By Keletso Mkhwanazi.
For foodies living in Pretoria who want to try out African cuisine, Las’Dish Deluxe is a home-based restaurant that serves a range of mouth-watering dishes on most days and caters for small and major gatherings. Owner Neo Mashaba told Vutivi News that his mother sparked his interest in cooking at a young age. “Back in the day, my mother was a domestic worker and she used to use cooking to keep me grounded from going out and playing with my friends after school. When I got home from school, she would call me and ask me to start cooking, not realising that she was actually training me,” he said, adding that he began to feel confident and was now cooking for the masses.
In 2003, Mashaba started selling boerewors rolls in a local park near where he stayed. “I worked as a help desk consultant in the gambling sector for nine years before getting promoted to a data analyst, however, the strong desire to cook for others pushed me to start transforming my home into a walk-in African cuisine spot,” he said. He also opened an atchar business as a side hustle. “I completed all of this while still working my 9-5 job. After having an opportunity to expand and branch out in January 2020, I took a risk, although I had to leave the other location in which I used to sell and focus on working at the initial location. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, my home was more favourable at the time,” said Mashaba.
His short-term goal is to improve the restaurant’s marketing and increase consumer awareness of its products. His long-term ambition is to grow the business and, perhaps, open a franchise in the near future. Mashaba explained that the success of a business frequently entailed learning from prosperous entrepreneurs and having a mentor. “It takes time to run a business, but the satisfaction comes from doing what you believe in. Risk-taking, self-belief, and having a clear vision are all necessary for success.
“Accept the fact that you can overcome and work around challenges. Finally, look for nice individuals who are currently living the life you want to live since they can help you expand your business and encourage you while keeping in mind that the outcome of your efforts will be determined by your actions. So be confident and relentless in your pursuit of achievement,” advised Mashaba. He currently has three employees and one part-time worker. Las’Dish Deluxe is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays and public holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant can be found on all social media.