Nigerians love their canteens and bukas. There’s a feeling of authenticity about their cooking that attracts a mass following, especially amongst the not so financially endowed. Yet, these food vendors and caterers who help to meet the nutrition needs of busy urban communities every day, do not always get the support they need to build successful businesses.
The business of food goes beyond just cooking. Nutrition, pricing, styling, taste, hygiene, are essential to the growth of the business and the safety of the consumer.
It’s in a bid to help bridge this gap that the Nestlé Professional food and product education workshop held for the first time with over 200 Canteen and food Vendors in Ibadan, Oyo State in August 2022. It was packaged to equip food vendors and caterers with the knowledge needed to optimize their food business while using MAGGI powders effectively.
Recently, Nestlé Professional Business, Nestlé Nigeria’s Out of Home business arm, took its Business of Food roadshow to Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, to deliver food education to over 300 canteen and food vendors in collaboration with the Association of Caterers and Food Vendors.
Participants in the workshop received tips on how to grow their food service businesses. The caterers and food vendors were shown how to cook tasty meals that will delight their customers as experts shared knowledge and techniques for managing the complexities of food systems. Topics included Food-Preneur, Food Styling and Food Plating.
Funmi Osineye, Manager, Nestlé Professional Nigeria, describes the women of Port-Harcourt as “amazing”, adding that “we are super-excited to be here”. She said “The Business of Food workshop is an initiative we developed in response to the need to provide the support micro, small and medium scale food vendors need to scale their businesses”. His all aligns with “our responsibility’, she said, “as the Good Food Good Life Company, to contribute towards increasing knowledge of the role food plays in improving Nutrition, Health, and Wellness”. She said the two objectives were brought together in “the Business of Food which we are hosting in Port-Harcourt today. Our customers and other stakeholders can count on us to consolidate this partnership with caterers and food vendors to ensure better services in the industry.”
Chef Oroma, CEO of Oromski Kitchen, and a member of the Association of Caterers and Food Vendors, said they had “been looking for a platform like this for a long time and are excited that Nestlé Professional Business of Food has come to Port-Harcourt today”. She was also emphatic that she “would like this workshop to continue so we can encourage and train the upcoming chefs from the rural areas. This will help us create more employment to take our youth off the streets.”
The workshop combined knowledge sharing with a lot of fun, engaging activities to make it memorable for the participants. It kicked off with a masterclass, followed by a cooking demo where Chef Lilian demonstrated how to prepare native jollof rice.
Thereafter came the exciting, cooking competition! The meals presented by the groups were judged based on Tasty Meal, Meal Presentation and Plating.