How to Start a Catering Business in Nigeria

Photo by: Hinterhaus Productions

Are you all about cooking and feeding your friends and family? Do you spend your weekends trying out new recipes? Are you low on cash? Then you’re in luck, because Nigerians love to eat. Nigerian families are known to get together on weekends to celebrate friendship and food. Starting a catering service in Nigeria is especially beneficial for you since you get to start the business with low funds. Even if you don’t know the “C” in cooking, with an entrepreneurial mind, you can start a growing catering service and make a decent profit.

How to Start a Catering Business in Nigeria

You might be also interested to read: Local Baking in Nigeria

What Does Catering Entail? 

Caterers are experienced providing food to wide scale customers in hotels, seminars, events, parties, or weddings. They are expected to provide quality meals no matter the amount or the type of customers.

While event planning and management requires hectic tasks and resources, a catering business in Nigeria concentrates on only one aspect and has countable but low chances of flaws. The benefits of starting this venture includes:

  • Requires talent and creativity
  • Online services require lower capital
  • Massive prospects in the country
  • Low number of competitors
  • Can be started by anyone
  • Wide range of clients
  • More number of festivals in the country
  • Ability to freelance
  • Chefs have social status in the country

Things to Keep in Mind


Before you start dipping your hands in the crockpots, you should know the basics of starting a business. You may be lacking knowledge in food unknown in the country but popular all over Nigeria. If you want a booming business with a strategic base plan, you need skills on marketing, persuasion, accounting, and customer service. Having a certificate from a culinary school can also amplify the reputation of your service.

Type of Service

While the highest prospect of dealing in catering in Nigeria are family, social, and religious gatherings, you can also decide on specializing on specifics such as being an indoor or outdoor caterer or working for certain companies, hotels, bistros, etc. You can then cover larger areas or even expand to become an event management company.

Business Name

Your first step in the business world is choosing a business name. If you think that you’ll just name your service whatever comes at the top of your head or after your pet dog, think about how people will find you on a search engine or social media.

While Nigerian names are rather uncommon, there may be other catering services or just regular companies with the same name. Pick out a unique business name and register with Nigeria’s company register, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). You then become a corporate entity. Keep your Food and Safety licence at hand, and you are good to go.


Even though you might specialize in a single category of food, you must expand your horizons to food that will make your service unique. Every kind of traditional Nigerian food has to be available on the menu. If you don’t know all of them, you can always take a class or hire a second chef.

Keep in mind that modern Nigerians are expanding their tastes to other cuisines as well as becoming vegan, so they expect you to keep dishes that serve a wider community.

While there are many more tips that you can incorporate, these can be termed as the primary areas you will need to cover to build your catering business structure. Follow up with a steady business plan and import utensils from outside the country. Happy catering!