A butchery is a very profitable business to start in South Africa. As the average income in South Africa has risen steadily, meat consumption levels in the country have skyrocketed over the past two decades. As incomes rise, meat is becoming more affordable to South African consumers, meaning most meals contain meat. More and more people are in need of protein rich foods such as meat. Over 280 000 tonnes of meat is consumed every month in South Africa. Over the years, the demand for all types of meat has been on the rise.  It is evident that this is a business market that you can explore. A butchery acts as a middle man between the consumer and the farmer.  This article will outline how to start a butchery business in South Africa, and the butchery business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

A butchery is a lucrative business, providing income for thousands of entrepreneurs, but there are some essential things you need to do before you venture into the butcher shop business. You have to decide on the size of your butchery; location of your meat shop, the kinds of meat you will sell, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the market you are targeting. You should carry out a feasibility study, market research and have a good butchery business plan before you venture into this business.

Butchery Business Model

Most butcheries source their meat from various farmers, meat wholesalers and abattoirs in order to supply meat cuts to the public and commercial enterprises such as restaurants and caterers. Others process meat into products such as biltong, boerewors, pickled meat, and cold meat. Consumers can buy the meat straight from the butchery or have it delivered. Besides having to source and buy stock, taking deliveries,  and/or collecting stock, you also need to know how to store the meat properly. You also need to understand how to use cutting machinery to prepare the meat. In addition, you must have the skills necessary to serve customers well. Nowadays, a lot of people have a “farm to table” attitude, and they insist on knowing where their meat is coming from. In order to become a successful butchery, you need to have good relationships with the farms you source your meat from and be transparent with your customers. You may also need to be aware of the slaughter techniques and other ethical considerations, especially when preparing Halaal and Kosher meat. Customers really care about such issues and will likely select a small butchery over a large enterprise because of the clarity on the meat’s provenance and its ecological and ethical merits.

Market Research

Before you start any kind of business, it is always best to research the market. By studying your market, you can be in a better position to determine your target customers, the right business location, and affordable meat suppliers for your butchery business. You need to understand who your potential customers are and where they are located. Market research also allows you to understand the specific kinds of meat that are in high demand. According to recent reports, fresh meat is the largest category of meat consumed in the country. This is followed by chilled raw packaged meat, processed meat, whole cuts, ambient meat, and cooked meats. Also, the consumption of meat is higher among females than males. Conducting market research will also put you in a better position to find the most profitable location for your butchery. Johannesburg is believed to be the largest meat market in South Africa, followed by Cape Town and Durban. To increase the profitability of your business, you should be able to go further and understand the demographics of your potential customers. This allows you to identify your target market and learn about them, including their average income and consumption habits. With proper market research, you will be in a position to set up a profitable butchery business.

Location & premises

This is an important decision to make before you start a butchery business. It’s important that you locate your butchery close to your target market. Consider the amount of road traffic, find an easy accessible location where people can stop and quickly get service. There are several possible locations, including shopping centres, malls and the CBD. Opening a butchery close to places that typically have braai areas such as parks and lakesides could be ideal depending on your target market. By talking to people who frequent the park or the lakeside area you are targeting, you could discover that they have to drive long distances to get fresh meat to braai. By opening a butchery nearby you will be solving a problem. You can also collaborate with the owner of a chilling spot that sells alcohol to create a buy and braai set up. The two businesses will feed into each other, there will be no need to compete.

It’s common to see hanging animal carcasses when you walk into a butchery. The cutting, and most of the work done by the workers often happens at the main floor as customers continue to enter and leave the store. However, there has to be some sort of storage system where you put some of your carcasses instead of having it all on display. Butcheries vary in sizes, the amount of space you need depends on how big your market is and what type of meat you will be selling. Your butcher shop business plan should cater for the costs of renting or buying premises.

Competitive Analysis

After conducting your market research, you need to determine where your business stands among various other competitors. The meat market in South Africa is broad, consisting of both large and small players. Some of these include large retail supermarkets that sell a variety of fresh, frozen, and processed meats. You will also compete with well established butcheries that have been operating for decades. There are other small players that are coming up that you should look out for. Understanding who your competitors are will help you figure out what your competitive advantage is. If you can source your meat at affordable rates, you can penetrate the market easily by offering affordable prices. If your advantage is quality, you can sell yourself as a premium butchery. There is a need for a thorough competitive analysis in order for you to determine what sets you apart. When it comes to analyzing your competitors, you must be proactive rather than reactive. With a properly researched competitive analysis, you can determine how you can enhance your own business strategy and unlock ways to outdo your competitors. It becomes easy to keep your customers’ attention. A competitive analysis will help you develop a competitive edge over others in your industry.

