How To Start A Profitable Restaurant Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Step By Step Guide
The restaurant business in Nigeria and many other places around the world is one of the most lucrative ventures to start up. This is largely a result of the insatiable worldwide demand for food, which doesn’t just make it a highly profitable business for budding entrepreneurs, but also one of the best recession proof business ideas to explore.
The demand for food worldwide has no respect for social classes. Both the rich and poor have to feed, and as such, must spend money on food. A majority of the small and middle class citizens patronise mini-roadside restaurants also known as “mama put” in Nigeria, for their daily staple meals. While a bulk of the upper middle class and rich, spend more time on high-class fast food restaurants.
With the restaurant business generating over $100 billion dollars yearly, the opportunities that it holds for aspiring entrepreneurs looking towards its coffers remain bountiful.
If you’re looking for the complete guide on how to start a restaurant business in Nigeria, Africa, or any where else around the world, read on:
What Does It Mean To Run A Restaurant?
Running a fast food restaurant business or an eatery, means always having food and drinks ready to be served in exchange for money, as soon as your customers demand it. The food would usually be served and eaten in the restaurant’s premises, but could also be packaged for a take-away or home delivery service.
What Type Of Entrepreneur Should Start A Restaurant Business?
Most individuals believe they’re cutout to run a restaurant because they’re excellent cooks. Others feel it is a way for them to escape their 9 to 5 jobs and create their own work hours.
If your reason for starting a restaurant is any of the two listed above, then you’re entirely off course. Running a restaurant has nothing to do with you knowing how to cook. You could as well have no experience in cooking, but still run the most successful fast food restaurant business in your neighbourhood.
Successfully running a restaurant business is more about having exceptional hospitality skills and requires a very large portion of your time.
It also requires you hiring experienced cooks that not just thrive on their ability to prepare tasty meals, but also pay an extraordinary attention to detail in the health conditions in which the food is prepared.
In summary, the restaurant business is only cutout for those who have great hospitality skills and are ready to sacrifice a lot of their time for many months or years.
Business Opportunities In The Restaurant Business
A local population of about 195 million people in Nigeria makes the restaurant business a very lucrative one to explore. This extremely large number of individuals living in just one country proves that starting a restaurant business in Nigeria is a no-brainer, and should be taken advantage-of by anyone looking for a profitable small business idea to start up.
While Nigeria as a country may be vastly populated, the African population as a whole, is estimated at over 1 billion people. This means one billion potential customers because, every human must feed! It is an inevitable truth, and whether an individual patronises restaurants or not, at some point during the year, they’d visit a restaurant to get a quick meal.
The unstoppable population explosion in Africa is driving thousands of local and international food entrepreneurs to get into the continent’s restaurant business. By taking advantage of the population growth, any entrepreneur can also venture into the restaurant business and turnout successful if all the right conditions are met.
There’s also the opportunity to enter the restaurant industry by going through Franchise opportunities. However, bidding for a franchise can be difficult, and you may be up against competition. If going down this route, consider hiring a company who specialises in bid writing to help secure you a winning bid.
Benefits Of Running A Restaurant Business
1). Availability of food
2). A great source of income
3). A chance to network with high profile individuals
4). Low startup cost depending on the type of restaurant
Facts About The Restaurant Business
1). You have to be consistent
2). You have to pay attention to the smallest details
3). Customer service is everything
4). The food quality must never be compromised
5). Always go for high quality materials, food, and staff.
6). It can be difficult to manage
The Popular Types Of Restaurants
1). Roadside Restaurants (“Mama Put”):
These are by far the most patronised and popular types of restaurants in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. They’re usually small sheds located in almost every street in an African city, and are usually about one or two per street, owned by different individuals.
The middle class and lower level citizens patronise these restaurants a lot, largely because of the size of the meal and low pricing.
2). Fast Food Restaurants:
These are the second most popular types of restaurants in Nigeria, but the most popular types of restaurants in the world. Their speed, convenience, and fair prices makes them a popular choice for so many people.
