RESTAURANT BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Food is one of the most basic and fundamental need of man. It serves as a means for survival, growth and development, energy, repair of cells, and so many other function of foods you already know. Everyone needs food for their daily energy needs in order to carry out daily functions and activities like locomotion, work, and other required function. One of the major places where people source food is through restaurants. The city lifestyle of people ensures that most people depend on one restaurant or the other to provide food.
In Nigeria, more than 51% of the total population lives in cities across the country. This is attributed to the concentration of job opportunities, better living standards, and other generally valid reasons. Most people in cities thus depends on different restaurants to provide meals of their preferences at a given time. The high concentration of people in cities provide a huge market for restaurants to operate and thrive. Entrepreneurs are exploring the opportunities available in this market through the restaurant business because of its high success rate and availability of market for well prepared food. This article will present everything entrepreneurs need to equip themselves with when considering to go into the Restaurant business. But first, let’s start with the types of restaurants available in Nigeria.
Types of restaurants business in Nigeria
As you might already know, there are different types of restaurants available in Nigeria. Each of these restaurants are equally lucrative and can easily be invested in by entrepreneurs. It is important to note that not all the types of restaurants can be started by entrepreneurs due to the ranging investment amount required to start up each of them. The different types of restaurants in Nigeria includes:
Fast food and Quick Service restaurants
These are the most popular restaurants entrepreneurs can find on any state, and city across Nigeria. They are the most common and easily accessible among all the restaurants available because there is always something for everyone. Examples of this type of restaurant includes corner booths and stalls that offer food services to the commoner; while we also have the more modern and large scale restaurants like Mr. Biggs, KFC, Dominoes and so many other examples you already know. These ones provide food mostly for the high class section of the market.
This type of restaurant is usually characterized by the limited menu of foods available for the consumption of the public. Food is prepared in large quantities beforehand, and kept warm or warmed on request. Other fast food restaurants offer only snacks like Shawarma, pizza, hamburgers which can be eaten within the restaurant or take away.
Casual dining restaurants
This type of restaurant is simply an upgrade on the fast food restaurants due to their more populated sit-in, and customers can place orders from the comfort of their seats. Customers also have the chance to place orders from a flexible menu which has a lot more options for selection. Here, table service is provided in a very comfortable atmosphere since customers are expected to take more time to enjoy their Meals other than take away.
Fine dining restaurants
This type of restaurant is top class for the rich and elite section of the market. These sets of people really don’t mind spending the extra cash for expensive and top class eating experience. These types of restaurants offer the best in food, service, and atmosphere; something the rich always look for. These types of restaurants are extremely capital intensive for entrepreneurs to start up considering how much it takes to successfully set up one. These types of restaurants pay more attention to details from luxurious furniture, lighting, layouts, to tableware.
According to its name, these restaurants offer meals with respect to different cultures, countries, or towns. These types of restaurants are usually open to many foreigners who visit Nigeria for business, pleasure, vacations and so on. Many Nigerians are developing taste for foods from other cultures while foreigners also come in to have a taste of African delicacies. Some popular cultures who foods are on huge demands include: Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Caribbean, French, German, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean, Thai and Vietnamese.
How to start Restaurant business in Nigeria
After proper analysis of the types of restaurants we have in Nigeria, we can agree that each of them have different required capital for startups. With careful consideration of the capital you have to start up the restaurant business, you can easily choose the type of restaurant that your capital can start successfully. Before starting your restaurant business, there are a few things you as an entrepreneur should consider before bringing your ideas to life.
Choose a unique concept
After careful consideration of the capital you have in hand to start the restaurant business, the first step in creating this business is to choose which type of restaurant business you intend to start. The fast food service restaurant is a great idea for entrepreneurs with a small capital, with an expectation of earning huge interest on investment. You could start a small corner booth around your area or home.
Entrepreneurs with large capital for investment can easily buy into any popular fast food business around them. Fine dining and ethnic restaurants also require huge capital before it can be started successfully. These types of restaurants require professional chef who get paid a lot to offer their services in cooking delicacies and meals. Chefs have their different specialties where they focus on; some on Chinese, Italian, Japanese and so on.
