Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
SOUTH African food outlet Hotplate Grillhouse’s Zimbabwean franchise has invested US$100 000 in opening a restaurant in Bulawayo.
Hotplate Grillhouse Zimbabwe master franchise is co-owned by Messrs Cleopas Mugomba and Eddington Chari.
The franchise, which is headquartered in Harare, opened its latest outlet in Bulawayo last week employing 25 local youths permanently.
Mr Mugomba said they were excited that they have been well received in the City of Kings and expressed optimism that they would be rolling out another outlet in the city during the first quarter next year. We have invested US$100 000 in opening our Bulawayo restaurant and employed a team of 25 permanent youthful staff who are all locals,” he said.
Hotplate Grillhouse has two other restaurants in Harare with the latest offering becoming their third food outlet in the country.
Mr Mugomba said they were planning to spread their wings countrywide by opening five more shops next year in Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Gwanda, Mutare and Gweru.
“We have set our sights on opening five more branches next year in the Southern region of the country as well as in Mutare,” he said.
Mr Chari weighed in saying their decision to invest in the country under the prevailing environment which has seen some companies scaling down operations was based on their patriotism and optimism that Zimbabwe’s economy would soon emerge from the woods.
“We are Zimbabweans and we strongly believe Zimbabwe will come around and it is in such challenging economies that brands are born and defined as this stormy environment sharpens any entrepreneur’s mindset.
“It’s not a comfort zone, so daily you need to come up with innovative and sustainable ideas. If us as Zimbabweans don’t have confidence in our own country and market, we are doomed as a nation because we are not willing to take a risk in a market whose needs we fully understand.
“We will not fold our arms and watch others show us how it’s done; we would rather take the lead as homegrown entrepreneurs to offer sustainable employment opportunities with a concept that appeals to all,” he said.
Mr Chari said Hotplate Grillhouse is a unique restaurant that takes pride in African meals in a perfect setting compared to most food outlets which offer foreign concepts. — @pridesinstinctz.