Restaurant Mission Statement: Writing the Best One for Your Brand

A black wall with red neon cursive lettering that spells out the restaurant's mission statement: "all we do is burger"

Whether you are opening your first restaurant or you’re working on a new direction for an existing establishment, writing a restaurant mission statement can be a helpful practice. Crafting a mission statement will help your restaurant establish a clear identity. The exercise of actually writing the statement forces you to think about your principles and goals, which go deeper than simply serving food. Ultimately, the mission statement also provides guidance for the decision-making process and outlines values and expectations for employees and customers. 

Getting Started Writing Your Restaurant Mission Statement

Crafting your mission statement starts with some critical thinking and exploration. Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself to help generate ideas:

  • What kind of restaurant do I want to open?
  • What kind of restaurant do I want to avoid becoming?
  • What do I have to offer customers and the community as a whole?
  • What sets my restaurant apart?
  • What is my overarching goal for the restaurant when it comes to owners, managers, employees, and customers?

Start by thinking in terms of action words or verbs. For example, “Our mission is to share our family recipes and highlight our culture.” 

From there you can expand your thoughts and add to your statement. 

Mission Vs. Vision

Mission statements were first popularized in the nonprofit sector. In fact, U.S.-based nonprofits are required to have a mission statement to help guide their efforts. For profit companies, including restaurants, will often also outline their values and vision. While these terms tend to be used interchangeably, there are some key differences.

  • Mission statement – articulates your beliefs and why you started the restaurant.

Zaxby’s: “Consistently create encore experiences that enrich lives, one person at time.”

  • Vision statement – outlines how the future will be impacted and shaped as you achieve your mission.

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

  • Value statement – focuses on what your business stands for. 

L.L. Bean: “Treat your customers like human beings.”

While the differences may seem subtle, each one speaks to a specific aspect of the business and its operations.

What Makes a Good Restaurant Mission Statement?

A strong mission statement articulates the true heart of the company in a way that establishes a target for employees and sets expectations for clients. The mission statement should use precise and concise language and be specific to your company. A generic message that could easily apply to other restaurants won’t provide the guidance you are looking for. 

Once you have written your mission statement, it should be prominently displayed so that it can become a true part of the company culture. According to Luke Saucier, author of Cooking with Gas: The Official Guide to Restaurant Startups and Operations, “The mission statement should guide the culture. It should be posted all over the place so that employees can refer to it. They’re not idle words; they need to affect you and your business every day.”

Key Elements of a Strong Mission Statement

While there are no absolutes when it comes to writing a strong mission statement, there are some best practices worth considering. Pay attention to these key elements as you develop your restaurant’s mission statement:

  • Unique: You want your mission statement to help you stand out from the crowd. If it is too generic, you won’t achieve this goal.
  • Concise: Your mission statement should capture the essence of your business in a concise statement that is easy to understand and remember. While it can be a few sentences long, try to keep it to under five sentences.
  • Accurate: Your mission statement should honestly represent your restaurant. If you aren’t living up to the expectations set forth by the mission statement, it is time to make some changes.
  • Actionable: Define your goals and make sure that they are achievable and that you have actual strategies for achieving them.
  • Transparent: Avoid impersonal language or giving into cliches. Be genuine and authentic.
  • Achievable: Any goals that you set for your restaurant should be measurable and achievable. Simply wanting to be the best doesn’t offer an opportunity to measure your performance and make adjustments.

Benefits of Writing a Mission Statement

Establishing a strong mission statement will have a positive influence on all aspects of your business. It will help you stay on track and help you make decisions. Here are just a few areas that will benefit from a mission statement

1. Hiring your dream team. 

The mission statement will attract applicants who appreciate the company culture and want to be active participants in helping your restaurant meet its goals. Hiring managers can use the statement to hire service professionals who align best with the overall vision for the company.

2. Providing clear direction. 

A mission statement provides clear direction to the entire team. It will help everyone from leadership to employees and suppliers to know exactly where the business stands and where you want it to go. 

3. Differentiating your business from the competition. 

The bar and restaurant industry is highly competitive. The mission statement will tell customers why they should choose your restaurant over all others. For example, if you are focusing on using sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, this should be apparent in your mission statement. Customers can read it and instantly understand why they might be paying more for your dishes. This is important since 73% of customers report that they are happy to pay more for high-quality ingredients. 

Examples of Restaurant Mission Statements

  • Buffalo Wild Wings – “Our mission is to WOW people every day!”
  • Avanti’s Italian Restaurant – “We prepare and serve high quality, simple food, at a great value, in a home-like environment.”
  • The Cheesecake Factory – “To create an environment where absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority.”
  • Domino’s – “To break down the barriers between customers, and the food they love to share.”
  • Krispy Kreme – “To make the most awesome doughnuts on the planet every single day.”
  • Momo Mee – “Going back to basics. Connecting flavors of Asia with the community through culinary traditions and culture.”
  • P.F. Chang – “To HONOR Life. Family. Food.”
  • Ruby Tuesday – “Quality. Passion. Pride.”
  • Sweetgreen – “We believe choices we make about what we eat, where it comes from and how it’s prepared have a direct and powerful impact on the health of individuals, communities and the environment.”
  • Which Wich – “Some want to make superior sandwiches. Some want to make the world a better place. We want to do both.”
  • Chipotle – “Food with integrity.”
  • Iron Hill Brewery – “Inspire loyalty in both our guests and in our staff.”
  • Saxby’s Coffee – “Make Life Better.”

With so many other aspects to consider when opening and running a restaurant, writing a mission statement may seem like a low priority. However, it can help establish the foundation of your business and help guide even the smallest decisions. It will also give you and every member of your team a clear vision to follow every day. Taking the time to think critically about the type of restaurant you want to own will reap all sorts of long-term benefits

FAQs 

What is a good mission statement for a restaurant? 

A strong mission statement uses concise language to express the core of the company and communicate standards and expectations to customers and employees.

Why should you write a restaurant mission statement? 

A mission statement will help you hire the right people, give your team direction and help you differentiate your restaurant from the competition. 

How do you write a mission statement for a restaurant? 

Start by asking yourself some key questions about the type of restaurant you do and don’t want to be, what you want to offer customers and the community, what makes you different, and what is your overall goal?

What is the mission and vision of a restaurant?

A mission refers to why your restaurant was started in the first place and your beliefs. A restaurant’s vision speaks to how the future will look different when the restaurant’s mission has been completed.

What are some examples of restaurant mission statements?

Buffalo Wild Wings

“Our mission is to WOW people every day!”

Avanti’s Italian Restaurant

“We prepare and serve high quality, simple food, at a great value, in a home-like environment.”

The Cheesecake Factory

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

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