Cafe Neo founder begs visitors, ‘Abeg buy our coffee don’t just use our light’

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All seem not to be well on the business angle of Nigeria’s foremost coffee outlet, Cafe Neo as Enterpise54 gathered first hand from the Yaba outlet that recently the business has witnessed more of users coming to enjoy free work space and power without making purchases.

In a tweet Last week, Chijioke Dozie, Co-founder of Cafe Neo also corroborated this awful reality when he revealed that he had once seen a group of seventeen people around just two cups of coffee.

Thunder fire my mouth if na lie i dey talk but last week @mycafeneo ikoyi I saw 17 people surrounding 2 lonely cups of coffee.

— iServeData (@ngozidozie) January 20, 2017

He further disclosed that people come to the outlet armed with extension cables to enjoy the free power.


@seyitaylor people bring their own extension cables and other accessories. I think I saw a pillow once

— Chijioke Dozie (@ChijiokeD) January 20, 2017

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Apparently, many people regard the outlet as more of a free work space than a coffee selling business with a good work ambience as a value proposition. One commentator on Chijioke’s tweet revealed his amazement that the business isn’t a free working space.

Consequently, due to this attitude of users, the management of Cafe Neo have come up with a policy  that users must buy something every hour. In addition to this, a regular walk of shame will begin across all outlets, revealed Chijioke.

Cafe Neo

In a brief chat with the Yaba attendants, they corroborated Chijioke, saying ‘visitors’ do not purchase anything.”In one of our outlets I have people that will start with me and close with me without buying a single thing. Most times we have to tell them we want to close before they leave. Ironically, people here in Yaba seem to buy more often than our outlets in those posh areas.”

Cafe Neo

Cafe Neo, Yaba Outlet


The decision of the management to introduce the hourly-purchase policy is quite understandable giving the high cost of running a business in Nigeria. More so, a business like Neo cafe that offers stable power, AC, comfy seats and work space among other perks at no cost needs people to do their parts to stay afloat. Remember, we need to buy #MadeinNaija to grow the Naira. Enterprise54 further learnt that the cafe has a membership option where customers could deposit certain amount of money with the cafe and subsequently make purchases from the account.  A win-win situation where you get to work uninterrupted and enjoy your cappuccino, espresso, or caramel machiatto as you deem fit.

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Check out: Visitors reply Cafe Neo’s Boss- “Your coffee is too expensive”

In 2014, the siblings, Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie started the coffee chain in Lagos targeting upscale clients, many of whom were Nigerians with overseas exposure, who craved good, quality coffee. In its launch, the outlet had a value proposition of doubling as a co-working space where entrepreneurs could  build communities around powerful ideas, creativity and networking. Currently, Cafe Neo operates 13 outlets spread through areas like Surulere, Yaba, Ikoyi, and other parts of Lagos.

Hopefully, the new policy by the management of the cafe will yield positive results.


I'm interested in stories, news and opportunities for African entrepreneurs. Be it tech, fashion, SMEs; breaking entrepreneurship stories is the next best thing that can happen to me, after Jollof


  1. Buki

    January 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Do they have an Ilupeju outlet? I would love to taste their coffee someday.

    • Oladipo Oladepo

      January 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Hi Bukky, I do not think they have an outlet in Ilupeju. However, there are outlets in Surulere and Yaba. And I tell you, the coffee is just lovely!

  2. Adegoke

    January 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Buki, one is coming up just nearby in Ikeja.

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