Pro cricketer opens price-conscious restaurant for customers with ‘food cravings’ – The Hawk Newspaper
Johannesburg, South Africa – At the June 4 grand opening of Munch O’Holics, a new restaurant in Johannesburg’s Melville district, restaurant owner Andrew Rasemene offered samples of the restaurant’s dishes to passers-by at 27 Boxes, a shopping complex of reused shipping containers.
Smells of frying, charcuterie and South African spices wafted from the Munch O’Holics corner container decorated with local art, a chalkboard menu and hookahs.
Standing outside his shop in a black crew-neck sweatshirt emblazoned with gold lettering that says ‘change the world by being yourself’, Rasemene, 27, explained the many hats he’s worn over the years, since his career as a professional cricketer. , his entrepreneurial journey as a restaurant owner and his family life as a husband and father of twins.
South Africans may know Rasemene’s name from his professional cricket career. Most recently, he bowled for The Northern Cape Heat 2021-22 team. Rasemene also has a fan base of eaters, who have been lining up for her food since her college days.
As a student at the University of Johannesburg, where he studied public management and governance, Rasemene started buying and selling kotas for his classmates who were unhappy with the food options on campus. . A kota is a quarter loaf hollowed out and filled with meat, egg, cheese, gravy and crisps.
“I used to get in trouble because I had to travel with food in my bag, and I used my cricket bag because it was big enough for me to fit 20, 40 [kotas]Rasemene said.
The business started small but grew rapidly, forcing Rasemene to increase his supply to sell kotas to more and more students on campus.
“It was a problem for a while,” Rasemene said. “Then, luckily, I spoke to my history teacher, and he [said] for me, ‘I have a storage room in my office. If you want, you can use it.
In the trade, Rasemene said he had to give his teacher a free kota a day.
“I was like, this is a good deal for me, you know? He was actually one of my favorite teachers,” Rasemene said.
From the start, Rasemene’s main clientele was his friends on campus, where restaurants closed early. This created a need for after-hours delivery options, and Rasemene stepped in with a solution.
“Shops closed early there. I did free shipping within five Ks [kilometers]Rasemene said.
Rasemene and his wife then turned to selling burgers to his college friends from their home kitchen. Rasemene said that’s where Munch O’ Holics started.
The restaurant’s name, Munch O’ Holics, is inspired by the desire to “snack” after drinking or smoking, Rasemene said. While that makes for a memorable name, Rasemene said he doesn’t want to limit his clientele to drinkers and smokers. Munch O’ Holics is open to anyone and everyone in the community, he said.
“Whether you smoke or not, you can come. Whether you drink or not, you can come,” Rasemene said.
At Munch O’Holics, Rasemene said he prioritizes keeping food accessible to everyone by choosing affordable prices and incorporating daily deals and promotions.
“If you look at our prices and the menu, we try to feed everyone. We have small tokens for 15 rand ($1). Even a car guard can come,” Rasemene said.
The menu offers a variety of tasty and affordable dishes, including pizza bread, bread rolls, fish and chips and chicken wraps. A wors roll is a sausage in a bun, much like an American hot dog. Prices range from R20 to R85 ($1.25 to $5.30).
Matt Nkofo and Thuto Makuta were first-time customers at Munch O’ Holics a week after it opened. They each chose a Dagwood – a beef patty on bread topped with lettuce, cheese, caramelized onions, bacon and tomato – with a side of almighty crisps for their Saturday afternoon meal. Almighty Chips are loaded fries topped with cheese, jalapeños and pieces of bacon.
Nkofo said he and Makuta were wandering around 27 Boxes, which they often frequent, when they came across the new restaurant.
“Then I smelled something really good, and I was like, ‘wait, where is this smell coming from?'” Nkofo said.
Nkofo said he was not only happy with the flavor of his food, but also with the price he paid.
“It’s pretty affordable for something like that. You usually pay more at other places,” Nkofo added.
The first week of opening, the restaurant saw a steady flow of business, Rasemene said, and he kept Munch O’ Holics open for two extra hours to fill orders from Uber Eats and Mr. D’s (the service delivery service from South Africa).
It was long days for one of the cooks, Candace Esbene, Rasemene’s sister-in-law, who worked from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“My feet hurt so bad yesterday and my back, but doing this job is fun,” Esbene said.
Esbene said she was inspired by her favorite culinary influencer, Gordon Ramsay, a British restaurateur, cookbook author and international television celebrity.
” I love to cook. Food is my passion,” Esbene said. “I never went to study cooking or anything. I guess it just runs in the blood.
Rasemene’s story as an entrepreneur is coming full circle as he has an ongoing contract with a cricket club in Randburg, a township on the southern border of Johannesburg, where he will cook meals for three teams each weekend. end.
“Once we’ve signed and everything is settled, we can pop the champagne,” Rasemene said.
For now, customers can take a tasty bite of Almighty Chips.