How to Start a food delivery service in Nigeria
Hello everyone, today i would be briefly discussing a business that is currently on the rise, which in this case is, how to start Food Delivery Services in Nigeria. Given the constant increase in the rate of internet penetration in Nigeria, which according to the data recently released by NCC, the number of internet users hit 111.6 million in December 2018. With the figure believed by many analyst to grow even more, it has made the idea of venturing into any internet reliant services a noble idea.
Food Delivery services involves quite a lot, as it was birthed from the fact that many working class or should i say busy people, who often needed to eat quality food from their preferred restaurant, are not within touching distance and so they needed a means or channel that could allow them pay for food and have it delivered as quickly as possible to their door-step.
Starting up one today requires a few things to be considered and be put in place, but i will discuss the ones that are most important, which would also help get on the right part to successful starting up one.
Before i start i would like you to know that there are primarily 2 types of food delivery service business models namely;
Restaurant/Kitchen owner model: This requires that you have your own restaurant or kitchen from where you prepare your own meal and packaged for delivery.
-Middle man : This basically doesn’t require you owning any restaurant or Kitchen of your own as the business model thrives on you being able to connect food buyers to restaurants of their choice in other to get a commission when food is purchased in return.
At this point i believe you have a fare understanding of what we’ll be discussing, as i’ll like you to know that some of the steps that will be listed below will not apply to number 2 (middle man).
Register your Business
First before transacting any business as a corporate entity in Nigeria, you are expected to register it with CAC. But in this case, you’re also advised to also register it with your business with all the relevant government agencies in charge of food and health, both at the local and state government level. They might also come around for periodic inspection of your restaurant, Kitchen or Eatery. So always ensure that you’re always ready, in other to avoid any disruptions or closure of your business activity.
Create A Brand Name And Logo
This is deeper than it sounds, this is the process of communicating what your brand stands for and its promise to deliver great service to the people. You’ll need to get good colors and also a catch phrase which people can easily identify with whenever they come across your brand.
You can also have a custom made toll/non toll free number which could reflect your brand and will be easy to remember, they are usually 12 numbers in it unlike your regular 11 digit number, for example 0800 CHOP NICE, OR O700 HOTY CHEF.
It is wise that you conduct extensive research when doing this, or hire a brand consultancy firm or experts to help guide you through this process.
Strategically site your Kitchen or Restaurant
This is a very important process or step, as the level of success you can realistically achieve is not just dependent on how good your dishes are, but also in the siting of your Kitchen or Restaurant and also, in your ability to map areas that your delivery service can cover. So do ensure that you focus your delivery strictly on areas that you can quickly reach, in other words You should have a predefined geographical target area to offer delivery services, to avoid having customers who will be unhappy with how long they have to wait for their food, this will lead them to consider other options. And like the old saying goes “a hungry man is an angry man” .
Build Web and Mobile Applications platform
This business survives on not just the quality of food you cook (pls note; quality food is essential for people to want to buy your food), but it also relies on the quality of web and mobile applications that you’re able to develop for your brand. People need to be able to navigate through your platform seamlessly in other to find and order their preferred menu for the day, the platform should also be able to tell them which food all dish is not available, especially for a case where it is finished for the day. They should also be able to see the estimated time it will take your delivery man to get the food to their location (called tracking of orders).
They also want to be sure that paying you through your App or Web portal is secure and seamless. All these boils down to your ability to get a good team of professionals that can help you design and deploy a neatly crafted web portal and mobile application for your food delivery services business. It is also a good idea that you register on the platforms of third party agents or should i say middle men whose business revolves around getting traffic to their web portal/website where different restaurant and eateries have registered and also displayed their menus. In other to make money from commissions gotten from the sales of anything on their site. Good examples of this networks are gofoodng, Jumia Food etc
Digital marketing is and will always be the most important and rewarding form of marketing for this model of business. This is for very obvious reasons, being that most people who are likely to purchase and order for your food via your web portal or mobile app, are people who make constant use of the internet for one reason or the other. Most of them will also need a smartphone or other internet enabled devices to be be able to access your products and offerings. So it then becomes a lot more strategic that you get a good Digital Marketing Company or Expert to help you take your message of superior quality services with more affordable pricing to all the social media platforms where most of your potential customers spend a lot of their time daily. We always recommend that your online campaigns are managed by a team that understands your brand and the vision you have for it, and are continually researching for smart ways of communicating with your target market.
Marketing should also include several different ways, be ready to do it in whatever way necessary, you can use the traditional Word-of-mouth, and never stop talking. Prints fliers, handbills, menu listings, place these in restaurants, banks, businesses that require your services. Email, texts, promotions, web banner ads and classifieds in newspapers are also necessary.
You will need to make arrangement for delivery men or dispatch riders
Most companies or start-ups who operate in the food delivery space always ensure that they have their own in-house team of personnel’s who handle the delivery of the food to the customer. This is to avoid stories of delays due to bureaucratic processes often times associated with the use of third party dispatch riders. So in case you believe that you will be unable to handle it yourself, due to the capital that could be required in getting delivery motorcycles or shuttles, then at-least ensure that you reach an agreement with a third party logistics company with a very good profile in customer service, who can respond promptly to your needs of quickly getting the food that must have been paid for to your customer in the shortest possible time.
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