Home restaurant business is the new way of offering food delivery services in Nigeria. Restaurant business in post Covid-19 era is changing the way we buy and eat home cooked meals. The demand for home food is very high across the country.
And if you are desiring to start your own restaurant business but has been hindered by funds, here’s your key to starting one right away, even without startup funds. I will show you how other smart entrepreneurs has started their own home restaurant business.
You will not only learn how they did it but also how you can do it yourself. This is like the Uber of restaurant business. Yes, it has been perfected and believe me people are loving it this way.
But let me give the main key success factor – it’s knowing how to cook sweet and delicious meals people can’t resist ordering from their homes. If you offer anything short of it, your desire for home restaurant business will fail.
How Home Restaurant Business works
Home restaurant business model is not entirely new. It’s just a cost saving way smart food entrepreneurs discovered for starting out their business on small budget. They cut off cost of office space, hiring many staff, and cutting food wastage as well.
This model caters for customers who preorder food on a daily basis. Business is done from the kitchen in their homes – and they only cook for specific number of customers who have preordered their meals. Most times, even a day ahead.
Another key thing to consider is your meal packaging. Apart from the fact that your meals must be unique choices, not readily found at an affordable rates, it must include varieties.
For example, if you are offering stir-fried rice, you can include peppered goat meat or chicken or turkey, etcetera. It should also include some free options to go with the menu, like free bottle water and fruit juice. Think out of the box to create each days menu and make it a huge value proposition.
Who Should Start A Home Restaurant Business?
A home restaurant is ideal for entrepreneurs who can cook mouth watering meals, and desire to run their own restaurant from their home kitchen. You should also know how to cook unique meals customers crave for but not readily found in most conventional restaurants.
This idea is not for everyone who wants to start a restaurant. Its unique and should only be used by professional chefs or someone who desires to learn how to make sumptuous meals that are irresistible.
Nevertheless, a non professional chef with passion for food can also use this idea successfully. All you need is to create your own testy food ideas from existing food menus or just recreate good foods.
If you ask me, I think anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit can do this, even if you don’t know how to cook. You can hire a good chef to work for you.
How to Calculate Your Profitability
Even before you start this business, you should Calculate your profit potential. I must also advise that if you don’t have customers before starting, then don’t start. Home restaurant business is not a wait and see customer kind of business.
The customers won’t be coming to you. It’s you who would be going to them. If you don’t own customers before opening your doors for business then don’t open.
You can hire a smart marketing consultant to help you build your customer base before starting out. However, for your profit analysis, this is what I think you should do first. Define the cost of your pack of meal, and define your markup. Whatever you decide as the right percentage for markup, multiple that by the number of customers you will be serving daily.
Be as realistic as possible. For example, you can be cooking food for only 20 target customers daily. While your markup is N1,000 per meal. That also means once you hit 20 meal packs you are done for the day. If in some day you get group orders that pushes your limit and you cannot accommodate it, refuse the order or cancel early if you took it by mistake.
How to Price Your Meal Package
Pricing your meal rightly is important because of your target customers. It’s not just cheap meals that will attract them, but great meals will. It’s not an excuse to make your food costly. If you buy your food items in bulk it might help offer a competitive price.
However, don’t just focus on doing cheap food. It can piss-off your target customers. If you price your meals well, it will help you sell off fast everyday.
Your daily menu should help you in the pricing. Please don’t price everything together. If it’s rice you are cooking for the day, show the price for the rice, and the price of others like chicken, goat meat, salad, turkey, etcetera separate in your menu. It will help customer make their choice and decide quantity as well.
Key price index:
- Food price
- Meat price
- Appetizers price
- Delivery price
- Free prices
I included free prices because there should be things you are offering for free to your customers. Like water, fruit juice, snacks, etcetera. This free things work on your customers in a different way. Always include it in all your daily menu.
Learn What Others Are Doing Well
Let me share with you want you need to learn about home restaurant business model. I’m your online business mentor now. But if you can get anyone whose successful in the restaurant business to mentor you that would be a plus for your dream.
here’s what those who are already making it big in home restaurant business are doing right.
