessible to everyone.

Greek restaurant

Orapax

Blending Family, Fun & Drinks with authentic Greek cuisine giving you an unforgettable experience to eat and drink like a Greek once a week!

Thai Restaurant

Chang Thai Restaurant

To provide our customers with an authentic Thai dining experience, which is enjoyable, delicious, and represents the best quality of service. Our customers will experience Thai culture and Thai dishes which are the same as those found in all four regions of Thailand. Chang Thai is the ‘High Class restaurant at Middle Class prices’.