Eateries are points where people have fast and delicious food or a drink. It is fast becoming a common business due to its rapid turnovers. In the past, women were the main operators of eateries but nowadays men are becoming predominantly involved.
Eateries are of various sizes and offer a variety of services depending on their strength. Some of the known eateries in Nigeria are; Chicken Republic, Mr. Biggs, Sweet Sensation, Kilimanjaro, Tantalizer, KFC, Domino’s Pizza, Mama Cass etc.
The structure of most of these eateries is typical. Eateries are organized into 10 sections namely:
Children’s play area
Sharwama and Pizza spot
Baking/ cooking area
Big eateries try to achieve all ten sections to meet customers’ demand and brand prestige, eateries occasionally experience boom and failing times. Boom times are when there are lots of sales than it can handle. Failing times are periods when there’s a shortfall of sales and leftovers. Some might not survive the failed period, however, expansion happens during the boom.
A lot of factors come in during the conception stage, some factors that should be considered before opening an eatery include;
Demographic Factors: This involves knowing the group or category of the population that’s most likely going to patronize you. Knowing this will influence the type of services to offer and types of meals that should be prepared and at what time they should be ready.
For example, if more females are likely to patronize then it’s okay to incorporate sales of snacks, shawarma, pizza, fried Chicken etc., unlike the female demography most men would prefer heavy meals like swallow, beans, yam and other local delicacies. Women and children would fit in light meals and snacks.
Market Factor: The market is the population of Nigerians who crave a particular product or service. Yes, everyone needs food to survive but not everyone eats out often. Hence, the right market for eateries would be persons who rarely cook or those who spend most of their day away from their homes e.g. bankers, lawyers, architects, engineers and other professionals etc.
Location Factors: It is always best to have Restaurants situated within neighbourhoods where the market in need of such services is situated. For example, eateries around banks, marketplaces, and offices are more likely to make huge sales compared to eateries in high-density residential neighbourhoods.
Service Factor: Determining what services and how same would be rendered is the perfect way to start an eatery business. Some eateries invest much time and resources in dispatching their meals and accepting online orders while others may concentrate on direct services in their respective eateries.
Knowing the type of services to offer will help you in preparations, training and decision-making, as this might affect the production level for sustainable service delivery.
Staff Strength: The staff strength of big eateries varies from that of smaller eateries. It is the level of demand that determines the number of staff required. The more the customers, the more staff needed.
Future Expansion: It’s good to always plan for future growth and expansion. When this is considered, the choice of venue will come in, although expansion could come in different forms, it is however important to consider the physical venue on expansion matters. Indication of an expandable venue is the size of premises, car space, and possible projection of canopies or tenting.
Unique Selling Point: To experience huge turnover, there’s a need to apply strategies that a competitor isn’t applying, the only way to make this happen is by under-studying your competitors and galvanizing on the available information to your advantage.
Your unique selling point is that strategy that will place your eatery in the best competitive advantage ahead of your competitors in similar business.
Brand Capacity: The very first thing to do before opening a restaurant is to do brand awareness to let people know what your business is about.
Brand awareness makes a lot of impact in eatery business in that potential customers outside the immediate city of the eatery can be reached, this is particularly for eateries with great online presence, hence meals could be ordered online or inquiries made. Your brand can influence sales and turnover from time to time.