Fast food is a lot more affordable than fancy dishes or five-course meals, and it takes less time to prepare than a meal prepared at home. This is the reason why a lot of people, especially those in the working class, buy it often. Due to the increase in the number of people in the middle class, South Africa has been experiencing a rise in the demand for takeout. South Africa’s fast food industry has been experiencing growth in revenue from year to year. A fast food restaurant business is a very profitable business venture to start in South Africa. Fast food does not take long to prepare, and you can serve customers in a matter of minutes. This is so convenient for students, professionals, or anyone who doesn’t have the time to prepare a whole meal. The demand of restaurant foods in South Africa is very high. The increased urbanisation and disposable incomes is leading to increased demand for restaurant foods. Increasing numbers of South Africans want to dine out or take prepared food home. Fast food restaurants are built on three main values: taste, consistency and convenience. Taste alone encompasses other elements i.e. freshness and quality. Consistency is the most important value because that’s how you ultimately gain the trust of your customers. This article will outline how to start a fast food restaurant business in South Africa, and the fast food restaurant business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Business Model

A fast food business model should define what your products and services are, as well as your service style, menu offerings, type of meals, as well as your value proposition. While planning your business, there are several types of fast food business models you can consider. You can offer meals such as fries, fried chicken, burgers, pizza, and pies, to name a few, that can be prepared in a short period of time. This type of food is usually convenient, and it is offered at lower prices. Another model you can consider is offering fast casual food. With a fast-casual or quick-casual model, your food service can upgrade to higher-quality food ingredients while still delivering meals in a shorter space of time than traditional business models. Also known as “casual dining,” family-style fast food restaurants offer table service and affordable meals that are prepared in a short space of time. You can also offer a pop-up fast food model that uses temporary spaces to prepare and serve meals, such as another restaurant, a chef’s home, or even a park.

Market Research

The restaurant industry in South Africa is highly competitive, thus its important that you carry out proper market research before starting the business. If you can find someone who is operating or once operated a fast food restaurant business, that can be very advantageous. Find out what works, what doesn’t, and get advice from those who are already in the restaurant industry. Try to find out why some restaurants fail.

When it comes to researching your market, you need to determine who you are offering your services to. It’s always best to narrow down your potential clients in order to determine who they are, what their buying habits are like, and what they like. This is where market research comes in. Market research helps you understand who your potential customers are, what their needs and wants are, and how you can meet them. People’s preferences are always changing, especially when it comes to food. Both globally and locally, there has been an increase in the demand for plant-based meals. This continues to gain momentum across all age groups, especially as consumers become more health-, environment-, and sustainability-conscious. With such information, you are able to prepare meals with the ingredients your potential clients want. Conducting a market assessment can also help you find out who your direct and indirect competitors are. You can get to know what attracts clients to your competitors’ fast food restaurants and what their weaknesses are. There are a lot of cafes, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, and food trucks that offer similar products and services. Market research will allow you to have an idea of what makes them tick.

Be specific about the target market and niche you are going to provide your products to. You can never capture the whole market as people have different wants. What is the specific segment of the restaurant industry which you are going into? Who are your targeted customers?  What products are you going to offer? What is the competition in your proposed location? What is the demand for your products in your proposed location? How are you going to price your products and how sensitive is the demand to your prices? A proper market research will increase the chances of your success in this business.

Location & premises

This is an important decision to make before you start a restaurant business. It’s important that you locate your restaurant close to your target market. Consider the amount of road traffic, find an easy accessible location where people can stop and quickly get food. There are several possible locations, including shopping centres, malls and the CBD. In the fast food restaurant business you don’t have to overly concern yourself with trying to find a location that’s not too close to your competition. It’s common to see four or more fast-food restaurants operating close to each other or operating in the same shopping complex. As long as you keep serving food that people want to eat and you have done your market research, being close to your competition shouldn’t be a problem. The more options available for the customers, the better.

There isn’t really a standardised size for fast food restaurants, some restaurants still manage to operate smoothly in small spaces and small kitchens.  In general, they are economical when it comes to space. The size of the premises you require will depend on the kind of restaurant business you are operating. A take-away fast food restaurant will require less space than a sit-in restaurant. If you don’t have your own premises, you will have to rent.  Consider walking around your targeted location to see if there are any obvious empty properties that may be suitable for your fast food restaurant business. Your fast food restaurant business plan should cater for the costs of renting or buying premises.

Equipment for fast food restaurant business

You need various equipment for your fast food restaurant business. The equipment you will need for a restaurant/fast food outlet will largely be contingent upon the type of restaurant you want to start, and the products you want to offer. The equipment needed includes refrigerators and freezers, ovens, stoves, cookers, food preparation counters, slicers, mixers, shelving, pots, pans, various cookware, tableware, cutlery etc. Buying the kitchen equipment and fitting out your restaurant will probably be your biggest expense when starting up a restaurant. You may consider buying second hand equipment in-order to lower the startup costs. Your restaurant business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing equipment.

