How To Start A Restaurant Business In Nigeria – Step by Step Guide

Welcome to this post about How To Start A food Restaurant Business In Nigeria via Afrokonnect.

Over the years new technological advancements are being made day by day, with these new updates some industries have suffered great losses too big to measure due to the steady decline in the demand for their products and services.

This is because we now have apps and machines that can do almost anything. But, there is something no new discovery or advancements in technology can change – the demand for food.

With a steady increase in the world’s population comes a steady increase in the demand for food and restaurants for those who have no time to cook or just simply want to eat out, for this reason, the restaurant industry is said to generate about 100 billion USD every year.

So, if you’re considering starting up your own food restaurant business, you’re in luck because this article details tips on everything you need to know when starting a restaurant. Read about: How to start Ice block Production and Sale business 

This article answers questions like;

  • How to start a restaurant business in Nigeria?
  • How much does it cost to start a restaurant in Nigeria?
  • Which food business is more profitable?How do I start a restaurant in Nigeria?

So let’s go straight into the main agenda.


1. First of all, Determine the type of restaurant you want to start.

This is your concept and your target audience,

There are various types of restaurants out there,

Depending on your preference;

  • Fast food restaurants serve mainly snacks and quick foods,

They mainly serve office workers and students. Most people take their food to-go and most owners don’t have to worry too much about interior decorations.

  • Fine dining restaurants mainly target the rich and fabulous,

They usually have professional chefs with very experienced staff. The ambience always looks expensive with elaborate decorations and state of the art furniture. They are very expensive to manage but that is quickly made up for with the high prices charged on food and drinks.

  • Casual dining restaurants usually targets family, friends and generally people who want to let their head down and relax.

They usually offer children menu as well as that of adults. Because it’s a place to relax and eat food, the mood always seems warm and welcoming. So, furniture, decorations and lighting that will improve the overall aesthetic of the restaurant must be must not be lacking.

  • Local/Ethnic/Culture based restaurants are mainly for locals, food journalists, tourists and people who want to explore.

There is a vast variety of cultures to pick from in Nigeria, ranging from the yorubas to the igbos and the Hausas to the efik and so on.

Most continental dishes are usually not available here as the focus is usually local dishes. The type of restaurant you have decided to start will determine how much capital you’ll need to invest in the business.

2.  Choose a location

When choosing a location for your restaurant, you have to consider the following things;

  • Cost
  • Surroundings
  • Accessibility
  • Competition

The cost involves everything you’ll spend in situating your restaurant. You can decide to buy land and build a building from scratch, you can also decide to buy a building and renovate it or even rent a building.


It’s your choice but most importantly, whatever your decision, stay within your budget. The surrounding of whatever land or building you want to use must be clean and safe, nobody would want to risk their lives and properties coming to eat at a restaurant located in a seedy or creepy area.

Consider the accessibility of the chosen location, your restaurant being classy with quality service wouldn’t be of any good if it isn’t within the accessible range of your target audience.

Your competition involves every restaurant around your location that offers similar services to what you’ll be offering. The location you choose shouldn’t be too close to very successful would-be competition but still accessible enough.

3.  Draw up a detailed business plan

To do this, you’ll have to;

  • Ask for help from business strategists and successful business owners.
  • Estimate the capital you’ll need in running the restaurant for at least 6-8 months because the capital invested might be higher than the revenue generated during this period.

When this has been determined, source for your capital.

  • Obtain necessary legal documents, permits and licenses.

Do this before the full opening of your business to avoid embarrassing encounters with law agencies.

  • Save extra money for unexpected problems and setbacks.

The importance of staying within your budget cannot be overemphasized, not going within your budget will help you stay disciplined with your spending and will stop you from incurring unnecessary debt in the course of setting up your restaurant.

How do I start my own restaurant business 

4.  Employ necessary help

  • The urge to employ a lot of staff at the beginning to ensure enough helping hands might be overwhelming but you need to fight it and start employing staff on a small scale.

This is to avoid trouble when it’s time to pay their wages or salaries.

