Dining out in Lagos evolves constantly in the wake of the global pandemic and economic issues. A lot of changes have emerged in the hospitality sector that may impact consumer experience. Being a Lagosian, makes eating out something you can’t avoid, especially when you have to deal with the daily commute or spare some time to catch up with loved ones. You may only be satisfying a craving or just got an invitation to dine from the sweet aroma passing through your window from Mama Nkechi’s canteen. Well, if you’re new to eating out in a busy city like Lagos, where new restaurants pop up every now and then these are some unspoken rules that will help you. Sit tight, let’s reveal them to you.
1. Have no expectations
This is the very basic rule. Don’t expect so much regardless of the hype. You may end up ‘cussing out’ the restaurant. Because a branch of the same restaurant chain serves the best amala and gbegiri (Beans soup) doesn’t mean the next branch will, either. We are not saying you can’t find the same taste, but you should have no expectations.
2. If you’re hungry and want good food, stick to what you know
Closely related to Rule 1, we believe this is self-explanatory. You can’t visit a gourmet restaurant when you’re having the first meal of the day at 1:00 p.m. or try a new restaurant or menu when you are obviously famished and need to fill up. OYO(On Your Own) for you. What we are saying in essence is, go to your regular place if you’re hungry so you don’t get disappointed.
3. If you want to experiment, let someone you trust their taste buds recommend
Some people have a trusted source for food review. Ask someone whose culinary judgment you trust if you’re a novice or you feel it’s time to start exploring new locations. Do not approach someone who has neither tastes nor preferences.
4. Don’t order complicated meals from eateries/casual restaurants. You will be disappointed
Take this seriously; it’s important. Imagine someone who is accustomed to the typical local cuisine we consume entering a restaurant or eatery and beginning to order dishes they had no idea existed. That is funny, right? Complicated meals are nice but you might get disappointed at the end of the day.
5. Expensive doesn’t mean the food would be tasty
Not all that glitters are gold. An expensive location does not guarantee that you will enjoy it and yourself. However, we are not saying every expensive place is bad, don’t get us wrong. All we are saying is expensive and tasty don’t go along every time.
6. Most expensive restaurants are just for vibes, take your pictures, Check your list, and move along
Segue for Rule 6, expensive restaurants are very nice but the truth is, most of them are just for the aesthetics and ambience. Nothing special about them based on the structure and setting but their environment will give you this ‘odogwu spender’ vibe. So, do your ‘gbogbo’ picture snapping, snap chat video, and move.
7. There are lots of oldie and goldie places
Lagos has over a hundred restaurants and some of them have been around for a while.. Trust us when we say the OG restaurants never disappoint. They usually have signature dishes that are popular and trusted.
8. Ask about service charges and taxes before you order
Every place with its rules. Always ask to know about their charges and everything that has to do with billings before placing your order. Hence, you don’t end up paying more than what you budgeted for.
9. Demand good service always, you have a right to do so
As long as you’re not there for free, always go where the service is good. Is the waiter/waitress not treating you the way you want? Feel free to complain and demand what you’re paying for. It is your money and you can flex your muscles anyhow, but don’t overdo it so you don’t get embarrassed.
10. Always give good feedback if you have any
As a guest, it’s also great to help other businesses by providing feedback that helps them grow. If you feel uncomfortable sharing in person, you can drop it on Google or other review platforms they might be having.