…insights from entrepreneurs in the food industry in Nigeria



Identify the problem:

When you think something is not right with a process, product and services; you ought to first identify the problem source or reason for the problem. Remember, a problem identified, is a problem half solved. Do your findings/ research/ surveys to identify the problem in question.

Analyze the problem:

After you have identified the reason or source of a given problem then you evaluate the problem. Analyzing and understanding the potential causes of the problem – is it isolated or a result of?

Develop solutions / alternative solutions:

You need to understand the complexity of any given problem for you to measure out the required degree of solution needed. You can try multiple solutions i.e., alternative solutions to solving the problem or developing alternatives that will prevent reoccurrence of such problem in feature. E.g., customers keep slipping at the entrance due to water spillage, first solution can be having a staff close by to constantly mop, deeper solution is to investigate the why, in this case, a faulty wall air conditioner. Fix the AC; and you won’t need to have a staff constantly mopping the area.

Select the best solution:

Out of  all of the solutions derived for solving the given problem, choose the best solution or best alternative (preventive solutions); think first layer second layer and third layer solution . Is the suggested solution permanently solving the problem? Is it cost effective, efficient, easily maintained and adopted?

Convert decision into action (implementation):

After you have isolated the best solution(s) strategy, you can then go ahead and implement it for action. This means that the chosen solution strategy process would become a fundamental basis for solving that kind of problem in the future. If it is a preventive approach of problem solving, then it has to be documented and applied in case of recurrence.

Follow up actions taken (Induction):

After a solution strategy implementation, it is good to follow up action. Analyzing the solution and enhancing it is part of this and the chosen alternative can be incorporated into the company’s strategy for given problem’s solution approach and can be seen as a theory or fundamental in solving similar problems even outside your own company. You have done all the research and you applied that particular approach and it worked, therefore, it has become an idea for solving that kind of problem even in other companies any time.


KALYAN CITY LIFE – Sharing Wisdom and Vivid Memories of Life


Click on link below to download Restaurant Opening Activity Checklist 
Restaurant opening environment checklist
Sample – Restaurant Opening Activity Checklist by www.businessfeverng.com
Environment Areas Mon. Tue. Wed. Thur. Fri. Sat Sun.
Front Desk / Counter Area
Opening / Clean up the area
Power on / Gadgets and Appliances check
Power system / phone / Pos Machines/ terminals
TVs / Music powered / ACs on
Arrange invoice / tickets / Dockets
Free of debris and dirt
Side works /car park clean
Tables, chairs, patio clean
Empty waste bags and trash bins clean
Lights and décor check
Floor swept and moped
Windows no finger prints, clean glass
Display area / show glass clean
Décor good, lights working
Dispose waste bags and trash bins clean
Floor and Carpet clean
Tables and chairs wiped clean – arranged
Windows and Ledges clean
Wall dusted off
Pos system, TVs, sound system, ACs, fans working
Silver wears, dishes, cups, straws – stocked
Serviettes, napkins, coasters – in place
Floor swept and mopped – dry
Sink/Vanity washed, sterilized – clean
Mirrors no stains – clean
Trash emptied and clean
Toilets / urinals –clean and sterilized
Tissue paper, hand wash/sterilizer in place
Order killers/spray in place
Walls clean
Kitchen / Bar
Dishes/cups, wears washed and arranged
Floor moped and sterilized
Utensils and cookers clean
Prepping / Grilling / Pre Cooking
Quality Tasting
Bar tools and areas clean and dry

Front Desk

Clean up / turn on System / phones on
Check mails and respond customers comments
Appreciate Customers on Social media /sms / email
Input on system new customers contact / details
Stay happy and wait for orders / receive guests
Store / Inventory
Run inventory on closing / opening stock
Ensure availability of requisitions / make new requisitions
Issue kitchen / Bar items the items they are low on or out of.


www.businessfeverng.com/restauarntopening environment checklist -2018

Checklist for restaurant managers and supervisors – in monitoring restaurant activities on daily opening.

Improve your Restaurant Business with trending Technologies (101)

Fast paced technology has become the order of the day. Restaurant environments have become very busy than it was many years back and promises to become even busier. Shift from manpower to tech systems that helps reduce labor time and service stress while giving more accurate result has been on the rave in recent time and most restaurants are beginning to observe the shift.

We took time to analyze a few:

Restaurant Ordering Technologies

Orders have never been taken 100% accurately by waiters. Using ordering technologies has proven to be highly accurate and beneficial. And when orders are taken correctly, guests stay happier, tables turn faster, food waste and costs resulting from inaccurate orders are cut down.

