Meet Uganze Ude Kalu a Restaurant Blogger and a Restaurant Visibility Builder. She studied Law at the Abia State University. She practiced a while before starting a new niche.
Her “Your Food Geek” brand focuses on assisting diners to make informed decisions when it comes to dining out. Her recommendations have significant sway over her readers and where they have their next meal.
In this interview with SLA, she shares on her journey and lessons since starting Your Food Geek.
You operate quite a unique niche. How did you begin?
Yes, it’s quite a unique niche, especially around here. Well, for as long as I can remember, I have always loved to eat out. So after years of continuously eating out, I was spurred on to create a guide for the next person. A guide to assist diner owners makes informed decisions on dining out, thereby getting value for their money.
A lot of diners do not know about the existence of so many restaurants, because these restaurants are not visible enough.
The restaurant industry is fast becoming a competitive one. With lots of competition and rapidly changing trends in the business, it becomes tough for them to stay at the forefront of customers’ minds.
With the struggle to acquire new customers, to retain existing customers, every restaurant needs all the visibility it can get. And that is what Yourfoodgeek helps them to achieve.
How did you make the switch from Law? Are there things from your Law background that help in your unique business?
Truth is, I haven’t totally switched. I’m in between. Law is dragging me, restaurant visibility business is dragging me on the other hand.
It wasn’t difficult getting into restaurant visibility because it’s something I love doing. I love the art of dining out, so I’m always encouraging people to go out and have a meal. While at it, I noticed a gap. A lot of people don’t know where to go to.
They don’t have any guidelines as to where to go eat, how to get value for their money, the types of the restaurant out there based on what you feel like eating, the type of crowd you have and what the“occasion” is about. This is for the diners.
And for the restaurants themselves, a lot of them do not have the type of visibility that they require. A lot of them. Some are just existing on their own, without a lot of people knowing about them. And this affects sales and profits. While some of them do not have the measures on how to treat your diners well.
These were some of the gaps I noticed in terms of dining out, both on the diner’s side and the restaurants themselves. And that’s where Yourfoodgeek comes in. I assist both parties.
As to things I learned from Law that are transferable to my business, maybe how to write and think logically.
What challenges did you face and how did you scale through?
My niche is quite a unique one and I needed to find my own voice. It was a bit of a challenge initially, but I pulled through by being consistent. With consistency comes acceptance. That is, people tend to “come round” when they see commitment and consistency. It simply shows them that you’re here to stay and not going anywhere.
How would you advise a young woman wanting to start something but with no one in that business/industry to look up to?
As with every kind of business, regardless of the niche, I will always advise it to be passion driven. Passion is the first thing to put you on the right path.
- Create a simple service
- Craft a marketplace for your niche
- Become the leading authority in the niche
- Be specific, distinctive and relevant
Give us some tips to start a successful niche
- Find your passion and what drives you.
- Carve out a niche with the passion, and then drill down even deeper.
- Create value with the niche.
- Be consistent
Are there any career opportunities in the restaurant visibility business?
There is Restaurant Consultancy. When a restaurant is having trouble with some aspect of its business, its management can hire a Restaurant Consultant. As a restaurant consultant, you offer plans, advice, training, and support for the improvement of a restaurant.
So someone might think this is just about eating out and hanging out in the cool places. How important is this niche to the average consumer?
It’s beyond hanging out in the cool places. The restaurant industry is fast becoming competitive and this stems from the fact that restaurants are sprouting up like mushrooms on a daily basis. There are so many of them around. So every restaurant needs to be visible to be able to stay top on the mind of diners.
On the other hand, people are beginning to embrace the culture of eating out, but they need a guideline. The average diner needs to make informed decisions when it comes to dining out, in other to get value for money.
What’s the next thing for you? International partnerships?
I’m looking forward to great partnerships, both local and international. I’m looking to form a formidable force and create more magic in my niche.
What do you wish you knew earlier when you started out?
I wish I knew the essence of believing in one’s dream, early enough. I struggled with believing in my passion, but when I eventually did I was happy.
Final words to our Motherland Moguls
To every female entrepreneur out there, all you need is to birth an idea from a place called passion.
Believe in it, stay focused, stay consistent and watch it blossom/bloom.
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