How to start a fish and chips business in South Africa

How to start a fish and chips business in South Africa

The fish and chips business has been very popular in South Africa, it is found almost everywhere, from big towns to small townships. This is a guide on how to start a fish and chips business in South Africa.


The fish and chips business seems to have lost some popularity in the recent years. This is mainly due to the popularity of fast-food chains. Fast-food franchises have become more and more accessible to the average person in South Africa.

However, this doesn’t mean that fish and chips businesses no longer have a place. There is still a lot of demand for fish and chips, especially in urban areas. This is a business with high barriers to entry but can become very profitable.

Choose a location

The location of your fish and chip shop will affect the success of your business more than anything else. This is basically a restaurant and location is super important for restaurants, it can make or break your business.

Your business should ideally be situated in an area that receives a lot of foot traffic. This should ideally be a busy street, it can either be in a town or kasi, it doesn’t really matter. As long as the street is busy; you should get customers from time to time. The worst thing you can do is to situate your business in an area that doesn’t get foot traffic.

With the right location, you won’t even have to spend much on marketing, people will notice your business and will come. Make sure that your fish and chip shop is in a good location and that there is not too much competition.

Get operating premises

You can either build or rent your operating premises, renting is usually the cheaper option. As long as it doesn’t cut too much into your profits. Renting usually costs anywhere between R7 000 and R13 000 in towns.

If you want to run the fish and chip shop at a township then you might have to build it from scratch as there might not be a suitable structure for you to rent. This is what might cause your overhead costs to skyrocket.

The size of your premises will be dictated by your business model. You have to decide on whether you are only going to sell take-aways or if you are going to allow people to sit down and eat.

Renovate your premises

You might be renting a building that used to be a furniture shop, you will have to turn it around to fit the theme of a fish and chip shop. The good thing is that not much has to be done, especially if you are planning to make it a take-away shop.

However, you will have to buy chairs and tables if you plan to have people sit down and eat. We highly recommend that you go with that model. Some people won’t come to your place if there isn’t a space for them to sit down and enjoy their meals.

Buy equipment

You don’t need a lot of equipment for this business, you should have equipment for frying your fish and chips. This can be any deep fryer; commercial fryers usually go for R6 500. Which is ideal if you expect to serve a lot of clients.

You should also buy some uniform for your employees or yourself. Food is a very sensitive thing; your employees should look professional at all times.

Register your business

You have to first register your business as a private company with the CIPC, then apply for a food license from the department of health. They will come to your premises and inspect everything, make sure that everything is up to standard.

Find suppliers

Try to find suppliers who are not that far from your business, you will need someone who will supply you with potatoes and fish. Source your potatoes directly from the farm, that’s if there is any farm near you. You will save a lot of money.


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

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. I already have the equipment for a business and I tried to open it at my sister’s place but I don’t Benefit according to business plan bcs I am struggling with a lot of things like transport and other financial problem, which every time my business decrease

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