Last Updated on April 25, 2021 by Henry Ibeleme
If you’re on this page looking for a guide on how to start a fast-food restaurant business in Nigeria, then you’re on the right page.
A month ago, I started working with Jovit Fast Food, and the experience so far has exposed me to the lucrative nature of this business idea.
Come to think of it; food is a necessity that no one can do without. Due to how profitable a fast food restaurant is, some local restaurants are already upgrading to such a status.
However, the business capital required to start a fast food restaurant business in Nigeria is mind-boggling. That is because it can cost over fifty million naira to start up.
As the name implies, a fast-food restaurant is exceptional when it comes to a fast and efficient preparation of foods.
These foods are often affordable and ready to be taken out by customers. In a world where almost everyone doesn’t have time, fast food restaurants have become the final resort for most people.
If you have the finance and looking for a lucrative business idea that you can do, perhaps you should consider starting a fast food restaurant business.
This article will guide you on starting this business, the financial requirements, marketing, and success tips.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Table of Contents
- 1. A Business Plan
- 2. Choose A Unique Concept
- 3. A Good Business Location
- 4. Licenses And Permits
- 5. Marketing/Promotion
- 6. Business Registration
- 7. Employ Experienced Staffs
- Success Tips In A Fast Food Restaurant Business
1. A Business Plan
When an entrepreneur discovers a lucrative business idea, the first logical step is to conduct a feasibility study, which then helps in the business plan’s writing.
Without a business plan, you’re like a blindfolded businessman with no idea of his proposed business idea.
No doubt, such will lead to failure, which is something you don’t want.
With a business plan, you will understand your industry, financial requirements, competition, and potentials.
Drawing a business plan for a fast-food restaurant business is easy. But in case you don’t know-how, you can always hire a business consultant to help.
By all means, never start a business without a business plan. That would be a terrible mistake that you might never recover from.
Your business plan will include where you want your business to be located, the materials you will need, and so much more.
A business plan is like a map that guides you toward the hidden treasure. Without this vital element, you’re merely wandering in a dark forest.
According to research, one of the reasons businesses in Nigeria fail is the lack of a business plan.
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As a wise entrepreneur, that is a mistake you shouldn’t make.
2. Choose A Unique Concept
As you might have already known, there are different types of restaurants.
We have casual dining restaurants, fine dining restaurants, ethnic restaurants, and fast-food restaurants.
On the other hand, you can decide to buy a popular fast-food franchise like Crunchies, Jovit Fast Food, Mr. Biggs, etc.
An ethnic restaurant will require you to have a professional chef specializing in Chinese, Italian, Thai, or any ethnic food you want to serve.
Fine dining restaurants, on the other hand, require an enormous amount of money to start. It also costs a lot to hire a professional and experienced staff.
To determine the best restaurant to start, consider your location, the type of people you’re targeting, and their income.
You need to ensure that your target market can afford your offers before you kick off with this business idea.
The fast-food restaurant business is a lucrative goldmine if you start the right type of restaurant for your target market.
3. A Good Business Location
A wrong business location is another factor causing small businesses to fail in Nigeria.
To mitigate this issue, you need to take your time and discover a location close to your target market.
When you get a good location for your fast food restaurant business, every other thing falls into place.
The fast-food I am working with made over a million naira sales in a day, just a week after kicking off.
Once your fast food business is in a good location, you don’t even need to indulge in aggressive marketing to get customers.
For a fine dining restaurant, locating your establishment in a commercial or residential part of the city will be ideal.
That is because you’re near people who are most likely to be interested in your offers. But when you’re in the wrong location, getting customers becomes a hurdle.
Before you settle for a location, you first need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is my fast food restaurant easily accessible?
- Is it close to my target market?
If you can answer yes to the above questions, then you have nothing to worry about in this fast-food restaurant business.
4. Licenses And Permits
Before you start your fast food restaurant business, there are some licenses and permit that you will need.
Without these permits, you might stir up some legal battles that will cost you lots of finance in the long run.
Depending on your state, you can quickly obtain these permits and licenses from your local government office.
Take note that the type of license or permit varies from state to state here in Nigeria. So, getting professional legal advice before setting up your restaurant business will be best.
For instance, if you’re going to sell alcoholic beverages, this will warrant some specific licenses.
Without these crucial documents, running your dream business will become almost impossible.
To be on a safe side, work with a competent lawyer for legal advice before starting operation.
After you’ve startup a fast food restaurant business, the next step is to create awareness about your establishment.
How can you do that?
Depending on how big your restaurant is, you might need to have a marketing team or a digital marketer.
They will be in charge of running sponsored ads that expose your fast food business to people within your locality.
Let’s say your restaurant is located in Umuahia; you can run social media adverts that target only people within this vicinity.
Here are other ways through which you can promote your fast food restaurant business.
1. Facebook Ads
The majority of your target market is on Facebook, and you can expose your brand to them by creating and promoting your Facebook page.
I have used Facebook to promote the restaurant I work with, and the growth is always mind-blowing.
