WHO IS THE OWNER OF CHICKEN SLICE?
Tawanda Mutyebere is the founder and owner of Chicken Slice ( Packers International ). Mutyebere is one of those entrepreneurs you might not know but it’s impossible to not know the famous Chicken Slice brand under Packers international known even by the two-year-olds in Zimbabwe. Tawanda is also a part-time gospel singer who has three albums to his name. Mutyebere believes in the adage that “good fortune happens when opportunity meets preparation”. He is also the owner of Con Tools and Gas Africa.
HOW AND WHEN WAS PACKERS INTERNATIONAL FOUNDED?
Packers international emerged at a time when Innscor Africa was the single dominating enterprise in the food court industry with its Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn, and Bakers Inn shops. The founder always had the desire to have financial independence and become a successful entrepreneur. The company opened its first food outlet on the first of May in 2010 in Mvuma. Tawanda Mutyebere managed to introduce notable competition. This put direct heat on Innscor Africa which had to provide better services and more promotions if they were to stay in the game. Tawanda was inspired by his father who owned a carpentry shop that employed 6 people and was a mine worker at the same time. His first company was Con Tools in 2004 which supplied Bitumen, Modified Tar and cold mix. Tawanda established his first brand in the ghost town of Mvuma capitalizing on the high volume of cross border travelers along the Masvingo-Harare highway, a move which availed employment to over 100 people in Mvuma town. The business was started using his own capital plus financing from banks.
HOW DID CHICKEN SLICE GROW?
The company’s success and growth was mainly driven by an outstanding business model that highly prioritized customer care. In the early days, the major customers were highway travelers going to and from South Africa. The large majority of these were clients brought by buses which would be carrying more than 60 passengers at once. Tawanda Mutyebere quickly lured most of the buses on this highway by offering the drivers vouchers of food worth $10 if a bus parked at Chicken Slice in Mvuma. This led to the number of buses parking at Chicken Slice Mvuma increasing. This increased Chicken Silce’s customers rapidly. The company also put in place a dedicated quality control department who were also on the lookout for customer complaints and views in relation to the quality of the food. This automatically made their food better and tastier compared to Chicken Inn which was the single-player for a long time dominating the industry.
Chicken slice bought more efficient machinery, friers etc to increase its productivity so that even though the number of customers increased, service time and quality was not affected. The brand managed to open several locations and expanded its operations to Gweru, Harare, Mutare, and Bulawayo. Chicken Slice brand also beat existing competitors on pricing as their prices were lower than that of their competitors. Many people switched to Chicken Slice. The brand also invested much in advertising and chose popular celebrities like Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu to be Brand ambassadors.
WHERE IS CHICKEN SLICE NOW?
At the present moment, Chicken Slice has opened many branches all over Zimbabwe with most of them being centered in Harare as their Head Office is in Harare. The brand has opened more than 11 branches all over Zimbabwe and Tawanda is dedicating 10 years to building and opening more Chicken Slice branches. They have recently opened branches in Gweru, Bulawayo and Long Cheng Plaza Mall to add on to other existing outlets which are all over Zimbabwe. Chicken Slice has also cut its workforce in response to the worsening economic situation in Zimbabwe which has affected every business and trade in Zimbabwe. They are currently fiercely competing with the Innscor franchise which also offers almost similar products and services. Promotions like the Lion Slicer, Kid slicer, Hungry Wednesday and the introduction of new products like Shawarma have helped them in a bid to stay on top of the game.
WHERE IS CHICKEN SLICE GOING?
The fast-food outlet is planning to extend its business operations all over the nation and even stretch beyond the borders because the company’s market continues to grow and is having recognition from many foreign travelers, especially from South Africa. Tawanda Mutyebere has said that he has been approached by aspiring investors from South Africa who want to invest more capital in the brand so that it can open food outlets in all the neighboring countries in a move to spread around all Africa. He says that he has had to put these plans on hold for the moment. Chicken Slice is funding growth through bank loans and reinvesting its profits.