113 Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi |M-W 7a-10p, T-F 7a-2a, S 9a-2a, S 11a-8p
📞0908.016.1647 | 0817.088.6449
Eka is the talented lady behind the spectacular brand Toasties. She is a professionally trained Chef, that has worked in a renowned restaurant in Spain. With her brand she created a unique Menu that has first movers advantage, Her Toasties are quite complex, but with her skills she is able to simplify it with processes and standards which has given her Fast Casual Restaurant tremendous edge oh and She is also an amazing restaurant operator.
Podcast Key Note
Can you pleases introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
My name is Eka. I studied Journalism in the states and I went to culinary school there with focus on classic French cuisine before later coming back to Nigeria to start a business in 2015.
How has it been so far – what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt?
I would say like now, I’m learning a bit of leadership and how to manage people and leading by inspiring them – my team and it’s kind of working.
How do you go-about leaning leadership skills?
I would say it’s a combination of things. I mean, I do watch You-Tube videos about leadership and entrepreneurship; I listen to a lot of podcasts – a combination of that and being stocked working with my team everyday and trying what works.
Can you recommend a podcast?
Well right now I’m into Grand Cardone – I listen to him quite a lot – he speaks on business and entrepreneurship.
How much influence would you say your culinary experience has made in your running of your business right now?
It definitely has a huge impact in my business. Going to culinary school helped me to adjust to learning in a short time what might have taken longer time I guess. I wouldn’t say that was everything – practice and working in a professional kitchen in the states really helped me.
What is your staff strength now?
Right now my whole team is about 40 or more people. And my kitchen is about half of that number.
Do you hire experienced employees or you train them?
Well, like both – I tried everything. I’ve tried hiring from companies, from people; some just walked in. but here, I try to teach them. Actually I have had a combination but I would say people who have already worked in kitchens; I don’t find difficult to handle.
Technically, I’m the executive chef, there are 2 chefs overseeing the whole team; lead supervisors, supervisors, line cooks and prep cooks. That’s my kitchen lineup.
How long has your longest kitchen employee been with you?
Uh m… My longest 2 employees have been with us almost since we started in 2016 September – they came in December. They both are lead supervisors now.
Talking about staff retention, I introduced a bonus system for my team where we gave points on their performance which adds up over a month and at the end of the month, we name the best employee. It helps to motivate staff but also in it is the breakdown of how each person should be performing. It also helps people to step up. I also created a system that automatically gets rid of employees that are not performing well. We have a system for query and suspension that filters out defaulters. (Listen to her podcast for more insight)
What is the future of fast casual restaurant in Lagos – your take?
I think just in general, food industry here is growing and I think we are going to see more of what we see in other parts of the world. Now eating out is not taboo as it was when I was younger. Some people eat out throughout their meals. There’s more policing in food quality now and there will be more people to push out meals in Lagos.
What exactly made you make huge investment and move to the prime location at Awolowo road?
Virtually, a more noticeable location brings more traffic and improves your sales which have been the case 100%.
Key Takeaway Points:
- Location ! Location ! Location ! A noticeable location brings more traffic, better visibility and improves your sales
- People need to see your product, so let them have it right in their hands through social media ad.
- Create a system that automatically addresses employee incentives, bonuses as well as firing procedure.
- Performance incentive helps to motivate staff, but it also gives a breakdown of how each employee should be performing
- Before expansion, perform Market Survey including Location survey then start small
- No matter who and how you hire, extensively train your staff
- Train your staff, delegate and empower them so you can focus on other important areas of your business.
- As a business owner read, continuous Learning is a must. watch videos and listen to podcasts
- Be a leader and inspire your team