@bistro_7_lagos / 0905 139 2482
She comes from a family of Entrepreneurs, she has worked with International brands. She opened ” Bistro 7 ” seven years ago, she leveraged her experiences in to bigger opportunities, now she consults and regularly holds training and speaking engagements. Her name… Hamisha, listen to how she did it.
Podcast Key Notes
Can you pleases introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
Hi… my name is Hamisha Daryani and I own Bistro 7. I actually started 7 years ago. Yeah, I’m a Lagos girl and it felt good opening a restaurant here. So, I hold a business degree in Canada and I have a postgrad in hospitality in Switzerland.
Can you tell us about your ‘Aha Moment” you knew you were going open a bistro
Most people in my family are entrepreneurs – my family, my husband; everybody is a business person. But my passion lies in coffee, so I opened a coffee shop in Lagos and 7 years ago the competition wasn’t that much. The initial idea was a coffee shop then a Bistro restaurant.
Can you tell us about starting days of your business and funding?
So actually, the biggest thing in terms of investment was the location. I mean the location is great, but we took an advantage of a pretty good opportunity and I would say between now and then, we have spent a lot of money in renovating.
What’s your typical work day like?
For the first 2 years, I worked 12 hours daily. I mean I was young and I was excited about the whole thing and I even did the accounting, but then I hired a manager.
How has your business evolved and what is your role now in the business?
I started expanding a lot to 3 locations and we were actually managing the American International School canteen which was some big job and I was into consulting for a food company for about a year. Basically, I founded 3 locations and then I got pregnant and so, that’s when things got pretty busy then, I left to Canada for 6 months and I left the business to my manager and I try to delegate duties among him and the chef but I have to run it from Canada and it was such a big difference when you are in-house and trying to run an operations of a business from away.
At our Palms outlet, meals are cheaper than at the restaurant – you may get coffee for 1000 and 800 at Palms; just a way to accommodate the rest of the market. You have to consider the market and the spending power which is the driving force of the market when choosing location and expanding.
Why did you go into canteen business?
Well while we were operating at the Palms, we also run the canteen at the American International School at the same time and that’s where I think overlap happened because a lot of the AIS kids usually come to eat lunch at the canteen. I noticed the kids would always come to eat lunch at the canteen because they are in school Mondays to Fridays, everyday. So we got in on the basis of quality. We had to keep the quality high and there was 5 different stores operating as vendors in the canteen all weekdays then at one point they wanted only one vendor in the restaurant and we all competed for it and we won and we had to put the other menu items that were lacking and we created a proper American style canteen.
Why do you think most food entrepreneurs fail in their businesses?
It’s a very public business, so if you are going to be in a public space, you need to be on top of your game 24/7.
What advice would you give your younger self?
- When things get tough, just keep going.
- If one door closes another opens much bigger and much better.
Key Takeaway Points:
- Restaurant is a very public business, be on top of your game 24/7
- Continue with the passion, continue with the hard work , something exciting will come out of it
- Think long term when picking your location,
- Know that if one door closes another opens; much bigger and much better
- Finding Synergy in partnership
- Carefully evaluate all opportunities beyond face value.
- Delegate to the right team player
- Be cautious and fully convinced before expansion
- Keep an open mind while doing one business as it might pave way for other better opportunities.