By Isaac Blessings
Everything Fish Restaurant and Sports Bar is one of those joints that imbue class and has an inviting exterior even from afar. Located along Ngong Road just opposite the Telkom building, the blue themed restaurant is known for its finger licking fish and other servings. Aside from the food, clients can enjoy a drink as they watch their favorite teams square out at the strategically placed big screens.
Mark Ndetto’s Background
Mark Ndetto was born and brought up in Machakos County and later on to Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County where he sat for his Kenya certificate of primary Education (KCSE) before joining Lenana High School. After his O-levels, he secured a slot at Kenyatta University where he graduated in 1991 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Business management.
The entrepreneur started out as a salesperson at Kenya Breweries Limited before joining his brother at Golden Marketing Company.
“After Campus I got an opportunity to work with Kenya Breweries Limited for around four years as a sales manager. I left in 1997 and joined my brother – Tonnie Ndetto at Golden Marketing Company where I still work to date”, Ndetto stated.
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“Golden Marketing is a marketing agency situated along Marcus Garvey road and provides marketing solutions to corporate brands. The company has in the past partnered with big brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever to mention but a few”, he offered.
Establishing a Fish Farm Business
As they were still working at Golden marketing, Mark together with his brother Tonnie came up with an idea of setting up a fish farm. They saved the little money they earned at the Marketing agency and in 2015 the duo put up a fish farm in their home county of Machakos which they named Kamuthanga fish farm. They started supplying fish to various hotels in Machakos, Naivas supermarket and the Chinese nationals living and working in Nairobi. They then expanded and opened a second fish farm in Timboni, Watamu which mainly specializes in sourcing sea foods such as lobsters, prawns and octopus.
“We started the restaurant in January 2021. We had already established ourselves as fish and seafood products suppliers in the city and we thought it wise to also have our own outlet. The main motivation was the fact that we wanted to connect with our clients and offer them not only high quality fish but also a serene place where they can sit down and enjoy their meals as they watch their favorite sports. This place is mainly a sports restaurant and bar, we get a lot of clients who regularly visit here to watch different sports such as Formulae 1 and MotoGP,” Mark told this writer.
Coping with the Covid-Pandemic
Like most businesses, Everything Fish Restaurant and Sports Bar was hit hard by the Coronavirus.
“It was tough, very tough. You know with the tough restrictions imposed by the government, it made it very hard to even get clients. There was even a time that we had to close completely because we were only making sales worth one thousand bob in a day”, he said.
“But we didn’t give up on the dream. We just kept going and as the government eased the restrictions, people started streaming in and we began generating good sales and since then we’ve hugely grown to become one of the most popular restaurants in Ngong Road,” he explained.
The Restaurant is open 7 days a week from around 9.00am and closes after the last client leaves the premises. Apart from the Ngong road one, the restaurant has another branch in Watamu where they source their sea foods from. The restaurant has created job opportunities for close to 20 people who work in different capacities being headed by Duke who is the head manager.
Can you say the fish business is profitable? Or aptly put, Do Nairobians love fish
According to the proprietor of the restaurant, the business is lucrative if professionally run.
“Nairobians love and appreciate good food. So if you offer them the right food which is properly cooked then they will keep on coming back. Especially in the sea food side, there is a lot of potential because it is a growing market. And yes, it is quite profitable if you are sourcing your products right and pricing it well,” the 55 year old said.
The Success of Everything Fish Restaurant
Everything Fish has grown to become the most popular and highly recommended joint in a span of just one year. What is the secret behind their huge success? We talk to Dephnie Wairimu who is the restaurant’s Digital strategist in charge of branding and marketing.
How have you guys been able to achieve all this in just a year
“After the restaurant was opened in January 2021, there were not many clients visiting the place due to the whole pandemic issue. So I came up with an idea of using digital marketing tools and that’s when we joined the social media space in April 2021. We are mostly popular on instagram where we have close to 5,000 followers who interact and engage with our content. We started a program known as #Tutorial Tuesdays where we teach our fans how to prepare different seafood recipes. A lot of people interact and share the tutorial videos with the highest one having over 200,000 views,” she explained.
Dephnie went on to add:
“We also focused on the sports sector where we air all types of sports from Formulae 1 which is the most popular, Motogp, Football, tennis etc. These games attracts sports fanatics who come to watch the games as they enjoy a meal or a glass of their favorite drinks. We also have different activities such as the Almost Famous comedy show hosted by TV Host Mwalimu Churchill every Thursdays at the restaurant. The show offers opportunities to young stand-up comedians to showcase their talents. This again attracts a huge fan base who visit the restaurant”