What is the Purpose of a Pitch Deck?

Apr 15, 2024

Photo of Kimberly Belle and Alison Arth, courtesy of Julia Ngo of Eloquent Co. 

If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, I bet you’ve already heard someone say the 4 most common words you’ll hear in your fundraising process….

"Send me your deck."

Whether you’re hoping to secure a small business bank loan, or you’re planning to seek private investment from your network and community, the first thing everyone will ask for is your pitch deck. 

If you already own a business, you may have an old deck from your prior fundraising process, and I bet you’ve received a bunch of them from aspiring restaurateurs hungry for your feedback and investment. 

You might be wondering, “As a business owner, do I still need a pitch deck?”

If you hear yourself in either of these descriptions, read on. 

In this blog, we’ll cover…

  •  What is a pitch deck and why do you need one if you’re planning to open a business?
  •  Why create a pitch deck if you already own a business? 
  •  Where can you find an editable template and sample pitch deck to save time and make sure you’ve covered all your bases? 
  •  How do you create an attention grabbing pitch deck without spending tons of money?

Business Pitch Deck Definition

What the heck is the purpose of a pitch deck?!

We don’t know what ‘business pitch deck definition’ would turn up if you searched it on Google, but after supporting the opening of over 50 restaurants, we certainly feel qualified to offer our own definition. 


A pitch deck is a visually driven executive summary of your concept. It distills your vision down to its most essential components and adds color to it with inspirational images, graphics, and brand touch points that together, bring your forthcoming restaurant or hospitality concept to life.


This is mandatory work for any entrepreneur who is seeking funding from external sources (meaning, anywhere other than your own bank account). 

And we think it’s an essential piece of work to commit to for clarifying your business case even if you’re funding your next project yourself!

Your pitch deck will almost always be the first document you share with internal and external stakeholders to whom you’re looking to offer a clear and comprehensive understanding of the business you’re building. 

This audience may include potential investors as you work to get your business off the ground, and later on, this same document can be repurposed for recruiting your opening leadership team, strategic partners (like say a designer or real estate agent), and anyone else charged with bringing a piece of your vision from the idea phase into operational reality.

Your pitch deck will include things like:

  • A succinct 1-2 sentence summary of your concept (your elevator pitch!)
  • Brief bio and resume highlights for you, your partners, and any key leaders you’ve already identified
  • Your business values and purpose statement, and some headlines about how you intend to live into them and how they serve profitability 
  • An overview of your vision for the culinary, service, and hospitality experience
  • Inspiration images that speak to how you see your space, food, drinks, and staff uniforms coming to life 
  • An operational overview that lays out business hours, meal periods, and projected seating capacity
  • Details about the type of location you’re seeking, including parking capacity, square footage, zoning requirements, liquor licensing, and budgeted rent
  • Sample menus
  • Testimonials from supporters of your work
  • Target location and demographics
  • A competitive analysis of other similarly situated restaurants
  • Your projected pre-opening timeline
  • Headlines of your capital budget and pro-forma P&L
  • A summary of the anticipated return on investment (ROI) for an investor, based on the investment terms you’ve outlined in your business plan

Feel overwhelming? We got you. Stick with us….

What is the Purpose of a Pitch Deck in the Hospitality Industry?

You already know that restaurants have a horrendous financial reputation. 

The fact that you can’t count how many times you’ve heard (or experienced) that restaurants are often much better ways to lose money than to make it underscores the importance of doing your homework as an entrepreneur in this business. 

Your pitch deck is just one piece of that homework. 

(And if you’re wondering what the complete version of ‘doing your homework’ as an aspiring restaurateur looks like, check out our How to Open a Restaurant toolkit). 

A pitch deck is a polished distillation of the much more expansive thinking you’ll do when crafting a business plan, allowing potential funders to step into your vision and the financials that support it without having to wade through a super long, text heavy document that contains a higher level of detail than they need at this early stage of getting to know you and your concept.

Creating a strong pitch deck is a gift, first and foremost…to you!

It will allow you to easefully and confidently explain your concept to every audience without having to rely on your memory, or your particular energy level that day. 


Utilizing this tool whenever you’re describing your business to someone else for the first time ensures that you communicate clearly, thoroughly, and consistently so you don’t have to worry about forgetting critical details. 


It will support you in keeping whoever you’re pitching to engaged and excited about your project because you’ve already thought in advance about what’s most important to share, and how you want to share it. 

