How To Start A Profitable Catering Business in Nigeria

How do I start a Catering business in Nigeria? Setting up a profitable catering business is quite straightforward and easy. In this guide, you will learn all that you need to know in starting a lucrative catering business in Nigeria.

The catering Business involves providing foods and beverages during events, social gatherings, and other important celebrations.
It is more than just cooking food for clients. Further, It involves the coordination of how the food is being prepared and its presentation before delivery. It’s more than knowing how to cook delicious food. Catering involves different activities, majorly it includes;

  • Cooking: This is mostly what people refer to as being a caterer. However, it is just an integral part of it. You need to know how to cook or better still employ the service of experienced cooks who is clean and efficient. A good caterer is expected to be able to cook different sorts of food in a hygienic environment.
  • Setting Tables: As effortless as this sounds, it’s an important activity in the catering business that shouldn’t be overlooked. To be a successful caterer, you should learn how to set tables appealingly and attractively. This is to make the guest comfortable. In case you don’t know how to, you can employ the service of experts who knows how to do it.
  • Serving: This is the last part which involves the distribution of food to the guest. You can not do this alone. Hence, you will need to employ the services of well-trained waiters and waitresses. This is crucial as your team level of hospitality and expertise may determine if you will get jobs from previous customers.

And in case you are part of those doubting its profitability. Continue reading to learn how profitable a catering business is in Nigeria.

Is Catering a Lucrative Business?

Many people who are interested in running a catering business in Nigeria always ask if Catering is a lucrative business. Fortunately, it is. If you are interested in starting a catering business, you should go ahead immediately because it’s very profitable if done well.

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Almost every weekend, an occasion or event, or celebration is done. People hire caterers to cater for their food and beverages during funerals, birthday parties, weddings, hotel events, convocations, and so on. Also, this is a lucrative business that there is no limit you can charge. Some Caterer bill their client as high as N700,000 or more for an event depending on the customer and event. Surprisingly, this may not include the food items and ingredients to be used. The catering business is a high-yielding business provided you have the required knowledge and skills.

Since you already have the picture of how profitable a catering business can be. Let dive into the steps you can take to set up a successful Catering business in Nigeria.

How Can I Start a Catering Business in Nigeria?

How do I start a Catering business in Nigeria? What does it cost to start a catering business? Equipment needed for Catering business in Nigeria? Are you part of those seeking answers to these questions? Read on to get all your questions answered as well as gain knowledge on how to be a successful caterer.

1. Get Trained and Certified

The first step in starting a catering business in Nigeria is to get the necessary skills or certification. If you lack the necessary culinary skills or will wish to upgrade your culinary skills, you can attend culinary skills. There are many other technical skills required of a professional caterer including sales, accounting, persuasion, customer relation skills, and others. You have the chance of learning all these in a Catering school. But if you don’t have the money or time, you can learn from a professional Caterer or consult an expert for guidance.

If you have attended such training you will have the idea of the equipment needed for a catering business, the cost, and how to run such in Nigeria. You will also be equipped with the type of location your business can be situated at.

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2. Pick A Niche 

One of the advantages conferred by those who are trained and certified is the ability to niche down. A professional Caterer knows every niche in catering and knows where to invest his or her energy.

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In case you are not a trained caterer but wish to start this business. We advise you to do enough research and ensure you find a niche you fit perfectly into. There are many niches you can venture into as a caterer. Some of them include; catering for weddings, children’s parties, Adult parties, dinner parties, hotels and restaurant services, Concerts, and so on. Ensure you do your research well!

3. Create Your Menu

Once you can pick a niche, the next thing is to create a different menu you can offer. You can also research the different menu your target audience likes and make provision for it.

Another way to create your menu is to check out other established catering businesses in your niche. Compare the type of food they offer with their price to create yours. We advise you to consider your location, cost of preparation, stress, and desired profit margin when setting your price. Do not copy your competitors verbatim and do not overprice the products.

4. Get Capital/Funding

After getting all the necessary training and skills, the next is to get your capital ready. For those asking how much money is needed to start a Catering business in Nigeria, this is to tell you there is no specific amount. It all depends on your preference; whether you’re running small, medium, or large scale as well as your location. You can spend as low as N100,000 or even up to N500,000 depending on what you think you needed. That is why we advised you to get trained or seek an expert opinion. Below are some of the equipment we think you may need in establishing a successful catering business in Nigeria.

Equipment Needed For Catering Business in Nigeria

Aluminium warm chafing dishes for heating food  
  • Cutting boards
  • Large gas ranges
  • Rental and catering plate racks
  • Plastic and Catering trays
  • Large cooking pots
  • Table decorations
  • Table covering
  • Stainless steel steam table food pans and accessories
  • Disposable food takeaway and boxes
  • Toothpicks
  • Chafer accessories, chafers, and chafing dishes
  • Food storage covers and boxes
  • Rental and catering glass racks
  • Plate racks
  • Rolls, knife bags, and cases
  • Serving utensils
  • Uniforms for cooks and waitresses
  • Table-top accessories
  • Bowls, plates, and trays
  • Lids, drain, plastic food pans, and trays
  • Salad bar item
  • Serving Carts
  • Disposable bags
  • Paper napkins
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5. Secure Good Location

For any business to be successful, location is extremely important. If you want your business to be successful, you must pick a good location where your target audience is.  The type of customer whether high tickets or medium you want will determine where your business location will be.

If you want to be patronized by people of high calibers and social means, ensure you find a suitable location for it. In this case, a busy city or near an estate will be a perfect location for this. Just ensure whatever location you choose, there are your prospective customers there.

6. Get Well-Trained and Experienced Staff

Running a catering business is not easy. So, you can’t do it alone, you will need to employ at least a well-trained and experienced staff. You may decide to employ a well-trained cook, server, or even cleaner depending on what you need help with.

7. Register your Catering Business

It’s good to register your business to improve clients’ trust in you. You can register your business with Corporation Affairs Commission(CAC) or even with the Chamber of Commerce. Depending on your state, you may have to pay taxes also.

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8. Promotion

The use of advertising materials like flyers, printing banners, posters, complementary cards can be used to create awareness about your business. You must do this because, without awareness, you may not be able to get any customers.

Furthermore, effective use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can bring in new customers for you on daily basis. However, this does not negate the fact that you need to provide value. It’s when you provide quality services that you will retain and get more customers. Do not underrate words of mouth and referral marketing.

More on Catering Business in Nigeria

For every profitable business, there are challenges. That’s where the place of passion comes into place. Even though the Catering business in Nigeria is profitable, you will need a lot of patience, determination, and hardworking to succeed. We wish you the best in your Catering business!

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