Licenses, Insurance and Business Bank Account

The Business Act of South Africa requires every business that offers food and beverages to have a license. It is therefore important that you apply for a fast food restaurant business license for your enterprise. You will also need a certificate of acceptability where you provide information about the nature and type of food you prepare on your premises, together with a description of how you handle the food. You must present how you prepare, pack, process, and store your meals for a certificate of acceptability. Insurance is also critical when you set up your fast food restaurant. You must have property insurance, which will cover your fast food restaurant’s premises, inventory, and equipment. You should also have general liability insurance that will cover legal expenses in the event of an accident involving your employees or clients. Insurance is important when you need to cover equipment breakdowns or damage. You must have insurance to protect your fast food business and yourself from physical loss due to accidents, faults, or natural disasters. When it comes to business finances, keep separate bank accounts. Your businesses’ cash flows, and taxes must not mix with your personal expenses. Mixing business finances with your personal transactions can put you at risk. If your business experiences any difficulties and you do not have separate bank accounts, you could lose your personal assets if the company gets sued or has to file for bankruptcy.


All the comfort food you can think of is sold at fast food outlets. Ranging from combo meals, single meals, family meals, kids meals etc. Fast food restaurants normally specialise in certain foods opposed to selling everything that’s available on the fast food market. The important thing is to provide a variety of products for customers to choose from, which are healthy, well prepared, delicious, affordable and attractive. Your menu will depend on your target market. It is of great importance to consider the profit margins of your products, as this is a business and it has to be profitable.

Examples of foods you can sell:

  • Burgers, Sandwich, Rolls
  • Pizza
  • Meat Dishes (Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Mutton, Sausages, Fish etc)
  • Rice and Pasta Dishes
  • Baked goods, bread, toasts
  • Tea, Coffee , Alcoholic drinks
  • Pap
  • Chips
  • Chicken meals
  • Traditional Dishes
  • Ribs
  • Amagwinya
  • Bunny chow
  • Soft Drinks, Juices, Milkshakes, Icecreams, Yorghuts

Burgers are popular with many fast-food restaurants. As a result, you might conclude that the market is too saturated and you don’t want to invest in it. If that’s where your passion you should go ahead with it! Taste and many other factors can set you apart from the rest!

Restaurant Business Plan

Chips & Chicken

Competitive Analysis

With the increase in demand for fast food restaurants, a lot of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops have opened in South Africa. In order to be competitive, you need to know your rivals. As such, conducting a competitive analysis is important because it can help you find out what other restaurants are doing right and wrong. Take time to visit their establishments so that you understand what their clientele looks like and how they draw customers. After a competitive assessment, determine your fast food restaurant’s competitive advantage. A competitive analysis is important because it will help you figure out your place in the market.

Staff & management

The day-to-day operation of the fast foods restaurant business involves:

  • Operating the cash register
  • Preparing the food
  • Managing the staff
  • Keeping premises clean at all times
  • Cash flow management
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Customer service

It’s part of the culture of fast food restaurants to have the manager present at all times to attend to client complaints and to ensure that the business run smoothly. If you want your restaurant to operate independently without you having to pop in everyday, you can hire an experienced person to manage your business. Depending on the type of menu you serve you can hire a chef who will oversee the food preparation process. This will ensure that there is more consistency in quality and taste. The number of required staff will vary depending on the size of your restaurant business. Required staff include cooks, waiters, cashiers, logistics personnel, and management. Your restaurant business plan should cater for the salaries of your employees.

Sales And Marketing Strategies

When you market your fast food restaurant, you can go about it in many ways. One of them is offering meal bundles and combos. You can offer a burger and fries combo and some juice. You can even offer discounts or make the juice or soda free to boost sales. Offer kids’ menus with some collectibles. Consider adding some healthier options and food shaped like animals or popular cartoon characters to your kids’ menu. Consider delivering meals to your clients’ offices or homes for convenience. Take advantage of social media marketing and be sure that you are active. You can also engage your clients with contests and giveaways to attract new ones.


For an in-depth analysis of the fast food restaurant business in South Africa, purchase our fast food restaurant business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the restaurant 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 restaurant 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 fast food outlet business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the restaurant business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The fast food restaurant 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 restaurant business
  • As a fast food restaurant project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the fast foods outlet 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 e.t.c.)
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the fast foods business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your fast food restaurant business in South Africa
  • Directory (Contact details of restaurant equipment suppliers)

The Fast Food Restaurant Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Fast Food Restaurant Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 89 pages)
  2. Fast Food Restaurant Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 89 pages)
  3. Fast Food Restaurant Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 45 pages)
  4. Fast Food Restaurant Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the markup, salaries 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 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 and we will assist you.

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