Ajisafe: Why SMEs Should Be Supported

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The Chief Executive Officer, Terminal 3, Bunmi Ajisafe, in this interview with Hamid Ayodeji, spoke

Considering how dynamic the QSR industry is in Lagos, how does Terminal 3 plan to compete in such a competitive space?

First, let me start by saying Terminal 3 combines three offerings namely: Restaurant, café and lounge. We specialise in Nigerian and continental foods and drinks. We offer full breakfast, quick bites breakfast, lunch and dinner in various forms. We also run a cozy lounge for our customer’s pleasure. We also do “a la carte” and have some signature items/foods. To us at Terminal 3, dynamism means the industry is not static which of course bring its’ own opportunities in a space that has no boundary. The competitiveness also means we must innovate and be able to satisfy the ever changing needs of our customers. This is where Terminal 3 is different. We are 21st century restaurant. We bring comfort and relaxing experience to the way we serve and treat our customers. We have also invested in modern day QSR technology to provide efficient service with speed. I can go on and on but a visit will surely convince you.

Why a restaurant and not another business?
Business is business and you set it up with purpose and objectives. The drive to go into the QSR industry is borne out of three things – passion, need and giving back to the society. If you ask me, I will also say it is a profitable business. In today’s world, dietary requirements have become a critical aspect of quality of living and what we eat could be a major determinant of our life span, therefore, it is serious business. Restaurants play an important role in corporate business and it is part of the social fabric of any society. Lagos for example has become increasingly densely populated and with the traffic situation, many homes rely on restaurants as their kitchen. In going into the business, we believe we are as well solving a problem. Do not forget that restaurants bring people together and unites communities.

Is this restaurant targeted at a specific customer?
If you look at the demography of Ogudu, you will observe that we have businesses and also private dwellers at all levels. Our targeted customers are simply people who are most likely to buy what we are offering. We are set up as a family restaurant providing QSR services to both businesses and private individual. Don’t forget, we sell Nigerian food and a bit of continental. We provide for all classes of individual – rich, middle or low class, our foods are affordable. With as little as N500, you can have a menu. Either breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, our food meets the needs of everyone.

What difference should the customers expect from Terminal 3?
The taste of our food is our trade mark. Our unique signature items have the power to transform guests into regulars. We do not pretend to know it all. We listen to our customers and we continuously refine our signature items in order to create that forte and customers unique experience that define us from others.

What is the reception from the market towards Terminal 3 thus far?
We are relatively new in the industry but it is interesting to know that we have been widely accepted in Ogudu and its environs. When we came, the residents were eager to see what we have to unveil. One customer told us that before we came, he usually travels to get the kind of food he wanted and was delighted when we finally opened to the public and he tasted our signatures items. Every day, we experience increased number of customers and I am happy that we have not disappointed them. They have also observed that the architectural design of our spacious lounge/outlet has become the destination for celebrating birthdays, wedding showers, pre-marital photo shoots, and business over lunch etc . We are happy to be in Ogudu and we are currently collaborating with some associations and organised bodies in the area to see how we can affect the neighbourhood positively.

Should more Terminal 3 outlets be expected in Lagos?
Yes, more outlets should be expected. We want to be in every city and town in Lagos. Though I may not be able to give a specific date for now, expansion is part of our strategic plan. We have the support of our directors and are already fine tuning at management level. We believe medium scale enterprise like Terminal 3 restaurants and lounge should be encouraged. It is pivotal to reducing unemployment in the country and drive macro-economic activities.

What in your view does a healthy lifestyle entail?
A healthy lifestyle is not magic. It is not something that you want to spend your whole life dreaming about. A healthy lifestyle is simply ensuring that you take a balanced diet, do regular exercise and effectively manage your stress. Very simple. Maintaining these simple rules every day will transform your physical appearance magnificently. Your lifespan is also likely to increase because maintaining a healthy lifestyle boosts your immunity making you immune to most diseases. Other than improving the quality of your life, it also makes you healthy emotionally. However, living a healthy lifestyle can mean something different depending on an individual. Some believe that living a healthy life is being diseased free while others believe that living a healthy life is following a strict workout routine. But in reality, what you eat makes who you are and how you look.