Within a week, I was able to amass over 1000 followers on the page, with many of them making enquires like business location, prices of products, and more.
Since Facebook now owns Instagram, your ads can run simultaneously on both platforms without any extra charge.
Another incredible way to promote your fast food restaurant business is through billboards.
It can be pretty expensive, but it will expose your business to the target market faster than you imagine.
3. Open Google My Business
Most times, your target market might decide to look for the nearest restaurant using Google.
Their search queries might be something like “The nearest fast food restaurant’.
With a Google My Business account, your restaurant will appear on a search result, with your business address and contact details for easy contact.
Through Google My Business, you make your fast food restaurant more visible to people in your locality.
4. Create A Website
You might be wondering if your fast food business needs a website. The fact is that it does, as it helps tell your target market more about your establishment.
Creating a restaurant business website doesn’t have to cost a hand and a leg if you follow the right route.
A web developer can charge between one hundred thousand to over a million to develop a website for you.
But if you work with our developers, you’re confident of getting a website at a very cheap rate.
If you’re to handle the design, it will take your time, distracting you from the big picture.
I wrote an article recently on the importance of having a business website. The fact is, the benefit of having a website for your restaurant business is tremendous.
6. Business Registration
You can’t start a fast food restaurant business in Nigeria without first registering your business.
The benefit of registering your business is mind-boggling, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on them.
Rest assured that registering your fast food restaurant isn’t complicated or expensive. A business name registration with CAC is mere #10,000.
With a registered business, you can open to a business bank account or even seek bank loans without hassles.
Also, it helps you to disassociate your personal life in the event of legal issues.
In other words, you cannot be sued as the owner of the business. That is because the company has become an entity separate from you.
7. Employ Experienced Staffs
Running a restaurant business is not an easy feat; talk of a fast-food restaurant.
To ensure that business moves smoothly daily, you need to employ competent and reliable staff.
Some recruitment agencies can help you recruit the best.
But If you’re to handle recruitment yourself, always go for experience and skill, not just paper qualification.
A model that always works for me is placing my prospective employees on a week trial.
That way, I can evaluate their performance and make my final decision.
Do not employ someone because they are from your village, or perhaps related to you.
If your workers are not skilled, experienced and passionate, it will affect your fast food restaurant business.
When advertising for employees, state the qualities, skills, and character that you’re looking for.
It will help ideal candidates to apply without hassles.
READ ALSO: How to take care of your employees
Success Tips In A Fast Food Restaurant Business
The fast-food restaurant business is a lucrative goldmine if you know the tips that assure success.
But if you neglect them, they can lead to failure of the business. So, here are some success tips for a fast food restaurant business that you need to know.
1. Conducive And Cozy Environment
The backbone of a fast-food restaurant is the beautiful complex.
If possible, spend your last dime to make sure that your restaurant looks cozy and relaxing.
People sometimes go to a fast-food restaurant, not because of the food, but rather the environment.
People need good places to hang out, and they will come to yours if it has a good and scenery environment.
If your fast food business looks exquisite, most of your customers will be bringing their business associates, clients, family, and friends to chill.
Please take a look at booming fast-food restaurants around you, and try to outdo them.
2. Don’t Compromise Hygiene
The food industry doesn’t tolerate dirt. No matter the type of restaurant you’re running, you need to make hygiene a top priority.
Your chefs must be individuals who are hygienic in everything they do.
It would help if you employed full-time cleaners to help keep your restaurant clean and sparkling.
3. Awesome Customer Service
No matter how beautiful, clean, or delicious your meals are, poor customer service would nail your business to a coffin.
Your aim as an entrepreneur is not just to bring in customers, but to also retain the old ones.
If your customer service is poor, a competitor with better customer service will take your customers away.
Train your sales staff, servers, security, and people who interact with your customer to be friendly and helpful.
Everyone eats every day. If your restaurant is not booming, the chances are that another restaurant is stealing the show.
One way to expose your fast food restaurant business to potential customers is to apply marketing strategies that work.
There are many ways to promote your business, and social media adverts are just one of them.
5. Focus On Branding
The dream of every entrepreneur should be to build a strong brand that stands the test of time.
You cannot do that if you’re not working with a reliable branding agency. You need a logo, business cards, posters, and fliers that stay consistent with your proposed brand.
Also, you might need a Public Relations Officer that hands your social handles, website and customer relation.
That way, your fast food restaurant business will grow to become the number one destination for your target market.
If that is what you need, then you need to work with us to start, grow and manage your fast food business.
Starting, running, and managing a fast food restaurant business in Nigeria is not an easy feat.
Although you don’t need to be part of the day to day running, as you can quickly get a manager that reports directly to you.
By so doing, you will have time to focus on the big picture or open up more branches elsewhere.
Whatever you do, ensure you work with a team that understands the restaurant business and is passionate to see it succeed.
If your workers are happy and passionate about your vision, you have nothing to worry about, as they will always do their best for the business.
In the end, all it takes to run a successful fast food restaurant is patience, hard work, and perseverance.