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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Going into business without a Professional Business Plan in Kenya is like Hiking Mt Kenya without a map or GPS support – you’ll eventually get lost and starve
Many entrepreneurs know exactly what they want to accomplish with their new business, they know what products or service they will offer, what makes their product better than the competition and how to operate their business, however, many have never written business plans before and hence need professional help and guidance along the way, whether in research, forecasting sales, calculating costs or creating financial documentation, this is where I come in.
We guide you throughout the business planning process and help you document your business concept, vision, research and all other elements of your Business into a presentable and professional business plan that you can use as a management tool or to share with external entities such as government authorities or investors.
Kenya is a Growing Hub for Entrepreneurs because of its vast Business Opportunities. For that reason, a lot of locals and Foreigners aspire to get a piece of the pie; from the Manufacturing Sector, to Tourism, and even Infrastructure. However, before dipping your feet into cool waters, it is important to consider what it takes to start a business in Kenya to best put you in a position to succeed, assuming you already have the capital. Otherwise, you might encounter pitfalls that will pull you back just as you start out your Business Venture.
You have your business idea. You need to sit down, review it and do market research as to how that business will thrive in Kenya. There are many profitable business ideas that may not necessarily do well in Kenya, while some seemingly unusual business that can do well, on the contrary. For example, the dog grooming business is booming in the United States but hardly has a market in Kenya. Extensive market research in line with your business should help you decide whether to proceed or not.
They say ‘He who fails to plan, plans to fail’. While some entrepreneurs swear by succeeding in their businesses without a Business Plan, it is important to have one and not rely on luck. Not having a business is like going on a journey to an unknown destination without a map. You will get lost.
Before you launch a product or service, you must know your target market and audience to help you understand how to maneuver around making sales. You must know where they are, for example, rural or urban centers (or both), ease of access to your product/service and how they receive your product/service. It would be disastrous to launch a product that your target audience find hard to or may not reach, leading to a decline in sales. It is also important to know the Kenyan lifestyle; are you selling a product that requires habitual shoppers? Are Kenyans habitual shoppers? Finding out the income class of your audience will also help you best position your selling point and know how to price your products/services before you start your business in Kenya.
Before a soccer team sets out for a match against their rival, they analyze the other team’s performance, possible injuries, weak points, whether midfield or defense and player line-up so that they can have an upper hand and know how and where to attack for chances of winning. Same to business. Before you start your business in Kenya you have to research on your competitors, possibly conduct a small SWOT analysis on them and most of all see whether they pose a potential threat to you so that you can develop a risk management plan, just in case. Do they have opportunities to jump on? The competitor can be your biggest boost to success if you leverage on the information you have well.
After ticking the boxes for what you need to set up a business in Kenya, you finally need to review the Kenyan rules and regulations for starting a business, no matter how small. This includes: licenses and permits, Tax Compliance, Business Name Registration, Labor and Employment Laws and even Environmental Regulations. Understanding these rules and regulations can be tasking. What is imperative is knowing which ones directly affect your business, whereby non-compliance can lead to shutting down the business or more serious penalties. These regulations vary from country so it is advisable to contact a business consultant to shed more light into legal matters.
The Kenyan business environment is very competitive and new businesses emerge day by day. Contact Us to help you get prepared to break barriers in 2019 and for help in Starting a Business in Kenya
Want to start a Business in Kenya? – Fear is a common companion to anyone set out to do one thing or the other for the first time…. Entrepreneurs are no exception. Fear shapes what we do and almost becomes the differentiator and core decision maker of what we choose to do and what we don’t do.
In Kenya, embarking on an entrepreneurial journey seems fairly easy when you think about it but it is a road paved with fear and uncertainty when the foot touches the ground. Here are some of the common fears Kenyan business aspirants face and a little motivation to help overcome them.
When it comes to business ideas, Kenyans are front runners. There are over 100 business ideas in Kenya that can be set up with less than Ksh. 10,000. It’s very easy to come up with a business idea but difficult to set it in motion. Most Kenyan entrepreneurs get stuck when it’s time to hit the ground running and set up the business they desire to, no matter how small. From writing a Business Plan to getting proper company documentation, most people get stuck somewhere in between not knowing when to proceed and how to proceed all the while fearing what skipping a step would do to their endeavors.
