Professional Chefs have being described as successful professionals with global recognition in an essential industry and thus have no business looking for jobs. Making this point was Dr. Wasiu Babalola during the 2018 Hospitality All Africa People Imbizo (HAAPI) Festival organized by African Chefs United (ACU) and hosted by Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria. Chefs, he said, should be business owners in the hospitality sector employing others and running successful restaurants, kitchens and hotels.
According to Dr. Wasiu Babalola, while delivering the paper “Entrepreneurship – Way to go for Chefs”, the Chefs already have the skills to succeed and lacking are the systems and the people. He advised the Chefs not to be secretive about their standard recipes as giving these out will give them the opportunity to perfect their systems and recipes required for commercial business success.
Chefs need people to partner with them to make money. Most American celebrity Chefs have partners they work with and who invest funds in the Chef’s business. This means that the Chefs are not the only ones that can drive the business. The Chef comes along with the business idea while others avail the funding to run the idea. “Use your skills to attract the right people to drive your business”, he advised the Chefs.
Dr. Wasiu told Chefs to hire the right people if they are to succeed stating that the best restaurants are owned by investors who have hired the right people to work for them. According to him, Entrepreneurs are not afraid of failures but are hungry for success. He thus tasked the Chefs not to be content remaining in the Kitchen but should be ready to fail, as there are no successes without ventures.
“Chefs fail because they feel they are too big and because they forget the people aspect of their business. They have the feeling of being too big to look for help because all along he or she is used to giving orders in the Kitchen. To be successful as an Entrepreneur, the Chef should be humble to listen, learn and take advice from others”, he concluded.
Hospitality All Africa People Imbizo (HAAPI) Festival is an annual event organized by African Chefs United (ACU), the Umbrella body of all Chefs in Africa. This year’s event was hosted by Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria (APCN) and took place at the Eko Hotel in Lagos. It was attended by Chefs from all over Africa and with representatives from Australia.
The event also attracted sponsorship from Eko Hotels, Nestle Nigeria (Maggi), Protea Hotel Ikeja, Timeless Memories, PCT, Hospitality Business School Nigeria, Lillygate Hotel, LoungeThirty8, Lekki Leisure Lake Hotel, NISA Food and Techno Trading Enterprise.