By Amechi Obiakpu
No fewer than nine Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and several other business outlets are jostling for consumers’ attention along Akowonjo Road near Egbeda in Lagos, despite the economic recession.
Unlike businesses in other areas that are grappling with the challenges of low sales as a result of economic downturn, businesses in the area are faced with the challenges of satisfying the huge demand of the residents of Akowonjo and its environs, leading to increasing number of competing brands.
There is a long stretch of road in Akowonjo with majority of the businesses concentrating within about 2km of the road. It starts from roundabout by Dopemu under the bridge and terminates at Egbeda bus stop or vice versa (depending on which end from which one accesses the road).
A visit to the road reveals that every brand that is worth its salt is either represented there or has its agent fully on ground.
Conspicuously represented are; nine Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), four fuel stations, 11 banks, several hotels and guest houses, more than 30 boutiques and three mobile telecommunications friendship centres.
Others are; eight hospitals, four phone sales outlets that includes Slot and 3cHub, several supermarkets and gift shops, traditional restaurants and canteens among other businesses.
The QSRs include The Place, Mr. Biggs, Chicken Republic, Sweet sensation, Tastee, KFC, Sweet Sensation, S&P Catering and Hospitality Management and the latest entrant, Domino’s Pizza.
The growing business district started with a few number of outlets several years back, and grew to the present position, with Chiquitta, being one of the most popular in the 1990s.
But Presently, Chiquitta has folded up with another brand, Sweet Sensation, occupying its location on the road by Shobo bus stop.
Tantalizers also suffered the same fate when it was forced to close shop after operating there for a while. Its brand was replaced by The Place, a competing brand, who seems to be fast positioning itself as a youth centric brand, judging by the number visitors it records on a daily basis, which are mostly youths. This much, was confirmed when News Express visited the road.
From their state and consumer patronage, while some of the brands are on the brink of collapse, others are growing stronger. With the exception of Domino’s that deals in mainly Pizzas, findings reveal that, but for the ambience, there are no much differences in the food they serve, neither do the amount they charge differ.
Femi Abati, an entrepreneur and resident of Egbeda said the presence of businesses in the area and particularly the QSRs prove that the positive outcome of any business is a testament of the owners getting it right.
Abati, who is the owner of The Hill School and CEO of inuoja, a multi-purpose store said, “Despite the economic recession, businesses on Akowonjo road have proved that success respond only to adequate plan and vision.
“Each day I drive by this road one thing that strikes me is the height of the competition on the road and the fact that business owners have discovered ways to beat the huge competition and continue to stay afloat in spite of the challenging economic climate,” he said.
“What that tells me is the demand in the area is high that is why more businesses are springing up by the day. Even though some are folding up much more are being established,” he concluded.
* This story was first published 06/07/2017, in News Express (www.newsexpressngr.com) under the caption: 9 QSRs, businesses jostle to outdo each other on Akowonjo Road, Lagos.