Starting a Bakery: Food Business

Starting a Bakery: Food Business

Starting a Bakery: Food Business

by August 4, 2015 0 comments

Starting a bakery is another food business an average Nigerian can try his/her hands at. Bread has become an important item of most Nigerians irrespective of age, economic and social status.


In Nigeria, corporate organisations’ employees, artisans, petty traders, job seekers, school children and countless others form a constant stream of people who patronise bread retailers on a daily basis.


A report by Euromonitor states that the population growth has spurred rapid growth in baked goods in Nigeria since bread is a major staple and pastries have become the on-the-go snack of choice for urban commuters.


It adds that consumers, whose incomes are generally growing, are seeking better quality products beyond that produced by less professional artisans.


Moreover, the reports states that value growth is driven by increase in demand for higher-quality products such as Shoprite’s bread, which many people queue up for due to its perceived high quality.


According to the Euromonitor report, there is also intense competition in the baked goods industry, which helps to drive growth. This is because more quality products are desired by consumers and there is an increasing variety of products being made available.


The high demand for bread is not only limited to Nigeria, because the same scenario applies in other African countries.


According to a recent study, the demand for bread is expected to explode in the coming years. South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya are currently the largest and leading bread markets in Africa and this is due to the continent’s rapidly growing population, an expanding middle class, which has more money to spend, and abundant labour force.


How profitable is running a bakery?


The Managing Director, Flygapp Bakery School, Mr. Olumide Sanda, says that with proper management, a bakery can be made profitable.


According to him, the cost of generating electricity is always high due to irregular power supply, but if the overhead costs in terms of power supply and the number of employees can be made minimal, then, there is assurance of profit in the business.


He notes that employing too many workers can contribute to high recurrent expenses.


“As a result, we try as much as possible to avoid overstaffing and we don’t run generator all the time but only when it is required,” Sanda explains.


Study the bakery business

Sanda says the first requirement for establishing a bakery is to learn the art of baking. He adds that with practical training and constant practise, the skills can be acquired in a week.


He says, “Before you put up a bakery, you must first learn how to bake. Many people make the mistake of putting up a bakery without first knowing how bread is baked. It is not enough that you hire bakers to do the work, you must also know the baking process so that your bakers will not give you a run-around.


“A good training of one week is enough, especially if the training programme you enrol for has plenty of hands-on activities, meaning you are asked to bake and not just sit, listen and watch the demonstrations.”


Get a good location

Location in business is very important and for a bakery, it should be close to where there is constant flow of commuters.


“A food business like a bakery depends on high human traffic. Look for a location where people congregate like a market, near a school, a bus terminal or even a tricycle terminal, and put up your bakery there. The people that populate your area are your target customers.


Start small

Every entrepreneur is advised to start small and the same goes for people who intend to invest in bakeries.


Sanda suggests that start-ups should not produce bread that will exceed the market demand but allow the business to grow gradually.


He says, “It is better to start small, especially if you are new in the business. If the business grows, then it will be easy for you to expand, rather than starting big and downsizing later. Suit the type and size of equipment you will buy to the volume of products you want to produce. Remember, you should not produce more than you can sell,” he counsels.


Buy the right bakery equipment

Purchasing the wrong equipment can be detrimental to the bakery business because it can lead to poor quality products and loss of investment, experts say.


Sanda adds, “Do not get a mixer with a one-bag of flour capacity if your oven can only take in eight loaves or 16 small loaves at a time. One bag of flour normally produces 100 to 110 big loaves weighing 800 grams each. Get technical help from experienced people in the industry.”


Maintain product consistency

The expertise of the baker is seen in the texture, taste and aroma of their products, according to experts.


Sanda stresses, “Make sure that your bread tastes the same today as it did yesterday and as it will tomorrow. Customers return to buy bread when they like its taste. Do not give them different tasting bread when they return because they will either complain or not return anymore.”


Be good to your employees

The welfare of the workforce is important for any business to succeed.


Sanda advises, “Take good care of your employees and give them the right salary. If your employees are happy, they will take care of your business and make sure that your customers are happy too. A happy customer will always return and buy more. And you are assured that your business will grow.”



Credit: Ife Adedapo (Punch)