Friday, February 12, 2016

State of the Services Address Episode 2 - How to Save Money when Dining in Ghana

So continuing from where we left off, a few more pointers that I would like to make - 
Steps to get your money's worth when you go out to dine.
1. Value for Money
This is very important.
As we all know, it's not easy of late spending with the way the economy is set up now, disposable income is not easy to come by nor use. 
The way most restaurants and food joints are set up these days , one must be vigilant.
Look at what you are buying , does it offer what it states in terms of quality, quantity and hopefully taste. Is the establishment justified in quoting such a price for what its offering.
Lets take chicken wings , a once affordable , highly neglected piece of meat is gaining momentum,and with its increasing demand the prices and portions are becoming outrageous. 

5 pieces of wingettes/drumettes  could easily sell on average at 30 GHC in most establishments. That's a bit much ( a carton is 85ghc).

 While ordering the cheapest thing on the menu is one strategy for saving, another strategy for getting the most value when dining out is to order the dishes that are harder (or less common) to make at home.

2.Study the Menu

When you go out to eat or dine always take a careful look at the menu, and ask questions if you need to. If your questions can't be answered ask for a supervisor.

Ask about portion sizes, quantity of pieces etc.

Order Wisely

Alcoholic drinks are usually the most expensive part of the meal, so one big way to save is to
have a normal drink or non alcoholic cocktail etc or have the glass of wine at home instead of at the restaurant or look for restaurants that may allow with a cover charge or none at all.

3. Happy Hour Scene

Always look for Happy Hour Venues,especially after work. Unfortunately this scene is a bit lacking in Ghana.

Lets look at this Scenario....

The bar scene

The concept of “Happy hour”  in these bars in  Ghana, leaves much to be desired. After taking a detour from the unceasing traffic jams which has become the norm in Accra, you go to any popular bar and there is nothing to be happy about,  serving half priced beer or one cocktail of the day if you are lucky, Just the same overpriced beer which you could get for 200 percent less the happy hour price in a cool me down bar. 

There lacks creativity ; to make you happy as there is no incentive to create small platters of specials or starters on their menu, this is a lapse in marketing to give you a taste of what they can offer.
(The above Scenario was initially written months ago)

I can attest that at least Champs Bar in recent times is trying to please with their recent Happy Mondays which offers 50 percent off meals and drinks.

4. Do a Take Out

Instead of Dining in , you can make a take out order at Restaurants that offer sizeable portions that can be divided into two separate meals and you avoid spending extra on drinks and added unforeseen costs when the desserts are ever so tempting.

5. Eat at a Local Restaurant
When I say Eat at  A local Restaurant I do not mean the bourgeois ones that are not really serving , standard and consistent African foods although kudos to their struggle of trying to keep up with the locals.

Support Ghana owned establishments such as our own Chop Bars that have been feeding the masses with affordable and if not authentic and flavorful dishes.

If that may be a bit daunting for you lunch at up and coming establishments , like Mukasse Chic can satisfy your local cravings and is easy on the  pockets- average 20ghc a plate.

There are so many places to get good food under 20ghc and less and they are hygienic too, check my Instagram for Hidden Gems and soon a whole page dedicated to it.

6. Don't Eat at a Restaurant, Hotel or establishment that has had continuous bad Reviews

Its good to take a risk , but is it really worth it, Is it worth it on your pockets. Weigh the reviews that you may have read on an establishment and decide. Is  your time and money ready and willing to possibly be wasted.

Reviews from my site or my Instagram are from a plethora of reviewers and followers and  are honest and not made to malign any establishment. We only state the facts and hope changes are made to improve , unfortunately most remain oblivious and nonchalant to change. We at TasteGhana will strive to give credit to those that do and call out the bad eggs in the system. 

Bonus Tip
Always cross check your final bill. Some errors can easily slip in to inflate your bill.

In conclusion it is really difficult tosave much  in the restaurant and hospitality industry as a consumer until these establishments become creative and offer coupons and other incentives to get more diners coming in, the only recent and I think lazy trait that is catching on is almost all restaurants are doing buffets some with appetizing and tempting offerings but we all know buffets hardly give you the real feel of a place.  These establishments need to adapt Lunch time pricing and Dinner time pricing, but once again this is Ghana where the profit always comes first to the Service rendered.

Eventually such establishments suffer and wonder why.

Share your tips with us in the comments.