The Basics Of How To Start A Restaurant Business In Nigeria

Restaurant Business In Nigeria

Starting a business of your own is one of the most convenient way to make money. Apart from the fact that it can serve as a source of income, a business also gives you the opportunity to follow your passion, work at flexible hours and be your own boss.

One of the most profitable business you can start in the food industry in Nigeria today is a restaurant business. This is because the demand for fast food is high. Most people are so busy that they hardly find time to prepare their meals, hence, they resort to eateries and restaurants.

Just like every other business in Nigeria, if you want to start and successfully run a restaurant business you have to follow the necessary steps. Also, you do not have to be a chef before you can start a restaurant business, as you can always deploy the services of chefs or caterers.

In this article, we’ve provided a step by step guide on how you can start a restaurant business in Nigeria. From examination of the restaurant market to registration of your business, determining your target audience, decorating your restaurant, hiring competent staffs, among others, by the time you are done with this article, you should be able to have what it takes to start your own restaurant business in Nigeria.

Can I Start A Restaurant Business With 50k?

You can’t start a standard restaurant business with 50k but you can start a roadside food business with 50k. All you have to do is to look for an affordable space or you decide to use trucks to reduce cost.

However, if you have wonderful cooking skills and good customer care, you will be amazed at how successful your food business will be.

How Much Does Restaurants Make In A Day In Nigeria?

A standard restaurant makes ₦10,000 to ₦40,000 per day depending on the location. And around ₦300,000 to ₦1 million per month (expenses are not included).

Based on the report obtained from our conversations with restaurant owners, an average restaurant in Nigeria makes a minimum of ₦10,000 daily and more during Mondays and weekends. Using these estimates, the weekly income for a restaurant is ₦70,000 to ₦250,000.

What Are The Equipment Needed To Start A Restaurant In Nigeria?

Having the right restaurant equipment can aid in the smooth running of your restaurants. So below are the necessary equipments that are essential for a restaurant business:

1. Front Of House Equipment Like:

  • Table and chairs
  • Menu boards
  • Servingware
  • Tablecloths and napkins
  • Glassware

2. Kitchen Equipment Like:

  • Beverage dispensers
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Mixers
  • Sinks
  • Washing tools
  • Ovens and ranges
  • Slices
  • Storage shelves and racks
  • Stove/gas
  • Blenders
  • Steamers
  • Cooking pots and pans

3. Operational Equipment Like:

  • POS system
  • Kitchen display system

What Food Should I Sell In My Restaurants?

If you are ready to take your restaurant business to the next level with your cooking skills, then you should consider selling the following dishes in your restaurant:

1. Jollof rice
2. Pounded yam
3. Garri/fufu
4. Moi Moi
5. Egusi soup
6. Pepper soup
7. Suya
8. Beans and plantain
9. Banga soup
10. Afang soup
11. White rice and stew
12. African salad
13. Amala and Ewedu
14. Fried rice
15. Ogbono soup
16. Ewa agoyin
17. Nkwobi
18. Efo riro
19. Okpa
20. Tuwo shinkafa

These are the top 20 foods to sell in your restaurants. Meanwhile, your location will determine the dishes to cook in your restaurant.

What Are The Challenges Of Restaurant Business In Nigeria?

Both small and big restaurants face some challenges which may limit their operation. And it is very important to know these challenges, however below are the challenges:

1. Food cost is one of the challenges of the restaurant business. And after all the expenses it will be difficult to determine the prices to sell your food.

2. You may experience stock theft.

3. Getting a good staff can be one of the biggest challenges of running a successful restaurant.

4. Your restaurants might end up experiencing a lot of food waste.

5. You may experience low customers as a new restaurant.

How Profitable Is A Restaurant Business In Nigeria?

The total sales you made from your restaurant do not equal profit. However, a restaurant’s profitability depends on some factors. First, how profitable a restaurant business is depends on your location. And that is why it’s important to be in an environment that will be accessible to your customers.

Lastly, your cooking skills also contribute to a restaurant’s profitability in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, if your restaurant business meets up with these factors your profit margins will be between 20%-35% at the end of the day. But take note, it takes a lot of dedication and consistency to operate a profitable restaurant.

