IN THE BEGINNING
dme.ng…what acronym do you think that is? Does it sound like Dining Made Easy?
Just like many other start-ups, dme.ng was borne out of the idea of solving problems, except, solving the problem was a bit more personal than actually being a bid to help people. You heard that right, WE WERE NOT TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE. Developing this website also wasn’t a hobby, it was more of a personal need, and fortunately, it was an easy gig for us. We operate a digital marketing agency well vested in website development, social media marketing and what not, so well, you now get the picture.
Speaking of solving problems, the problems to solve here really wasn’t much of a problem for people, it was however a problem for our founder, he was new in Lagos and needed to find ideal places to eat or drink, by getting the extensive knowledge about these places, and not just information about the food.
People have always had ways of finding places to eat, right? People that really eat out a lot have their ways of finding great places to eat. Life was moving on just fine without our presence, as a matter of fact, there are a lot of solutions similar to ours, a lot of restaurant directories, a lot of friends to call for restaurant recommendations, a lot of hospitality publications, magazines and more so, a lot of food bloggers. Speaking of food bloggers, allow me digress a bit, did you know we were once tendered a legal notice by Eat Drink Lagos to desist from running our website? We must have either begun doing something right, or something really wrong, and this triggered some people’s paranoia. We can’t really blame them, it really wasn’t their fault, neither was it ours. But not to worry, this is a story we might either tell here or on another post 😊
Back to what I was writing, our founder was faced with his own problem, he was just too precise about what he actually wanted to experience in a restaurant or any outdoor dining spot. He’s my Boss, and believe me when I tell you, his wahala is not here. His issues can be very thorough to the last letter. For example, do you really get to decide on places to eat based on whether the background music is soft or too loud? Do you really get to choose where to hangout over a few drinks with friends, with the concerns that each and every person you’re seated with must have a good view of the TV screens? Boss is concerned about restaurants that don’t have TV screens because he cannot enjoy a decent meal without having a view of what’s airing. He also wants to know if a said restaurant has an evening live band or a pianist for his date night. You see, Boss was actually more particular on knowing the actual restaurant/lounge/bar’s customer service experience more than even knowing whether or not the food tastes nice.
In this Nigeria? Where customer service is the last thing to expect from an average angry waiter? Well, I told you Boss had a problem, didn’t I? 🤷🏾♂️
To be honest anyways, half the time his going out was basically to hang out with friends, enjoy a couple of beers, relax a little bit, read some newspapers over work-break hours. Going to a restaurant, café, coffee shop, lounge is not usually always for the food, is it? So now I hope you understand the problems he was trying to solve for himself.
The dme.ng domain was purchased in July 2016; this article is being published by August 2018 with over 150 confirmed restaurants on the platform. You might think that it took nearly about 2 years to actualise this milestone. As much as I’d love to praise our persistence, I must also be honest, the truth is, we were not really persistent, as a matter of fact, we got weary, and the project was pretty much abandoned all through January 2017 to January 2018.
Between this year of Odin Sleep, Boss was still faced with these same problems, even after over 3 years of becoming accustomed with the Lagos environment that’s when we knew we had to wake up again! And this time around, we mustn’t stop.
Now, we have a platform we are very proud of with over a thousand daily visitors of people who are actually looking for places to eat and drink. We also commenced on our web journal (also open to guest writers), this serves as a platform for telling our stories and experiences about restaurants and outdoor dining culture in Lagos. Our proudest achievement (which might seem like a small deal to you, but it’s a big deal to us) was when we were actually invited by a top restaurant in Lagos to come have a feel of their restaurant, taste their food and write about them on our platform That was super amaaaazing! 😱 We were very excited that we were now getting some sort of recognition by some key players in the hospitality industry in Lagos. Oh, and yes, we did not endorse them, we wrote about them the same way we write about the other restaurants we visit on our own accord.
Anyway, to sum it up, right now, Boss is super excited that he’s not in this world alone, he is now fully assured that there are people in this Lagos also as unusual as he is 😀
You’re happy, he’s happy, everyone is happy! Right? 😃