Fine food and great soul
"I am grateful that the National Empowerment Fund believed in my dream"
MANDISA Kadalie's name stands for instant success with her regulars at her Karoo Cattle & Land restaurant in Rosebank Mall's Zone 2, especially those who love to sink their teeth into the restaurant's prime steak or whatever grabs their fancy.
At first glance the restaurant looks like a steakhouse but closer scrutiny reveals that it offers something more than that: it's a place with true South African soul and provides traditionally prepared meals.
The day we visited the franchise outlet it was filled with men and women of all ages and races, some chatting casually while others worked away on their laptops.
"This is a popular lunch spot for sophisticated business executives," Kadaie says.
"People are attracted by our smooth mix of cutting-edge cosmopolitan décor and the family-friendly atmosphere."
Considering its fine menu it is no wonder the place is frequented by executives.
The owner of this high-end franchise outlet says lunch hours are by far the busiest.
What is her winning formula?
"Hard work and a good work ethic. People like to come to a place that is run professionally.
"I work long hours and weekends, managing the staff, discussing menus, organising functions and taking bookings, and making sure everything is prepared and ready to function smoothly."
Kadalie, who opened up last December, says owning a business is something she always wanted to do when she retired.
She says she was attracted to this particular franchise because it was "so workable".
"Funders have an appetite for franchise outlets because they have been tried and tested. What attracted me to this business is that it reflects multi-culturalism and our rainbow nation."
She adds that the restaurant is also raising the profile of the country in the world and elevating our culture's cuisine internationally.
"We are surrounded by six top hotels. The place is also frequented by tourists who want to be exposed to local tastes. We have had French, American, German and Chinese diners to name just a few nationalities. It is a place where celebrities hang out, " says the single mother of one, who grew up in Mthatha and studied in Europe.
This Webster University graduate, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, says her business also caters for corporate lunches and dinners for companies around Rosebank and for families who want to celebrate special occasions.
"For events we do not charge for the venue, that is why we are popular with businesses. The place can take 150 people. What is great is that we are on the doorstep of the Gautrain stop."
Kadalie, whose business was funded by the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), says starting this business was not an easy process. "I am grateful that NEF believed in my dream."
Kadale now employs 28 people. Advice for those who want to do this kind of business?
"Work with people who are doing what you love, and love what you are doing."