How Much Can I Use To Start Up A Restaurant In Nigeria?

On average, starting a small restaurant business can cost between ₦300,000 to ₦1 million. While a medium-sized restaurant will cost you ₦2 million and above. This capital includes all expenses like purchasing restaurant equipment, leasing a space, and other logistics.

How Can I Succeed In Restaurant Business In Nigeria?

To succeed in the restaurant business in Nigeria you have to do the following:

1. Conduct a thorough market research and have a strong business plan
2. Your dishes should be affordable
3. Be consistent in your operation
4. Offer delicious and quality foods to your customers
5. Come up with good strategies to face your competitors.

How Do I Start A Restaurant Business In Nigeria?

When you are planning on starting a restaurant business, you have to first ensure that you have acquired cooking skills, unless you want to hire a skilled chef for your business.

Meanwhile, the following process is involved when starting a restaurant business:

1. Choose How You Want To Operate Your Restaurant: This is the first thing to do. You have to decide whether you will run a pure restaurant or other restaurant concepts like cafes, bakeries, fast food, casual dining restaurants, etc.

Regarding the above, your restaurant concept determines your investment capacity and how your services will be. But generally, opening a normal restaurant business is the best option in Nigeria.

2. Conduct A Feasibility Study: After determining the restaurant concept, you should conduct a feasibility study to find out the viability of your chosen concept. Your feasibility study should focus on the market demand, location, competition, equipment, and capital requirements. This helps you understand better the pros and cons of the restaurant business.

3. Develop A Restaurant Business Plan: For the future development of your restaurant business, you need to prepare a solid business plan. This plan will help you execute the results you got from your feasibility study successfully.

4. Choose A Name For Your Restaurant And Register It: Another important aspect of starting a restaurant business is the process of choosing a name and registering your restaurant. At this stage, you have to choose a good name for your restaurant and then proceed by registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). And also obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to run your business.

5. Choose The Right Location: When choosing the location for your restaurant you should first analyze the competitors in that area, and study their business models. This will help you understand the customer preferences.

Above all, it is very important to locate a restaurant in a visible environment. Usually, a place that is easily accessible.

Also, the space requirements for your restaurant depend on the type of restaurants you are planning to start. However, ensure that there will be enough space with proper seating arrangements for your customers to be comfortable.

6. Purchase The Necessary Restaurant Equipment: Your restaurant business cannot operate successfully without the necessary equipment. And we have already listed some of the required equipment.

Meanwhile, purchasing the restaurant equipment may be the heaviest due to the high costs in the market, but bear in mind that you will recover in the long run. Therefore, know about the particular ones you will start with and provide them.

7. Employ Workers: The size of your restaurant will determine whether you will hire helping hands or not. But if it is a medium or large-scale restaurant, then you will need experienced and skilled workers to run your restaurant properly.

At the very least, you will need a kitchen staff like the food preparation staff, cooks, and support staff. You will also need service staff like cleaners and waiters. Then finally, you will need management staff like chefs, cashiers, and managers.

Nevertheless, you may not necessarily need the above staff if you are starting your restaurant on a low budget.

8. Promote Your Restaurant: Now is the time to reach more people and get more customers. And it is advised to spend 1-3% of your revenue on promoting your restaurant. You can achieve this by creating awareness with your signboard and serving samples of your dishes in a grand opening style.


The Nigerian restaurant business is one of the biggest service sectors in Nigeria and also one of the fastest-growing markets. It is considered one of the best options for Nigerian entrepreneurs looking for a business to invest in.

However, if you have nurtured a lifelong ambition of owning a restaurant, then you should just follow the above guide on how to start a restaurant business in Nigeria.

Ambassador Victor Chidera
Ambassador Victor ChideraAmbassador Victor Chidera is a business consultant, writer and a blogger. He provides lots of professional and expert advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations. He has many years of experience in business, teaching field, and research work. And his aim is to provide business articles that matters to you both nationally and internationally.
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