Have you been looking for a place to unwind after work and perhaps do some networking? Look no further than The Stack. Founded by husband and wife team Nigel Pace and Sarah Ord, this quirky members club meets restaurant meets bar is taking Cape Town by storm. Check out their review on Eat Out here.
But it didn’t come easy. We sat down with Nigel and Sarah who shared their dream, the inspiration behind The Stack and how they were able to bounce back after a terrible fire to get their business back up and running. We also chatted about how Yoco has helped run and grow their business.
Building The Stack
Before The Stack came to be, Nigel was managing a resort in the Maldives and Sarah had her own interior design business. They wanted to start something of their own, something that was totally theirs, so they sold everything they had and moved back to South Africa. Nigel resigned, sold the house and put everything into this concept (with a baby on the way). The incredible passion and drive shown at this early stage was a key factor in the eventual success of the business.
And so The Stack was born. After much hard work, meetings, setbacks and more meetings they opened on 15 July 2015. With it’s relaxed vibe, quirky decor, reasonably priced food and drinks, funky waiters and private rooms with names like “the cuddle room” – The Stack received rave reviews in its opening week.
“We put so much into it, every detail, every single thing was thought out.” – Nigel
Overcoming challenges like true entrepreneurs
But sometimes, just when you think you’ve made it, life throws you a curve ball. 6 days after opening, a fire started in the roof of the building that quickly spread across most of the first floor.
The damage was immense. The roof caved in, all decor and furniture was lost and the top floor was in pieces. In Nigel’s words, it was “completely obliterated”.
After all the time, energy and love put into building up The Stack, this would be enough to make most people walk away. But not Nigel and Sarah.
“We stood there watching the building burn down and it was incredibly numbing, but we said immediately – we’re going to do it again. We never even contemplated walking away. ” – Nigel
Giving up was not an option. Even though the odds were stacked against them, there was no doubt in either of their minds they would rebuild and get their baby going again. No matter what it took, this was their dream and they were not giving up. Cleaning up the mess took forever, the roof had to be redone and the top floor basically rebuilt – Nigel, Sarah and their team showed true entrepreneurial spirit by overcoming hurdle after hurdle.
Turning a negative into a positive
“This has taught us a lot about becoming resilient. It’s put so much in perspective.” – Nigel
It also gave them a second chance at tweaking some things that were not quite what they wanted the first time around. From flipping the back section of the bar into an extra bathroom to decor changes, they learnt from their previous experience and took it as an opportunity to improve what they already knew.
“Now we’re even more determined to make it work.” – Sarah
The Stack reopened on 6 June this year and has been absolutely thriving. The blood, sweat and tears put in by Sarah, Nigel and their team has certainly paid off.
The Stack and Yoco
Sarah and Nigel got set up with Yoco and our restaurant point of sale partner TabletPOS (powered by iKentoo) when The Stack first opened last year.
Because Yoco does not charge monthly rental and businesses only pay when they use the device, they were able to keep some of their original card readers to use when The Stack reopened, without losing money.
“They’re just so nice and portable, so the waiters can each keep one in their pocket with their mini iPad – it’s perfect.” – Nigel
“It’s awesome, transactions go through so quickly and easily. It just works” – Lucky, waiter at The Stack
Nigel and Sarah also like the fact that Yoco is more than a supplier, but an active partner in their success.
“From day one when we met Ronald from Yoco and Richard from TabletPOS – it’s been a great relationship. We know we’re dealing with a company that has a strong culture and is customer-focussed. We liked the brand and we liked the like-mindedness.”
“You don’t have to deal with banks, don’t have to have a phone line – it’s the easiest thing.” – Nigel
Want to find out how you can get set up with Yoco and TabletPOS solution for your restaurant? Find out more here.