Hawaii foods a new saucy treat

2017-08-03 06:00
Hawaii Fast Foods founder Luyanda Bhatyi flanked by his team Duma Gcweka and Simphiwe Tyulu. PHOTO: mandla mahashe

Hawaii Fast Foods founder Luyanda Bhatyi flanked by his team Duma Gcweka and Simphiwe Tyulu. PHOTO: mandla mahashe

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A young man from Khayelitsha who began his foray into the business world by selling T-shirts and caps at just 19 years old has launched a fast food enterprise.

Luyanda Bhatyi, now 26, is the founder of Hawaii Fast Foods which serves chicken wraps, burgers, boerewors rolls and pork in Bukwayo Street in Harare.

Bhatyi has been running his new enterprise for five months along with his employees Duma Gcweka and Simphiwe Tyulu from his home.

He has a national diploma in business administration from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

He first graced the pages of City Vision in April 2015 when he introduced his t-shirt making business. At the time he was one of the few businesses that did in house clothes printing.

He has now decided to use the idea of positioning his family home in one of the busiest streets in Harare by opening the food business.

“I saw that in the township there was a need for a more diverse menu as the places around me just sold fat cakes and other unhealthy foods.

You see, people eKasi are exposed to(other menus) foods only when they leave the townships or when they go to shopping centres.

I decided to take a risk by offering these meals and I have been rewarded because people love the food we make,” he said.

He said he took a leaf from the pages of other businesses that sold what may be seen as exotic food in the townships.

“Just like Sweet & Lovely Pizza, they knew that people knew what pizza was but it was just not available in Khayelitsha so they sold it and people buy it. When people start a food business they don’t want to take that risk. I’m happy that mine paid off,” he said.

Bhatyi said that he didn’t have many challenges setting up his shop other than a culture change in his clients and difficulty sourcing ingredients.

“People are used to amagwinya to the extent that they want to have them in the morning, during the day and even at night. That’s just unhealthy so it takes a lot to introduce them to light food in the morning and later during the day.

Bhatyi said Hawaii is the affectionate name given to the place called Harare, which name has become associated with crime.

“I also do not want people to scratch their heads at the mention of my business concern and when I want to branch out,” he offered.

The wraps, he said have had such a huge impact in his business after the people he brought them from showed him the ropes.

Bhatyi has encouraged other young people to be brave enough to venture into business.

“I believe that if you are born into poverty, it is not you fault. But if you die poor it is your fault because all the people that are out here doing great things are people just like us, so you have get out there and do it for yourself,” he said.

He plans to spread his wings, so to speak.

“I have to be able to open a branch anywhere and it has to make sense. Secondly, Harare is notorious for crime and negativity and I have noted that young boys have started calling it Hawaii to rid of the stigma.


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