Nigeria’s huge population will continue to drive QSR business growth- Eat’N’Go boss

By Kasim Bakare

Patrick McMichael is an expert in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry, having worked in management positions of foremost global pizza company, Domino’s Pizza, across different continents for over three decades.  He is currently the Group Managing Director of Eat’N’Go Limited, franchise owners of Domino Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry Frozen Yoghurt in Nigeria.

The Eat’N’Go boss has expressed optimism about the QSR industry in Nigeria noting that the country’s huge population will continue to drive business growth despite the challenges. The versatile and urbane chief executive reiterated the need for operators to understand the Nigerian business environment in order to benefit maximally from it.

Providing answers to MARKETING EDGE’s inquiries during an exclusive interview, the suave CEO whose three-year tenure has witnessed phenomenal growth in physical(stores) and financial growth for the foremost QSR brand, noted that Eat’N’Go leveraged its strong digital presence across platforms to build a strong customer relationship with its customers.

Hear him:”We have a strong customer communication platform. At the height of the pandemic, we launched conversation that gave our customers information on our ability to serve them and what we were doing to ensure our team and products were safe for them.

He added:”We had to radically change the business overnight. We managed to cut down a lot of costs of doing business and that made a big difference to us. As a result, we became more profitable during the closing part of 2020 than we were previously as business started to return again. Our innovation in terms of delivery technology; speed of service and home delivery is now key in everything we do. People would rather have their food at home on most occasions.

Responding to a query on marketing strategies adopted by the brand to navigate the Covid-19 imposed lock-downs, Patrick MicMichael had this to say: “We chose not to launch any new product during the pandemic lock-down and that radically changed our marketing strategy. Everything leaned straightaway to digital. We cancelled a lot of our billboard and radio adverts because there was nobody in cars. All marketing campaigns had to go digital. It was equally a case of 80/20 in terms of card/cash transactions because nobody wanted to handle cash”.

In the last few years, watchers and stakeholders in the QSR industry have expressed their concerns on the declining fortunes of many QSR brands. While some QSR brands are still struggling to find their feet, some have had to close shops or re-focus their business models. The outbreak of the covid-19 global pandemic made the situation worse.

Responding to a question on the future of the QSR business despite the aforementioned challenges, McMichael said: “My view on the QSR industry in Nigeria is really positive. I have been in Nigeria for three years which is such a short time, and I have been reminded several times that I am still “Johnny Just Come”. Despite my being in the country for a short time, I see so much development around – the skyscrapers going up, etc.

He continued:”I am not ignorant of the fact that there are a lot of people in Nigeria, struggling. It’s been a tough number of years and a lot of people are living below the poverty line. However, Nigeria will continue to grow and improve, in my view. I can see that everywhere I go .

He continued:”There is a huge population here and my view is that QSR business will continue to prosper. You have to be smart about the way you run your business. If you have a good understanding, local partnerships, and ability to grow at the right pace intelligently, you will do well in this market. Nigeria will continue to do well and become the leading nation in Africa. I have no doubt about that, but you really need to work hard to be suited for this market”.


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