The oldest form of theater is the dinner table – Michael J Fox
Successful businesses are built on long-standing trends. The Jeweler, for instance, continues to be in business in part because the engagement ring remains the most fundamental element of marriage proposals. It usually happens on bended knee, a young man’s dreams hanging in the balance as he anticipates a “Yes”.
But proposal scenes aren’t like movie sets that appear overnight; they take a long time to build – a relationship, annotated with dates here and there. The setting for the big question itself is often a well-planned dinner date under a nice ambiance. Every groom to be, and everyone who experiences the dramatic agreement the two lovers make to embark on a lifelong journey of commitment, will find reason, and even inspiration, to make their own big day memorable.
The Restaurateur can make good business here, if she or he weaves her business around strangers meeting, becoming friends, and deciding to become spouses.
In Times Past…
…when people made acquaintances of each other, dinner dates were a direction to take in pursuit of closer ties. These days, the predominant meeting place is online – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. And these media have brought with them a discernible lethargy on the part of millennials to commit time and resources to traditional ways of contracting, building and maintaining friendships. This is one of the major reasons dinner dates are no longer prevalent, and over 60% of meals in Nigeria’s major cities are eaten alone.
There are other arguments, particularly of economic natures, that may explain why dinner dates aren’t a norm among today’s young people. Consequently, Nigeria’s restaurant business is largely centered on lunch, when the working population simply must eat to keep going. After working hours, the appeal of restaurants and food spots seem to wane. Lunch and transportation costs often go into the weekly or monthly budgets of young workers, whereas treating a friend or a spouse to a social dinner is considered a luxury.
The emergence of the Social Media did, and continues to distort pre-existing trends. But every such distortion throws up new opportunities, and there are yet new ones here. Dinner Dates could make a comeback as people dating online seek more intimacy and real life experiences. This offers an opportunity for new platforms to emerge that take online dating to the next level, partnering with apps and social media platforms to provide dinner and date deals and ideas. Really, if a dinner date is a tab and a click away, couples would inquire.
SMEs and new entrants into Nigeria’s food industry can explore the opportunity, and even prospect further into a virtually empty dinner market. If the vibrant kitchen activities that take place around the country at noon can be replicated at dusk, industry figures will double, and new businesses will create niche markets for themselves.
The GTBank Food and Drink Fair, scheduled for April 30 and May 1, 2017, will chair lengthier discussions on the potentials of food retailing in Nigeria, and expose SMEs to Masterclasses on this and related topics. Attendance is FREE.
If this article resonates with you, here are a few things you should do…
- Start, subscribe to and/or partner with Dating Platforms for people in your catchment area.
- Propose delivery ideas, so that people can eat at home or en-route.
- Poeticize your packaging, and even seek specific information to make every delivery unique.
- Own an online space where you share researched information relevant to the people you serve.
- Network: Attend the GTBank Food and Drink Fair.