Obviously, restaurant technologies are replicating those benefits. Let’s take a closer look:

Online Ordering:

Online ordering (Whats-App, Instagram, Email, Restaurant Apps, etc) has become the order of the day as many would rather place an order via their phones or computer systems than visit an outlet.

Do you offer takeout / delivery? Or, are you a quick-serve or fast casual establishment looking to serve guests faster and better?

Benefits of online ordering;

  • Getting Orders Correctly: most establishments still depend on ordering over the phone. Issue is phone line gets tied up, bad network connection or getting the order call in a noisy place resulting to recording orders incorrectly, which means a waste of food and unhappy customer. Ordering through online writing medium eliminates those variables.
  • Data Collection: If orders are placed through your website or social media with subscription options, you can get and track customers’ information (phone numbers, emails, address, etc). You can learn who your regular online customers are, how often they order, and which items they usually purchase, plus reviews.
  • More Income: Ordering online could bring more revenue for your business. When you display your menu online, people ordering may want to order more items than they would have done if they came in person with one thing in mind. Online menu display intrigues customers to shop more. With online ordering, customers can leisurely browse rather than hurriedly placing their order in person or over the phone. Since there’s no pressure, customers are more likely to order extra items, leading to higher sales.

Look up Domino’s Pizza to see a great example of online ordering in action.

Key Points

  1. Have an online presence that works
  2. Develop an attractive online menu and keep the pricing competitive
  3. Create a call to action button like ‘Order now’ and have a staff always on it
  4. Create a data collection medium like subscription options or field for personal data collection
  5. Respond to customers’ comments, reviews and complaints reasonably and in time too.

What’s Your Plan for your Business In 2019

The year 2018, in less than 40 days will end.
How is your business brand going?
What challenges did you face this year?
Did your business improve or not?
What is the plan for next year?
All these business questions and worries have been experienced by numerous business owners before you and they were able to find their way through it all and they are successful today in business.
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Restaurant Manager-Staff Relationship

Managers can gain better knowledge of each staff by rotating coverage of each department.

  1. Rotate coverage and work within each department

Throughout the week, you, the manager should rotate coverage between different departments.

  • It’s the best way to learn the ins-and-outs of your restaurant;
  • It also connects you with each employee which will make them more responsive to constructive criticism.

On Monday night, you could focus on the host stand. Understand and help with protocols.

  • How should guests be greeted?
  • What duties can the host do when things and service is slow?

On Tuesday, help the kitchen run food. Learn how the orders and tickets are handled in the kitchen.

  • What stations are slow?
  • Which are fast?
  • How can this information be related to service staff so operations run smoother?

A good employee will respect a manager that can handle any job that’s needed.

  1. Become a Moderator and hold employee forums


An employee forum is really just a meeting where the employees are able to lead the discussion. If this sounds terrifying to you, I understand.

Restaurant staff are never short of complaints or excuses. But if done properly;

  • this can become a very productive way to interact with your employees and learn more about the challenges staff experience during service.
  • this is also a useful way to minimize turnover and keep employees feeling engaged. If staff feel they have a voice, and issues are heard and addressed, they will stick around. If you show loyalty and concern for your employees, they will show loyalty to you.
  1. Be an advisor and teacher

Part of management duty is teaching employees how to do tasks the proper way. But too many managers have poor communication skills and rely on their authority to tell employees when they’re not performing. But, you should become a teacher that is instructive and not just tell people how to do things, but show them.

Also, think of yourself as an advisor. Part of being a good teacher is by understanding each student and there idiosyncrasies. So it’s important that you have an open-door policy for employees to ask questions and air grievances. If employees feel like you have their back and they can come to you when something isn’t right, then the restaurant will be better off in the long run.

  1. Explain Each Job in Terms of the Big Picture


Do you know what a Dementor is? It’s a sort of demonic creature in the Harry Potter franchise that sucks the soul right out from the worst criminals of the wizarding world. This soul-sucking punishment leaves these criminals feeling unbearably cold and unable feel happiness ever again. This is exactly what a micromanaging supervisor or manager does to a good employee.

And remember, it’s the good employees that we are really talking about throughout this article. But what is a good employee? It doesn’t necessarily mean the most talented or the one with the most ability. Usually, the best employees in a restaurant are those who are reliable, have respect for their job, and respect those around them. And these are the types of people you should seek to mentor.

But often times a manager doesn’t explain the job properly to a good employee. Because a good employee not only wants to know how a job is done, but why it is being done. Explaining the process behind certain decisions can be more educational than simply learning how to do a task.

