If there is one thing Lagos has an excess of, it is restaurants.
With a plethora of restaurants from Ikeja to Victoria Island, if you were to visit a new restaurant every other weekend, it would take you a while to run out of restaurants.
Recently, a lady complained on Twitter about the quality and quantity of linguine pasta and lobster she had at a restaurant. She said she was disappointed because it was overpriced and it tasted basic.
Many other people have complained about the taste of these meals, citing how disappointing the meals are considering how much they cost; perhaps the money spent is what’s putting a bitter taste in their mouth and not the meal itself.
But then why are these Lagos restaurants notoriously overpriced?
Before we start, we can all agree that inflation has made the cost of everything more than twice what it once was. Inflation implies that you’ll need more money to buy fewer things.
Some countries use millions worth of their currency to buy common things and Nigeria might be getting close to that.
Still, that does not excuse some of the prices we see in Lagos restaurants, especially for things as common as chicken and chips or burgers.
Lagos restaurants use aesthetics as a cover-up for good food because these restaurant owners know that if the place looks good in pictures, then many people will come in, take pictures and show off on social media.
If you enter a restaurant and see a water fountain in the middle or any extravagance, that’s your cue to leave if you don’t have enough money.
The goal of Lagos restaurants is never to make you full, hence the tiny portions they serve.
In their defence, the nature of haute cuisine or fine dining is not to get you filled when you are hungry; you can go to fast food restaurants for that.
Also, some Lagos restaurants are classist. Many of them chase customers away if they don’t drive a type of car or dress in a particular way. We find that audacious since it is not a private club but a restaurant.
But then again, we also can’t ignore the reality that Lagosians have an innate sense of classism; they want to feel like they belong to an elite group – many of these restaurants simply design their brand to appeal to that.
The overpriced meal is relative, for many others, it is quite affordable.
All in all, the truth is Lagosians continually allow this ridiculousness to fester by patronising these places. Without customers, they will fold up.