How to Start Up a Restaurant Business in Nigeria. Are you someone that has the passion for food? Are you a fantastic cook? Do you want to make some money from your passion and skill? Then take out the next few minutes to read this article. This write up is intended to show you how to start up a restaurant in Nigeria.
It is commonly said that the basic need of man is food. Every human needs food to survive. In fact, almost every human being must eat at least once in a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Considering the importance of food to man, it is no wonder that the restaurant business is one of the most lucrative small and medium scale businesses anyone can think of.
By the time you are done reading this article, you will have a clear picture of how to start up a restaurant in Nigeria.
I am going to start by detailing the major things you will need to consider before you proceed to start up a restaurant in Nigeria.
1. Decide on the Class of Restaurant
The first thing that you need to get clear in your head is the class of restaurant you intend to set up. For the purpose of this write up, I will classify restaurants in Nigeria into four groups;
- The Low Class: This is the type of restaurant that is locally referred to as “Buka” or your “Iya Basira” lol!! This type is targeted at the low income earners. They mostly sell local dishes. They usually have wooden benches and tables for customers use. A typical plate of food here could cost between ₦150 – ₦250 per plate.
- The Middle Class: The middle class restaurants are much like the low class ones. Only that they are a bit more comfortable, have slightly better furniture and sitting arrangement, probably plastic tables and chairs. They largely serve the same type of food as the low class ones. Food here could cost between ₦300 – ₦700 plate.
- The Upper Middle Class: This type of restaurants are targeted at the middle and high income earners. They are usually built to be very comfortable. They mostly serve both local African and continental dishes. Food here could cost between ₦800 – ₦3000 per plate.
- The High Class: These restaurants are reserved for the super rich in the society. They do not focus just on the food. Customer comfort is at the premium. They usually serve food from various regions of the world. They usually add other side attractions to keep their customers happy and engaged. In these types of restaurants their food can cost from ₦10,000 to as much ₦40,000 per plate.
It is very important that you are sure of the type of restaurant you intend to set up because it will have a huge impact on the other things that you will need to consider.
2. Choose a Good Location
When setting up any business, your location is of utmost importance. For a restaurant business the class that you decide on will largely determine where you will locate it.
If you opt for the low or middle class restaurant, then you should be looking at places close to student environment, construction sites and workshops, office blocks and other places populated by low and medium income earners.
If you want to go for the upper middle class and the high class restaurants then you target those areas populated by the rich.
Using Lagos as a case study the high class restaurants should be located in places like Ikoyi, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikeja areas. This is because these are the places where the high income earners live, work and play.
Irrespective of where you intend to locate your restaurant, have it in mind that it has to be in a place where it can be seen by customers and is easily accessible.
3. Source for Capital
For the fact that this article is focused on how to start up a restaurant in Nigeria, I would not want to put a cap on the initial cost because it is most likely going to vary across the country.
Things like rent, registration cost, construction of furniture etc. will vary largely, depending on the part of Nigeria you reside.
What I would prefer to do is to give you pointers on the various thing that you are likely going to spend money on. These are;
- Furniture: These would include tables and chairs. Again, the class of your restaurant will largely determine what you will spent on this ranging from mere wooden tables and chairs to expensive cast iron and leather couches. Remember, it’s all about the class you intend to operate in.
- Rent: Your location will also determine the amount you will pay as rent.
- Generator: You will need one to keep your drinks cold and also to power other electronic devices in the event of power failure.
- Kitchen and Dining Utensils: You will also spend a substantial sum on pots, pans, plates and spoons.
Along with the above listed, you will also need to set aside some money for the employment of staff an also to register your restaurant with the relevant authorities.
Please ensure that you have a clear idea of the capital that you will need to start off. My advice is that you should carry out a market survey in your environment. This will definitely be more accurate than anything I can give here
As with any other business, you will definitely face some challenges such as stiff competition, lack of skilled staff and other problems that face businesses in Nigeria. However, the following tips will give you some ideas on how to keep your business afloat.
4. Good Customer Service
The importance of customer service in a restaurant business cannot be over emphasized.
It does not matter how good your food is, the truth is if you do not treat your customers right they will leave.
Make sure all those you hire to work for you are properly oriented to stick to this value.
5. Maintain and Improve the Standard of Your Food
Always ensure that the food you serve your customers are of very high standard. It should not be a case of good food today, bad food tomorrow.
Your customers should be able to trust that every time they come in they get good food to eat. This also applies to your drinks. Ensure that they are always kept chilled.
Where it is necessary, make sure you hire a good chef.
6. Market Your Restaurant
Do not relent in telling people about your restaurant. If it is a restaurant from the middle class to the high class, arrange for flyers and bumper stickers. These will help to spread the word for you.
7. Keep Your Environment Clean
Always ensure that the restaurant environment is kept clean. A lot of people will easily lose their appetite if they encounter a dirty sight.
8. Present Your Food Properly
Make sure that your food is presented in an attractive way.
Do not use plastic plates or spoons. Stick to white or brightly coloured chinaware, and stainless steel cutlery
9. Include Side Attractions
If it is within your budget, you can install satellite television in your restaurant to entertain your customers with movies or soft music.
After putting all these into consideration, proceed to draw out your business plan. Always remember that your determination and creativity will definitely lead to success.
If you need help in setting-up your restaurant business in Nigeria, kindly contact us. If you have any questions, ideas or additional thoughts please do not hesitate to let us know in our comment section.
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