Agriculture

Do you remember Mr Bigg’s? See what caused their decline over the years

todayApril 14, 2021

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Mr Bigg’s was the most prominent fast food restaurant from late 1970’s to the early 2000s, but in recent times, the company is gradually loosing relevance, becoming a fading memory in an era of fierce competition.

Mr Bigg’s for several years was a home away from home for most Nigerians, irrespective of their social classes, as it offered delicacies that left customers with a fantastic experience, but the company is gradually winding up, losing the market it once dominated to the likes of Tasty Fried Chicken, The Place, KFC and some other Nigerian-owned fast food restaurants.

The one-time household name is now a fading memory among Nigerians and it’s telling on the company’s outlets. Within the past few years, Mr. Bigg’s has been cutting back on its locations, shutting down outlets in many areas across the nation, while operational outlets are being deserted by Nigerians.

What caused the decline of Mr Bigg’s?

-Wrong Marketing approach: Mr. Bigg’s adopted a business strategy that allowed it to operate with little contact. The company subscribed to franchising and monetising its brand for QSR entrepreneurs interested in using its name to capture market share. This system helped the company to break new grounds faster, and meet growing demand in its early years.

Other start-ups went in quest for survival, as competing against the UAC-owned fast-food chain was considered a suicide mission. But while the franchise move aided the popularity and expansion of Mr. Bigg’s, the franchise outlets couldn’t maintain the quality assurance that it was known for. It was no longer serving delicious experience, so customers went in search of it elsewhere.

-Rising competition: Unlike three decades ago, when Mr. Biggs was the only option, the QSR market has become saturated and Nigerians are now spoilt for choice. Over the years, the likes of KFC, TFC, The Place and many other local fast-food restaurants have sprung up to meet the change in customers’ taste preferences, thereby, replacing Mr. Biggs.

The growth rate of the aforementioned companies shows that Nigerians were longing for something different but Mr. Biggs failed to meet their expectations.

As expected, when customers’ taste preference favours a fast food brand, its demand increases while demand for the outlet whose service goes against the preference declines. The latter is the story of Mr. Bigg’s.

-Mr. Bigg’s in declining stage: Aside rice and chicken, Mr. Bigg’s is known for its meat pie – one of the most sought-after snacks in the country way back. However, both have come under criticism. The rice was said to be tasteless, while the meatpie has been dubbed ‘Air pie’ in some quarters. Some customers joked about buying beans to make up for the lack of expected filling in the pies served in some Mr. Bigg’s outlets some even complained that they warmed and sell the food left over from the previous day.

The business lifespan of the QSR known for having Nigeria’s first drive-through restaurant seems to be exiting the maturity stage and entering that of decline, as it seems the company has nothing new to offer Nigerians.

I do hope Mr Bigg’s rise again and Nigerians enjoy patronizing again.

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