I won’t dwell much on what motivated me to start a fast food restaurant in Nairobi, but I would tell how I built a multimillion food joint in 7 years. It’s something that has raised my confidence and self esteem after failing to make it in school.
I was born and raised in Nairobi Umoja Estate. My parents,who were running a food joint at Donholm passed on through a tragic road accident along Nairobi-Naivasha road. Since I was the first born, I had to take over the business.
It was in 2008 and I had just completed high school .I scored D+ in KCSE and didn’t bother to continue with education.
With all the responsibility of taking care of my two siblings, who were still in primary,I had to look for a way of acting as a father and mother at the same time. My relatives disappeared immediately my parents were buried.
I used to help my parents during holidays and I knew what managing hotel entails, but the challenge was to keep the customers.
The first challenge came after almost all the customers disappeared, leaving me with a couple of teenagers who came to eat mandazi and chai.Before my parents died, the hotel used to make Ksh2,000-Ksh 5,000 per day but now I was making Ksh 100-Ksh300 per day.
My biggest problem was that my parents had not saved enough money to feed us, educate us and pay rent for at least one year-we were simply feeding from hand to mouth.
After realizing it was me, the business and my siblings, I decided to convert the hotel into a fast food restaurant, which was preparing chicken, chips and fresh juice.Wonders!within a week, customers started trooping in, mostly teenagers.
From one to three customers, I started receiving at least 15 customers a day. I was overwhelmed.
The idea of employing someone to help me cropped up. I managed to get one lady to assist me.
I ran the fast food joint for 2 years, posting profits in the neighbourhood of Ksh 5,000 per day. Within no time, the space at Donholm became small as the number of customers soured.
I remember it was in 2015 when I decided to open a fast food joint in Nairobi along Accra Road. I spent a total of Ksh 1.2 million, which I had saved to start the restaurant.
I have run the two fast food restaurants and I can confess, I make not less than Ksh 10,000 per day.It’s now seven year,I have managed to educate my siblings and they are now in high school.I have also managed to learn several lessons, which am going to state and also learnt how to spend money wisely.
Some of the lessons I have learnt in regards to operating a fast food restaurant include:
When you have a problem, friends and most of the family members disappear. If you don’t thing outside the box, you’ll end up becoming a beggar.
Running business requires close attention to details, consistency and strategy. Though you’re required to trust your workers, don’t leave them the business to run for you,they can mess you. Ensure you visit the premise daily to check on the accounts and customer service.
In business, you have to know your target, without that, you’ll close down.
You don’t need a masters degree to run a successful business.