The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced the latest statistics about eateries and offered some advice for investment in the field, aiming at boosting such an important economic sector in the country.
MEC said yesterday that the total number of active commercial licenses in the restaurant sector amounts to 3,716.
Most of these are concentrated inside Doha Municipality with 2,004, followed by Al Rayyan (1,038), Wakrah (291), Umm Salal (130), Al Khor and Al Zakhira (111), Al Shehaniyah (47), and Al Shamal Municipality (23).
These active licenses include 1,889 restaurants, 1,271 cafeterias, 270 juice shops, 201 fast foods, and 121 popular kitchens, besides other minor activities. These include 12 grilled meat shops, nine for seafood, eight outlets for meal and catering services, and seven outlets that include eateries, juice shops, cafes and kitchen.
In addition, there are six outlets that offer healthy and diet meals.
Comparing the density of population at various places in the country to the number of active licenses in this field, MEC advised there are many areas that provide suitable new investment opportunities in the restaurants sector.
MEC said that the most important steps to establish a new restaurant include first determining the type of the restaurant, whether it a high end restaurant, fast foods, cafeteria, café, sea foods or any other type designated to different areas.
Second, the cost of starting a restaurant should be determined.
The cost should take into consideration the type of the restaurant, its facilities, the required equipment, the volume of customers, and the other related operational issues.
However, MEC said that the estimated cost for creating a 64sq m restaurant could be QR500,000 covering monthly rent, decorations and equipment.
In the meantime, MEC stressed that the restaurant owner should make efforts to develop the menu, manage staff, regulate the stock, conduct a marketing and promotional campaign, and take care of the customers.
Besides, it is necessary to adopt a practical work plan that cover all the related and involved issues such as the investment concept, marketing, training and qualification of staff, daily tasks management, and the long run cost.
MEC also emphasised that choosing a proper location reflects directly on the size of sales.
The restaurant should be easily accessible for potential customers with adequate number of parking lots.
Regarding the layout of the place itself, MEC said that around 45% to 65% of its space should be allocated to the food court, while 35% should be allocated to the kitchen and the remaining area should be administrative and storage area.
MEC strongly recommended the use of modern technology to promote the new restaurant projects as increasing number of customers prefer to look online for food outlets.
Accordingly, MEC recommended the effective use of social media including Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and TripAdvisor.
Generally, MEC instructions and regulations in this field should be strictly followed such as providing Arabic speaking staff, giving detailed invoices, clearly display the commercial license and registration, avoid imposing charges or commissions on using credit cards or debit cards, clearly posting the price, charges and services, and avoid exercising the minimum charge system.
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