Industry sector:

Chinese catering: Estimating income

Note: all figures on this page are included for illustrative purposes only

Your weekly income will probably be affected by a number of things, including:

  • your opening hours and the number of days each week that you're open
  • the number of seats in your restaurant
  • the number of sittings you have
  • how full you are on each day of the week
  • your prices, and the average 'spend' in your restaurant
  • how much take-away business you do (if any)

For example, your restaurant may have room for 60 diners but you will only be really full on Friday and Saturday, when you might serve 100 people, in two or more sittings. Thursday and Sunday may be quite busy too, when you serve around 65 people, but the rest of the week is often quiet. You decide to close on Mondays. You only have a few people in on Tuesday and Wednesday. So your weekly sales pattern might be something like:

Number of covers served

  • Monday - Closed
  • Tuesday - 10 covers
  • Wednesday - 20 covers
  • Thursday - 65 covers
  • Friday - 100 covers
  • Saturday - 100 covers
  • Sunday - 65 covers

If you offer a menu and wine list in the mid-price range the average spend per head in the restaurant might be in the region of £20.00. In the above example the 360 covers served in the week would bring in income of £7,200.

You may find that your average per-head spend is higher on certain days of the week - probably Fridays and Saturdays when people tend to order more drinks - and at certain times of the year like Christmas.

You might also decide to offer a take-away service at a discounted price. Take-away sales might amount to around 20% of turnover. Continuing with the above example this would add a further £1,800, bringing total weekly income to £9,000. If you are licensed to sell alcohol, income from drinks might amount to between 15% and 20% of this.

Once you have decided on the size of your restaurant and your pricing policy enter your estimate of monthly income in the cash flow. Don't forget that you are likely to serve more customers in the run up to Christmas. If you have a large number of customers from the local Chinese community then festivals like Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) may also be very busy.