An Expert’s Tips on How to Start a Fast Food Restaurant in Pakistan

An Expert's Tips on How to Start a Fast Food Restaurant in Pakistan

Pakistan’s current economic woes may not be unprecedented but they are unusual. With foreign exchange reserves around $3 billion, the country can only import essential items and that too for a few weeks only. What’s more, labor is being laid off in different economic sectors, including construction, textile and auto manufacturing. However, no matter what the present scale of economic meltdown in the country, you can still not go wrong if you are interested in starting a restaurant business. 

Interested? Let’s give you an expert’s view on how to start a café in Pakistan. 

10 Things to Know When Starting a Fast Food Business in Pakistan 

Location – This won’t surprise you as anyone who knows anything about restaurant business would tell you that location is everything. However, location means different things to different types of restaurants. If you are banking on walk-in customers, then your restaurant or cafe needs to be prominent, preferably on a main road or street. However, if the majority of your customers is take away or delivery-based then an inside location may also be okay.

When renting a place, make sure it has a parking space. The rear of the restaurant must have enough space for ventilation. Water connection is a must. While not likely, if the place has a gas connection then it’s a plus point. Otherwise, you’d be relying on (45Kg) LPG cylinders. 

If interested in renting a commercial property, do check out the listings on OLX Pakistan. 

Budget – If you are on a tight budget, start with a take away restaurant. Your initial cost will be low. This model will also suit those who are just venturing into the restaurant business. However, if budget is not an issue then consider starting a proper restaurant with dine in facilities. 

On average, a restaurant’s equipment can cost you up to Rs.4 million. This cost can come down if you compromise on its quality or buy used equipment. Overall, you are looking at a figure of Rs.6 million inclusive of everything for a proper restaurant. The cost for a take away restaurant would be around Rs.4 million

Equipment – Even for a small setup like a take away restaurant, you would need the following equipment:

  • Oven
  • Hot plate
  • Fryer
  • Grill
  • Stove
  • Freezer

These restaurant items in new and used conditions are available on OLX Pakistan. 

Licenses – You would need to get a license before starting a restaurant. Without getting licensed, the restaurant can be closed down or fined by a relevant authority. The license is usually valid for one-year after which it needs to be renewed. The cost of a license depends upon the size of the property. The cost varies between Rs.20,000 and Rs.60,000

Software – Starting a modern business would require making use of modern technology like software. Such software are FBR registered and may cost between Rs.30,000 and upwards.

Labor – This number would depend on how big your business is or how many customers you have. For a mid-sized business, 3 – 5 people may be enough, including the kitchen staff. However, be mindful of the fact that retaining staff over a long period of time is a challenge. There are many job hoppers in this field. 

Delivery Rider: Should You Have Your Own? There are pros and cons of both. It is better to have your own rider as you’d save more but if you hire a rider on contractual basis, you’ll get more exposure and perhaps more business. 

Preparation – Some items would need to be prepared on a daily basis, while others may need preparing or buying once a month, etc. Also, be aware that if you are relying heavily on imported items, you may get affected when the government bans import of certain food items, as currently the case. Local alternatives may be available but they may be costly and not of the same quality, etc. 

High Profit Items – Juices, shakes and especially mint margetta are low-cost but high return food items. 

Profit: How Much Can You Earn – You can make a profit of anywhere between 20% – 30%.

Starting a fast food business in Pakistan can be challenging but also rewarding. Are you in the restaurant business? Would you like to share some inside tips with our readers? Then leave a comment below. 

You may also like to read:

Tips to Make Your Business Successful

Do You Have What It Takes To Become a Successful Businessman?

Why Buying an Existing Business is a Better Idea?

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