What you Need to Open a Restaurant in Kenya

Out of all the businesses you can start, a restaurant is one of the more challenging and competitive ones.

This competitiveness is due to the tremendous number of restaurants being opened in Kenya every year. People have so many options to choose from that it’s quite tough to get noticed.

Having a unique selling point is an absolute must especially when you’re just starting out.

This article will discuss what an opening a restaurant checklist is and what are the things required to open a restaurant.


The most important thing before starting any business is capital. Your capital will help you determine things such as your restaurant location and concept.

Truth be told, starting a restaurant is not simple, nor is it cheap. It would be best if you had a good investment for the location, furniture, resources, kitchen equipment, etc.

Lucky for you, there are many options through which you can easily arrange capital for your business. Some of them are:

  • Term loans
  • Working investment loans etc. 
  • Startup business loans

How much does it cost to open a restaurant in Kenya?

The amount of money you need to start a restaurant in Kenya depends on the type of restaurant you’re looking to open.

Typically, a very small take away restaurant can cost less than 100k to open, a medium sized restaurant can cost 200k – 500k, and a large restaurant can cost well over a million to open.

Some large upscale restaurants cost more than 50 million to start. The startup cost completely varies.


After organizing your capital, this has to be one of the most critical steps in starting your own restaurant business.

It is essential that you spend a reasonable amount of time preparing a well-thought business plan for your restaurant. You need to choose your restaurant concept, layout and a plan of how it will operate.

Your plan will basically serve as a blueprint of how your restaurant will be and how your business functions will stay aligned. 


Many restaurants inevitably face challenges simply due to the nature of the industry. Competition is very high.

When deciding the unique selling points of your restaurant, ask yourself this: “What will make all the customers of other restaurants want to come to me?”

What makes your restaurant so unique that besides it being new, people would want to come over and try your food?

There are many variations you can bring. It can be something in the menu that is so unique that it attracts people towards your restaurant, it can be your location, etc.


Having the right location for your restaurant is very important. If you choose a less populated location and far away from the city then it is evident that the number of people you will attract will be less too.

It is crucial to spend some time doing intensive research on the market and your location’s nearby competition. Some things to focus on when choosing a location for your restaurant are:

The Target Market: 

You have to keep your target market in mind when deciding on a location. Are you targeting young people? If yes, is your restaurant someplace near to a school or a university then?

The Size

Then comes the second most important factor; how spacious do you want your restaurant to be?

You can have a large restaurants that can accommodate more than 50 people at a time, or a smaller one with a few tables, serving not more than ten people at a time. 

The Concept

At the end of the day, your restaurant’s location also depends on, what you call, “The overall concept.” You simply cannot open a small, cozy, and café type restaurant while your restaurant’s specialty lies in fast food. 


If you are planning to start a restaurant , you must invest well in the whole design. It should look attractive so as to incline more people to it. 

Moreover, one thing that will actually make people come to your restaurant, again and again, is the food that you serve them.

For the food to be good, while having a great chef is important, it is also vital that you have excellent kitchen equipment as well.

You must be wondering, what are the things required to open a restaurant, and what are the types of equipment needed to start a restaurant?

Listed below are a few types of equipment to give you a good idea.

Opening a restaurant checklist:

Dining area

  • Tables and chairs
  • Menus
  • Table cutlery and condiments
  • Server work stations
  • Food service trays
  • Food display (to showcase snacks, cakes, etc.)
  • Bain maries and chaffing dishes (for buffet style restaurants)
  • POS system for registering orders

Kitchen area:

  • Oven
  • Deep fryer
  • Gas cooker
  • Griddle
  • Food mixer
  • Potato peeler
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Cookware, cutlery and crockery
  • Stainless steel work tables and sinks
  • Storage cabinets and shelves
  • Cleaning equipment