What restaurants have stood the test of time?
Fast food used to be a huge part of entertainment back in the day. Outings used to mean going to the most popular food chain in town, buying a meal and sitting there to relax.
These restaurants put more efforts in making their restaurants as spacious and traditional as possible, with minimal effort in the actual food. With the exception of a few top restaurants who had an amazing item they were known for, most of the food sold at the various restaurants were mostly traditional, basic and indistinguishable.
The #10YearsChallenge takes us on a fun journey back 10 years, when these restaurants were actually in vogue:
1. Mr Bigg's
Mr Bigg's is the oldest fast food chain in Nigeria as it was founded by UAC Foods in 1973. It quickly became a top dog in the business all over the country and retained its position for years. Its fried chicken and meat pies were undefeated. Branches are still open and active all over the country.
2. Savanna chum chum
Long before 2009, Savannah Chum Chum was a big food chain mostly in Abuja, part of the Savannah Suites group. It had families queuing to get a taste every weekend. This was before they shut down a few years ago.
Tantalizers opened its first location in Festac Town, Lagos, in 1997. They were known for their hamburgers initially but became a top name for all things fast food all over the country. Tantalizers still has active branches.
Tetrazzini was launched as Fast Food and African Restaurant in Isolo, in 1999. Since then, they have become a household name.
5. Chicken republic
Chicken republic was founded in 2004 and rose to the top spot because of their chicken and fair prices. They were referred to as the KFC of Nigeria, that is until KFC actually began a franchise here. They are actually still one of the top fast food chains in the country, changing the game with their affordable "Refuel" package.
6. Mama Cass
Mama Cass was known for selling all types of delicious traditional food in its various outlets all over the country. They were basically "bukkas" with aesthetics. Some branches are still scattered around the country.
7. Tastee Fried Chicken
TFC has been a top food chain in Lagos since its opening in 1996. It was and still is known for its chicken and fair prices. TFC is still active.
Some of these fast food chains, which were forecasted to last more than 10 years, have either died off or lost stamina in the struggle to remain relevant. Many Nigerians have traded their need for FAST food (in every sense) for ambiance, exotic food and chefs, and eating spaces with unique value proposition in both design and food.
- Chicken Republic
- Mr Biggs
- Sweet Sensation
- The Place
- Bukka hut
While one or two names have survived and thrived over the years, one can only wonder if the fast food business is dying a slow death in Nigeria.