  • Hire experienced staff and professional chefs if possible,

Inexperienced staff are fine too but it’s important to have someone professional working at the kitchen because you’ll want to offer your customers well cooked food.

  • Be ready to fill in for your staff once in a while, Being a good boss involves not wasting time in taking up the role of a waiter, cook or dishwasher when the staff isn’t available or there aren’t enough helping hands.
  • Inexperienced staff should be properly oriented,

Staff rules and regulations, job description and codes of conduct should be kept handy to avoid issues with staff discipline.

5. Equip your building and get supplies.

  • Ovens, stoves, coffee makers and every other equipment you’ll need in running your business should be made available and they should be in good working condition.
  • Fruits and other perishables must be fresh, so you need to make arrangements with an efficient supplier that will deliver fresh produce to you when necessary.

Bargain for the best possible prices and Get quality supplies.

6. Grand Opening

When everything is set, you can have your grand opening.

Invite friends, family members, acquaintances and tell a friend to tell a friend.

At the grand opening, you can serve samples of the dishes you plan to have on the menu when your restaurant is fully operational.

Then, you can ask for thoughts on your proposed menu.

If you feel family members and friends are too polite to tell you what they really think,

you can ask for comments anonymously so as to ensure complete honesty.

After the grand opening, your restaurant can start all operations fully.

To ensure that the progress of your restaurant is not hindered,

Keep the following things in mind;

  • Have the right intentions.

Of course, having a means of livelihood is a reason to consider starting up a restaurant business in Nigeria but money shouldn’t be the only thing that drives you. Your motivation should be your passion for feeding people quality food.

Chasing money alone might lead to cheating of customers which in turn might lead to loss of customers while pursuing quality food service would bring more customers and in turn, generate more revenue.

  • Have a solid marketing plan

You cannot rely on your customers to bring more people to your restaurant.

You have to play your part, You can do this through the following:

a) Adverts on billboards

b) Flyers

c) Free samples

d) Online and Digital/Social media publicity

  • Build an online presence

Open social media accounts for your restaurant. You can advertise there and give customers the opportunity to leave reviews. Hire social media managers if possible because you need to paint the best possible image of your restaurant.

  • Don’t shy away from asking for help

No man is an island of knowledge, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself with more problems than you ever imagined. If you encounter any issue in which you don’t know how to proceed, get help. Ask experienced restaurant owners and other business owners for tips on getting out of whatever problem that might come your way.

  • Be patient.

Rome wasn’t built in a day so it’s impossible to start raking in loads of money the very second you open your restaurant. Make up your mind to stay encouraged against all odds. Remember that Good things come to those who are patient.

How much does it cost to start a restaurant in Nigeria?

As there are different types of restaurants, the cost of starting them also varies. On a small scale, starting up a restaurant business in Nigeria might cost you something between N300,000 and N500,000.

On a larger scale, starting up a food restaurant business in Nigeria will costs around N1,000,000 and N2,000,000. If you’re planning to start up your restaurant business in cities like Lagos or Abuja, be prepared to spend more because the cost of having any establishment in cities like that is relatively expensive.

Which food business is most profitable?

Research has shown that the most profitable food business to start is a bakery business. Read Also:- How to start A Bakery Business from scratch to a profitable venture. Though snacks are technically not food, it’s no news that people would rather buy them than buy other cooked foods outside.

So baking of snacks like meat pies, fish rolls, cupcakes etc is a very profitable venture because it requires very little capital but generates a greater amount of revenue in turn.

How To Start A Restaurant Business In Nigeria

How To Start A Restaurant Business In Nigeria

  1. Determine the type of restaurant you want to start.
  2. Choose a location
  3. Draw up a detailed business plan
  4. Employ necessary help

  5. Equip your building and get supplies
  6. Grand Opening

So, this is the end of this publication, if you enjoyed this article about How To Start A food Restaurant Business In Nigeria via Afrokonnect, then please kindly Share it on social media and let us know what you think Via the comment section. READ ALSO:- How to raise Capital for a Start up Business.


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