We had the opportunity to interview the CEO and founder of WetinDey UK, an online platform and directory listing for best African restaurants and bars in London. He talked about why he started the company and what he hopes to achieve in the long run and much more.
He also revealed how he plans to make life easier for African food and culture lovers in the UK.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE CEO OF
Hi Izzy, nice to have you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself to our reader and what you do?
My name is Izzy Ken Orlukwu I am a Certified HR professional but double as a very passionate Events and Hospitality entrepreneur, from the days of running my own Events Consultancy firm, Restaurants/Bar/Cafe between the West Midlands and London. Originally from somewhere in Africa which I am very proud of but like to consider myself as a mere citizen of the world simply because I like to embrace other cultures, food, music and art.
What is Wetin Dey UK all about?
WetinDey (UK) is an online web-app/business directory listing the best African restaurants, bars and events across London and the rest of the UK. Due to my strong passion for showcasing the rich African cuisines and heritage to the world, the idea was born.
Wetin-Dey simply means ‘what’s up?’ is a slang West-African broken English.
When did you realise the gap in the market and how did you come up with the business idea in London.
I realised the gap in the market when I closed my lounge in London (due to developers buying over the site for new build apartments), months after I was still getting phone calls especially at weekends from my regular customers who wanted to find out if I had set-up another spot in a different location or to signpost them to other spots where they could enjoy the same vibe, ambience, customer service and most of all the food I provided for them.
As big as London is, people would prefer recommendations before embarking on travelling to any part of London to have either a busy night out with friends or just a relaxed one with loved ones.
How does the app work, does one need to register to get involved?
At the moment we are constantly improving the standard of the web-app since our launch late last year and the aim is to keep adding more features. Currently, you can do a search based on your location and will be signposted to the best African restaurants around your search location. You can also sign up for free to leave reviews and share your experiences. Other features include getting more food offers/discounts from partner restaurants that are signed up to us. The aim is to cover the whole of London and aims of expanding to other bigger cities in the UK.
Please keep checking for more updates. Our biggest project is to launch our mobile-app before the end of 2019 which we are working on.
What kind of individuals are you looking to attract to use the app?
We target a lot of visitors and residents in London and its environ who may be looking for where to get the tastiest African food, have a good night out or even attend the best events in town. Primarily, almost every person has access to mobile phone, tablet or even a laptop as they can easily access our platform from the simple touch of their button.
Does one have to pay for the app?
The web app is free to access and to sign up by users. We are very proud to showcase our African cuisine to the world and as the #1 web portal doing this in the UK we want to give it for free to our users.
On the other hand, we have introductory rates for business owners who wish to make a statement on our platform by showcasing their products and services. One thing you have to realise is as a start-up we have to still stay afloat but overall we tailor our rates at very reduced rates to suit various needs.
How many African restaurants can one find in the app?
We have over 80 listed African restaurants and bars signed up in London alone and aim to include more. You will be shocked to know that in a cosmopolitan city like London alone, we estimate over 150 and believe it or not, the numbers are rising daily due to the ever demand and popularity of the cuisine around the world.
Does Wetin Dey cover only London? Or All over the UK?
As mentioned above, we are concentrating on a diverse city like London for now but the team are working on a mid and long term target to cover the whole of UK and possibly expand to the rest of Mainland Europe.
Apart from finding the best African Resturants in the UK, what other services does Watin Dey provide for its customers and?
The beauty of Wetindey.co.uk is that we not only signposts restaurants but also showcase bars, lounges, super clubs and events. We are a social platform where we encourage our followers and users to interact accordingly.
How do Wetin Dey benefit restaurants and business owners across the UK?
Yes, the benefit of this portal is to bridge the gap between African hospitality business owners and the community which they serve. We provide all the best digital marketing solutions for our business owners and make them more visible out of the postcode or areas they operate to our thousands of followers and users across all our social platforms.
How can new restaurants and other business owners get involved?
‘New spots’ as we like to call them, from restaurants, bars, lounges can contact our marketing team on wetindey.co.uk platform by going to the ‘contact us’ or simply email us on [email protected] with their need. We have a turnaround of 24 hours to contact them and get the ball rolling.
Apart from the UK, where else can one find Wetin Dey in other countries?
Great question! I keep getting this question but trust me I am a big believer of building a brand, being consistent and making it bigger. Once you get this formula right, trust me you can thrive in any environment even on another planet. For now we are concentrating in the UK but of course, we have other things in the pipeline which we will unveil soon.
As the founder of Wetin Dey, what are your plans for the future?
Wow! Another incredible question, As the founder firstly I want to see this brand flourish all over the UK and the rest of Europe. Secondly to be seen as a solutions provider in facilitating and marketing the best African cuisine through our portal to the world and then last but not never the least to encourage more African business owners to embrace this evolution by signing up and making our cuisine one of the top 5 in the world.
How can one reach you if they have any questions or advice or just wants to partner with you?
Incredibly, we believe this evolution cannot be done with just me as the founder and my dedicated team alone, but rather by ensuring all hands are on deck with like-minded individuals, investors, organisations, corporate bodies in making it a force to reckon with. Believe it or not, I have been getting offers thrown to me for possible collaborations; partnerships who want to be part of this vision.
Watch out for a few partnerships already in the pipeline but feel free to contact us as we are very much open to sharing best ideas and visions with like-minds.
I always believe in my own philosophy 3 heads are better than 2 and 2 heads are better than 1! hahaha.
Thank you very much for your time Mr Izzy. It has been a delight chatting with you.
If you’re always looking for new or great places to hang out. Would you like to sample great African delicatessen, catch fun at the best African night clubs? look no more because WetinDey UK has got you covered.
For more information about Wetin Dey UK click the button below
Interviewed by: Noellin Imoh.G