Take for instance: If you run a bar and an employee is making a cocktail for a new seasonal menu, but the ingredients they’ve chosen would result in a drink that is way too expensive to put on the menu, then explain this. And go one step further. Explain how and why the drinks are priced a certain way, and what considerations need to go into making drinks for a cocktail menu. This gives them guidance for the future and a better understanding of how the restaurant operates.

  1. Connect with Employees Outside of the Job

This doesn’t have to mean building a relationship outside of work. No, I’m not telling you to go to the bar after work and take shots with your servers or bartenders; that is up to you. But it is important to learn about your employees and their lives outside of work, and for them to learn about you.

We all know working in a restaurant is a social job that can be insanely stressful. It helps to have friends you can tell stuffs and rely on. So, tell stories, be relatable, make people laugh. That goes a long way in a restaurant. But always remember, and remind your employees of this too, the foundation of a good working relationship is hard work. Nothing connects co-workers more than knowing the person next to them is pulling their own weight, and each person has one another’s back. So, work hard. And after the work is done, have a laugh and remain a happy restaurant manager. 

How to Start Up a Restaurant in Lagos

By Emmanuel Oyira

A Hospitality Consultant, Managing Director Flip Lounge Consulting and Vice President Bartenders Association of Nigeria.


This article was drafted from careful research, study and experiences from my eighteen years in the hospitality space in Nigeria.

In working, managing and consulting for restaurants and lounges in Lagos, from my experience I have realized why owners of business in the hospitality space have struggled immensely and most times fails.

My heartfelt desire is to give back to the society especially young entrepreneurs who want to explore the vast opportunities that are available in the hospitality industry. Over the years, I have discovered that a lot of restaurants have opened and within a short period the business shuts down. In as much as global studies shows that 50% of restaurant folds up within the first three years but in Nigeria, the trend is different, a larger percentage of the above projected figure does not survive the first year. From careful study and experience,I have come to understand that we have short supply in proficient hospitality consultants to bridge the gap in quality service and in depth experience in the dynamics of our terrain’.

Most restaurants owners do not get the right consultation premise or indexes, or most owners rely on friends and family for advice without consulting properly with experienced and qualify hospitality experts and professionals before venturing into the space. Understanding the basic background checklist will help anybody who wants to invest or run a restaurant business; make head way easily. I have taken time to put together ten insightful (10) steps you must take or consider before opening a restaurant in Nigeria.

Steps for Start Up:

  1. Know your target market
  2. Choose a service styles
  3. Carve your niche
  4. Write a business plan
  5. Raise fund
  6. Choose a location
  7. Permits and licenses
  8. Create a  menu
  9. Hire employees
  10. Marketing and Promotions

Know your Target Market

One of the prerequisite for opening a restaurant is knowing your target market, and creating your concept, this is a precursor that determines the kind of service style you want to provide and the market share you want to control. Serious consideration must be paid to the demographics and lifestyle which are drivers in food service business.

The target market enforces and enhances the service style you want to provide which is bedrock in creating your niche that stands you out among other players within the space.

Service Styles

The Style of service you intend to provide helps determine the kind of equipment and outlook your business will need.

The style of service you provide informs the kind of equipments, furniture and fittings you need and, it also helps in choosing a location for the business. It also helps in drawing up a business plan, having put into consideration the cost of the equipments, furniture, fittings, rent etc.

Raising Fund

After putting together the budget costing, this gives a clear idea of how much funds you need to raise or the kind of investor you need to approach, it gives you a clear idea of how much needs to be raised. Usually family, friends and banks can be one way to raise funds. It is recommended to imbibe 1.5x function of whatever value you expect to raise

Choosing a Location

Like I said earlier, the target market informs your service style which in turn serves an indicator for the location with consideration of demography and lifestyle of people predominating your intended location environment.

Permit and Licenses

This also has an effect on the types of permits and licenses you must obtain.

I know that it is statutory by law in Nigeria that food service related businesses must obtain food regulation permit. There are other permits and licenses that may be obtained – I shall talk about them in the subsequent edition where I will turn more light on how location, service style affects or determines the types of permits, licenses you need and the amount you pay and the various taxes and levies.

Creating Menu

Your Target Market informs your Service Style which has a great impact on the kind of menu you create.

Hiring Employees

Your restaurant style helps in staff hiring, it gives a clear picture of amount of staff you need, and what position you need them for, what area of the business you need the most competent hands and where you can soft paddle in your consideration.

