Entrepreneur Story: Rootbar

You may have heard of the “Root of all evil” but have you ever heard of the “Root of all good”? If not, then it’s time you pay Rootbar a visit.

Bryan and Colette started their businesses to give people access to the benefits of juicing (basically they take all your favourite and not so favourite fruit and veg and turn them in delectably tasty concoctions). Little did they know it would take off as it did.

Rootbar South African Entrepreneur Story

Planting the roots

8 months ago Bryan was a personal trainer and Colette was one of his clients and a stay at home mom. They both shared a love of the juice scene and would constantly swap recipes. Bryan often shared these with his clients and gave them pointers about nutrition and the benefits of juicing.

The two budding entrepreneurs soon realised that there was a need in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs, as before you could only get detoxes and juices in the city centre or else make your own. And so begins the story of Rootbar.

What makes Rootbar special?

The goal behind starting Rootbar was to get people to eat more healthily. Well, eat is a strong word. Bryan and Colette had a creative approach to the problem of people not getting their 5 fruit and veg a day – give it to them in liquid form. Rootbar makes all their juices fresh using cold pressing and centrifugal technology, and they have become a big hit with customers.

“We wanted to get people to eat their fruit and veg, without forcing them to actually eat it.”

Another part of the magic is the atmosphere and community in the store. Interacting with people and bringing them together is what Bryan and Colette love about running their business. Being part of something that’s needed in society and is helping people live healthier lives is a driving force for them.

“People meet each other in our shop and make friends because everybody is here for the same thing.”

And what a driving force it was! The community and fan base has been so passionate that Rootbar grew 3 times faster then they had planned. As a result they had to expand their store within 4 months of opening just to hold everyone in.

Rootbar South African Entrepreneur Story Thriving Business

The rewards and challenges of unexpected growth

Bryan and Colette’s plan was to start small. A small store and a part time business – simply to test out something they thought was a good idea and see if people enjoyed it. It’s now become a full time job for them both. Rapid expansion is incredibly rewarding to an entrepreneur because it proves that their idea adds value to people’s lives.

“We didn’t expect the response to be that immediate – we thought we would grow gradually but that’s not how it happened.”

While this is pretty much any entrepreneur’s dream, it also presents some challenges. Being thrown into the deep end with a sudden increase in demand means you have to think on your feet.

Bryan and Colette had to learn order more ingredients and produce more of their products while still ensuring they come out the same every time. Bear in mind that they had just started their business, with no previous experience in entrepreneurship.

“It’s risky but take the risk. It’s either going to work or it’s not – but you won’t know until you try.”

They also (quickly) had to find ways to keep customers happy while they waited, and ensure they didn’t wait too long for their juices. They found that creating a welcoming environment helped a lot with this challenge. There are newspapers and magazines scattered around, and the staff are friendly and regularly make conversation with customers. Their card acceptance and point of sale system also contributes to the solution…

Rootbar South African Entrepreneur Story Accepting Cards

Rootbar and Yoco

Yoco uses a Wifi signal to process card transactions. Compared to traditional card terminals that run on a GPRS signal, Yoco is faster and more reliable. Since switching to Yoco from a traditional payments provider, Rootbar’s payment processing time has decreased from 60 seconds per transaction to 10 seconds.

With an average of 150 transactions a day, they save up to two hours daily.

This means that they can serve people more quickly, reducing the build up of queues and making sure customers don’t get grumpy (because lets face it, we all get grumpy when we want our food). They can now also serve more customers each day. For more on how Yoco is helping Rootbar grow, see the MasterCard case study.

Yoco’s integration with restaurant point of sale TabletPOS (powered by iKentoo) also saves time because it makes cashing up super simple. All receipts and transactions are stored electronically on the system so there is no worry about saving and counting up paper slips. This means Bryan and Colette have more time to perfect their juices, interact with customers and relax after a hectic day.

“It made my life so much easier. I literally print out the Yoco statement at month end and I check it to my bank account. ”

Check out Rootbar’s website for a look at their delicious menu.

To find our more about the Yoco and TabletPOS integration, visit our website.

About the author: Robyn

RobynRobyn - Social media and community manager

When you’re engaging with Yoco on social media, Robyn is the girl you’re talking to. She loves learning from our community and seeing small businesses thrive. In her spare time you’ll find her off hiking in some forest, curled up with a book or singing karaoke (badly).

After graduating with a B.Bus Sci degree from UCT, she found Yoco and jumped in head first. She now manages Yoco’s social media profiles and online community, and writes an article or two for the blog.

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