The tough economy is affecting all sectors, and food sellers admit that they are experiencing low patronage. Profit margin has nose-dived as customers who turn up are reducing the quantity they eat.
Encomium Weekly spoke with some food sellers who painted a picture of confusion…
MRS. ALABA – Business has been dull. I do not sell food in the shop here, we only cook here. I have girls who hawk for me. Sales have really been very dull. I have reduced the quantity of what I cook. So many times, when the girls come back from hawking, we will have to throw some food away. It’s as if some people have decided not to eat out again.
MRS. CHIDOZIE – Sales have not been bubbling. In fact, if not that there’s nothing else to do, maybe I would have stopped coming to shop. But I just have to keep pushing, maybe things will turn out fine later. Business these days has been something else.
MRS. IBRAHIM – This food business has become part of me. This is what my mother was doing before I took over from her. This is what I use in training my children at school. I have two girls in the university, so you should know that I didn’t just start. I’ve been in this business for a while now and sometimes, things are tough like this. You hardly see 10 customers to patronize you. You just have to keep trying and before you know it, this time will pass and you will start making sales again.
MRS. ONASEGUN – Patronage has not increased in anyway. In fact, it has dropped. I have reduced what I cook. Once I cook spaghetti in the morning and I manage to sell everything, I don’t bother myself over cooking another round. Whoever wants to buy spaghetti, I will just tell the person it has finished. I do this because if I should cook spaghetti, I’ll end up wasting if because I won’t be able to sell everything.
MRS. ONYEKA – As of now, we do not have customers compared to sometime last year. This is because every commodity has increased in price and as matter of fact, we tend to reduce the quantity of food we serve and this has been scaring customers away.
MADAM BEATRICE – My dear, as you can see, there is just one person at that end eating. That is what we have been experiencing of late, low patronage. People are suffering. At times, somebody that used to buy N500 food will ask you to give him or her N200 worth. It is just somehow, our customers are no more coming.
ONYINYE GABRIEL – People are not coming like before, but we thank God. We used to make about N40,000 – N45,000 daily but now, we struggle to make N20,000. But we still thank God. We only reduced the quantity of food we prepare to avoid loss.
MRS. YETUNDE IRAWO – I have reduced the cost of a plate of food to N300 which was formerly N500. People are not still patronizing us as usual because of the state of the economy. We are only hoping to see a better change soon.
MRS. HANNAH OKERE – By the grace of God, our sales have been very good despite the economic downturn. The fact is that people must eat to stay alive, but there is a great change in the gains we make. But we give glory to God.
MAMA ABAYO – They have not been really coming to eat in my restaurant unlike before. The patronage has really decreased because of the high cost of living we are experiencing now. Even if we see people coming to eat, they do not eat the normal quantity, because there is no money in the country. The government should release more money for the workers so that they can survive.
MRS. NNEKA NKEM – I used to make N10,000 to N15,00 per day, but recently, it is very difficult for me to make N5,000. People have ceased to come and eat, they are complaining of the poor economy. And I am not happy about it because at the end of the day, me and my family consume the remaining food without making any gain.
IYA TAIWO – They have been patronizing us despite the harsh economy. People must eat but they do not buy the quantity they used to eat before because they are complaining of money, but we make sales daily.
MAMA CALABAR – Our patronage has really declined. I used to have customers in my restaurant in a long queue to get food but now, the reverse is the case. They only come bit by bit. We want the government to release money to people.
MRS. MAGRET – I am a road side food seller. I do not make sales compared to last year because of the poor economy. As a matter fact, people buy food and promise to pay later.
MRS. AKANNI – It is affecting us because there is no money and everything is now expensive. Our customers are complaining that our food is now small. We don’t know what to do. Government should help us.
MRS. JACOB – It is getting worse. We can’t even cook much food because everything is now high, and our customers are complaining. God should help us.
MRS. RASHEED – All things are in the hands of God. Our customers are still patronising us, but everything is getting high.
MRS. OLAWALE – I have been selling food all these years. We can’t buy much again. If you take N5,000 to the market, you would see what you can buy.
MRS. AROWOLO – Customers are patronizing but not like before. You know how things are, very annoying. I think that is why our customers are reducing.
MRS. JOSEPH – It is annoying, we don’t even know what we can even do. Our customers are reducing because of Nigeria’s problem.
MRS. OALWALE – It is almost everything we are buying that has increased – pepper, elubo, gari, meat, fish, etc. And if we are to buy at high price, how do you expect us to sell. Now, people are complaining that our food is small.
KAYODE – Before, if I wanted to eat I can spend N200 and I will be okay, but now, if I spend N300, I will not be okay because food is now expensive.
-AZEEZAT KAREEM, CHIKA OKORIE AND SHUKURAT ALIMI