Mpho Masilo worked as a bartender and waiter for nearly a decade before launching
Ravioli, the biggest fine-dining space in Maboneng, Johannesburg, last week.
The 35-year-old restaurateur from Rabokala village in the North West had to stop pursuing his law degree with Unisa because of a lack of funds but did not allow that to diminish his drive for success.
"I am glad that law didn't work out for me because I wouldn't be where I am now," he said.
Masilo, who is the son of a factory worker, can now be dubbed the King of Maboneng as he owns two hot spots in the trendy area, employing more than 150 people.
Many are unaware that the shy father of two is also the founder and sole owner of the popular Shakers Bar, which opened in 2016 in the area where young Joburgers mingle every weekend.
"A lot of people underestimate the power of waiters. As a waiter you serve a lot of different people and you learn from them.
"I learned a lot of skills as a waiter that have helped me to become successful in this business.
"You become good at understanding people's moods and feelings, which helps you to understand customer service."