Advertise with

With small businesses already dealing with hikes in VAT and petrol, coupled with decreased consumer spending, load-shedding is a bridge too far, particularly for restauranteurs.
With small businesses already dealing with hikes in VAT and petrol, coupled with decreased consumer spending, load-shedding is a bridge too far, particularly for restauranteurs.

Tips for small business owners to survive load-shedding


Issued by Irvine Partners - Mar 20th, 09:36

With small businesses already dealing with hikes in VAT and petrol, coupled with decreased consumer spending, load-shedding is a bridge too far, particularly for restauranteurs. 

For those who took their chances with the last rounds of load-shedding and held back on purchasing equipment for standby measures, now might be the time to make those investments. Many business owners are taking loans to fund these capital expenses, says SME funder, Retail Capital.

According to the company’s group brand officer, Erin Louw, “Many establishments often increase their prices to cover the cost of capital equipment, but this may not be the smartest move as it drives the existing customer base away, not to mention new business."

“As it is, consumers are either reducing their restaurant visits or scaling down to just main courses and drinks to reduce the overall spend. Owners who are serious about staying in business should rather think long-term. We all thought that we’d seen the back of load-shedding, but it is back in full force.”

Those restaurant owners who bought gas stoves during the power crisis a few years ago are now at a distinct advantage. Louw points out that communicating that you have this facility available is paramount to good trade. If not, now is the time to invest in going gas and running fridges and other electrical appliances via a generator.

“Part of the reluctance by businesses to consider financing for these items is the perceived turnaround time from applying for a loan to installation. But we now offer a WhatsApp application process that can see your loan secured in 24 hours."

“If you want to attract business, then you need to show customers value - that you’re prepared to invest in the right equipment to keep them supplied during the dark days of load-shedding,” says Louw.

Restaurateurs can even couple load-shedding times with special deals, driving these on social media platforms or adverts and even inexpensive flyers.

Scot Kirton, chef-proprietor for the La Colombe Group (whose restaurant, La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, won last years Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award), says that adapting to change is key, whether it’s in respect to a declining economy or load-shedding.

“Restaurants have had a tough time in Cape Town but now we need to adapt in other ways to keep our restaurants operating,” says Kirton.

Uninterruptible power supplies and back-up power inverter systems that keep tills and computers running should also be considered.

“Even if you have a generator, it can take a few seconds to kick in once the power goes down. But a UPS will bridge the gap and reduce the risk to vital equipment that can be severely damaged during sudden power outages,” says Louw.

Load-shedding, it seems, is here to stay. It’s essential that business owners take that investment step to operating fluidly when the lights go out.


Related News

Checkers brings world-class retail to Constantia with new flagship store
27/11/2019 - 13:01
Checkers has opened the doors to its state-of-the-art 2 330 m² flagship supermarket at the Constantia Emporium as the retailer continues to take innovation to new heights.

Woolworths carves out market share in SA
27/11/2019 - 10:11
In Australia, David Jones's sales declined 2.1%, with the company saying a store refurbishment contributed to the decline.

Push and pull strategies work together to keep consumers coming back for more
26/11/2019 - 10:20
The retail sector is under increasing pressure as consumers have shrinking disposable income in a strained economy. Maintaining share of wallet is critical. Relying solely on a push route to market strategy from manufacturers into retailers is not enough to get consumers buying products. A pull strategy needs to coexist with the push to drive brand consumption. Integrating these strategies requires intelligent and insightful decision-making. This, in turn, requires data generated through smart technology which provides line of sight across the value chain from manufacturer to distribution, retailer to the consumer.

Exclusive leases must fall: Commission cracks whip on Shoprite, Pick n pay, Spar, Woolies
26/11/2019 - 09:57
The Competition Commission Inquiry into Grocery Retail, published on Monday, called for an end to the exclusive leases negotiated by national retail chains in all shopping malls across the country in a bid to open up access to markets for smaller players.

Today’s customers are loyal to speed and convenience, not brands
25/11/2019 - 11:15
Consumer expectations are rapidly shifting as technologies such as mobile, geolocation, social media and increasingly, Internet of Things devices and wearables, connect people to a world of easily accessible information and convenient services. With the ability to browse, compare and order with a few swipes and taps, consumers are becoming trained to value convenience and service above nearly anything else.