For a restaurant business anywhere in the world, the location of the restaurant is a very important factor. In fact, it is a factor that will determine the success or failure of the business. Your restaurant should always be situated around the customers your restaurant type is targeting. Fine dining restaurants should always be located in upscale commercial/residential part of the city. This ensures the high class people who live or work around these areas can patronize your business.
Accessibility is also important, as it determines if your targeted customers can easily access your restaurants. Does it have sufficient parking space? Is it large enough to accommodate the volume of customers you are planning for? The answers to these questions will help determine how well your business will do after launch.
Prepare a Business Plan
Subsequent to identifying the location that perfectly answers the questions provided earlier, drafting a business plan is the next step in the creation of your business. Clearly organizing how you want your dream restaurant to function and operate on paper is an excellent way to start the business. These thoughts and plans will provide you a guide as to how well you are doing with the business, and also offer a way out as to what you need to do to get where you want the business to be. Business plans allow entrepreneurs to have a clear view of the big picture before starting anything. Everything about the business should be noted down in the business plan.
Business plans also offers a means of obtaining loans in cases where you need on to start a business in restaurants. It is a requirement most banks, private sectors and government require before disbursing loans to entrepreneurs. If you have no idea about how to draft a business plan for your dream restaurant, you can employ the services of a professional in that aspect to help you make one. You can work hand in hand with the professional to make modifications to what you want and how you want it.
Register your Business
While most entrepreneurs in Nigeria see registering businesses with government as a waste of time due to the poor structure, bad management policies and inconsistencies; registering your business do a lot of good by confirming your credibility in the business to your potential customers. It gives customers the rest of mind that they are doing business with someone trustworthy and identified by the government, since In any case of irregularities, customers can always report your business to the appropriate authorities.
As long as you don’t have any plan of allowing irregularities, registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is a step in the right direction. It also comes with its many benefits, which may include government intervention for your business in the event you need a loan to further boost and back up your business.
Execute your Business Plan
This is the stage where everything you have been working for will be realized. Everything the business will thrive on will be put in place and the restaurant will begin operations in no time. With a well prepared business plan, and compliance to the book, your business will definitely reach the projected heights you intend to reach.
Some of the important tips to consider in any type of restaurant business are:
- Hygiene: This is one of the important features of a restaurant business that can determine the success of the business. Hygiene should always be number one in any operation or activity executed in the restaurant, as no one wants to eat in dirty or unhealthy environments which can lead to diseases or food poisoning. Good hygiene is also one great way to attract customers to your restaurant. It also keeps you on the good side of the Government who visit restaurants to verify the state of the feeding environment and activities, especially in large scale restaurants.
- Quality of food: Quality of food is not only about good taste, but also good value for money paid by customers. Providing customers with quality will help your business gain their trust, which of course keeps them coming back to you. It is also a way to get your customers to advertise your business through word of mouth. You wouldn’t expect customers to spread news about a restaurant that offer customers poor quality food, would you?
- Create a Loyal Customer Base: Since feeding is something people need to do every day, creating a loyal customer base will help your business grow quickly. You can provide your loyal customers with coupons, deals and promos which will ensure they stick to you all the time. That way, you won’t lose the customers you already have, but they only get to increase as these customers spread new about deals on offer if they eat regularly in your restaurant.
Restaurant business is one that thrives on having regular people come in to eat in your restaurant. In order to cover a wider reach to target customers, entrepreneurs can employ some marketing strategies which will help boost their visibility to their customers. This can be done through the numerous means of advertising, ranging from fliers, stickers, word of mouth, and news agencies. A very effective marketing strategy is the social media marketing. Since majority of people in the country have a presence on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others; advertising on these networks will ensure thousands and millions of people get to hear and know about your business. The more people know of your business, the higher the patronage.
Restaurant business in Nigeria is one of the most lucrative businesses entrepreneurs can tap into, regardless of the capital they intend to start up with. The wide market available for the services offered by restaurants ensures that businesses in this sector generate huge revenues from it. Following the information provided on this article will ensure your business hit the successful heights you have always dreamed about. Do well to share the post with friends on your numerous social media accounts to further expose others to the lucrative potential in Restaurant business and how they can carve out a niche for themselves.