How to Start a Restaurant Business in Nigeria


How to start a restaurant business in Nigeria? I guess that’s what brought you to this page.

Nigeria is a country where entrepreneurship earn you a living more than the school certificates.

I’ve personally seen a lot of people who, after graduating from higher institution joined the league of smart entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

If you’re intending to be one of us, you’re highly welcomed and let me tell you that there is no competition that can get you stranded in Nigeria’s market provided you’re honest and passionate in what you are doing.

There are tons of lucrative business ideas in Nigeria and restaurant business is among.

Don’t think it’s overcrowded. Branding is the best key you need to succeed as a young restaurant business owner in Nigeria.

Either you’re thinking of establishing solely or hiring few workers like the chef, the deliveryman, attendant or any other worker, the choice is yours.

The most important aspect to start a restaurant business in Nigeria is “the food”.

What I mean is that, the quality of your food will determine the level of success in this business.

For me I’ll say that this is the only business that’ll never leave the market.

The reason is simple; as long as humans exists, there will be demand for food, which a restaurant offers. The wide variety of foods on offer is another wonderful reason I love the restaurant industry.

If food A doesn’t sell, Food B, C or any other type will sell.

The following tips will guide you through the process of starting a restaurant business in Nigeria.

Step-by-step Guide to Start a Restaurant Business in Nigeria

  1. Get your capital

Like with most businesses, securing your capital is pivotal to the start of a restaurant business.

There’s no specific amount I can give you right now but your capital is dependent on the size and location of your restaurant. The bigger the place, the more expensive the rent, and when it comes to location, some areas are less expensive than others.

You’re going to need equipment, pay your workers depending on the size of your staff, register your business and all these should be taken into consideration when getting your capital. For opening a restaurant you should budget from N100,000 and above

  1. Seeks for advices

Experience they say is the best teacher, but sometimes, it’s better to learn from the experience of others than learning from your own bitter experience.

Meet with those who are already into the restaurant business owners in Nigeria and seek advice from them.

You’ll learn from them the industry best practices, best methods of preparing and preserving dishes, handling of staff and other tips they’ll be willing to share.

Although some may be willing to share the secret of their success in the restaurant business with you, others may not.

This is because of the highly competitive nature of this business, to them sharing their tips would increase the competition. You can still find those who would be willing to share or you could carry out a research to see this for yourself.

  1. Get a good location

The next thing you should do is to find a good spot to site your restaurant.

You should be looking for an open place that very easy to navigate so as make it easier to find your place.

There’s huge competition in the restaurant industry, therefore your place of business should be a little bit closer to the road, if your restaurant is sited very far from the road, customers may find it inconveniencing getting to your place, they’d look for a much closer place and this could ruin your business overtime.

4. Get all the Necessary equipment

Pots, plates, spoons, forks, frying pan, cooking gas/electric stove, all these and more you should get before starting your restaurant business.

When talking about cooking utensils/equipment, you need to know that they all come in different sizes. The size you choose to get is dependent on the following factors;

  • The quantity of your meals
  • The time used to prepare the meals
  • The size of your customers
  • Capital

All these should be at the back of your mind before purchasing any utensil or equipment. You can choose to start with smaller sizes, you can increase the size once you start getting more customers.

5. Hire a Good Cook (chef)

Sole proprietorship is pretty good for some businesses but when it comes to the restaurant side of life, it’s not nearly impossible to run the business on your own.

Due to the amount of work and time to put in, you’ll need helping hands to succeed in this business and one of those is a ‘Good Cook’.

How do you know how good a cook is?

Let me state the importance of a good cook; the quality of your food is what will attract customers to your restaurant. It should be your primary focus, other services including your customer service, cleaning, laundry etc are important but are secondary.

Related: How to Start Egg Delivery Business in Nigeria

A good cook should be able to prepare most meals, especially popular delicacies.

You can know the quality of the food by tasting the meals prepared by the cook, this should be in form of a test where the cook is to prepare different dishes.

You and a couple others should taste the meal before approval, two heads they say is better than one.

When starting a restaurant business you can begin with a single cook you could increase the number of cooks as the business grows.

6. Add Spice to your place

Another thing apart from the quality of the food that’ll attract customers to your place is the aesthetics of your place.

When starting a restaurant business in Nigeria, you should also consider this, let your place of business be eye-catching.

For the painting, light colour should be more prominent as dark colour will give it a dull look. Your choice of furniture also, should be top quality and very comfortable.

If you have a good eye for aesthetics, you could do this yourself, if not there are professionals who could handle this for you.

7. Register your business

Register your restaurant business with Nigerian Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC).

It’s very easy to register your business this days.

Unlike in the past years, you can now register your business online. Registering your business gives you more authority over your business against any disturbances that may result from anybody. It also protects your brand name.

After your business name registration, make sure you obey the rules and regulations so as not to be sanctioned.

It may seem less important, but when starting your restaurant business in Nigeria, it’s pertinent you do this. You can read more about registering your business in Nigeria with CAC  by clicking here.

8. Get a business website and social media handles

As you may have known that most successful business are on internet.

No matter how small or big your restaurant business may be, try to get a business website and get some social media handles.

For instance, I have worked with a restaurant business owner in India.

This man invest more on Digital marketing tools and their implementation than any other area of his business and, he’s selling more than the crude competitors who runs their business offline.

Check out his website here and verify what I’m trying to tell you >>>>>

If you’re thinking of selling your delicacies to people who will value them, get them on social media and your website.

Create a business facebook page and group for your restaurant business in Nigeria.

There are millions of people making money online on Instagram, try to join them by opening an Instagram account for your business.


9. Increase Your Business’ Size

You may have hired a good chef but, you’ll need others to help out in other departments.

You’ll be needing;

  • A waiter or waitress.
  • Deliveryman or driver
  • Security officer
  • Marketing officer
  • Accountant
  • And so on

These people will help you more than you think.

But the most important thing here is that you guys needs to build good team and your employees should also have good customer relation skills.

If you’d be hiring, make sure your staff members have integrity.

The number of workers you should have for each position is at your discretion.

10. Invest more in marketing/advertising

To get more customers, you need to advertise your business to them.

This is one of the best thing most business refused to do. Don’t think about the money you’re going to spend but focus on the positive results.

There are different ways you can attract more customers to your business. But let me mention few;

  • Run Facebook/Instagram Ad campaign
  • Print complementary or business card and give them to people
  • Go to different institutions like banks, event centre, schools and tell them about your business (don’t forget to tell them that there’s FREE delivery)
  • Print vests and give them out to your staff, friends, family and mutual customers
  • Give coupons
  • And so on.

If you can follow this step-by-step guide, you can be rest assured you establish a great business.

With all the logistics involved, starting a business in Nigeria could prove to be a difficult journey but with the right motivation you could overcome the hurdles of starting and even, becoming a famous and millionaire like CaptainCook, Domino Pizza etc.

Restaurant business in Nigeria is a very profitable money making idea with the application of the above information you should see significant progress in the restaurant industry.

Do you have any question? If yes, please kindly share ask or tell us what you think using the comment box below.

Don’t forget that if you’re interested in learning how to start a restaurant business in Nigeria, thousands of people including your friends may be interested also. Why not share this with them using the share buttons below?


Stephen Gbolagade
Stephen Gbolagade
Stephen is a Frontend engineer, technical writer, owner and part-time blogger here at Gbolamedia, incoming data scientist, an enthusiastic cynophilist, and a curious introvert. Stephen is currently available for full-time, part-time or contract-base role. Contact him here: on WhatsApp or check him on Linkedin


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