Equipment for Butchery Business

You need various equipment for your butchery business. The equipment you need will depend on the size of your butchery business and the kinds of meat you will be selling. Required equipment include industrial deep freezers, cold rooms, display fridges, meat slicers, scales, knives etc. You may also buy a meat delivery van to enable you to transport the meat on your own. Your butchery business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing equipment.


The products to sell will depend on your target niche. The most consumed meats in South Africa are chicken, beef, lamb & mutton and pork in that order. So it will be advantageous to have all these meats in your butcher shop. Other products to consider include sausages, biltong, fish, goat meat, sea food, burgers among others.

It’s also essential to select the right meat suppliers for you butcher shop. You need suppliers who can provide affordable and quality meat consistently. There are two major options available. You can purchase slaughtered meat from meat wholesalers, distributors and abattoirs. Alternatively, you can source live animals directly from farmers eg cattle and poultry farmers. You will then have to slaughter the animals. Your meat shop business plan should outline the products you will be selling and the costs.

Butcher Shop Business Plan


Staff & management

As a customer-centric butchery business, its important that you hire employees that are friendly and efficient. Your employees should be passionate about serving the clients. If you want to hit the ground running it’s better to hire a team of people who have experience in this business. Your staff members should be able to cut meat according to certain specifications. Inexperienced staff members need to get extensive training before they can be given intricate tasks such as meat cutting. The knives and machinery used at butcheries can cause serious injury. Depending on the size of your meat shop, the number of your staff will vary. Required staff include the block man, cashiers, logistics personnel, shop assistants and management. Your butchery business plan should cater for the salaries of your employees.

Some of the day-to-day operation of this business involves:

  • Operating machinery
  • Moving heavy carcasses
  • Cutting and weighing meat
  • Liaising with farmers/suppliers
  • Managing Staff
  • Serving customers

When you are handling food items you should always remain aware and alert by paying attention to what touches your meat. Food contamination can cause serious health issues. It’s also very important to ensure that you stick to all industry related safety measures in place. Safety measures involve having to check if your staff members are dressed appropriately.

Marketing Strategies

These days, the most successful business owners understand the digital landscape, and this applies to butcheries as well. You need to take advantage of social media in order to let potential clients know about your business. Another way to market your business is by participating in agricultural events, especially those with tastings and samples of your meat products. Consider providing free meat samples to potential high-volume customers, as well as clearly and consistently communicating your claims and practices on all marketing materials. Identify your target consumer types and learn to communicate with them in order to find out their needs. Find out where they shop and understand what attracts them to certain places. Do not completely discard the old-fashioned way of marketing. Make use of newspaper advertisements as well as flyers. Do not underestimate the power of “word of mouth.” Positive or negative reviews have a great impact on your butcher shop business. Many businesses get most of their revenue from referrals. In order for your business to succeed, you should take advantage of both traditional and modern marketing methods.


At 8,1% of total sales income by commodity, meat is the top contributor to the total retail trade sales. South Africans love their meat! Meat lovers enjoy fresh good quality meat that’s also reasonably priced. The market is vast. The annual demand of meat in South Africa exceeds 3 million tonnes per year! With South Africa’s braai culture, community stokvels, weddings and funerals, the demand to purchase meat in bulk is high. Businesses such as restaurants, b & b’s, supermarkets, fast food outlets, event coordinators, party planners usually get their meat supplies from butcheries. Individuals are also a huge chunk of the market!

Keys to Profitability

One thing that can determine the success or failure of your butchery is the location of your shop. Consider setting up your butchery close to residential areas or leisure spots. That will encourage consistent streams of business. If you are located far from traffic, consider providing speedy delivery services. Make sure that your shop is close to a good road network to encourage drop-ins. Also, ensure that you set up your butchery in a clean environment with adequate security and a consistent water supply. A profitable operating butchery requires specialized refrigeration, prep areas, and retail space. It is always a good idea to hire highly trained staff for top quality service.


For an in-depth analysis of the butchery business in South Africa, purchase our butchery business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the butchery business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a butchery business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the butchery business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the butchery business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The meat shop business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your butcher shop business
  • As a butchery project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the butchery business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements (e.g. equipment required, how to handle meat e.t.c.)
  • Management of a Butchery Business
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the butchery business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your butchery business in South Africa
  • Directory (Contact details of butchery equipment suppliers, meat suppliers and wholesalers, abattoirs)

The butchery business plan includes technical aspects of how to manage a butchery business successfully. It also includes a mini-directory with contacts which will prove to be helpful in launching and running your butchery business. E.g. it will provide the contact details of the companies that sell meat (wholesalers) ,companies which sell butchery equipment e.t.c.

The Butchery Business plan package consist of 5 files

  1. Butchery Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 91 pages)
  2. Butcher Shop Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 91 pages)
  3. Butchery Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 41 pages)
  4. Butcher Shop Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)
  5. South Africa Meat Suppliers and Abattoirs Directory – Supplementary PDF File

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the amount of meat sold, price per KG etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change. 


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

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Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

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