The biggest players in this restaurant niche are fast food restaurants like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Chicken Republic, Sweet Sensation, and a whole lot more.
3). Food Truck Restaurants:
Food truck restaurants serve quick snacks and meals from a truck. The truck could be stationary or in motion, but are largely used because of their low cost and low overhead, which makes it easy to quickly open a food truck restaurant business.
The ability for the food truck to go where ever the customers are, also gives it an edge over other types of restaurants. Its staffing needs are also low, making it a perfect low cost method to start up a restaurant in busy areas like markets, universities, and more.
4). Fine Dining Restaurants:
These are the luxury type of restaurants where the tables are dressed in white clothing, a menu is presented upon settling in a table, a waiter is always available to tend to your needs, and your payment is only collected after your meal and night out is over.
The atmosphere in these type of restaurants are always unique, the music is always perfect, and the service cost is always high.
The fine dining restaurant business is always targeted to the upper class citizens of every country. However, you can restaurant coupons to make your dining experience more reasonable.
How To Start A Restaurant Business: The Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Choose A Restaurant Idea:
Picking the right restaurant niche depends on your personality. Are you a person who loves hanging around people? Do you prefer to be in the kitchen? What drives you naturally?
If you’re a people-person, starting up a restaurant business that gives you the opportunity to meet and connect with a lot of people is a great bet for you. You need to find a restaurant that you’ve visited, such as lukes lobster, that you want to base your own restaurant off. This means you have a starting point!
If on the other hand, you’re not comfortable interacting with a lot of people, starting up a bakery could work out right for you, since you’d largely be concerned with the management of the business, instead of its direct service.
You also need to determine if you can naturally work with the routine involved in the particular type of restaurant you intend to start up. If the routines are not processes that you can follow on a daily basis, you’re better off choosing a different type of restaurant business to start.
Step 2: Find A Great Location:
After picking a great niche for your restaurant business, the next thing to do is to choose a great location to setup your first branch. Some factors you need to consider before picking a location are:
- Accessibility to customers
- Proximity of other competitors
- Car parking facilities
- The cost of rent
- Potential sales volume
And a whole lot more.
When you’re certain you’ve found a great spot to setup your restaurant business in, the next step is to create a menu.
Step 3: Create A Menu:
Your menu is one of the key items that will set you apart from your competitors. For instance, KFC is known for their crispy chickens, McDonalds is know for their burgers, Dominos is known for their pizza, and the list goes on.
The look, taste, and feel of the meals on your menu must be exceptional and entirely different from whatever similar products are out there.
The sense of taste and smell is a very powerful factor in positioning the brand of any restaurant business. It brings back memories and drives uncontrollable cravings.
When your meals standout, people will remember you.
Step 4: Hire Talented Employees:
Finding skilled individuals to join your restaurant team can be a real pain. It is usually difficult to get great hands, especially people who are naturally welcoming, skilled in their crafts, and are ready to do anything to see your business succeed.
Since hiring is a large problem new restaurant businesses face, it is important that you explicitly outline what you want your team members to achieve, so you can focus only on finding those traits when you’re going through your recruitment process.
Some highly-skilled key staffs your restaurant business needs are chefs/cooks, waiters, and a manager.
Challenges Of Running A Restaurant Business
1). Unstable menu pricing
2). Poor inventory management
3). Deciding on a less crowded restaurant niche
4). Hiring and training qualified staff
5). Startup Capital: depending on the type of restaurant
7). Close competition
8). Keeping up with the market trends
9). Poor attention to detail
10). Lack of dedication and time commitment
Figuring out how to start a restaurant business in Nigeria or anywhere else around the world may not be as hard you think, but running it successfully is where the hard work comes in. If you plan to start and run a restaurant business successfully in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere else around the world, you need to understand its pros and cons thoroughly, so you can put in the right amount of effort and dedication to make it a success.
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