Are you planning of starting your own restaurant business this year?
Have you considered the benefits and difficulties you will encounter as time goes on?
You might think starting a restaurant is escaping the salary job and enjoying the life of a self-employed fellow.
Yes, it is anyway, but there is more to starting a restaurant business.
Starting a restaurant can be rewarding but it is also time consuming and requires a high level of self-discipline to maintain and run the business effectively.
In a country of over 170 million people, starting a restaurant will ever be lucrative.
Because everyone needs to eat because food is a necessity and not an option; not even water can be an option to food.
There are so many benefits you stand to gain when starting a restaurant in Nigeria.
Benefits of Starting a Restaurant Business in Nigeria.
1. Requires Flexible Capital
I could have said low capital, but that would be an understatement in some cases, because your capital requirement depends on the type and concept of restaurant you are planning to start.
If you arer starting a fast food restaurant, definitely you will require large capital to start up. Not just the concept, the location of your business can either increase your cost of start-up or reduce it.
When starting in a cosmopolitan city like lagos, you should expect an increase in your start-up capital compared to when starting in a state like Osun state.
There are many other things that factor into your required start-up capital.
The things that factor into the required start-up capital are but not limited to:
• Restaurant concept
• Equipment of choice
• Hiring of staff
• Basic amenities (optional)
These factors will be fully discussed in the post later on.
2. Large Customer Scope
This is one of the benefits of starting a restaurant business. When starting a restaurant, you stand to enjoy the fact that everybody is your customer as food is necessary.
Though depending on your concept, not likely everyone will be your customer because it is less likely for someone of higher class to eat in a local restaurant.
But when compared to other businesses, your target audience is very large.
3. A Great Way To Network
I was reluctant to add this because it is not a benefit neither is it the pride of the business.
But in actual sense, starting a restaurant business gives you an opportunity to meet great people and build your network.
Always remember that a man’s network is his net worth.
4. Contributing to the Betterment of the World
This is the major pride of the job. A lot of people work because they want to feel important in the society and also contribute their own quota.
Do you know running a restaurant business is a way of contributing to the betterment of the world?
After the day’s work is done, a lot of people are tired and weak. They are in serious need to fill up their tommy.
Your ability to meet their needs is a great contribution to the society. When you are able to meet their needs, you increase their productivity which increases the productivity of the country.
This might not appear attractive to you but this where hospitality begins.
5. Quick Return on Investment (ROI)
Entrepreneurs and investors are eager to hear this. I have you in mind too. This is a feature of starting a restaurant business, the quick return on investment.
Running a restaurant business, you can get a quick return within two to three months. If you are looking for a business with quick ROI, you might as well consider starting a restaurant business.
Nothing good comes without a price. Yes this is true about a restaurant business too. When starting and running a restaurant business, there are some difficulties you may likely encounter.
Difficulties in Starting and Running a Restaurant Business
1. It is Stressful.
You should be very familiar with this. This is very important to put into considerations but should never be a reason to stop.
Starting a business (regardless of the type of business) is always stressful, so stress should not be an excuse to quit.
When running a restaurant business, you need to wake up as early as possible and start making preparations, cooking; which is something you have to do every day.
Washing of plates, utensils, taking care of your restaurant environment and many more would be a routine task.
There is a BUT.
You do not have to do this alone. Hiring people to help you with difficult can solve this for but running its alone can be very stressful.
2. It is time Consuming
This cannot be overruled. Running a restaurant can be time consuming as some restaurants run for 18 hours in a day.
This is the reason why it would be more fair on you if you have helpful hands that could make the work interesting and less stressful.
3. Dealing Rude Customers
This might be a problem for someone with low self-esteem because you will meet both good and bad people. Running a restaurant, you will meet polite and rude people, rich and poor people, etc.
For to enjoy this business, you need to be able to find the good sides of everything and not feel hurt with reactions and responds of your customers.
But, this must not be a reason to quit, because people are never satisfied.
Enough of all this, let’s move to the main section of this post.
How to Start a Restaurant Business in Nigeria
1. Choosing a Restaurant Concept
When choosing a restaurant concept, there are various things to consider in order to choose the niche best suited for you.
