Amid a slump in oil revenues, business is struggling to cope with the current downturn in Nigeria. It's not, though, stopping Hard Rock from opening its latest a rock 'n' roll-themed café in Lagos. Hayley Platt reports.
There may not be any African themed rock and roll memorabilia here. But the Hard Rock Cafe is betting they've enough other to draw in Nigeria's wealthy middle classes. Its first branch in Africa's biggest city Lagos is open for business. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HARD ROCK CAFE INTERNATIONAL, HAMISH DODDS, SAYING: "Nigeria is more than ready for us. They have ample population, big population, a lot of wealth, they're an engine of economic growth in Africa and the people here love a good time, they love music and good food so it just makes sense to now come." Nigeria's economy isn't exactly flourishing at the moment. But that hasn't deterred Hard Rock - they're in it for the long term. It's used to coping with recession - it still has more than 190 hotels and cafes including Egypt, South Africa and Tunis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HARD ROCK CAFE INTERNATIONAL, HAMISH DODDS, SAYING: "Ultimately I think our investment is based upon the expectation that there are other elements to the economy as well and that people are gonna come to our brand and come to our business." Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy and it's largest oil producer. It's made multi-millionaires of its elite. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BANKER, TOLU OKOJIE, SAYING: "When the economy is going down, drinks and food keep selling so it depends on how they manage themselves. Probably, they might make it or not, let's watch." The Hard Rock Cafe is banking on this investment being a case of a glass half full rather than half empty.