By Ebere Chibuzor
To holistically strengthen the nation’s economy, tourism expert, Peter Echela, has advised Nigerians to form the habit of promoting Nigerian cuisines and tourism across the globe.
Mr Echela who gave the advice recently observed that Nigeria has a variety of culinary traditions and rich natural resources, which include food, arts, culture and monuments.
Echela who is also the Manager of Home Touch Restaurant while speaking with journalists noted that Home Touch Restaurant management team was working assiduously to comply with covid-19 guidelines taking advantage of their working environment.
With a large compound to maintain social distancing and facilities for hand washing at strategic locations, the manager affirmed that they are good to go.
He said that, if Nigerians failed to patronise its natural products, Nigeria as a nation may suffer some lapses while trying to meet up with international standards.
According to him, tourism experts should be playing vital roles in promoting local dishes abroad.
“I have noticed, Nigerians do not promote their dishes. I have travelled. In oriental countries, they promote their dishes abroad and people buy them.
For instance, go to a Chinese restaurant, they pay heavily to eat their food. We are not doing much of that. If we had been promoting the food, it would have been a good way of making money and I believe it will sell.”
Explaining further, Echela pointed out that Home Touch Restaurant is working with the belief of the owner Dr. Lai Banwo who has already retired to private practice.
According to him, Banwo had thought them that “Nigerian dishes are good health-wise. We should promote it because Nigerian food is rich in fibre. And we should take a lot of vegetables.”
On their services, he said “We are into outdoor and indoor catering services and we also cater for several school sets.
I think Nigerian dishes are just fantastic. Nigerian cuisine like edinkang ikong ogbono, okro, egusi, eforiro, pepper soup, banga and fisherman soup contain spices and herbs.
On challenges, Echela stated that the staff turnover is high due to the cost of training and retraining.
Another challenge according to him is the issue of power.
Echela attributed the increased patronage to the unique selling points of the eatery and because the foods are of high quality.
He said customers can eat indoors and outdoors but some of them choose the outdoor option where they can feel sweet breeze on their faces as they eat.