Briefly introduce yourself, what is the nature of your business?
My name is Kgomotso Motshegoa the founder and managing director at Corner Dladla Pizzeria. We are a proudly South African township/kasi based fast food outlet that’s been in operation since June 2017 in Protea North, Soweto.
Our passion lies in offering our patrons the finest quality wood fired pizza and this is reflective in the time we invest in sourcing out the freshest ingredients and toppings and also in our endeavours to produce crisp dough on a daily basis.
We service big to large corporates and music festivals through our mobile food truck.
What inspired the launch of your business?
The idea was first sparked in 2009 when I visited a restaurant in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg that allowed its patrons to create their own pizzas. I realized that in the townships we had very limited choices when it came to fast food outlets for those Friday evening dinners with family and friends.
With pizza being South Africa’s 3rd largest preferred fast food after the battle between chicken and burgers, it became even more attractive to try out this venture. Importantly to me was also the need to dispel the myth that people in the townships only enterprise in bottle stores, chesa nyamas and kotas.
I wanted to show that with a bit of creativity, people are willing to try out new eateries.
How did you know there was a market for it?
I knew there was a market for us, one Saturday evening during month-end struggled to source takeaways with my nephew. Driven around to all popular food outlets in our area (5km radius) only to find everywhere was full and waiting period too long.
That signalled to me that there was a growing number of people with disposable income. Further showed that our patrons’ demanding careers did not allow them much time to cook at their homes.
Our participation in festivals and corporate events came as a result of increasing pleas from our patrons to showcase our products at their workplaces.
How did you raise start‐up capital?
I was very fortunate that I could start up Corner Dladla Pizzeria while running my other business November 20th Entertainment. A dynamic company that provides a full range of high quality technical, digital and entertainment solutions for corporates.
Was able to raise seed capital for our first pizza oven through this venture. Since then, the business has been sustainably managing to acquire all its other assets by itself.
Describe your business model and how you make money?
We’ve been quite disruptive in the township fast food scene and constantly listen to our patrons to see how we innovate to meet their expectations.
We concentrated on making our pizzas affordable. At R60 for a standard large 30cm across all flavours, making it value for money for our patrons.
This strategy allowed us to track the pizzas that gained the most traction. Enabled us to negotiate better prices with key suppliers on specific items. This, in turn, reduced our input costs significantly.
We are in the works of introducing a new menu with some delectable add‐ons and weekly specials for our different clientele. We will also be collaborating with other brands on various cross‐promotional campaigns.
What challenges has the business faced and how did it overcome them?
In the early stages of the business, we only had one small dough mixer and two wooden dough rollers. Each and every pizza dough had to be manually rolled. That didn’t prove well when we experienced high traffic volumes.
This added pressure on our small team and increased the average waiting time for our customers. We acquired a larger mixer, mechanical roller, which has proved well for us particularly when planning for high volume music festivals and corporate events.
What was the business’s first big breakthrough?
An invitation to Jozi FM’s morning breakfast show within our 6 months of operation proved that we were on the right track. The show boasts a number of listeners. This became the perfect platform for us to share our story and invite the general public to “Zwakala So’ Gawula”. Our institutional positioning line that is authentically Kasi and simply means, ‘Come thru and lets feast.’
Our inclusivity into the Proudly South African membership body also helped us gain access into various markets. It enabled us participation at exhibitions and festivals like the Buy Local Summit and Dstv Delicious Festival.
These events attract high traffic volumes and boast a number of higher LSM clientele. Activating our brand at these events allowed us to convert many of the festival-goers into regular clients at our establishment.
What online tools/apps is business using daily?
We use apps like Yoco for daily transacting / accounting and we take advantage of social
Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to market our products and keep our patrons and
fans updated about the business and other innovations.
What marketing strategy has proven profitable for your business?
My media production knowledge and expertise have helped a great deal. We have managed to keep our marketing costs low by producing all our online content in‐house.
Part of the joy and excitement that people have around our food is in the understanding of how it’s made. Our photos and videos have been an effective tool in communicating the thought and diligence that goes into each of our meals.
We also get to celebrate each of our patrons from time to time by showcasing them and their families on our social platforms enjoying their meals and us paying homage to those that make us grow.
What remains a challenge for your business today?
Every new level has come with its own challenges and at this point, operational space has proven to be one at the very top. As we have grown, our home kitchen has become too small to accommodate the high volumes and many of our customers have also requested a sit‐in and delivery service – both of which are being worked on.
Human capacity and the transition from being operational to managerial have also proven to be a challenge now.
Please share your business website and social media links
We are available on the following platforms:
- www.cornerdladla.com (website under construction)
- Facebook: Corner Dladla Pizzeria
- Instagram: Corner Dladla Pizzeria
- Twitter: corner_dladla
- Google Maps: Corner Dladla Pizzeria