Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boycotting Salamander Cafe

So as most of you know, I love Salamander Cafe, or at least I did until last Thursday.  In fact, I've written a lot of blog posts while I was there.  However, this is no longer the case.  I'm not BOYCOTTING Salamander Cafe. 


Well, there were always some things I didn't like about Salamander.  For example, their coffee is way too expensive.  In Yola, at the University Club house you can get a pot of french press coffee for around 300 Naira which is about 4 cups of coffee.  I can buy a bag of instant espresso, cappuccino mix  at any of the supermarkets for about 300 naira for at least 6 cups of coffee here in Abuja, which is the same stuff they use for their coffee and for one cup is about N1300 when you include the VAT.  Plus, the food prices are quite high and often the service is slow. 

However, I always went back because I LOVE LOVE COFFEESHOPS!  It's part of who I am.  Anyways, in the end, something happened last week that will prevent me from going back unless I get an apology from Salamatu herself.

On Thursday, I was already having a rough morning and had been trying to get to Salamander all week to use the internet because mine was on the fritz.  And I wanted to go to Salamander for the ambiance, some time away from the house, and I was craving pancakes.  However, when I went, I had filled my belly with delicious food I made the night before and had even had a delightful Latte at home.  So I wasn't hungry.  Now, I go to Salamander often.  I often go and spend a lot of money on food I can prepare for myself for much cheaper but I go to get away.  And then there are times I go because I have no electricity in my house or the internet is not working.  And then there are the times I go because I want to eat and write and use my own MTN internet stick because the internet isn't fast enough there. 

So here's my story... 

I went in and found a seat.  The waiter came to ask what I wanted.  I said "I want an iced coffee and the internet password."  He said, "You will have to order more in order to get the password."  As I was holding the menu in my hands, I said, "You are joking, right?" He said, "No, it's the policy..."  I said, "since when?  Besides, it says on here, it's free-wifi and doesn't mention any minimum purchase."  He then said, "the policy is invisible and it's always been in place."  I asked, "how much am I to spend?"  He said, "2000 Naira."  At the that point, my eyes welled up with tears and I got frustrated and began to pack my bags and began leaving.  He then said, "BUT we can make an arrangement."  I said, "No thanks" and left. 

Just because there aren't a whole lot of establishments like Salamander in Abuja doesn't mean you can treat your loyal customers anyhow.  A lot of people go to Salamander after reading my blog.  I've never gotten anything out of my promotion from my blog, nor have I expected too, yet, this time they pushed me too far. 

Salamander employees, you lost a very good customer that day!  I hope you don't treat everyone as such...


  1. i google searched salamander cafe for a performance coming up next month and your blog post was one of the first things that popped up.
    and i have to say....from your lips to god's ears!
    i had the exact same experience, but in my case, i bought 2 slices of cake that ended up in the trash can (so great was my rage) to get the password.
    the internet was slow to non-existent and the staff kept apologizing which made me even more upset.
    but there aren't too many alternatives to salamander in abuja

  2. Finally! Wasn't only me this happened too. I used to go there loads and recommended it to friends/family then one day me & my fiance went to get on the internet and have some coffee. The waiter gave us the password for the internet when in fact it was off. I've never gone back. Overpriced coffee/drinks/food & they can't recognize their loyal customers? I'll pass. I've found a lovely place in Wuse 2: Grills in and out/the fish place/and a yummy bistro - 1 Kinda Close, off Bangui street, Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse2, Abuja also there's a coffee place in 911 mall in maitama. Really cute retro hot dog style cart at the front of the mall downstairs to the right.

    1. Veronica. Please post the names and addresses to these places . I am new to Abuja and would like to find some great places to go. Thank you

  3. The owner-salamatu- is as rude as it gets. The place is overrated but trust me, competition is on its way.

  4. If you are expecting an apology, all I can say is wait well.that lady is as rude as it gets. She values her white customers more than her Nigerian customers. And I don't blame the workers: she is the one that instructs them to act funny. I was a loyal customer until today: sal instructed her waiters to ask me to leave unless I ordered stuff from the kitchen. This was after having a ridiculously expensive cafe mocca, a coke and a cake. This was morning for fuck's sake. And to think that I used to have a quick coffee there every morning before hurrying to my office makes me sad. I am done and hopefully a better establishment will come up.

  5. Wow!! Didn't know that this blog existed. I share the same view with many of the respondents. I am boycotting the place as well. In fact, my office wanted to have a dinner there and I insisted against it. That would never happen under my watch. A place where you have to beg to use the internet ( as if WiFi is gold); the coffee is ridiculously expensive; a proprietress that is always in the face of customers; not so fantastic ridiculously expensive menu; and the issue of see-finish for loyal customers. Abeg! The whole elitist thing is fake. I will pass that place for now. I have even advicwd my friends against going there before they get embarrassed. The place is overrated. On a score of 10, I will give 3.

  6. Salamander is shit! Utter waste of money if you ask me. The shops around yoghur berry in wise 2 are much better. Stopped going to salamander for the past 8 months now. Worst of all I can stand the so-called owner of the place- arrogant and bloody rude.

  7. So sad. The problem with Nigerian businesses is lack of customer care. We only pay lip service to it.

  8. ....and I am about to have a lunch meeting there today. I already have a funny taste in my mouth. Yuck! Any business that's not about people,won't be a business for long Salamander!