In a few words tell us about yourself.
I am Dutch, I moved to Africa when I was 18 and my bones will gather dust in Africa. My Dad was a medical specialist and Mom had a horse riding school. Studied at hotel school and became a professional chef. Worked in all aspects of the industry including doing the menu development for SAA in1994, the most exciting job I ever had. I have a passion for standards, qualified as a HACCP instructor from the University of Surrey and am a globally qualified culinary judge.
I’ve managed Mr. Biggs, opened KFC in Nigeria, had highest global sales on first Valentine day and had the largest toll out in one year globally except China. I’ve opened Dominos and Cold stone in Nigeria as well as opening Pizza Hut in Mozambique. I have come to understand the encompassing power of social media.
What inspired your interest in the hospitality and tourism industry?
A full restaurant with happy guests, great service and obviously some money in the cash register.
What’s your vision for the hospitality & tourism industry?
To train young Nigerians to become entrepreneurs in the industry thus creating wealth and more employment opportunities.
In what ways has your company contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry and its stakeholders?
We are currently developing 1000 franchisees to see our products Pan Nigeria and although ups and downs this is my most exciting project to date as well as developing protein products that are suited for all packets.
What are your major challenges in your business?
Cash is always a challenge as well as logistics and continuous education on food safety.
What are your thoughts on the state of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
Unfortunately, we do NOT train our staff and this leads to poor standards, we tend to forget that human capital is the biggest investment you will make in your business. Your employees represent you.
How do you intend to join in the campaign of changing the game and perception of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
BY offering training courses, consulting and making every visit to an outlet a training visit.
Words of wisdom for intending and current industry stakeholders.
Treat people the way you want to be treated, look at your business from the outside. Speak to staff and guests. Go help clean the kitchen, lead by example and make every day a training day. “Catch people doing things right”