With over thirteen years in business, the Lawns Restaurant in Kololo is undoubtedly a household name in fine dining, with a niche in game meat.
Having started off importing game meat from countries like South Africa, the Lawns restaurant recently acquired a license to deal in game meat sourced locally from Uganda.
According to the facility owner- Meena Patel, being able to source the game meat locally, is one of the key attributes that has helped the growth in their wild meat consumption to over two tonnes monthly.
“We used to import about 200 kilograms, but we now move up to two tonnes of game meat annually,” she said.
Lawns restaurant boasts of a signature menu that includes wild meats ranging from crocodile, impala, Uganda Kob, buffalo, Kudu, Oryx and Springbok.
Meena says that the growth of game meat consumption has been gradual.
She further attributes the growth to uniqueness of their menu, consistency, and easy access to finances.
“The uniqueness of our business meant that we would be faced with unique challenges all the way. Right from the starting, our business needed a lot more capital than any other high end eating place. We are glad that our bankers Orient Bank (currently I&M Bank), gave us audience and understood our business plan.
That was way back in 2009. The bank came in handy in terms of availing finances, making temporary facilities and even loan extensions.They have moved this journey with us, and continue to help each time we reach out,” Meena said.
Just like every other business, Lawns was not spared from the Covid effects.
Meena says that I&M Bank still played a crucial role in helping her business survive through and post covid.
“In the game meat business, suppliers demand one hundred percent payments before delivery, and a time came when that was not sustainable. I reached out to my relationship manager at I&M Bank, and in a few hours, they had offered me a rotating advance for three months,” Meena noted.
Meals at Lawns restaurant range from Shs20,000 to 35,000 for starters, while the main courses cost between Shs 40,000 to 75,000. The restaurant also does barbeques.
Lawns also serves a range of other local, continental as well as international cuisines, and offers space for private parties and corporate functions.