Five questions for: Michael Kaye, CEO of Talking Drum

Talking Drum is a West African restaurant serving traditional Nigerian cuisine.

What does your company do?

Talking Drum is a West African restaurant serving traditional Nigerian cuisine. Delicious authentic dishes are coupled with bespoke and flavoursome cocktails in a rich, stylish and comfortable environment. Talking Drum is located in South London and was founded to create job opportunities for young people in the area and to challenge diners’ preconceptions about restaurants in the Old Kent Road.

What’s been your greatest achievement?

In our second weekend post-launch we served 500 covers as a result of organic marketing (sharing information about the product and generating word of mouth, as opposed to paid advertising) on our social-media platforms. It’s always lovely to see people warm to your brainchild without the need for an elaborate marketing budget.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

Licensing can be one of the most arduous undertakings when setting up a restaurant. The process has been made even more difficult in recent years.

What are your plans for hitting your targets?

Definitely innovation and also to continue to provide our diners with unique experiences. An example is an evening we recently hosted in collaboration with Remy Martin Louis XIII, accompanied with beluga caviar. 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?

No matter what industry you’re trying to break into, be sure to commit yourself to financial disciplines and fix structural weaknesses immediately. As for those keen to break into hospitality, restaurant and bar ownership is no small feat, so it shouldn’t be attempted by a novice entrepreneur.

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