Step by step guide to starting shawarma business in Nigeria - Startuppreneur ...
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Step by step guide to starting shawarma business in Nigeria

Shawarma business is one of the lucrative street business in Nigeria yet not fully tapped because it is a street business, not many people can put up with selling food around 7pm to 11pm or sometimes 12 when most would have drifted to dream land.

If you are reading this that means there is high chance you will have a knack to do what it takes to build a shawarma business just that you don’t know how, well this is exact purpose of this article; to show you steps by steps guide of starting profitable shawarma business without missing a steps and not only that you will know the good and the bad of Shawarma business, the cost analysis and profitability of the business also.

Before we go into the steps I will like you to take note of the following

What is shawarma

Shawarma is a roll made of pita bread with right quantity of mixture vegetable, cream and meat stuffed inside. It is not native to Nigeria but adopted because of it taste and its easiness of preparation.

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Ingredients needed in shawarma business

Shawama bread (pita)

Equipment needed in shawarma business
Deep freezer
Kitchen utensils
Cleaning tools

Operation process of shawarma business

Operation of shawarma business is not hard once have the knowledge of making shawarma. Your job is to make shawarma and sell it to eateries, restaurant or final consumer.

Below are the steps to starting shawarma business in Nigeria

Knowledge/ skill

Shawarma making require knowledge, it is not a business you think up in a day and start that same day, you need to acquire shawarma-how-to.

I understand how you are feeling right now, your adrenaline is up and you can’t wait to start the business but I will tell you to exercise patient the knowledge which you can acquire in 2 to 4 month will make or mar your business, you don’t want to loose your capital in your first month of operation.

To get the knowledge look for shawarma chef, though you may have to pay the person, another thing make sure the person is far from where you want to start your own shawarma business.

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For those that can not acquire the knowledge for one reason or the other you can hire a shawarma maker and make sure the person has at least six month experience to avoid blind leading blind.

Feasibility study
If you have been reading our article you will notice that feasibility always crop up in every of our article, this is because feasibility study is the backbone of succefull business, because one shawarma business is profitable in a particular location does not mean yours will be profitable in your propose location, so go out and interview your potentials customer, do they even know what shawarma is? And if they do what is their purchasing power?.

All this will let you know if your busines will be profitable and how profitable it will be in your proposed location.

This is part of feasibility study but I will like to hammer it. Location will determine the volume of shawarma you can sell per day. The best is to situate your business in a traffic source location like road side and church, this will guarantee a steady supply of customer.

Business plan
If you are serious about your shawarma business try to write a business plan that will contain your vision for the business and how you will achieve that vision.

You never know your shawarma business may turn to restaurant or franchise in the future so write simple and concise business plan that can be easily read by bankers and investors.

Register your business
Once your business start growing, make sure you register with appropriate authority such as NAFDAC and Corporate Affairs Commission, you know food business comes with a lot of regulations, try as much as possible to avoid future confrontation with authorities.

Setup your shop or spot
In shawarma business you have two option regarding space, either you rent shop or find a spot and erect shawarma container.

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The deferent between the two is that shawarma container is mobile you can easily carry it from one place to another if your location is poor but you can carry shop around, in such case you’ll have to rent another shop.

Next is to set up the equipment of shawarma business listed above.

Increase your profit
One of the good thing about shawarma business is that you can increase your profit by diversifying into related food like Asun, Suya, grilled fish and meat.

Contrary to what people believe marketing is not only promotion, while promotion is part of marketing, it is more than that. Remember the four Ps of marketing which are Product, Price, place and promotion.

Your marketing start the day you select your location, the day you start production, the price of your product and lastly promotion, this 4 PS work hand in hand if one is poorly execute such as poor quality product you will have low sale.

Make sure you get the first three right before attempting promotion.
Below are the ways you can take to promote your Shawarma business

  • Distribute flyers
  • Make a sign post
  • Advertise on social media especially Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp
  • If you have money you can promote your business on radio or Television.

Cost analysis and profitability of shawarma business

Equipment cost
Shawama grill – #250,000
Shawama sealer- #70,000
Freezer- #80,000
Fryer- #15,000
Kitchen utensils – #20,000
Gas cooker – #15,000
Show glass – # 15,00
Cutlery – # 15,000
Cleaniy tools – #10,000
Generator – #50,000
Chairs and tables – #15,000
Chopping board – #2,000
Container – #150,000
Or shop- #100,000
Total equipment cost =#707,000

Cost of making shawarma of 2kg
To have 2kg of chicken shawama you will need
Chicken – 15,000
Pita bread – #2,000
Cream (mayonnaise) – #1,500
Vegetable – #1,000
Gas – # 1,000
Miscellaneous – 2,000
Total = #22, 500

With this you will make between 40 to 60 shawama per day

1 shawarma cost #1,200 to #1,500
In this calculation we use #1,500
And 50 shawarma
1500 * 50
= #75,000
Profit per day
= #75,000 – #22,500
= #52,500 per day

Challenges of shawarma business

It is capital intensive
Try to secure capital before going into shawarma business to avoid had I know, you can get capital from friends and family.

It require skill/knowledge
Make sure you have the skill needed before hoping on shawarma business.

Shawama is good only for a day
Make shawarma that will finish that day, it will be a loss if it exceed that day.

Question and Answer

How much do I need to startup a shawarma business in Nigeria?
Amount needed to start shawarma business depend on the scale of operation if it is medium scale which require shop or spot you will need between #500,000 to #800,000
If it large scale you will needed more than that and you should be aiming for franchise.

Is shawarma a good business in Nigeria?
There is the saying by my friend “money is in the street”. Shawarma is a street business and street business will always get customer, Also shawarma is and will always be profitable as long as people eat.

What do I need to start shawarma business in Nigeria

  • You need knowledge
  • Capital
  • Equipment
  • And the most important Patients which every business need.

How profitable is shawarma business
Shawarma business is profitable, looking at our analysis above you will break even in just a month of starting the business. You can make a profit of #40,00 to #50,000 per day with 2kg of shawarma.


Shawarma is profitable if you will give it what it takes you will always smile to bank.

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Thanks for reading.



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