They target high-end customers. Don’t try to attract every kind of customers. Know from day one who your customer is. You should make a mental picture of the profile of your target customer. And don’t compromise it for any reason.
Furthermore, they offer mouth watering testy meals. It’s not those type of junk fast food restaurant meals. The foods are excellent in every way. If you don’t know how to cook the best meals this idea won’t be for you. I’m not talking about I can cook people. It’s not an ego trip.
They brand their business and their packaging. Don’t settle for less. There’s something about branding food business. It gives a whole lot of impression about how sweet the food can be.
Tips to Start Home Restaurant Business
If starting a home restaurant business is your thing then follow this guide religiously. And there’s no better time to start but now. This model eliminates the challenges of having a large space to serve your customers. You don’t also have to worry about huge startup fund, or even hiring many workers.
All you may need to start cooking delicious meals and serving your customers might be right there in your home kitchen. Almost 80% of what’s needed to Start is already available with you.
But you will still need to go through some bucket list to be well prepared. I have done one for you. Help yourself by creating yours or modifying this one. I’m only focused on what’s key to starting up. You should find other things you may require that’s not listed here.
The listed guides are in no particular order. You can reorder the ideas in your own perspective.
- Go For Special Kind of Cuisine Training
- Get Top-Notch Kitchen Equipment
- Setup In-House Delivery Service
- Build A Customer Database
- Plan Your Daily Food Menu
- Define Your Delivery Locations
- Partner with reliable Foodstuff Supply
Go For Special Kind of Cuisine Training
I have this as one of the steps aspiring home restaurant entrepreneurs need to do. But I have a better way to do this with awesome result. You should already have your Menu plan to work together. If anything is more important, it should be your priority in this business.
There are tons of chef videos online, especially on YouTube. Find the Menu you want to offer and learn different ways you could make it mouth watering for your customers. When you are done studying, go practical. Follow the videos and start practicing how to cook them.
Get Top-Notch Kitchen Equipment
One of the important reason for getting your top notch kitchen equipment is to help you make meals faster and better. Moreover, kitchen equipment are your main startup needs.
So, get the best if you can. If the funds are not available now, start with what you can afford and upgrade later as the business begin to take shape. But by no means, don’t play with top notched kitchen gadgets.
A food processor may be costly but a food process can handle most of your kitchen gadget needs. It will also copy less space and minimize time waste in cleaning kitchen gadgets. Avoid buying everything once. It’s better to keep buying more as you need them than buying things you may never need.
Something else that may look little but it’s very important is measuring cups and spoons. Cooking is science, and science procedures must be accurate. For example, keeping your salt and pepper taste accurate at all times is important to achieving that tasty meal.
Here is a list of what you can start with:
- Cooking equipment
- Storage containers
- Kitchen Display System
- Point of sale system
- Steam table
- Washing equipment
- Sharpening stone
- Ice maker
- Gas or electric grill
- Ranges and ventilation
- Food processors
- Food prep counters and cutting boards
- Freezers and refrigerators
- Safety equipment
- Storage racks and shelving
Setup In-House Delivery Service
Delivery service is key to successful home restaurant business. To get it right you must have a fast and efficient delivery service. At this point, depending on the city in Nigeria you are going to be operating in, you may need to have your own in-house bike delivery service.
However, the real issue here is managing the delivery service. If you have been involved in delivery logistics before you may have an idea of the huge challenges. The delivery guy is a bigger problem. But it can be managed properly.
You might need to hire a delivery logistics expert (consultant) to help you fine tune your delivery plan. Adopting the right delivery management model may keep you in business and help your bran deliver on its promises.
Note: some startups make the mistake of trying to earn extra income with their delivery service. That’s good but it might affect your core business. So, be smart and avoid extra income temptations.
Build The Right Customer Database
One of the fastest ways to build your first client database is to make them a free offer they can’t refuse. Everybody likes free food. But target the right customers who can afford your food. I can tell you that your first paying customers when you finally open up your home restaurant for business will be from this testing group.
