By Josephine Agbonkhese
Mrs Olabisi Oluwatoyin Moradeyo, an outdoor caterer, has devised a means. “I simply ask my clients to buy their ingredients themselves while I just come to do the cooking,” she told Woman’s Own without mincing words. “I simply don’t know any other way of coping at a time like this. How can one buy tomatoes and pepper worth over N100,000? Will any body holding a party pay for that?
The person who cooked with me when I handled a catering job for a children party in a church recently, suggested I should have used dry pepper with a lot of onions and tin tomatoes.
But I refused because if I had done that, it would have reduced the quality of the taste of food,” she further said as she explained that tin tomatoes do not give her cooking same great taste as seed tomatoes.
“So, for now, caterers should ask the people hiring them to cater for their events to buy their own thing. And if you cannot get people to buy their own ingredients, then I think you should leave the catering job for now,” Moradayo advised.
Customers still ask for more stew- Local food vendor
The effect on local food vendors who daily require a huge supply of tomatoes is particularly pathetic as they daily have to cope with unrealistic customers.
As a restaurant operator in Lagos puts it, “Even though it’s a general problem, some customers have been very difficult. I try as much as possible to buy and add a bit of fresh tomatoes to my stew which is now essentially dried-pepper based but you still hear them complain. One of them almost fought me last week for not adding to his stew when he asked me to. I wonder for how long this is going to last.
Some customers have even stopped coming due to the peppery stew I now make; they say it’s not good for their health.”
We’re running at a loss daily- Fast-food restaurant operator
A group of people who aren’t finding the exorbitant price of the commodity easy at all are fast-food restaurant operators and outdoor caterers.
Mrs Olayinka Ayanwale who runs a Mr.Biggs’ outlet in Lagos is one of such.
“It’s been a struggle buying tomatoes. The worst of it all is that we cannot increase the price of our food. It’s a big one on us, but we’re just trying to sustain the business even at our own loss. We are actually running at a loss. We also cannot cut down on the measurement of our food because we of course have very stiff competition. Presently, a price change is being considered generally but of course you know it will be difficult, considering the economy. So, we’re being careful about it. We just earnestly pray this price hike does not last too long,” Ayanwale said.