The Fast Food Business In Tamale, Rising or Choked?
Speed in the 21st century has become the new normal, with people driving, walking and working living at rates faster than the generations before us ever imagined. It is no wonder that the fury and speed has caught up with the eating lifestyle of people; call it the Fast and Furious world!
Capitalizing on the need for speed, the innovators of the food industry introduced foods and cooking methods that made it possible to have a meal ready within a very short time as well as packaging plans that made it easy to carry the food conveniently after serving.
The Fast food craze caught up with Tamale in the early 2000s with a few daring investors venturing into the business though on a low scale. Nineteen years down the line ; from Mile-9 to Gumani through Sakasaka into the main central business district, one cannot travel a quarter of a kilometer without been greeted by a fast food stand! From an Aunty selling fried yam, to a Hajia mongering her waakye, a sister selling roasted plantains and groundnuts to the giants selling fried rice moving at the speed of light with Indomie by the side.
Paying homage to the pioneers of the business; Fatawu Bicycle, Swad fast food, Sharp Corner, Shallot Fast Food, Kings Bite and Ebony are amongst the first investors into the fast food business. In recent times however, the number of new joints that have sprang up to join the race to feed the hungry is utterly amazing! Begs the question whether it is a race to feed or a lucrative money-making venture with everyone rushing in for their share!
Like every market, the more suppliers there are in the value chain, the less attractive it becomes to venture into. However, the food business seems to be somewhat elastic, widening and expanding with the rise in the number of working class population as well as the 9th generation youth of Tamale who have suddenly lost appetite for the homemade family foods to their newly acquired taste for the moving train foods,
Food patronage is seen as a cool status symbol and the inquisitiveness of the people to try out new ways of eating, the demanding nature of jobs and short lunch hours these days has invariably caused everyone to develop preferences for fast food stalls. In recent times you can even order any food of your choice from any restaurant or fast food joint and have a third party deliver it to you right at the foot steps of your door for a cool price. Right there, note that the digital fast food industry seemingly has a future in TAMALE.
The fast food business is rising, it’s moving in the right trajectory lately, not necessarily choked as such. Yes! The other food entrepreneurs are following suit and opening up more outlets but there is still ample space left and of course people still come into Tamale and are distraught at the lack of branded, sufficient fast food options to eat from. With the absence of foreign competition, KFC currently occupies an unchallenged niche of being the only foreign fast food outlet here, and with people’s huge appetites for outer dining experiences, there is still more room for improvement in this business sector. The business is still under-served.
The fast foods in Tamale comes in mini – restaurants, chop bars, Metallic container shops, with a good number of pizza oriented restaurants, Indomie noodles inspired fast foods, local foods inspired types of fast foods, foreign delicious inspired fast food, a mixture of all, safe to say you can have a fair share of both worlds when you carefully visit quality ones. Unlike other huge cities with their fast food systems characterized by franchises and brands, Tamale’s own in spite of its rising nature is still not top notch yet. The domestic food enterprises are still reigning supreme and they are doing a good job at that no doubts.
Food being a basic necessity of life alone keeps this sector thriving on wheels. Frankly Speaking There’s hardly any human who doesn’t eat food and rightly so, there’s hardly any human who has not purchased food at a fast joint before. Like it or not, almost everyone eats one of their meals if not breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of these joints daily. People can simply never have enough when it comes to food.
With a good population, increase in youthful sentiments at acquiring new tastes and a constant rise in people’s appetite, the patronizes are increasing day in, day out. The hustle and bustle nature of the place, expats visiting every now and then demanding fast casual dining experiences, the growing purchasing and spending power of Tamalians are some of reasons for the rising nature of the fast food business in Tamale.
In conclusion, if you are an investor willing to venture in this lucrative area, it will be advisable for you to remove your shoes, roll up your sleeves and get to work because the basics have been set; Good Customer Service, A good Chef, and a well-designed environment would get you into the game. I can’t promise that it would be easy though!
By Anita Atayure, Zaabuni Digital Media