La Brasa is a Ghanaian-owned fast food restaurant. The name stands for Charcoal grill. They are known for their charcoal-grilled chicken, which is sold along with fries and other side dishes. We got to meet with Milady, owner of La Brasa.
How did you start the business?
I had a previous business where I sold commercial kitchen equipment to restaurants and hotels. At the time, my business was struggling so I decided to start a side business to support it. Now, the side business is doing much better than the previous. Right now, we have kiosks at three different locations and it has been 3 years since we started. Before the end of the year, we plan to open 11 different locations. Since it is a sole proprietorship and I have no partners in the business yet, I had to understand the market before expanding.
Were you negatively affected by the Pandemic?
I think the timing was right for us because from the beginning we were always a takeaway outlet. We never offered dine-ins. So, most of our customers wanted their food quickly. They’d order, pickup and then they're gone. We only felt the effect when we had a complete lockdown. Once our country reopened, we were almost back to normal. We had a little reduction in sales because we also have a lot of students as customers and all the schools were still shut down even after the lockdown.
What was your motivation to start the business?
Aside from the struggles I was having which led me to diversify, I also started the business because I was looking for an opportunity to get into a business where I wouldn’t have to deal with so much credit. Also, I wanted to be able to employ more people. One of my biggest motivations was job creation. I currently have 20 employees but by the end of the year, I’ll have 50 employees.
How did you find Loyverse?
When we started we were doing a lot of things manually, and I started searching for some software solutions that could help. I searched mainly on YouTube because I wanted to see the feedback of actual users. I wanted a system I could set up myself, and if I had an issue, I could easily get support. I found Loyverse, the guides were easy to follow, and it was easy for the employees to understand.
What did you like the most about Loyverse?
First of all, I liked that I could have multiple locations on one platform. Also, since the business is in a kiosk and we have unstable electricity and internet, I needed a solution that would work online, offline, and on a mobile device. Being able to set up different locations on one account and seeing the summarized report was also something important for me. Another thing I really liked was that I could get alerts from the Dashboard app when items were running low. This was a big plus.
Do you have any advice for anyone getting into the food business?
Before starting the business, plan your menu, understand your cost. Food items vary throughout the year, so it is important to understand the average cost. Understand the food portioning as well because, without this, you may not understand your cost and therefore will not be able to know the profit you are making. This business is very competitive because people are always trying different things, and if you want to enter the fast-food business, you will most likely be selling things that people can get in almost every restaurant. So, you need to find something that makes you unique. Keep it simple and keep learning.