If you’ve ever dreamt of opening your own restaurant, Mastercard’s The Kitchen competition is the perfect opportunity for you to turn your dreams into reality.

The Kitchen is a search for the next big restaurateur in Nigeria and aims to support and promote aspiring small business owners in the dining sector in Nigeria, as we start paving the road to recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To enter the competition, applicants were required to send in a three-course menu proposal and a three-minute video along with their bio, answering some questions.

An adjudication panel then selected six semi-finalists who were expected to present their cooking abilities to the judges in a cook-off which kicks off in September. If the contestant is not a chef, they will be permitted to partner with one. All semi-finalists will have to cook one of their three courses for the judges, and they will be informed in advance which course they will be expected to cook. The adjudication panel will then select four finalists out of the six participants.

These four finalists will get the opportunity to host a three-night pop-up throughout September, where 20 guests will enjoy a three-course meal each night.  Mastercard will allocate a budget for each finalist to prepare for their own unique pop-up. This budget will allow them to buy ingredients, hire staff and create the ambiance to make their pop-up a success. The guests and judges will then rate each finalist based on three key variables, namely food, ambience and service.

The winner of The Kitchen competition will walk away with N2 million in seed capital to start a food business of their choice.

Visit The Kitchen event website to learn more and follow The Kitchen on Instagram for updates.

This first-of-its-kind competition is in keeping with Mastercard’s commitment to support small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria, with a particular focus on the restaurant industry, as they build their businesses in response to the changing consumer behaviour due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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