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How To Start an Online Food Business from Home in Nigeria

Last updated on November 27th, 2023 at 11:08 am

The online space is also friendly to almost all businesses and one of those businesses is the online food business in Nigeria.

Although the online food business is pretty new it has a lot of growth potential.

In the same way, a restaurant operates in a physical space, an online food business online in that you can prepare meals in your house and post your menu online. The difference is that people can’t sit and eat so what they do is make orders online and you deliver the food to their physical location.

Some restaurants do operate online too but those who don’t have a restaurant, can make food from their home and send it to the customers who make orders.

An online business comes with many benefits like the fact that you won’t need to pay rent not forgetting how an online business is more secure than having a physical location.

You might be asking yourself why one would prefer ordering food when one can just cook or walk to the nearest restaurant.

Well, some individuals are tied up in their workplaces or even their own businesses, and finding time to go grab some lunch is hard.

Others find cooking extremely complex and stressful and therefore they prefer to order food instead.

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Why Start an online food business in Nigeria

The food business has become one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria and many entrepreneurs are already making good money from the business. 

Just like any other online business, an online food business can be operated from the comfort of your home. As mentioned earlier, operating an online food business does not require a physical location. However, high chance are you thought of start an online food business since you didn’t have a lot of capital that can get you a physical place to operate from.

Online food business allows you to make your dream come true without struggling to make it happen. Online food business does not only involve preparing meals for your customers and deliveries, it can also involve getting ingredients or foodstuff for customers who might not have time to get it themselves.

Is the food stuff business profitable?

The foodstuff business in Nigeria is considered to be profitable. The food industry in Nigeria is lucrative and can be quickly launched, with foods like beans, rice, garri, and crayfish being fast-selling items.

The majority of Nigeria’s wealthy businessmen started in the food industry, and the industry is expected to continue growing due to the country’s fast-growing population and the daily need for food by over 200 million people.

Additionally, a foodstuff business can be run successfully from the comfort of one’s home, making it a flexible and potentially profitable venture.

While opinions on whether the alcohol or foodstuff business is more profitable vary, the consensus is that both are profitable, especially when located in the right area.

Therefore, starting a foodstuff business in Nigeria can be a lucrative opportunity for those interested in the industry.

STEP: #1 Do Research on Your Target Market

Just like any other business, it is important to carry out a market survey of the area around you. This way you get to know the kind of food in demand in that area.

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For example, if your target market is business people who can’t leave their jobs during lunch hour you might want to prepare foods like chicken stew and rice or pilau or any other meal that can serve as a main dish.

On the other hand, if your target market is college students then you might consider preparing more snacks, junk, and any other type of fast food.

When choosing a location to start an online food business from home in Nigeria, consider an urban area an area that is business concentrated. That would be a better choice than a residential area since people there would prefer preparing their own meals rather than ordering.

It is also important to consider certain sociocultural aspects of the area you are considering. Issues like religion, economic conditions, and other cultural aspects should be considered.

STEP: #2 Choose A Niche

The best business idea whether online or physical is born out of passion or hobby. This applies to the food business too. You can’t start a food business just because you need to make money. You have to be a good cook and creative in the kitchen too. That’s what will make you stand out from the rest.

There are different types of food businesses in Nigeria and therefore to get started all you need to do is select your niche. Choose a niche that you are good at in a way that your customers will never get enough of it.

Unlike restaurants, you can’t prepare all the meals, you will have to choose what you are best at. Having an online food business comes with some challenges one of them being competition from restaurants that are well-known for offering online food deliveries. 

This means you have to be outstanding with your kitchen skills for you to be noticeable too. You will have to pick the right niche for you to have a successful online food business in Nigeria.

You can’t choose to sell chicken and chips because around you are always lining up at the KFC near you.

It might seem like a business opportunity but how will you win people over KFC if you are not even a little bit good at making chicken? No one would choose you over KFC.

This simply means if you are good at preparing fufu then do your magic and watch people choose to buy your fufu over KFC chicken.

STEP: #3 Choose A Brand Name

Your food business will be more professional if you give it a captivating brand name that will trigger people to keep patronizing you.

Remember that you should focus on getting a good brand name and find a professional to give you a first-class logo that will match your brand.

Since you are dealing with an online food delivery business, you can as well use simple yet unique names like Tasty Kitchen, or even your name eg Mercy’s Kitchen.

Starting an online food business from home in Nigeria can be challenging since the most important decision-making on your meals can’t be done as it could have been done in a physical food business.

Since customers can’t sample your product, branding is very important. Your branding should tell your story and help customers imagine how your product might taste.

This is done through your packaging design, photography, website, product page, etc. 

STEP: #4 Budget

Although your online food business in Nigeria does not require a lot of money from you, budgeting is still important. Starting an online business might seem like a small task but if the budgeting is not done well it can turn into a disaster.

You will have to think of all that requires money from you when starting such as ingredients, getting business licenses, paying your delivery guy, and marketing among others.

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Since all these areas need money, you need to know how much each needs and allocate the money. It is also important to note that you will have to put some money aside for emergency purchases.

STEP: #5 Register Your Food Business

Just like any other business in Nigeria, your online food business is legally bound to obtain an operating permit from Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). therefore you will have to obtain the required license and permit from CAC and other relevant regulatory bodies in Nigeria.

The licensing you apply for depends on the kind of food business you will be doing. For instance, if you are going to be doing supply/delivery of packaged food products then you will apply for a NAFDAC registration number for your products to be certified safe for consumption. All these processes will require money and that is why step #4 can’t be avoided.

Registering your business is an important step when starting an online food business from home in Nigeria since it gives you peace of mind to run your business without being bothered or fear of the authorities. It also prevents you from getting into big trouble with the authorities which can cost you money.

