Tuesday, March 23, 2010


By Jennifer Ehidiamen.

As a result of the fast-pace nature of living in Lagos, everyone gets to eat a meal away from home once in a while. Fast-Food restaurants have become a big part of Lagosian eating scene, many of which are chains of related restaurants with the same menu offering at the various outlets located within the metropolis.

This definitive guide to Eating-out provides readers with fascinating first-hand experience in some of these restaurants. The review is not deliberately written to undermine or patronize any restaurant, but rather to keep them on their toe towards improving their service delivery.

The criteria used in rating these restaurant includes the kind of menu they offer and their price, the attitude of sales person, the ambience of the Eatery etc. in a nutshell, does the quality of service make those restaurant experience memorable or miserable?

Despite an initial resolution to eat only home-made meal this year, I have been prey to occasional impulse to eat out. Today, I finally gave in to the urge when I found out that Tantalizers have opened a new outlet at Ojodu Berger. The gigantic building and large parking space looks more inviting than some of their numerous branches in Lagos. What I love most about this restaurant is the friendly atmosphere as well as the neat environment that holds a promise of serving you healthy food in a healthy environment, after all in Tantalizers, “every bite is a promise kept.” The door man deserves an award, the way he opens and close the door for customers with a friendly smile tells of one who enjoys doing his job- such attitude is infectious because a smiling door man sure goes a long way in setting a positive aura for the restaurant.

As early as 9am, you can be confident of walking into this outlet and find something edible. However, if you are going for a quick meal, then I’ll suggest you ask them to suggest what they have on their menu because asking for anything you have in mind will mostly be rebuffed by the sales person. First off, I ordered for Salad but was told they do not have, Hollandia yogurt? Same reply, Malta Guinness? “Not available” was the quiet reply. “Then what do you have?” I was tempted to ask in exasperation. I left, a little disappointed, with the words “Don’t judge a book by its cover” buzzing in my ears- so avoid not judging Tantalizers by its size. The energy spent in maintaining such a cool ambience should also be channeled towards restocking their items to match the menu.

Is Chicken Republic less sensitive about who they hire for sales person or are they lacking in giving their staff the basic training needed to build a good customer relation? Or is there no correlation between the charisma of staff and the quality of service delivered? Chicken Republic is one of my favorite restaurants to eat out. Its ambience will not thrill you in excitement but at least the place is neat enough not to have chicken feathers lying all around. If you visit one outlet once, you will want to visit again for two reasons- the Chicken is super delicious and the price won’t create a large dent in your wallet. Well, they also boast to serve extraordinary chicken for extra-ordinary people and I believe them.

Today I had lunch at the Jibowu branch, Yaba but the treat was quite a sacrifice. After walking in, I was struck by the urge to squirrel away from the restaurant because everywhere looked sleepy- including the snacks on display. The pastry looked all ready to crack up in the heated environment. There was no electricity! “NEPA is bad in this area so we depend mostly on generator, but unfortunately today the generator is being serviced” explained the sales person in what was intended to be English language. Oh well, at least they have the decency to enlighten us about the state of their affairs. I had to ask them to pack my Chicken and chips which cost only N740 as take-away; there was no point in eating-out and end up feeling miserable.

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