Enitan, Founder K’Mac Grill
Plot C6 Blk 12 Admiralty Way Lekki Phase 1, Lagos
7, Olatunji Ladipo Street, Off CMD Road, Magodo, Shangisha
@Kmacgrill / 0706 753 0935
‘I have always looked for someone to mentor me in this business’, Mr. Enitan pointed out during our visit…
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
I am Enitan Macaulay, from Lagos Island- the Macaulay family.
I am married with 2 kids. I studied Education Administration at the Lagos State University. I found K-Mac Grills about nine years ago. Before this, I ran a Boutique called K-Mac Wardrobe, which I started in my second year in college. I still dabble into it as I still have a strong passion for fashion. I have always been interested in being an entrepreneur with focus on food, clothing and housing.
Starting days of business ?
like I said earlier, I have always ran a boutique, but at the point my family began to grow, I wanted extra sources of income and that was how I dabbled into barbecue. I learnt the skill from a young guy in my area that ran errands for me and also knew how to barbecue. There was no serious funding per say; we started small and allowed the business grow organically. I pretty much started from scratch, doing it at the back of my house. I would practice and invite friends over, and with time, we started doing gigs .Over the years, we have improved on our menu and recipe.
Initially, we rendered just catering services, and then in 2015, we began deliveries to the mainland. Later on in 2017, we opened the K-MAC spot in Lekki and introduced our BLACK BOX.
When did your aha moment come that you thought ‘I can do this’ ?
My background from the fashion boutique influenced how I have built this brand. The momentum we were getting, the feedback from customers and the vision I have for the brand gave me courage to push forward. We offer a uniquely Nigerian styled BBQ. Our peppers are amazing and our customers love them. We developed one ‘dry rub spice’ that we apply on all our barbecue, which gives us our signature taste. The creation of this spice was one of our major breakthroughs.
Can you describe your typical work day?
Usually, I resume at 7:30 am, I do some paperwork and schedule my daily activities. I’m always here before my staff to inspect the premises and equipment, as well as ensure everything is clean and properly in place. When staff resume, we have a pep talk where I constantly educate them on the intricacies of the business. I have hired graduates so it is really not so tasking to sell them the brand’s vision.
What steps have you taken to make sure your brand remains relevant and competitive in the marketplace?
I ensure we give our customers good quality products and we remain consistent. I also train my staff regularly on products, process, customer service and logistics. I emphasize keeping the customer carried along when there are issues with their order.
The introduction of Black Box has been a great brand and marketing push for us; it offers the customers variety, quality and quantity, and this alone has been critical in building the brand as well as spreading customer awareness. The Black Box is dynamic enough that it can cater a single person meal – Mini Black and a group meal – Jumbo Black.
Where do you see your brand in the next couple of years (5-10yrs)?
I’m currently remodeling my business by expansion. Our vision is to sell Nigerian style barbeque round the world. In the next couple of years, I see K-Mac grow to take over the barbeque world market and to have black box cafes in major airports of the world; giving a taste of home, abroad. We hope to franchise someday.
The vision of the brand is deep as its being built to outlive me.
What is your value proposition?
Our meals stair up emotions! Our value propositions are quality, quantity and variety. The ‘Black Box’ has been a hit with customers and we have recorded increase in catering as a result.
Can you give us the most challenging experiences you have had?
The biggest challenge is getting your staff to understand and key into the vision of the brand. As a way of overcoming this however, I train my team every Monday on customer service and logistic.
What is the worst entrepreneurial moment you ever had and how did you recover?
I thank God things have been pretty smooth. But then, dealing with an unsatisfied customer is sometimes a challenge, especially when insults start flying in. On one occasion, we got a request from a high profile client, which was just confirmed at the last minute. It took a whole lot trying to pull the job off. We eventually scrambled to deliver, but the experience soiled the relationship and may have cost us the client.
Why do you think most food entrepreneurs fail in their businesses?
The misconception that this industry is easy and one can easily make money in the food business, lack of understanding about how it works and not being prudent with cash are some reasons people fail. One must have a vision and passion for the business and avoid a nonchalant attitude towards work.
How do you treat recipes and intellectual properties?
Well, there is only one other person who has the recipe and that is my point man. We premix the spices so the other staff just work with the mixed spices
What piece of business advice would you give someone starting up?
Define your drive for the business.
What advice would you give your young self?
Be more prudent with cash and save a lot.
Books and recommendation:
‘Start Small Finish Big’ by Fred Deluca.
I am currently taking an online course on Food Handling and Safety.
- Define your drive for the business and be more prudent with cash and save a lot
- Business owners fail for the misconception that this industry is easy
- lack of understanding about how it works and not being prudent with cash are some reasons people fail
- One must have a vision and passion for the business and avoid a nonchalant attitude towards work
- Dealing with an unsatisfied customer is sometimes a challenge.