What is the Coolest Small Business Idea for Kolkata?

. 7 min read
What is the Coolest Small Business Idea for Kolkata?

The infrastructural development, availability of sound transport systems, and several other aspects have made Kolkata one of the best cities to start a business. With a true entrepreneurial spirit, you can run a small and successful business in this highly populated city in India. However, the question is: Which is the best niche to set up your business in? In Kolkata, the concept of starting or executing a business venture is quite profitable, compared to other states. Upon comparing other business niches, it is found that a fast food business may help you earn popularity.

You can fulfil your ambition of establishing a small restaurant to sell fast foods in Kolkata quite seamlessly. Kolkata is the best place where foodies can find spicy and tangy mouth-watering street foods and authentic Bengali food. Some restaurants also have a touch of multicultural cuisines, as they sell Chinese and Italian foods. It would be, therefore, profitable to start a food business in Kolkata.

Why is it good to start a food business in Kolkata?

  • Not difficult to get customers- Kolkata is located in India, which is one of the most highly populated countries. When you set up your restaurant in a crowded zone, it is easy to gain attention. You will constantly get customers for breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, and dinner menu.
  • Air and road transport- Due to road transport facilities, foodies from different places can easily reach your restaurants. Moreover, Kolkata is one of the attractions to foreign tourists in India, and the presence of the airport enables them to reach Kolkata easily. These travellers like to get the taste of authentic Indian foods.
  • Availability of resources- You can buy your vegetables and other ingredients from reliable sources in Kolkata. Moreover, there are highly qualified candidates who know the way of managing the restaurant. You may choose them as your human resources to develop the business.

A few challenges and intricacies in setting up a fast food business

  • Finding the right staff- You need separate staff for cooking, cleaning dishes, and serving guests. In some cases, your staff may need training. The culinary skills of your staff may make a difference in your success. Without delicious foods, you cannot attract customers.
  • Managing inventory- Vegetables needed to cook foods may not stay fresh for several days, although you have a refrigerator. Thus, there is a risk of wastage.
  • Not easy to manage menu pricing- Kolkata has lots of restaurants, and you have to choose competitive pricing for your dishes. Still, you cannot compromise your profitability.
  • Cost for creating an app- Nowadays, some customers like to order foods from their homes using a mobile app. Without an app, you cannot beat your competitors.

Investing in a Small Food Business in Kolkata

As a food connoisseur, you may have a real passion for opening a fast-food restaurant. However, many restaurateurs find obstacles while investing funds to set up the business and buy raw materials. The first task to start the business is to calculate the amount needed for the setup.

There are different funding options to establish a small food business. Self-funding is the right option for those having significant money in their bank accounts. Some startups look for partners to reduce investment risks. However, the most commonly chosen option is to take a loan from a financial institution.

Some restaurateurs try to work with investors to manage their businesses.

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Potential Costs for Starting a Small Restaurant

Local street food sellers do not need much space to cook food and arrange seats for customers. However, to build a small restaurant, you need a kitchen room and a dining space to accommodate at least 18 to 20 guests.

In addition, you have to invest an amount in:

  • Buying ingredients- To cook different dishes, you have to buy vegetables and other ingredients. The food cost covers a significant portion of the overall investment. Restaurateurs have to choose vendors to source their raw materials regularly.
  • Employing labourers- One of the most critical concerns for startups in the food business is the labour cost. You need chefs to cook the food and other workers to serve your customers. It is better to start with a minimal number of employees.
  • Renting a small room- It takes time to search for the most affordable rental space for the fast-food business. But, the rent must not be more than 10% of the overall revenues. Moreover, the location may also make a difference in the cost.
  • Decorating the interiors of the room- You need to buy furnishings and some other decors to attract customers.
  • Purchasing kitchen essentials- Startups in the food business can never avoid buying kitchen equipment. Oven, utensils, and other important things are needed for a commercial kitchen.

Deciding on the Location for the Business

One of the vital factors to start a food business in Kolkata is to choose a location. The choice of the right location ensures the success of the restaurant. As there are several bistros and street food sellers in Kolkata, it is better to identify competitors. An analysis of their success and profit levels will enable you to create the right business model. For instance, startups can check out how their competitors offer fine dining, casual dining, and other services.

