Leveraging Tech To Elevate Catering Career

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Fresh foodstuffs from the farm is an important part of a healthy diet, as they retain the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that are essential for good health.
In the catering world, however, it is difficult to get hold of fresh food items for meal preparation, as most caterers do not have direct link to farmers, to purchase the produce from the farm directly.

In Lagos for instance, the state offers a culinary adventure featuring over 3,000 restaurants showcasing a delicious fusion of Nigerian cuisine and international flavors.

Victoria Island, renowned for its luxury hotels and fine-dining establishments, boasts sophisticated ambiances and world-class cuisine, serving everything from modern Nigerian fare to delectable international delights.

The chief operating officer, FoodStuff Store, Diana Tenebe, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that Lagos, Nigeria, is a vibrant city with a diverse restaurant scene reflecting its dynamic energy.

“From trendy cafes to bustling street food stalls, Lagos offers a culinary adventure featuring over 3,000 restaurants showcasing a delicious fusion of Nigerian cuisine and international flavors. For instance, Victoria Island, renowned for its luxury hotels and fine-dining establishments, boasts sophisticated ambiances and world-class cuisine, serving everything from modern Nigerian fare to delectable international delights,” she revealed.

However, despite promises of exceptional dining experiences, Tenebe, said, a major challenge faced by some Lagos restaurants and hotels is criticism for charging premium prices for meals that fall short in quality.

According to Tenebe, customer reviews frequently cite the use of low-quality ingredients, leading to dissatisfaction with the value proposition.

Explaining further, Kramer from the University of Maryland said: ”With few exceptions, nutrient levels and/or their bioavailability are reduced in foods following harvest, slaughter, or collection.

“The longer it takes for them to be consumed, the fewer nutrients they will ultimately have when you get around to eating them. So when your apple travels 1,500 miles to get from the farm to your plate, it spends quite a bit of time sitting in refrigerated trucks, planes, and warehouses, the vital nutrients inside of it breaking down all the while.

“That means that the less travel time and distance between the farm and the table, the more nutrition you’ll get from your food. Just like nutrients start to degrade immediately from when food is harvested and continue to do so with every hour and day that passes, the same thing happens with flavours.

“But with local foods fresh from farms, crops are picked at the peak of their ripeness and delivered to you shortly after so that you can enjoy your fruits and vegetables when they are at their best, still fresh and full of flavour.”

Leveraging Tech

While inconsistent food quality remains a persistent challenge for Lagos’s dining scene, Tenebe recommended that a potential solution lies in partnering with food tech companies.

“These companies can ensure a consistent supply of high-quality produce, allowing restaurants and hotels to elevate the overall dining experience in Lagos. This not only benefits diners but also fosters a more vibrant culinary scene,” she advised.

To achieve this, one must have direct link to farmers, the chief operating officer asserted, adding that food tech companies create a more efficient and transparent food system by connecting restaurants directly with local farmers.

“This guarantees access to fresh produce, supports sustainable practices, and empowers restaurants to create exceptional culinary experiences showcasing the best of Nigerian cuisine alongside international flavours.

“By leveraging food tech companies, farmers can gain access to a wider market and fairer prices, while restaurants and hotels receive fresh, high-quality ingredients consistently. Ultimately, this translates to better quality meals and satisfied customers,” she revealed.

A food tech company like Foodstuff Store provides the right technology platform to streamline the process, making it easier for restaurants and hotels to order and receive the ingredients they need, Tenebe said.

“This ensures efficiency and reduces food waste. Foodstuff Store’s partnership with local farmers could be a positive step forward for restaurants and hotels in Lagos. Their innovative approach has the potential to create a more sustainable and enjoyable food system.

“By embracing technology and forging strong partnerships with food tech companies, Lagos’s restaurants and hotels can consistently deliver the exceptional dining experiences the city promises. This will solidify Lagos’s reputation as a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts around the world,” she added.