Gauteng startup MyBraai has taken a popular South African past-time and turned it into a thriving online business.
Founded in April 2016 by Dino Nathanael, MyBraai is an online butchery offering quality braai meat and accessories, delivered to households and businesses around South Africa via a next-day delivery service.
Speaking at the FoodNext.Africa conference in Cape Town this week, Nathanael explained that he acquired his love for business by being raised in a household of entrepreneurs. “My parents are the owners of franchise brands The Fish & Chip Co and Chesanyama. The Fish & Chip Co started out of our garage during the recession. I remember having to help label the tomato sauce and vinegar before I went to school in the mornings, and continue when I retuned home in the afternoons."
"I watched them build the two brands up from scratch and that’s always been something that I wanted to do.”
After working with his parents for four years, Nathanael went on his own and launched MyBraai, a self-funded business which now processes between 200 and 700 transactions a month. The company lists a broad range of A-Grade braai meat – from beef and lamb to chicken and pork – as well as biltong, and braai accessories like charcoal and firelighters.
Customers simply order and pay online, and the next day they’ll have their vacuum-packed fresh produce delivered in a reusable polystyrene box.
While the founder mentioned that his company is working towards same-day delivery, he asserted that speed isn't everything. "I know the world is moving fast, but I think personalised delivery that allows customers to select a certain time slot in the day is more important than delivering the fastest."
Building trust among customers is a core focus for Nathanael, especially since many South Africans tend to be loyal to their local butcheries, who they routinely visit on a weekly or monthly basis to specify and select the cuts of meat they want.
To ease shoppers into the online experience, MyBraai offers four payment methods. Nathanael also prioritises working with trustworthy and hygienic suppliers and delivery partners, because “traceability is important when it comes to what people are putting in their bodies”, he says.
Gauteng makes up the majority of MyBraai’s sales, though it does serve other provinces with deliveries occurring less frequently. There are plans to expand further across the country.
“I want to supply the 56 million people in South Africa. I want MyBraai to be a brand that customers can trust and that they can feel a part of. I love making them happy.”
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