Moreover, accessibility and visibility are other factors for choosing the right location. When the restaurant is not easily accessible, it will not get traffic.

Best Places in Kolkata to Sell Street Foods

In the big city of Kolkata, you can find a number of sites where restaurants sell foods of different colours. Based on your needs and availability of space, you may also establish your business in these places.

1. White Town

White Town is one of the popular attractions to tourists in Kolkata. The refreshing sugarcane juice is famous in this place. Food sellers also sell a special dish by soaking the bread in egg and frying it in oil.

2. Decker Lane

Hot tea with ghugni is one of the known dishes in this place. However, there are also Chinese and Bengali dishes in street food stalls.

3. Shobhabazar

Roadside snacks and foods are highly attractive to local citizens and tourists. You may also sell a delicious chaat with onions, lentils, coriander, chutney, and peanuts.

Licenses Needed for Your Small Food Business

There are some costs associated with licenses. The municipal corporation provides the trade license, and its cost starts from Rs 10,000. Moreover, additional costs could be with respect to GST registration, professional tax license, and business registration. Some small restaurants sell alcoholic drinks, and they need to have a liquor license.

Creating a Unique Food Menu

It may not be easy to design a menu, as it plays a role in attracting your customers. However, the choice of dishes also makes a difference in food costs. It is better to include local items, which are easy to prepare. You may choose dishes that need similar raw materials, and it helps in reducing the overall cost.

Create an attractive menu design and let customers choose their favourite cuisines on any occasion.

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Best Street Food for Your Restaurant’s Menu

1. Kathi rolls

Kolkata is the only place where foodies have tasted Kathi rolls for the first time. This lip-smacking roll has yummy stuffing. Restaurants like to add twists to the recipe to attract customers.

2. Lucchi with Aloo Dum

Some residents and travellers in Kolkata like to have this dish in the morning. You can serve Lucchi with delicious aloo dum as breakfast for your guests.

3. Samosa

Hot samosas are the best evening snacks for citizens in Kolkata. You may serve crunchy samosas stuffed with potatoes and other ingredients.

4. Momos

This Tibetan cuisine is now popular among foodies in Kolkata. The best restaurants have both steamed and fried momos with hot soup. Include both veg and non-veg momos in your menu.

5. Pav Bhaji

Many foodies in Kolkata like to have pav bhaji, as it has a distinctive flavour and fragrance. You can please your customers’ taste buds with this dish. Most of the citizens like to have pav bhaji during the afternoon hours.

6. Fish Fry

It is one of the gourmet dishes in Kolkata. You can include a fish fry, butter fry, and fish finger in your menu.

7. Schezwan Chicken

Foodies, hopping from one restaurant to another, like to order this dish on any occasion. This Chinese food has become famous to those who like chicken recipes.

Also read:

1) Online Business Ideas You Can Start Quickly
2) What online business can I do to make money? Here are the top-6 ideas for you.
3) Where Do the Best Business Ideas Come From?
4) Best Home Business Ideas in 2020

5) OkCredit: Simple, Paperless & Secure solution for businesses


Q. I would like to start a homemade food delivery business in Kolkata. Do I need to have a licence?

Ans. Yes. FSSAI issues a food licence to homemade food sellers. The licence ensures that you provide safe food to your customers.

Q. How much space do I need for a small fast food business?

Ans. Your kitchen room must have a space of about 450 square feet. The serving area and counter must not be more than 100 square feet.

Q. How much profit can I make with my small food business?

Ans. In most cases, restaurant owners make a profit of 25 to 40% of their sales. The rate of sales can make a difference in your profit and earnings.

Q. Which type of Indian restaurant is most profitable?

Ans. Some customers like to get the dine-in option in the restaurants, while others prefer home delivery. Thus, you can include both these options to gain higher profits.

Q. Am I eligible to start a restaurant in Kolkata?

Ans. There are no eligibility criteria to establish a small fast food business. However, you need to have licences to avoid legal issues in the future.