Creating a strong pitch deck is the first step in building trust and confidence with potential investors by demonstrating thoughtful preparation, professional polish, and skillful communication.

Why Invest in Creating a Pitch Deck if you Already Own a Business? 

If you already own a business, you might be wondering:

“Should I invest the time in creating a pitch deck or editing the one I made before I opened?”

The answer is…maybe!  

If you already own a business, think of this tool as a Concept Deck. Rather than using a polished, concise summary of your business for the purpose of pitching potential funders, you’d be stripping out the slides about proforma financials and capital budgets and using the comprehensive, clarifying information that remains for things like:

  • Team training
  • Leadership interviewing & onboarding
  • New hire orientation
  • PR & media opportunities
  • Pre-reading you can offer to anyone who wants to “have a coffee and pick your brain” in an effort to make those conversations deeper and more impactful for both parties

Think about every instance you hear yourself describing the essential components of your business (or wishing that you’d done a more complete job of it). All of those are opportunities for saving time, increasing consistency, and ensuring completeness by sharing a Concept Deck before, during, or after interacting with a potential partner or employee.

Pitch Deck Examples PDF & Editable Template 

If you’re thinking, “Wow, this is a lot of work,” you’re not wrong. 

But, you don’t have to start from scratch. 

When we asked our early clients what would be most helpful for them as they approached the task of creating an impressive, polished pitch deck to raise money for their new restaurants and food businesses, they said:

  • “I wish I could see what a great, finished pitch deck looks like.”
  • “I’d feel so much more confident doing this myself if I had a structure to follow so I knew I was covering all the bases of what an investor or bank is expecting to see.”
  • “I hate writing. I need direct prompts, an idea of how long each section should be, and templated text to support me.”
  • “I know one of the most important qualities of a great pitch deck is that it’s visually stunning. But, I’m not a designer and I can’t afford to hire one. I wish I had a chic, easy-to-use template that I could customize.”

We listened.

Then we created a comprehensive, plug and play pitch deck template that you can fully edit and make your own in Google Slides or PowerPoint. 

Our $95 Pitch Deck Toolset (yes, you heard that right…we’re offering a collection of tools that would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars to hire a designer to create for less than a hundred bucks) includes….

  1. A comprehensive PDF guide that explains what a Pitch Deck should be used for, exactly how to customize it for your project, when to implement it, and suggestions for other supportive pre-opening resources based on our decades of experience opening successful hospitality businesses.
  2. An editable, interactive Google Slides document (that can also be used in PowerPoint) will serve as your Pitch Deck template, complete with detailed instructions and tips for designing and copywriting a brilliant deck.
  3. A completed sample pitch deck generously shared by one of our most treasured clients. We know you’ll find it to be a supportive reference tool and an inspiration for what's possible as you begin to build your own. And, it’ll chase away all those nasty thoughts that sound like “Am I doing this right??”

How Long Should a Pitch Deck Be?

There’s no precise number of slides that fulfills the purpose of a pitch deck. Our template is intentionally on the longer side to support entrepreneurs in creating a comprehensive deck that covers all your bases. 

But as per always, we invite you to make this work your own and delete or adapt slides that aren’t relevant to your project and add any additional content that will truly make your deck sing!

Once you’ve crafted a complete deck, you can easily create multiple versions of the document that cater to different audiences and interest levels because it’s not always appropriate to share your project with the same level of intimacy in every room you pitch. 


Think about the pitching process like dating. If you make eye contact with someone at the bar, the next step might be to swap phone numbers or trade a story or two. Once you’ve been on a handful of dates, it’ll feel more easeful and appropriate to share yourself with more depth. 


Similarly with pitching:

  •  If you’ve just met someone and shared a bit about your vision with them, you might choose to send them a tight version of your deck (maybe 10-15 slides) that doesn’t include financial information, and then offer to share more information if they’re interested. 
  •  If you’ve had multiple conversations with an interested prospect about what you’re building or you’re pitching to someone who already knows you and your work well, you might choose to send them the most robust version of your deck (maybe 20-30 slides), putting your vision on full display. 

5 Tips on How to Create a Pitch Deck without Spending Tons of Money

Pitch decks can present a real chicken and egg dilemma. 

So many first time entrepreneurs skip the absolutely critical step of creating a pitch deck because in addition to being informative, it’s important that your pitch deck is beautiful. 

And, if your dream is to open a restaurant, you’re probably not a professional graphic designer. 

Hiring a designer—even if it’s someone in your network who’s willing to give you a juicy discount—can cost thousands of dollars. And the whole reason you’re creating a deck is because you don’t have funding yet!

