The Search is on for Nigeria’s Next Big Restaurateur

Mastercard has announced the launch of its The Kitchen competition in support of the restaurant industry in Nigeria. The initiative calls on aspiring restaurateurs from across Nigeria to submit their entries for consideration in the first edition of The Kitchen.

Mastercard has collaborated with Lost in the City to present The Kitchen, with the aim of supporting and promoting aspiring small business owners in the dining sector in Nigeria. To enter the competition, applicants were required to send in a three-course menu proposal and a three-minute video with their bio.

An adjudication panel then selected six semi-finalists who will participate in a cook-off which kicks off in September. The four chosen partnerships will go through to the final.

These four finalists will get the opportunity to host a three-night pop-up throughout September, where 20 guests will enjoy a three-course meal each night.  The four finalists will be allocated a budget to buy ingredients, hire staff and create the ambiance to make their pop-up a success. The guests attending each pop-up will rate the contestants based on three elements – food, ambiance and service – and the winner will pocket N2m in seed funding to start a food business of their choice.

This first-of-its-kind competition is in keeping with Mastercard’s commitment to support small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria, with a particular focus on the restaurant industry, as they build their businesses in response to the changing consumer behaviour due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mastercard has made it its mission to support SMEs in many industries across the globe through numerous Priceless Moments initiatives and campaigns. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, many SMEs were faced with several challenges leading to declines in revenue, transactions, footfall, and employment, with the hospitality and tourism sector being particularly hard-hit. This competition is aimed at supporting local businesses to enable them to thrive in the emerging new business environment”, says Ifeoma Dozie, Marketing & Communications Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard.

Mastercard cardholders are encouraged to participate in the pop-ups as guests by purchasing tickets for the three-course meal at N20,000 per head.

Mastercard remains committed to supporting SMEs in the dining space as they struggle to keep their businesses afloat in the midst of a pandemic. As a testament to its ongoing support of the food business in Nigeria, Mastercard is also a proud sponsor of the annual Restaurant Week and the recent SME Dining Series – Pizza Week, Burger Week, and Suya Week.

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