The restaurant concept is more than deciding the type of restaurant but also consist of the branding, how it will be operated.
If you have the ability to undergo the stress of cooking, then you might as well start with a small road side restaurant.
But this might not appeal to you. If you are much more interested in addressing formal customers and also operate professionally, then you could decide to start a fast food restaurant, you could even narrow it to sharwarma joint, bakery, etc.
Your restaurant concept must deliver a particular type of feeling you want your customers to feel.
Your dinning environment must also deliver your concept and branding. A restaurant that does this well is Mr. Biggs.
MR BIGGS is a restaurant that passes the feeling of excitement, vacation. As a result of the popularity of the brand, it became a franchise business.
When you hear the phrase MR BIGGS’s you relate it to a feeling of enjoyment, parties and vacations. This is what branding is all about.
To gain respect from your customer, you need to have a solid concept and also a unique brand that stands out.
Branding has a lot to do with the way you attend to your customers, our environment, etc.
After deciding on your restaurant concept and brand you need to create a menu list
2. Create a Menu List
This is very important to starting a restaurant. A menu list is a list of food and beverages offered to customers and the prices.
When creating your menu list, ensure those foods on your menu list are food you can prepare in your restaurant.
Creating a menu list might not be important for restaurants with just one menu. An example is a pizza restaurant, etc.
But having a menu list is a good approach because you might offer different types of packages for the same food.
3. Choosing a Location
Your chosen location matters a lot to the success of your business. This is one of the important part of this post.
When starting a restaurant, you need to decide who your target customers are and where they are largely located.
When you know where majority of your customers are located, then building your restaurant is one of the critical decision you can make your business.
Other things you might as well consider in choosing location could also be available capital, convenience, demographics, etc.
The location of your restaurant will account for the profit you make. If your restaurant is located in Lagos, you have a higher probability of doubling your revenue compared to running a restaurant located in Ogun state.
This same thing also happens in lagos.
If your business is located, you tend to make more and spend more compared to running a restaurant on the mainland obviously because of the level of the people you cater for.
But you should not because of this go beyond your start-up capital, because having a restaurant in the Island is also more costly compared to Lagos mainland.
4. Do you need Helping Hands? – Staffing
A question you will have to answer sooner or later Do you need helping hands?
Because of how stressful running a restaurant can be, hiring of staffs would be very helpful for you.
If you are running a small business like a road side restaurant, you might not need more than 2-5 workers to help you with day to day activities needed to be carried out.
But when running a big restaurant, like fast food restaurant, family restaurant, you might need workers, ranging from 10 to 50 workers and many more depending on your needs and how big your restaurant is.
Getting the essentials.
5. Equipment Needed
This is an important aspect of running a restaurant. In a restaurant, the most expensive asset is the equipment.
Getting the necessary equipment is mandatory, as without this nothing can be carried out. The equipment you gather must be high quality in order to save you the cost of getting new equipment every month.
Quality equipment is always expensive but pays you the most in the long run.
The common equipment’s are steamers, ovens, freezer, cooking equipment, grills, deep fryers, restaurant ranges, broilers, etc.
This might not be necessary for you, if you are planning to start a road side restaurant business.
But remember, packaging is very important in everything you do. So, if you can afford getting some good equipment then go ahead. If not; you can use the common kitchen equipment and utensils you have.
There is no crime in starting small, so remember, it’s better to start them to keep postponing.
6. Write your Business Plan
A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved.
A business plan is like a map to guide you through difficulties to your destination i.e. business goals.
There is an adage that says if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Business plan goes a long way in helping you attract investors, to test feasibility of your business idea and make the running of restaurant is easier and more effective.
In your business plan, you include executive summary, market strategies, competitive analysis, design and development plan, operations and management plan, financial factors.
Starting a restaurant is very simple but requires putting a lot of things in place in order to build a successful restaurant.
What constitute a successful business is hard work and persistence.
The entrepreneurship road is very profiting but is a very difficult way but the best thing you could ever think of.
I wish you best of luck in your entrepreneurship raise and in starting and running a successful business.