Serving up profits the Mayura way

Tamar Mbala found herself quickly scaling up the corporate ladder in the hospitality industry.

She started out as a graduate trainee and rose to a leadership position in under three years at a restaurant chain.

Unfortunately, her rise didn’t match her pay, yet it came with longer working hours that were affecting her health. Tamar decided to quit her job to the amazement of her family and friends as her corporate path seemed so promising.

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She took a year-long break to map out her next path, and settled on entrepreneurship. Coming from the Coast region, she decided to set up a restaurant that specialised in Swahili dishes after she identified this as a gap in the market.

She set up Tamu Tamu Swahili dishes with start-up capital of Sh50,000, which she got from her mother.

Tamar started out small, renting out a small commercial space within her neighbourhood in Nairobi’s Umoja estate for Sh5,000, bought minimal basic kitchen equipment and bought raw materials.

Months into the business, she’s broken even and is now looking to fulfil her dream of setting up an established restaurant brand.

The Business Coach linked Tamar up to Rajiv Sehgal, the owner of The Mayura restaurant, who gave her the following advice.

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1. Keep an eye on your revenue and expenses

Expenses and costs within the restaurant business are a given, like in any other business. The trick, however, to making profits in this sector is managing these costs and maximising on the revenue. To make profits in the restaurant business, ensure your costs aren’t higher than 33 per cent of the prices set. Also, it’s important to minimise pilferage and wastage, which are high in the restaurant business.

2. Buy your raw materials from source

The highest costs in the restaurant business are raw materials. To ensure costs are well managed, a business should seek to source raw materials directly from the main supplier, if not directly from a farm. This reduces the mark-ups incurred prior to purchase, maximising on profitability and keeping prices accessible to customers.

The Business Coach airs on KTN Home every Monday at 7.30pm.

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