It is no longer news that people are beginning to dive into personal businesses these days. Deservedly so, running your own business not only gives you freedom and independence most people crave for, it also affords you the opportunity to develop an extra source of income that can comfortably make you a millionaire, depending on how you take the business.

Lots of business ideas have sprung up over the years. While some of these businesses have not been as productive as expected, some others have been widely successful and have drawn a lot of attention in recent times; one of which is the restaurant and fast food business.

cost of starting a restaurant in zambia

Restaurant business is widely regarded among the most lucrative businesses in Zambia today. The business, when planned and executed well, rarely experiences poor sales largely because there is limitless target market for for the business. Think about it like this, everyone eats, everyone needs a place to eat and irrespective of the location, there is always someone that is ready to buy food and eat. Everyone is busy these days and people rarely have that time to cook in their houses. They therefore settle for restaurants around them and hence, the ever increasing demand for fast foods and restaurants.

Anyone can start restaurant business in Zambia. In as much as you have your capital and other things in place, starting a restaurant or fast food shouldn’t be such a big deal. The big question now is, how much does it actually cost to start restaurant business in Zambia? In this post, we will a look at the processes involved and how much it cost to start a restaurant. We will analyse the things involved and factors you need to put into consideration before actually starting the business. Let’s get started.

Processes and Cost of Starting a Restaurant in Zambia

Have you ever heard the statement “ideas are never enough”? That is as true as it sounds. Ideas sell, but actions bring the money. Are you planning on starting a restaurant in Zambia? There are certain things to consider. Starting a restaurant business can be stressful. Truth be told, it is one of the most stressful businesses you can venture into but it is worth it. The business is also one of the most lucrative and offers tangible profit.

Getting the exact estimate of how much you will need to start a restaurant business can be difficult. This is because there are lots of varying factors involved in estimating the overall prices. This largely depends on the scale of business you are considering, whether it is a small scale or large scale restaurant. On the average, you can start a standard restaurant business in Zambia with about KW700, 000. Although you are likely going to spend more, it gives you a safe ground to start with. Let us take a look at the breakdown of the processes involved and rough estimate of starting a restaurant in Zambia today.

Determine the Type of Restaurant You Want

This is where the planning starts. There are different types of restaurants and it is necessary you decide on which exactly targets the largest market. You can decide to start a fast food restaurant, a quick service restaurant, casual dining restaurant, fine dining restaurant or an ethnic restaurant. It is also important you consider your location before deciding on which type of restaurant pulls the largest target market.

Write a Business Plan and Raise Capital

If you don’t have the capital to start the business yet, it is important you raise funds to star the business. It I always advisable to have a rough estimate so as to know how much you need to tart the business as not to get stock. Subsequent points highlight how much you will likely need to set up a standard restaurant in Zambia. Business plans help you organize your plans in the simplest of fashions. They also help you when raising funds for your business. Your business plan should highlight how you intend running your business, who your target markets are, how you intend setting up your business and lots more relevant information.

Get Started

This is where the spending starts. This is where the real work begins. We will take a look at some of the processes to follow and consider how much each process will require.

Get a Good Location:

This is arguably the most important part of setting up a restaurant business in Zambia. Believe it or not, location matters. In fact, the location of your restaurant has everything to do with how you attract your target market. Get a location close to your target market to make sales more realistic. It is difficult to estimate how much exactly you need to get a place. It depends on how large the place is and the location. Stores, houses and halls are more expensive in certain parts of the country than other parts.

Employ Good and Experienced Workers

Even if you’d be directly involved in operations, you still need workers. The number of workers you need depend on your plan for the restaurant and how big it is. Higher a minimum 5 workers for a start, which will include at least one chef.

Get Necessary Equipment

Get all the kitchen appliance and equipment you need to start the business. There are different types of appliance and the kind you use depend on the type of restaurant you are running and your menu. Set your menu according to the type of restaurant you are starting and get necessary equipment. Based on experience, the minimum amount to plan for restaurant equipment is KW300, 000.

You are good to go. Based on the analysis above, cost of starting a restaurant business highly varies based on the type of restaurant. Fast food restaurants are usually the most expensive and tasking to start. Other types of restaurants also have their share of stress but are still relatively easier compared to setting up a fast food restaurant. Irrespective of the type of restaurant, one can start a standard restaurant with less than 1 million naira.

Do You Need a License to Sell Food in Zambia?

To legally sell food in Zambia, except unprocessed agricultural products, you must apply for a Certificate of Acceptability from your local authority, typically your municipality. This certificate must be in place before you start trading. You’ll also need to apply for a license from the City’s Trade Licence Department and pay a once-off application fee. Only when all departments have returned favorable reports and recommend approval will the trade license be issued. For every new business established, you are required to register with your local ZRA office to obtain an income tax reference number. Registration must be done within 60 days after starting operations by completing an IT77 form, available at your local ZRA office or from the ZRA website.

How Much Does a Business License Cost in Zambia?

A company registration may vary between K1,000 and K3,800 (K1,000 for a private company, K3,800 for a non-profit company registered without members).

Requirements for Obtaining a Food License in Zambia

  • Apply for a Certificate of Acceptability
  • Obtain a license from the City’s Trade Licence Department
  • Pay a once-off application fee
  • Register with your local ZRA office for an income tax reference number

Additional Resources

Key Points to Remember

  • Apply for a Certificate of Acceptability before starting your food business
  • Obtain the necessary licenses and pay application fees
  • Register with your local ZRA office for an income tax reference number
  • Familiarize yourself with local regulations and requirements

In conclusion, to legally sell food in Zambia, you must obtain a Certificate of Acceptability, a license from the City’s Trade Licence Department, and register with your local ZRA office. By following these steps and understanding the associated costs, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful food business in Zambia.


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