STEP: #6 Find A Reliable Delivery Personnel

When you are getting started with your online food business, you can do everything from preparing the meals to delivering them to your customers. However as your online food business grows, you will have money customers and it can become too much for you to prepare the meals and still do delivery.

On the other hand, you might be too busy in your house to also get time to deliver, and that is where a delivery person comes in. when choosing a delivery guy keep in mind that the person you choose to work with has a direct effect on your business.

This simply means you need to find a reliable person. Imagine preparing a nice meal for your customer but they wait for 30 minutes to an hour for the food to be delivered. They will not enjoy the meal. No one wants to order food and wait for that long to have it delivered to them. Again no one wants to have a cold meal.

Customers come back depending on how you treated them last time and therefore if the services offered are not good you might end up losing potential customers.

Equipment needed to start a small restaurant in Nigeria

To start a small restaurant in Nigeria, you will need various types of equipment for both the kitchen and the dining area. Here is a list of essential equipment needed to open a restaurant:

Kitchen Equipment

  1. Refrigerators and Freezers
  2. Counters and Cutting Surfaces
  3. Slicers
  4. Mixers
  5. Ovens and Ranges
  6. Sinks
  7. Cooking utensils such as pots, gas cookers, stoves, spoons, forks, plates, and knives.

Dining Area Equipment

  1. Tables and chairs
  2. Condiment dispensers
  3. Salt and pepper shakers
  4. Silverware
  5. Glassware
  6. Paper goods
  7. Tableware and catering items such as glasses, cups, and cutlery.

Other Essential Equipment

  1. Inverter
  2. Air conditioner
  3. Fans
  4. Generator
  5. TV set
  6. Audio music player for entertainment
  7. Safety and emergency equipment including fire extinguishers and first aid box.

The estimated cost for starting a standard medium-scale restaurant business in Nigeria is around N761,500, but this can vary based on the specific requirements and budget.

Consider the type of food you will serve and the theme of your restaurant when selecting equipment. Additionally, you may choose to buy second-hand equipment to save costs, but ensure that the equipment is user-friendly, presentable, and fully functioning.

Remember that the exact equipment needed may vary based on the specific concept and format of your restaurant, so it’s essential to tailor the equipment list to your unique business needs.

STEP: #7 Advertise Your Food Business on Social Media

One of the most challenging things in a new business is getting customers. This can be even more challenging when you are dealing with foodstuff since they are perishable. Well if you have a passion for cooking you can’t back down just because you are scared of not getting customers.

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Instead of worrying about that worry about how and where you can get your customers from. Now getting customers is even easier due to the availability of social media platforms through which you can market your online food business.

You can start by advertising your food business on your social media platforms. Take clear pictures of some of the meals you have prepared and post them on your platforms with a brief texting telling more about your food business.

You can also advertise your online food business through Facebook ads or through Instagram ads too. For this, you will have to pay a fee for your post to be shown to a bigger audience.

Online foodstuff market in Nigeria

The online foodstuff market in Nigeria has grown significantly, offering customers a convenient way to shop for food items and have them delivered to their doorsteps. Some popular online foodstuff markets in Nigeria include:

  1. The Market Food Shop: This online food market offers a wide range of food items, including smoked eja abo, egusi, smoked catfish, ewa oloyin, honey beans, and more. They also provide delivery services outside Lagos and internationally, with delivery times varying depending on the location.
  2. Applecart Nigeria: Applecart offers a variety of food items, such as beef, chicken, eggs, vegetables, pepper, and more. They provide free delivery for orders above a certain threshold and have a mobile app for a more convenient shopping experience.
  3. Supermart is an online grocery store and delivery service in Lagos, offering a wide assortment of food items, provisions, medicine, drugs, office supplies, stationery, and everyday essentials. They claim to provide the best prices and discounts compared to other supermarkets in Nigeria.
  4. FoodLocker: FoodLocker is an online food store that offers a variety of food items, including beans, vegetables, and other groceries. They provide home delivery services in Ibadan, Nigeria, and have received positive customer feedback for their prompt delivery and excellent customer service.
  5. GetFoodNG: This online market allows customers to buy fresh raw foodstuffs and groceries, with prompt delivery straight to their doorstep. They offer a 100% quality items guarantee and provide phone and WhatsApp support for customer assistance.

These online foodstuff markets provide a convenient and efficient way for customers to shop for food items and have them delivered to their doorsteps, eliminating the need for market runs and offering a wide range of products to choose from.

How to arrange food stuff shop

To arrange a foodstuff shop, you can follow these steps:

  1. Design a Good Layout: Ensure your store has enough space for movement and place high-demand food items at the back to encourage customers to see other items.
  2. Categorize Similar Foodstuff Together: Group similar items in one section and create a sequence for your food items to help customers shop with ease.
  3. Utilize Shelving and Display Units: Use shelving to arrange food by type and use stair-step shelves to put the back row of items in view.

Additionally, you can apply the “Rule of First In, First Out” to ensure that ingredients are used before they expire, and organize your supplies by category to help your employees easily locate them during busy times.

Remember, the key is to create an enticing environment for customers and ensure that no item is hidden from their sight, making it easier for them to find what they need and potentially buy more items than they initially planned.

Final Thoughts on Online Food Business in Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the first developing hubs in Africa and is also primed to be one of the strongest economies in the world by 2030. It has the largest population in the African continent and one of the biggest in the entire world.

This is a clear indication that you can never go wrong with an online food business from home in Nigeria. This is one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria and if you follow the procedures listed above well you can grow a successful online food business.

Many entrepreneurs are venturing into the food business so don’t be left out. Show off your kitchen skills and make money from your passion. That sounds fun, right? All the best in your new online business.

Kindly share the article to help us reach more people who have a dream of starting an online food business in Nigeria like you.

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