Rapidly multiplying lineages that evolve through ecological speciation often show divergence in morphologies that can be linked to ecological niches, i.e. different food resources. If these multiplying lineages originate from a common ancestor and show specialisation in adaptive morphologies this can be considered an adaptive radiation.For morphologies to be adaptive, they should not only correlate with ecological niches but also be functional in those niches. One way to measure whether morphology (form) and niche (function) are just correlated or whether morphology actually influences niche exploitation is by measuring feeding efficiency. Feeding efficiency is defined by the morphology of the feeding apparatus. Here we explore feeding efficiency of species of cichlid fish that differ in feeding apparatus morphology, i.e. the jaw. Jaw morphology often coincides with ecological niches along a benthic‐limnetic axis. We test if jaw morphology determines feeding efficiency for food items that reflect the specialised niches of the species tested. We used two sister species pairs of cichlids from Lake Victoria, and a fifth cichlid species from Lake Malawi that differ to certain extents in their morphology and their ecological niche. We tested their feeding efficiencies for three food types that represent a benthic niche (algal substitute), a limnetic niche (zooplankton) or an intermediate niche (gammarids). We are able to show a trend that morphologies that coincide with a specific niche predict feeding efficiency for food types associated with this niche. Our data also suggest possible trade‐offs in feeding efficiencies between different food types across species.