The good news? 

You don’t have to spend tons of money. Here are 5 ways to get it done with excellence for less than $100:

  1. Use a professional template that is designed specifically for hospitality businesses, like this pitch deck template
  2. Use your own skills or ask a friend to create a simple logo and choose some brand colors and fonts that fit your aesthetic. None of this needs to be your final brand identity, just something simple to create a unifying style for your deck that speaks to your concept. 
  3. Choose high quality inspiration images and graphics throughout your document. Great photography is what’s going to bring your deck to life, so invest time in choosing thoughtful images that reflect what you’re aspiring to create, and that are a high image quality that’ll look sharp in PDF form. 
  4. Ask multiple people in your community (preferably those with strong written communication skills) to edit your writing and do a thorough spell check.
  5. Ask any mentors or trusted colleagues you aren’t necessarily expecting to invest to read your deck with the intention of poking holes in your assumptions. You might even invite them to sit in on a mock pitch to work through any anxiety you have presenting! Ask them to challenge your pitch and your business case in an effort to strengthen and improve it, and if you don’t have any qualified professionals in your orbit to offer this sort of thought partnership, consider hiring a coach

The Art of the Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief (think 30 seconds) way of introducing yourself, getting across one or two key points, and inviting someone into a concise but meaningful connection. 

Once you have your pitch deck shaped up and ready to share, your work becomes all about growing your web of relationships in search of the right people to help you bring your project to life. Some of those people might be funders, some might be contractors and designers, and others might be future regular guests. 

Every person you meet is an opportunity to pitch. Don’t get caught up in waiting for the perfect moment or limit yourself to people who directly ask what you’re up to. One of the biggest muscles you’ll need to grow as an entrepreneur is your comfort level with putting yourself out there and asking for what you want. 

Get in the habit of:

  •  Introducing yourself to new people
  •  Sharing that you’re in the process of opening a restaurant or food business
  •  Creating a 1-2 sentence summary of your concept that’s clear, juicy, and leaves the person you’re speaking to hungry for more, and sharing all of that as a part of your introduction
  •  Asking if whomever you’re speaking to would like to learn more about your project
  •  Asking for contact information so you can keep them in the loop, regardless of whether they’re interested in investing

How Salt & Roe Can Help You with Your Pitch Deck 

Your pitch deck will directly influence your ability to raise money for your concept, and how quickly you can raise it. It’s a big piece of work, and you don’t have to go it alone. 

Here are 6 ways we can support you to create a pitch deck that you feel proud of:

  1. $0 Investment: Download The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Funding. This guide delivers expert advice from 21 industry leaders you won't find anywhere else on how to embrace fundraising.  
  2. $95 Investment: Our Pitch Deck Template has everything you need to create a beautiful, polished, professional pitch deck that presents all of the information funders expect to see.  
  3. $295 Investment: If you read this post and you aren’t sure if you have all the information you need to craft a complete pitch deck, check out our Business Plan Bundle. Writing a business plan demands that you get crystal clear about what you’re creating, why you’re creating it, how you’re going to execute your vision, and whether it’s financially viable. We see business planning as the unavoidable first step you must do before drafting a pitch deck that can close!
  4. $150 Investment: If you utilize our Business Plan Template and want a member of Salt & Roe’s industry experienced coaching team to review your draft from top to bottom and provide online, written feedback that includes in-line text edits, formatting suggestions, and comments with advice on structuring your plan, take a look at our Copyediting Support for your Business Plan.
  5. $995 Investment: Our How to Open a Restaurant Toolkit gives you instant access to the 5 essential tools you need to develop and open an irresistible hospitality concept that generates prosperity and purpose for you, your team, your guests, and your community from day one. It includes our Pitch Deck Toolset, Business Plan Bundle, our How to Open a Restaurant eBook, Pre-Opening Critical Path, and Guide to Hospitality and Service Template. 
  6. $12k Investment: If you’re looking for private coaching from a team who's been through it all when it comes to opening restaurants, our 6-month Business Development Program might be for you. We work with 4 VIP clients a year in this highly personalized coaching program that’s designed to meet you exactly where you are, and catapult you to where you want to be. Apply here

You’re busy, we know. And writing a pitch deck is the type of work that’s easy to put off. The best way to make sure you keep stepping one foot in front of the other is to give yourself tools that provide scaffolding so it feels easy to keep moving forward. You got this, and we got you. 

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