Who knew that a beer advertisement could inspire an IT guy to become a resturanteer? Miles Khubeka did research to find the character Vuyo and he didnt, he decided to become Vuyo after watching the Hansa Pilsner advertisement about Vuyo who began a boerewors business which eventually achieved international success.
The first Vuyo’s was opened on the 12 December 2012 in Braamfontein and the restaurant is the first of its kind to serve South African food, in the South African way. When you visit Vuyo’s expect dumplings just as good as your mother makes them, boerewors or poitjiekos whose recipes aren’t modified to suit modern times. Vuyo’s remains the only restaurant to serve South African food at a fast food level. “I thought it was an opportunity to create a brand that could be global and create pride in South African food,” says Miles about his inspiration in adapting the advertisement in to real life. Originally he wanted to have mobile carts that would be placed strategically to attract business but when people didn’t take him seriously, he decided to open a restaurant instead and it seems to be doing well as people are lining up to franchise it.
Check out Vuyo’s on Twitter @Vuyobeegdreamer and on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vuyos/363308490434110?fref=ts
Pictures by Kgotso Tsagane
He received his entrepreneurial training from the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship where he mingled with other entrepreneurs and shared ideas with them. This opportunity he remains grateful for because he networked with likeminded people and had access to mentors and he continues to work with the entrepreneurs he went to the centre with.
He has found the most challenging thing to be finding the right staff and keeping them. ”The right people will make a business because they are headworkers and passionate but the wrong people will break the business.” The business is a success but Vuyo hasn’t stopped dreaming, he plans to create franchising opportunities and making South African cuisine globally renowned. One of his biggest achievements is the joint venture with spar supermarkets which will see him giving away carts to deserving entrepreneurs so they can start their own little mobile Vuyo’s, empowering people and creating employment. Although failure keeps him up at night, he treats it as more of a lesson than a catastrophe. “There’s a lot to be learnt from failure, you take the lesson and apply it elsewhere because failure is one of the best ways to learn.”
Being an academic himself he says he wouldn’t advise an aspiring entrepreneur to study business instead he encourages them to “Start. That’s the hardest thing to do. Whether you’re washing dishes or cleaning floors, do something each day that will get you closer to your dream. McDonald’s does that too, it has an 8 months training period for any franchisee and this helps because it teaches you work ethics.” He then advices young people to stop dreaming, contrasting the society that tells us to dream and dream big. “Just do it. There are a lot of people who talk but not too many do.”
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