This kind of marketing should be direct, and don’t complicate anything. Let the client know why you are doing it and what you are giving them for free. I will recommend you make a small beautifully designed daily menu list of the foods you will be serving and days you will be cooking them.
Moreover, if you haven’t done a service business before, I would recommend you hire a consultant to help you plan your home restaurant startup. Don’t assume you know what to do. It’s a smart move to use consultants to give you different perspective on the business.
Plan Your Daily Food Menu
Home restaurant business model has a little secret. It goes well with daily Menu. Everyday has its own different food menu. You don’t offer your customers same food everyday. You spice things up and make them look forward to Days their favorite meals will be on offer.
You can start out with your own menu plan and later make some adjustments to incorporate menu ideas from customers genuine feedbacks. One of the startup entrepreneurs started trying out list of exquisite menu ideas until she found the ones her customers can’t resist.
Define Your Delivery Locations
The issue with food delivery is timing. You cannot be everywhere at the same time, but you can be some place to serve some customers much better. Your location must be such you can cover within 2 to 3 hours with delivery.
One more thing that must be clear to you as a home restaurant startup is that you are in the business of serving lunch. Your customers are those who can’t do without lunch. If you find these set of customers you are in good business.
You can already see where it’s all headed to. That’s why your delivery must be top-notch. Lunch time is from 12 noon to 2pm. Your customers must get their food delivered within this timeframe.
Note: avoid all those delivery excuses. If customers can’t trust you to deliver on time they will start buying from another food vendor close-by.
Partner with Reliable Foodstuff Supply
You may not really think this mattered but it matters a lot. Foodstuff quality in the market now is under question. Finding the right foodstuffs to give you the right meal taste may be a challenge if you ignore using reliable foodstuff supply.
Further more, most agricultural produce are chemically induced during cultivation. They don’t taste the same with organic produce. But organic foodstuffs retains not only there taste but also their colour when cooked. But its not so with non-organic produce.
Avoid buying from local markets unless you trust the seller. However, you may also find quality foodstuffs in major brand stores. It may be costlier than in local markets, but its better to get quality foodstuffs than but bad ones.
Target Customers for Home Restaurant Business
At this point you have already seen where this business is headed and the type of customers you should be targeting. But let’s take a look at them again more closely, incase you missed out something,
Here are possible target customers for your Home restaurant business:
- Top business owners
- Office executives
- High end company workers
- High income earners
You can reclassify this list based on your location. Some small cities may need to reclassify to suit their market. But don’t ignore classifying your target customers. This will help you start marketing.
If you can, hire a smart marketing consultant who understands home restaurant business to help you build your customer base or do it yourself. You need to have customers before you can start a successful home restaurant business.
How to Market Your Home Restaurant Business
Meanwhile, marketing is key to the success of home restaurant business or any business at all. So, you have to put up the right marketing plan if you hope to succeed. However, your marketing should be different because you have a limited number of customers you serve daily. But doing marketing will help you keep filling this list daily and creating scarcity or waiting list.
Tips to keep marketing going includes:
- Promoting your daily meals on social media like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Tiktok and Facebook.
- Regularly sharing customers reviews on social media
- Sending out daily meal menu for each day
- Contacting your customers to ask them how they enjoyed your meal.
Don’t forget to equally use your packaging materials as marketing content. Branding your meal plate, spoon, cup, packaging is essential to your marketing. You may not start off with this level of branding but don’t ignore it when it’s time.
Your must important strategy will be how to get your first 100 customers to launch your business.
I was careful about the kind of home restaurant business I shared in this post. Knowing fully well of all the other options. The idea here is to serve lunch. You can explore other options if you want to. This idea is for those who want to operate a restaurant idea from their home kitchen.
Home restaurant is different from food vendor business. Even though a food vendor cooks food on demand like a home restaurant does, they don’t operate in the same way. I have equally written another post about food vendor business. You can also find that on this blog.
Finally, take the key points and explore on the opportunities. You can replicate this model anywhere in Nigeria. The demand for home food is high. Also, this model doesn’t work for lunch meals only. You can also explore it for breakfast meals. What may not fit in is dinner meals.