Marketing and Promotions

Your Restaurant style determines the degree of branding you need to do when starting out also; it helps in the type of marketing strategies and promotions you will undertake.

Improve your Restaurant Performance  

Running a successful restaurant is an ongoing challenge that requires the combined forces of both management and staff.

Policies and Standard Operational Procedures must be in place to make sure that daily operations run smoothly and all guests are treated well and are satisfied. It is fair to say that the primary goal of almost every owner and operator of a business is to make as much profit as possible. To achieve such a goal the focus needs to be on both revenues and costs. Food Businesses can boost their bottom line by increasing revenues or decreasing costs.


Ideally, you want to increase your top line (sales) and decrease your expenses (variable and sometimes fixed costs) to get the biggest increase in your joints bottom line. Reviewed in this article are ways restaurants can do better and boost their bottom line (profit).

Strategies to Increase Revenue and Improve Profit:

Once you have identified and measured your key profit drivers, you should develop strategies to grow them, and manage the cost to give it a minimal increase. Making your business more profitable involves looking at ways to increase sales revenue as well as decreasing your costs and benchmarking your business to see where you can save money

You should also prioritize the strategies you’ve chosen to improve your profit so you can focus on the most important ones.

Below are some of the important strategies;

  • Total Quality Management:
  • Review your 4P’s Every Day
  • Differentiate your 4P’s from your Competitors
  • Make your Employees Happy
  • Make Your Guests Feel at Home
  • Develop incremental revenue sources
  • Sell branded products
  • Interact with Guests Personally
  • Be Creative, Proactive and Productive
  • Switch from Incandescent to LED
  • Offer Guests Holiday Treat
  • Market Directly by Contacting your Guest
  • Focus on Added Value
  • Focus on Customer Satisfaction
  • Do an Energy and Utility Audit Periodically
  • Host Business and Private Functions.
  • Focus your Marketing on your Most Important Customers
  • Encourage Guests to Refer New Customers
  • Network with other nearby Businesses.
  • Encourage All Employees to be Salesmen
  • Add some Entertainment
  • Provide Outstanding Service
  • Reward Employees for Good Contributions
  • Add and Refresh your Menu Periodically

 Decrease Costs on:

  •  Inventory – stock control is a good way to streamline your business.
  • Direct costs – make sure you have the right suppliers for your business and negotiate for better prices or discounts for buying in bulk.
  •  Indirect costs – for example, try to minimize waste and errors in your business by training staff, or reduce marketing costs by using low cost marketing techniques.
  • Overheads – for example, save energy wherever possible or try find to a cheaper energy supply system.
  • Benchmark key financials – benchmarking your business helps you compare your costs (like rent and utilities etc.) to similar businesses in your industry to see if you are paying too much.

Insights on Start Up


Carving Your Niche and writing a plan and understanding value proposition is paramount before start up. Value proposition refers to a business or marketing statement that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use their service. This statement in essence addresses the value you will be offering a guest and why they should patronize you than the next business.


Decide which restaurant segment best suits you, do your research and speak to other business owners

Target market

Good knowledge of your potential market will help you in deciding which restaurant style to start up. In Nigeria, one can say there are scarce data in understanding potential markets. The Universal 4ps + 2ps, still applies – Product (the Level of service, Quality of your service, your menu), Price, Place (Considering commercial and residential) and Promotion. Then, Process and People (Demography- age, gender, spending power, educational level of people)

Create a menu and cost it

Create a menu that suits your restaurant, build a recipe, and plan the sourcing of product and equipment needed. A chef can be consulted through this process. We will emphasize on creating a menu you will love;

Your menu is majorly what keeps your business going; Creating a Menu simple and having always available the food in the menu. Ask yourself why customers should keep having meals at your place?

Marketing and Promotions

Make publicity a top priority because it won’t matter how good a chef you hire or how excellent your services are if people don’t know about your place.

Utilize Social media and create content that will keep attracting and engaging your customers.

Government Policies & Regulatory Bodies (taxes, legal):

Before your restaurant operations is implemented, make sure that all legal consultations are made with government regulatory bodies such as CAC,NAFDAC, IRS, LASAA, LAWMA, LASEPA, Land and Property Use Agency, etc. You must get permits and clearance from the Local Government Council where you want to establish you restaurant- Parking Permit, Radio and TV permits among others; certain policies and regulations must be appropriately adhered to, to avoid for-closure by government agencies. Check our content on Resource for links and more information.


After Filing documents of incorporation or registering Business name and obtaining business ID & Federal tax identification number; a restaurant owner must obtain several other permits which may include;