By: Tebogo Mokwena
Thanks to Heineken South Africa’s Tavern of the Future, Gift Sedibeng’s and Kukani Magudu’s taverns were given a much-needed facelift. This resulted in job creation and more patrons and also created a safe space for women to enjoy their facilities. The project is running again this year, and this time it is set to help 120 taverns and restaurants. Sedibeng and Magudu were one of the first beneficiaries of the Taverns of the Future Project when it launched in South Africa last year.
Sedibeng, who owns Siga Culinary in Alexandra, told Vutivi News that his kitchen was renovated and new toilets with sensors were built. It also received a new Point of Sale system and wifi. Sedibeng said that since the establishment’s inception in 2018, most of the patrons were men because women felt unsafe. However, adding the toilets and a CCTV system, it made it safer for women to frequent the establishment. And as a result of the wifi, more professionals spent their time working at the restaurant.
Magudu told Vutivi News that his Soweto-based tavern was being used for events hosted by celebrities and artists since it was revamped. There was also more foot traffic. The business started in 2017 as a liquor store. They started selling kotas as well, which resulted in the creation of the tavern. Magudu, who is a chef by profession, said that business was very slow because they were not operating every day. The tavern now operates five days a week, and as a result, generates more revenue. They also host small and big corporate events and do the catering.
Sedibeng said that Heineken had helped him run his business more efficiently, while Magudu said that they were able to grow their customer base, which enabled them to market themselves better and attract more people. Heineken partnered with McCain Food Services, Primedia Retail and Vodacom Financial Services to assist in transforming the taverns.
Heineken’s Corporate Affairs Director Millicent Maroga said that taverns not only had the potential to grow their services by offering food, snacks and entertainment, but they also created more inclusive social environments by upgrading infrastructure. “(They are moving) towards sophisticated gathering places that are not centred around the need for excessive drinking, but rather that offer quality occasions with good food, company and entertainment,” she said. The programme selects taverns from across the country, which need to follow a list of requirements to qualify. For those wanting more information, they should visit the Heineken South Africa website on how to apply.