Interview with EatOut, East Africa’s Online, Mobile Dining Platform

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EatOut is an online and mobile platform that connects its users to hundreds of restaurants across East Africa. With the platform, users can search for restaurants based on location, cuisine or budget and get comprehensive information, including contact details, menus, maps, opening hours, photos, reviews and much more. The platform is also famous for its food-themed festivals, which are revered by Kenya’s growing middle-class population.

“Our festivals are centered around great food and memorable experiences,” says EatOut Kenya General Manager Michelle Slater.

EatOut has grown in popularity over the past few years – so much so that Kenya-based lender, CfC Stanbic Bank decided to partner with the award-winning restaurant discovery portal to launch what is known as the co-branded CfC Stanbic ‘Yummy Card’. The partnership gives CfC Stanbic Bank Visa card account holders access to exclusive offers, and up to 50% in discounts at participating restaurants across Nairobi, Kenya.

Since launching in 2015, Yummy Card has become Nairobi’s largest dining club, with a current user base of over 15,000 members. Over 75 restaurants, including About Thyme, Soko at Dusit d2, Jiko at Tribe Hotel and Zen Garden – participate in the Yummy Card program.

Footprint to Africa got in touch with EatOut’s representatives to shed light on the firm’s amazing journey.

 

What exactly is EatOut and what does the company do? 

EatOut is the region’s largest restaurant discovery platform in Kenya & East Africa. We primarily offer marketing solutions for restaurants, create events & publish the country’s only food and lifestyle publication – Yummy.

What are some of the events that EatOut has organised in the past?

We have organized the Nairobi Restaurant Week, Nairobi Pizza Week and Nairobi Burger Week. This year, we have launched four new events – Nairobi Wine Week & Festival, Nairobi Beer Festival, Nairobi Cocktail Festival and the The Big Brunch.

Who are some of EatOut’s partners? 

We work very closely with local restaurants in our capital. Besides them, we work closely with Visa, Safaricom, Kenya Breweries Limited, Uber & Uber Eats, Jumia Food, Baraka Events among others.

EatOut Kenya recently held its annual Pizza Week event between October and November. What would you say is the group’s most popular food-based campaign? 

All our events are widely successful among our consumers, however, would say our most popular event is the Nairobi Burger Week, mostly because of the huge amount of traffic restaurants get during this campaign.

According to a report by research group, Data FinTech, Kenya’s restaurant industry has been growing rapidly over the past few years, as proven by the expansion of major food chains and brands across the country. What does this mean for EatOut? 

I think it’s a great thing. We have been able to explore new opportunities to engage the market & on board users on our app. Between July & September we partnered with Artcaffe & Visa to give out over 20,000 free coffees & later in October, over 6000 complimentary pastries for every coffee bought – what I’m trying to say is – there is still lots of untapped potential. The challenge will always be to somewhat influence the greater public into changing their perception & beliefs on eating out.

What are EatOut’s plans for the near or distant future? 

We plan to introduce new dining concepts through new events as well as firm up our existing relationships in the restaurant industry by offering innovative solutions to the gaps that they currently face.

 

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