How to start shawarma business in Nigeria

A shawarma is a pita bread wrap loaded with the ideal amount of meat, cream, and vegetable combination. Although it is not indigenous to Nigeria, its flavour and ease of preparation have led to its adoption.

Nigerian shawarma has been redesigned to suit the tastes of the average Nigerian, and it is often cooked with chicken, beef, and Frankfurters (sausage), along with a little spice to provide some additional zing.

In Nigeria, shawarma has become a highly desired food for both adults and children, regardless of gender. Given that most people like shawarma, starting a shawarma business is a profitable venture provided you execute it well. 

In contrast to many other dishes, making shawarma is rather simple since it doesn’t call for a lot of expertise or complex components. In this article, I will break down the step-by-step method of starting a shawarma business in Nigeria. Read on to find out. 

How to start a shawarma business in Nigeria

Follow these steps to start a shawarma business in Nigeria:

1. Learn the necessary skills

People enjoy a good shawarma, so selling won’t be an issue for you if your recipe is spot on. Learning how to make delicious shawarmas from an expert could be a nice idea, even if it might not be required. Considering how simple it is to cook shawarma, this training could take a week or so.

Making shawarma is a knowledge-based endeavour; it is not something you can just decide to do one day and launch; you need to learn the how-to.

2. Conduct market research

There are a few things you should be aware of and take into account before you contemplate getting into the shawarma industry. They include: 

  • The location: Selecting a somewhat busy location for your shawarma company is crucial. The best location will be one with plenty of foot traffic. It may be a popular grocery store, church, school, or bar, or it might be a business district with plenty of offices. If possible, find somewhere that there is no competition nearby. 
  • Target market: To whom are you selling shawarmas? Before you start up, you should think about your target market since it will tell you precisely where you need to be. It is not feasible for you to open shawarma stand in a low-income or rural location since not everyone can afford the luxury of purchasing shawarma. It is important to think about the sort of customers you want to serve and make sure they are either locals or employed in the region where you want to start your business. Your target market’s ability to purchase is a must for your success, so identify them and make sure they can. 
  • Your competitors: Since the shawarma industry is so profitable, there are a lot of individuals in it; thus, these people are your competition. You must research their companies to find out what they are doing well and poorly so that you may emulate them in your enterprise and remain competitive. This implies that to determine how to best enhance your service and product, you will need to go to your rivals’ booths and purchase or sample their shawarmas. You will sell more if your goods and services are of higher quality. Entering the market with a product that surpasses the best available at the moment is the main goal.
  • Capital: You will need to invest a considerable amount when starting a shawarma business. You will need to pay for the location, equipment, ingredients, and any employee you may have. Around ₦300,000 to ₦1,000,000 to start your business. 
  • Selling price and profit: Shawarma is very profitable. You will get at least double your investment in ingredients when you sell. The key is setting your price similar to the prices of your competitors and making sure yours is of a higher quality. 

The prerequisites are almost the same regardless of the city in which you choose to launch your business. To ensure that you remain on course and don’t stray from the plan, it is best you think about creating a business plan before you get started.

A business plan is crucial because, in essence, it is your company on paper, and having the company appear on paper contributes to the firm being more genuine. It will assist you in maintaining focus on every facet of your company, which will ultimately lead to success.

3. Set up your store or location

When it comes to space, shawarma businesses have two options: they may either rent a place or choose a location and set up a shawarma container.

Renting a shop is more comfortable and more professional for your business. You’ll probably spend less at the beginning. However, setting up a container is more flexible and you can easily move locations if your initial location is not ideal for selling shawarma. Although you might spend more setting up a container initially, it is more economical in the long term. 

4. Get the required ingredients and tools

Ingredients required for starting a shawarma business include Cabbage, cucumber, tomato, carrot, mayonnaise, vegetable, shawarma bread (pita), and ketchup. 

Tools required for a shawarma operation include kitchen utensils, a fryer, an apron, a deep freezer and cleaning equipment. 

5. Register your company

As your company begins to expand, be sure to register with the relevant authorities, such as the Corporate Affairs Commission and NAFDAC. The food industry is subject to many rules, so do all in your power to prevent future run-ins with the law.

6. Promotion

Marketing your company is also essential since, no matter how good your product is, customers cannot come to you if they are unaware of your existence.

Contrary to popular belief, marketing encompasses more than just advertising, even if it is a component of it. Recall the four Ps of marketing: promotion, location, price, and product.

The day you decide on your location, the day you begin production, the product pricing, and the promotion all count toward your marketing strategy. These four Ps function together, so if any of them are done poorly—for example, by producing a subpar product—you will see a decline in sales.


Starting a shawarma business is a highly profitable venture in Nigeria, as it is one of the most popular comfort foods eaten in Nigeria. As long as you employ the right methods and follow the steps in this article, you will be profitable. 

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Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa is a content writer with She writes predominantly on topics related to education, career and business. She is an English language major with keen interest in career growth and development.

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