How To Start A Restaurant Business In Kenya

The restaurant business is one of the most profitable ventures in the world. The restaurant business in Kenya has been growing exponentially over the past 5 years and is proving to be a very promising industry for business investment. Starting a restaurant business differs from country to country. There are also different types of restaurant companies, from food trucks, fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants to cafes and delis. Whichever the style, there are certain mandatory requirements and considerations for starting such a company. Starting a restaurant business in Kenya is no walk in the park, bit is a very profitable venture. Take for example the Java Group franchise that started out in 1999 as one branch because of lack of good coffee in Kenya: it is now spreading across the continent all the way to Ghana with more than 50 operational branches. The quickly growing Café Deli franchise is also a success story; the owner was once sold cheap liquor and cigarettes to make a living. Now he’s a multi-millionaire thanks to his restaurant business in Kenya. There are certain requirements and hacks that will make your business venture a success. Here are five steps outlining what it takes to start a restaurant Business in Kenya, assuming you already have chefs and waiters.

  1. Company Registration and Compliance

You will need to come with a name you would like your restaurant to be called and reserve it. Why is this important? You want a unique name that no one will hijack and make their own. Your identity remains your own and becomes part of your personal brand. We can do this for you by conducting a business name search and reservation. Once approved, you proceed to the business registration process. Here, there are certain requirements such as passport photos and documents needed to be signed to be submitted to the registry. After we have completed the registration for you, you collect or we deliver the required documents such as a memorandum and certificate of incorporation.

Another important requirement is the company KRA Pin for purposes of opening a bank account, filing your returns and acquiring a business permit. You should also consider having an ETR machine to process sales and issue receipts as well as keep a record of VAT transactions for easier filing of VAT returns.

You may also want to get clearance from type from ministry of health

  1. Business Location

This is also in regards to operation. Different counties have different restaurant operation rules and regulations. Consider setting up your restaurant in high areas of foot traffic, with thriving businesses. Setting up your business in a highway might not yield profitable results as there is little likely-hood of one stopping and parking in the middle of the highway to eat; there is also little to no foot traffic on highways. University campuses, Central Business Districts, small but busy towns, and other areas with thriving businesses are most suitable to set up a business.

For restaurants that have a bar facility, operation hours and locations are restricted in some counties.  Depending on the business permit you obtain, you will only be allowed operation until a certain time of the day or night, for example 12 midnight. Bars are also prohibited from operating near residential areas in some counties.

  1. Business Plan and Restaurant Design

Some businesses, if not all, need a Business Plan. The restaurant business is one of those that need one. In order to start your restaurant business in Kenya, it is important to draw up a proper business plan. A business plan will help you estimate and manage your finances and also enable you to calculate your desired financial projection in a year, two or even three years. Business plans also help aspiring restaurant owners to come up with the design they desire for their restaurant, that will attract customers and fit the estimated number of customers at a go.

This will also help you organize and visualize your restaurant’s design, an estimate of how much kitchenware you will need, as well furniture.

  1. Know Your Target Market

Knowing your target market goes hand in hand with knowing your target location. If your target market are students, based on your current location, then what type of restaurant you set up will matter. In Kenya, students always frequent fast-food restaurants or cafeterias rather that fast-casual restaurants. This is because fast food restaurant foods and cafeterias fall under the typical breakfast, lunch or dinner budget of a university student. While fast casual restaurants are a bit pricier for the average student.

Knowing your target market will also help you come with prices for your meals and beverages.

  1. Marketing And Managing Your Restaurant

Nairobi is a hub for fast growing restaurants, both casual and high-end. If you wish to start a restaurant business in Kenya you have to ensure that your marketing strategy is on point to get the restaurant out there and to ensure you reach your target market as desired. This can be done online on social media pages or on the business’s very own website complete with available dishes and a menu. In this era, most Kenyans, especially working class, like having their food delivered to their offices. This would be a good consideration as you develop your business. You can also choose to supply flyers, especially around CBDs to catch the attention of potential customers around your area. Whichever the method, marketing is an important aspect in developing your business in Kenya.

As you think of opening up a restaurant in Kenya, you should also think about your business management team. Will you need accountants, restaurant managers, waiters and chefs? If so, how will you recruit them? The success of a restaurant depends, to a great extent, on the management team. Finding trustworthy employees can be a tasking job so most restaurants go through q quick question and answer session before hiring. Consider taking your time and going through a full interview and shortlisting process, carefully analyzing your minimum requirements and doing background checks on all candidates whether janitor or manager. This will triple your chances of hiring competent employees compared to doing blind or fast paced hires.

To Start a Restaurant Business in Kenya you will not require a masters’ degree- or any degree for that matter. As long as you have your capital and the requirements stated above then you can get started. Contact us Today for guidance on How to Start a Restaurant Business in Kenya


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