It’s okay to get stuck. Take a step back and review your business model. Do extensive research on similar businesses and if possible, and most recommendable, find a mentor who has trodden down your path and come out successful. Seek the help of Business Consultants; they exist for a reason. They know step by step the journey of starting a business; what to do and when. You can get help with your business plan and registration – before you know it you will actually be 10 steps further than where you were. Seek help when you’re stuck. 2 heads are better than one!
This is an understandable fear. One of the most important requirements of starting a business is capital. While some people swear by loans and investors, we know it’s not that easy, especially for a small business owner in Kenya. Loans and investors don’t fall from the sky – neither do they take your pitch and run with it. Before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey, always rely on yourself first. Get a financial Advisor and work with the capital you acquired for your business and plan for it. Know what to save and what to put back in to your business. Growing a business is a slow but sure process. With proper planning, financial discipline and patience, you will never lack or run out of money.
By the time an entrepreneur sets out to start a business, he/she has done market research and knows a thing or two (or more) about the product or service. However, some people tend to get cold feet when they assess their industry and find out that their competitors are ‘experts’ in the industry. Kenyan industries are highly saturated and being a newbie in the market can be frustrating; almost like a small fish swimming among sharks.
Not being an expert does not mean that you’re not good enough. It just means that someone somewhere knows just a bit more than you do because they have been in the game just a bit longer than you have. It has nothing to do with the level of success you will achieve as you set out to start your business. Being a newbie is totally fine; it gives you room to grow and learn. They say ‘Trust the Process’; learning is a process- trust it. Believe in yourself and somewhere along the line a newbie will look at you and call you an expert.
A lot of entrepreneurs fight to get a stampede of customers when they introduce their product to the market. Rightfully so, customers are the biggest return on investment. However, don’t put too much pressure of getting a swamp of clients. Kenyans can be generally stubborn, and getting new customers could be quite challenging. Remember what sought you out to start the business in the first place – delivering a product or service to the best of your ability. Just focus on that, along with customer satisfaction and effective marketing. In no time, customers will start streaming in, loyal customers will make referrals and before you know it, you will have a pipeline of clients. There is no rush or formula; again, trust the process.
This may not look like fear but it is for many aspirants of entrepreneurship. They fear venturing into that field, for fear of being laughed at or seeming crazy; especially those with unique business ideas and those quitting their day jobs to start their own business. Kenya has a plethora of odd businesses that makes thousands to hundreds of thousands of shillings a month/year, like selling potatoes from the back of a pick-up truck at the side of the road! So yes, anyone who wants to start their own business is very crazy – a good kind of crazy because they are taking a risk. Risk takers always eat the lion’s share so go ahead! Be crazy!
This should be at the top of the list because it is the biggest fear of them all. Nothing in this life is guaranteed, and so is business. Are you likely to fail in your first few months or years in business? Absolutely. The best of them all have failed before succeeding; read any Kenyan success story and see how this falls true. Just remember to fail is to fall down and not get up. To fail is to make mistakes and not learn lessons. To fail is to quit, even before you try. After fear of failure is fear of the unknown. After I fall, will I get up? And when I get up, will I fall again? It’s thrilling yet terrifying not knowing what lies ahead; more of bittersweet. The trick is to take the bull by its horns – take every hardship as a challenge and aim to conquer it. As you tread along your unknown path, the road will begin to get clearer and clearer.
Remember, the fears we don’t face become our limits.
We are happy to Hold your hand and help you start a Business in Kenya to realize your dreams.
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Most Business owners and Top level Managers are Busy working in the Business and Forget to work On the Business.
Just like the way your Car Needs Check up After every 5000 Kilometers Covered, Your Business also Needs a regular Check up. If you fail to do this, then a small problem is likely to become a Major problem and Later on ends up costing more than it would have if you had taken the option for a Check up.
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