Johannesburg: The Mozambik Group will open its 20th restaurant in Blouberg, Cape Town this spring. It is the brand’s second store launching during National Lockdown, the first was the Pearls Mall in Umhlanga at the tail end of Level 2. The move comes as the brand emerges from an overall industry disaster during the Covid-19 National Lockdown, not unscathed, but fueled by resolve and eager to reset its growth plans.
“It has been a journey of a thousand blows for the restaurant industry,” says Mozambik chief executive Manny Nichas. “Many establishments didn’t make it, but we were determined to see it through.” Since the gradual lowering of restrictions Nichas says that turnover has crept up from zero to around half of business as usual, with a promising outlook at the country heads toward the festive season. “We believe in our product, our brand and our people. Therefore, we never gave up. Optimism is our currency,” he adds.
Prior to March’s National Lockdown the Group had planned to open 5 new stores this year. “We have not changed course,” says Nichas, and adds that the Lusaka and Menlyn outlets are next on the list along with new sites in the Gauteng East Rand, Centurion and Kwa-Zulu Natal North Coast currently being evaluated. “Only two stores are presently closed, both in greater Tshwane, one due to renovations and the other, a move to new premises.”
During Lockdown, the Group also launched its Mozambik4Home grocery and meal plan product, migrated to e-commerce, and reset its business plan. “Agility in a time of sustained uncertainty is key, as is relationships with staff, suppliers and other key partners such as landlords. Admittedly, if it were not for the tireless effort and shared pain between all of us, Mozambik would not have made it. We now can rise from what could have been, to what will be. And we believe.”
Mozambik Blouberg is scheduled to open during the first week of September.