How profitable is a small food business in Kenya?

A modern grocery shop stocking various fruits and berries

Are you looking for a profitable fast food business in Kenya? Running a green grocery store, a food stall or Kibanda is your best idea. As a “mama mboga”, you will source for quality fresh farm produce, preserve them, display and sell them to your customers. Grocery stores make most profits when operating in a busy commercial district or near a residential estate.

The road side food kiosks are very easy to establish and run given the little barriers of entry. They require very little formal requirements like trade licenses and capital. Most importantly they are very sustainable if you can guarantee your customers of good relations, hygiene and quality products

While majority of investors in food stalls are individual entrepreneurs just starting up, you can consider it as a well-established food restaurant or hotel. The food kiosk or sale booth outside the main facility can benefit your business. It will facilitate the taking of to-go orders, distributing the to-go orders, arranging a seating queue, and/or tracking online orders, hence speeding your operations.

Why start a green grocery store?

There are many benefits of running a food stall in your area.  They are easy to start and run. They handle high quality food among other benefits.

Easy to start and run; Vegetable stalls and food kiosks require little financial and legal requirements to start and run. A kibanda require a small amount of daily or monthly payments to your local government. A hotel on the other hand, a hotel, will need huge investments in business, health and tax permits.

Highly Profitable; Food kiosks require minimal investments in operating costs like rent and utilities. You will need a few and low-cost equipment and materials. Besides you can run it with family members avoiding paying salaries and wages. Those low costs help you run a highly profitable outfit

Quality food handling: Food stalls focus on marketing highly perishable vegetable and fruits with a little shelf life. Others focus on selling healthy fast foods like snacks. They are always sourcing and selling fresh and high-quality products.

Where to start locate your food grocery kiosk?

Are you looking for the best place to locate your food business?  Put one near office parks, adjacent to transportation terminals like bus stations or stops, near markets and beside institutions like colleges, hospitals or universities.

The factors for locating your food stall are like other fast-food businesses like a food truck or a restaurant.  You should locate your stall in an area with plenty of car or and foot traffic. As more people pass by your food stall, the greater your chances of attracting new and returning customers. You can improve on this by erecting an eye-catching sign or display.

The other factor is to go where other food businesses are.  Set up part in a food business community like a food court or vibanda street. You will enjoy a huge clientele of food shoppers.

Best products to sell in your food shed.

Which are the most profitable food products to sell in a food kiosk.  Consumers prefer consistent variety and quality supplies.  The most successful food vendors specialize in selling local or traditional ready-to-eat street foods or fast foods or convenience foods for shoppers to prepare at home. The figure below is a summary of the most profitable food products in food kiosks in Kenya. They include fruits, vegetables and fresh juices. Baked snacks, hot beverages and convenience foods like githeri and chapati also has high demand. Others are milk, eggs, spices and herbs like chilli.

Which is the most profitable food kiosk you can start?

Which are the most profitable types of an informal food stall or kiosk to run in Kenya? There are three major types of greengrocer or food kiosks in the region. These vendors include.

  • Small kiosks (vibandas). These are low-end type makeshift food sheds. It uses semi-permanent shelters or umbrellas to shelter goods. They are common on estates.
  • Market or street-side stalls/stands. They are similar to kiosks. They are a bit formal and larger than small vibandas.
  • Mobile street vendors, such as those selling from trolleys, smokie carts, car boots and individual street hawkers.

How to start a profitable grocery business in Kenya

Why do some mama mbogas thrive while others fail? It will depend on how you plan and execute your business. Agcenture gives you a simple guide on how to start a fast food business in Kenya. It follows the following 7 steps.

  1. Conduct a small market research to explore current food market dynamics, identify suppliers and most profitable food products
  2. Draft a business plan to identify your resources and plan for financial, marketing and management success including reasonable pricing.
  3. Choose a good location by observing its people flow, security and accessibility.
  4. Register your business legally and look for business and health permits.
  5. Open a bank account for your business transactions.
  6. Define your business brand by an eye catching and memorable design. Best colors for food businesses are yellow, orange and red. The font should be legible.
  7. Invest in necessary tools, equipment, containers and packages to ensure proper food hygiene and sanitation.

Once you start operations, remain consistent, professional and formal. Besides, good customer relations will give you more profits.

How profitable is food kibanda business?

Are you wondering the amount of money you can make by running a food stall?  In this section we try to answer you how profitable is food kibanda business. We will give you the typical costs and profits of running a small food kiosk. You can use the guide for actual prices and costs.

Startup costs

Your startup costs will vary depending on its type and location.  According to Nexin startups, you can start a decent small fast-food business with a budget of sh 80,000. A small makeshift kiosk can cost you around sh 10,000. Others like road site traders spend nothing.

Your startup costs will go to put up structures, buy furniture and equipment like utensils and cooking stoves. Other costs go to register for business licenses and certificates

Operating costs

The other costs go in running the food kiosk daily activities. It will include buying food stocks like fruits and cereals. Others will go to pay for utilities like clean water and electricity.

Profits

Informal food vendors make profits of at least Ksh 1000 daily. The larger food kiosks can make more. Focus on sourcing cheaper food sources to gain more profits. The tips below can give you  more money.

How to make more money as a mama mboga?

Are you looking to improve your fast food kiosk profits? Agcenture proposes five practical ways that you can observe to make more money from your food kiosk.  They are;

  • Invest in food preservation or value addition like the use of solar powered coolers.
  • Join an active food traders’ association for protection and lobbying for a better business environment.
  • Focus on using Modern Technologies like use of food apps and mobile money (mpesa paybill) payments
  • Uphold Professionalism & formality like formal banking, getting business license etc.
  • Focus on Customer service or relations

Best Customer service ideas for food kiosks

The way you treat your suppliers and customers will determine your kibanda business profits and survival. What you need about the modern customer is that they adore convenience, warmth and friendliness. Remember Teddy Roosevelt quote that, “Nobody cares how much you know (or offer) until they know how much you care.”

3 tips for you to win on customer relations that work are;

Nurture loyalty: Use enthusiastic, professional yet friendly tone to salute and communicate with your customers always.  Build a personal level customer relation beyond exchanging good and money. By emotionally appealing to their human nature, they will, trust, “love” and remain loyal to your business.

Offer Quality products and services; Customers appreciate by giving you more business if you offer them hygienic, safe and variety of products. Give them free packaging, slicing vegetables etc.  

In case of any slightest complaint, work to correct the mistakes by Acknowledging the error; apologize; fix it; own it with no excuses; and improve immediately.

Appreciation: Remember and practice the golden Rule in business, “Treat your customers as well as you expect them to treat you.” Make sure you always say thanks for the business when they shop in your Kibanda. If you can, celebrate their good news with them like their child’s birthday.

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3 Comments

  • Pingback: How to start your fast food business in 7 steps | Agcenture

  • Very encouraging…. if incase nataka kustart my own….. can you connect with with your supplier?? Hoping to start one in Kisumu come January

    14 August - 2022 at 04:48 PM
    Moureen Achieng Reply
  • If I want to start my own…can you help connect with your supplier ??

    14 August - 2022 at 05:07 PM
    Moureen Achieng Reply