Ajetomobi Feranmi Kayode leads brand engagement at Cowrywise. He is keenly interested in driving financial inclusion through the use of alternative engagement channels. He also is the co-founder of Ni Fries. Today we sat down with him as he takes us on his NI Fries journey.
Can we meet you?
I am Ajetomobi Feranmi Kayode, Co-founder at Ni Fries. During the day, I lead marketing at Cowrywise, and at night I think up the most amazing recipes.
Tell us about your brand Ajetomobi Feranmi Kayode Ni Fries
Ni Fries is a food brand focused on food fusion—blending tastes from various parts of the world—to make adaptable meals for various people.
How did you venture into the online fast food business?It wasn’t always this great. The person who designed it first grew his skills and then came back to remake us for free! It was exciting to watch because he’s one of the top guys in the country. The goal was to make our representations edible, and I guess we are doing a good job with that. Right?
How did your journey begin?Our journey started at the University of Lagos. We had won a pitch competition at JoshuaVille – a Redeemed Church – to fund outstanding Akara burgers. We should really bring those back…lol. Anyways, that got us started. Not without challenges – we had to close down in 2014 and restart in 2020. All thanks to a push from HairlinersNG.
How challenging has the journey been? Tell me about your victories and challenges.The biggest challenge was when our sales dropped by 70%. Man! I was super scared. Then the lockdown came, and I felt shattered. Thankfully, we found a blessing in that period – our popular ‘Suya Burgers’. Today, the Suya Burger is our star product.
How did the pandemic affect your business?It shattered me! Although, as I mentioned, it helped us discover the Suya Burger and build a community. People were home, so we explored delivering free meals, including the Suya Burger, to community leaders. That paid off massively!
What’s your favourite order to make?The 2,500 NGN combo—e sweet die! One burger, one grilled turkey, and one bottle of yogurt. A better life for small money.
Do you plan to move from an online store to a physical store?Lol! We have a physical store at 9, Adegunwa Street, Alagomeji-Yaba. I think we need to host more offline events.
What’s your most popular recipe/ your signature recipe?It has to be the spicy Suya Burger. E too tap (It’s too good)!
Can you describe what a typical workday is like?For the team, we start with reviewing orders, then go straight to prepare and joke with customers – logistics in Lagos. That way, we can manage the almost unavoidable disappointments from riders. However, we have partnered with better firms.
What is your favourite part about working in foodservice?Converting burger haters to burger lovers. Makes me feel like a missionary—but for burgers. You get?
What is your least favourite part about working in food service?Logistics. No too much talk.
What do you wish you could go back and redo?Manage 2013 better. Although we have another chance to make things work.