Running a restaurant business is challenging, business rates, employment costs eat into profits and the general market in areas such as London is saturated. So why would you want to start a business in this sector? Well West Africa Cooks believes that even if these facts are true there is an opportunity. There is a demand for African heritage, culture and food. Talented individuals are now catering for this. Read on and then find out what is the secret to successfully launching a restaurant business.
As lovers of good food and the experience of dining out; husband and wife team, Segun and Dare Oni became disenchanted by the standards of restaurants offering food from their country of origin, Nigeria. The frustration of not finding a Nigerian restaurant in London that offered an outstanding level of service and food compared to other restaurants compelled them to launch Onidodo. Onidodo started as a supperclub in 2014 and became a fully-fledged restaurant in 2018, when they opened their North London site.
Read Onidodo Supper Club
The Rise In Awareness Of Nigerian Cuisine In London And Beyond
Onidodo means plantain seller in Yoruba but the name came from their surname Oni and Dare’s favourite food plantain, which is called “Dodo” in Yoruba (A Nigerian language). Onidodo is a modern Nigerian restaurant which passionately brings an authentic taste of Nigeria with a modern twist to the London food scene. For too long other international cuisines have seen mass market appeal, whilst Nigerian cuisine has yet to enjoy the same brand recognition despite having so much diversity of flavours and dishes. In a 2017 study* of over 1000 UK adults, it was found that 69% consumed Chinese food, 66% went for Indian, 33% Thai, 26 % French and 23% Japanese – Nigerian (or African food) was not on the list. Onidodo aims to change that and part of its ethos is to change the perception of bad customer service in Nigerian restaurants and the lack of authenticity and care in Nigerian food.
“It is time to showcase Nigerian food in the UK. It is time for Nigerian restaurants to be an option when families and friends want to dine out on a Friday night. Food lovers should be able to see Nigerian food in the same way that they see Turkish, Chinese, Indian, Italian and other global cuisines.” – Dare Oni, Head Chef.
Read Three Reasons Why You Should Start An African Supper Club
The Onidodo restaurant presents Nigerian cuisine executed with style and panache and Dare is dedicated to creating a revolutionary menu to satisfy all tastes. By offering authentic dishes with a modern twist, Onidodo captures the essence of Nigerian culture in surroundings that ooze cool sophistication in the metropolis of London.
Segun manages the front house, logistics, staff and the business side of things while Dare, a self-taught chef, is the head chef and manages the kitchen and creates new dishes.One of her most popular dishes is The Onidodo Suya Chicken and Waffles which received a lot of social media attention in 2018. The dish consists of waffles, fried egg, plantain and Suya seasoned chicken breast; combining a breakfast/brunch classic with authentic Nigerian flavours. A new innovative dish is the Onidodo Asun pie which was inspired by the traditional Nigerian asun dish (Chopped spicy goat meat). This pie uses shredded goat meat in short crust pastry, it is warm and comforting perfect for the autumn/winter season.
“Our aim is to create unique and exciting experience for our customers regardless of their background whether they are Nigerians, the Nigerian millennials that want something different but with the same flavours that they grew up with or Non-Nigerians who have never tasted Nigerian food before.” – Segun Oni, Co-Founder.
This enterprising couple aims to go worldwide by turning Onidodo into one of the biggest African/Nigerian restaurant brands in the world delivering the best experience through great service, outstanding dishes and atmosphere.
Nigerian Restaurant Secrets
Hiding behind the launch of a Nigerian restaurant like Onidodo is a long term plan. The secret is out now. Long term planning is key. This is what makes West Africa Cooks excited about Onidodo prospects of conquering the market. Onidodo has been planning the business for many years. Here are some of the considerations a business leader must make before opening a restaurant. Uncover these facts thoroughly before you start your venture.
- Concept. What are we about? What is the product?
- Is there a demand? Research the market and test the market. Is the price point right?
- Are we in the right location
- Get the message right. Network†. Constantly, aggressively market and promote
- Can we recruit and retain the right staff
The above are the four p's of marketing. Product, price, place and promotion. Here we have included people too.
The restaurant that is introducing London to Nigerian style chicken and waffles; braised Lamb Shank on a bed of sauteed spinach and yam pottage puree and jollof spaghetti and tiger prawns is based in North London. The address is Onidodo 83 Turnpike Lane, Haringey, London N8 0DY.
Support Then Review Nigerian Chefs
There are many young people second and third generation African who don’t know how to cook African foods living in the United Kingdom. They are unsure of their heritage. Our children will suffer if we allow them to continue to eat from chicken joints after school or high in fat, salt and sugar convenience foods. Yes it is also hard to find a traditional west African restaurants and or modern African food which will inspire. With this in mind we have to support the new breed of African chefs which come along. We share your vision Onidodo and wish you success for the future.
Update 2020. Onidodo has now closed down. As we know the restaurant business is a tough sector to work in and competition is fierce. Our hope that even though the business did not survive lessons were learned from this venture.
West Africa Cooks
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*Statista study Share of individuals who have ever consumed ethnic food in Great Britain in 2017, by type of food.
†African networking online can really accelerate profitable business, because of the low cost way marketing can be implemented. We have to own our heritage, culture and inspire independent African food business internationally.