Simulated Business Plan -- page 2

Pierre's Berkshire Bistro

Responding to the Market Opportunity

Pierre's Pittsfield Bistro would capitalize on the region's changing market for dining out by opening at a distance from competitors in its market niche. The restaurant would be located in an attractive street just south of downtown on Highway 7, the county's main north-south thoroughfare.

Currently, the immediate area in Pittsfield is served by an array of restaurants. They include the major fast food chains, local coffee shops, and several moderately priced chains. For example, Pittsfield has the nation's highest grossing Bonanza, as well as a Red Lobster and a Ground Round. The city has a substantial Italian population and continues to have a number of Italian restaurants in low to moderate price ranges, but most tend to be neighborhood places with little attention paid to ambience.

Thus a restaurant in the fine dining category would have relatively little competition in close proximity. It would have to draw patrons from beyond the city of Pittsfield. But it is located in a region where driving substantial distances for a fine dinner is a well-established practice.

Indeed, for residents of northern Berkshire County, Pierre's would be closer than existing gourmet destinations.

Pittsfield has the only regional shopping mall between Albany and Springfield and between Manchester, Vermont and northern Connecticut, and it draws on a market area that radiates for miles in every direction.

Pierre's Berkshire Bistro would draw on the same market area.

Managing the Business

While there appear to be substantial opportunities for a French restaurant in the Pittsfield area, operating a restaurant is a complex business. Pierre's prospects are good, however, because the area offers attractive opportunities with regard to all of the major determinants of a restaurant's success: real estate, labor, and food, and because of the managerial skills.

Real Estate

Because large scale manufacturing is being supplanted by service industries that require limited space, real estate prices are relatively low in Pittsfield. The management of Pierre's has identified an attractively located site and has an option to buy the building and the land under it. The building was formerly a steakhouse that went out of business as a result of declining consumption of beef. A restaurant in this location would meet all zoning regulations. Because of the building's previous use as a restaurant, little structural work would be required. Substantial expenditures would be needed to create the appropriate ambience, however.

Total expenditures for refurbishment and decorating are shown in Attachment B.


The Pittsfield area has a reputation for hardworking employees. With unemployment above nine percent, semiskilled employees would be easy to recruit. While Pittsfield's General Electric plants have been heavily unionized, there has been little penetration of trade unionism in other industries, and there is limited likelihood that the proposed business would be organized by a trade union. The attractiveness of the Berkshires would also make it easy to recruit qualified chefs as needed. Pittsfield is located only 70 miles north of the Culinary Institute of America, one of the nation's preeminent training sites for chefs. continued ...



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