How to start a butchery business in South Africa

How to start a butchery business in South Africa

This is a guide on how to start a butchery in South Africa.

A butchery can be a very lucrative and fulfilling business, butcher owners are generally happy with the work they do and the income they make. Butcheries have been here for a long time and are not facing any major threat from tech.

There are now more meat consumers than ever before in South Africa. This is due to the rise in income levels for much of the population. More and more people prefer going to butcheries to buy a bulk of their meat, this is because of the variety that is presented to them.

Let’s look at some of the costs of starting a butchery.

1. Operating premises

A butchery is not a business you can run from home, you have to have professional operating premises. Your butchery needs to be in a very accessible location, it’s much better when it’s at town or where there are a lot of people generally.

The size of your premises will be influenced by the range of products that you will offer; however, you don’t need a big space to get started. It’s always best to start off leasing a commercial space.

You will have to renovate your premises; you might find that the premises you are leasing used to be a restaurant or furniture shop. You will need to remodel your premises to match the feel and look of a butchery.

2. Commercial refrigerators

Commercial refrigerators tend to cost a lot. A meat display of 2.4 meters costs around R24 000. You might need to buy two of three of these. You might also have to buy other refrigerators, especially if you are planning on selling refreshments and light snacks.

3. Labour

You can’t run a butchery alone; you will need people to help you. This number can range between 4 and 6 people for new butcher shops. You will also have to make them uniform and spend some money or time training them.

It’s always best to hire people with experience if you are just starting out, your employees should be able to cut meat to certain standards.

4. Licenses

You need a permit in order to be able to sell food to customers, you will also need to register your business with the CIPC.

5. Equipment

Your biggest cost in equipment will come in the form of commercial refrigerators, other than that you will need meat cutters, a point of sales system, cold rooms, knives etc. You might also need to buy a delivery van; this will be to your convenience as you will order meat whenever you like and not rely on your supplier.

6. Insurance

Your customers might get food poisoning from the meat and decide to sue you, you need to protect yourself from such things by getting an insurance. The insurance should also protect you in case something happens to your premises like theft or fire.


Marketing for a butcher shop is conducted differently from other businesses. Digital marketing is usually great for a lot of businesses, it doesn’t work that well for a butchery. You can still do digital marketing in the form of Facebook ads that are strictly impression based, here is a guide to Facebook advertising.

The other thing you can do in the digital marketing space is to build a website for your butchery. The website can display information like how much you price per kg and you can occasionally run promotions on your site. Getting a website only costs R1 200 from Promta Web Services.

Butcheries are best marketed by using traditional advertising techniques like newspapers. A local newspaper will work wonders in advertising your butchery. You can run an ad directly in the newspaper or you can print your own “specials” and have them delivered together with the newspaper to people’s homes. This is by far the best way to market a butchery.


Profitability is usually hurt by expensive rent, suppliers and poor handling of your profit margins when running a butchery. Always bargain for cheaper prices from your suppliers and not pay too much for rent.


This was a guide on how to start a butchery business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. How much approaximately does a butchery makes per month ?

  2. Hi I want to start a small butchery in devon gauteng where do I go for a permit

  3. Greetings and great advise…. truly appreciated.
    I want to start a small butchery, im buying equipments im left with a cold room to buy.
    Please let me, where do i go for permit to run a butchery?


    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  4. Hello I’m truly happy about the information I got from you guys…..

    I have a place to start my butcher and few supply’s my problem is permit

    I’m staying in Bloemfontein

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