case study

Slice opens new Avondale branch

SLICE Distributors yesterday opened a new branch in Avondale adding to their growing list of retail outlets.
The new branch is the first of its kind under Slice Distributors introducing Slice Grill and Burger adding to their usual Chicken Slice, Pizza Slice, Creamy Slice and Slice Bakery which they said is meant to satisfy growing customer needs.
Speaking at the event, Slice Distributors board vice chairperson Eve Gadzikwa said the opening of the new brand in Avondale will result in the company satisfying customers from different classes of the community.
“From humble beginnings, Slice has grown in size and importance, gradually establishing itself as a locally, nationally and regionally recognized fast food outlet.”
She said they take pride in the brand as they get requests to open branches across the country and outside Zimbabwe. The occasion was graced by president of the AFM in Zimbabwe Amon Madawo, and senior bankers, and suppliers.
Slice Distributors began operations in 2010 in Mvuma. Chief executive Tawanda Mutyebere said despite the economic challenges they are happy to open the branch where they used own resources to put it up.
Slice is an all-inclusive catering firm from the low to the high income consumers, diet-conscious to non particular product clientele and those in need of refreshments


Case study: the growth 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Chicken slice owner scoops top business award

The award comes barely a fortnight after the Chicken Slice director scooped the Customer Service Excellence award held under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Institute of Management (ZIM) in Bulawayo.

The two awards also come at a time when Chicken Slice has embarked on an expansion drive that would see every suburb in Harare having at least one branch within the next five years. Mutyebere said the company was working on feasibility studies to embark on the projects as it aims to increase its market share. Chicken Slice operates three branches, two in Harare and one in Mvuma.“We have been in the business for the past three years now and we believe we are poised for a massive growth trajectory,” said Mutyebere. “The business has the capacity to achieve that (growth) in a short space of time. we thrive on quality and that is what we have been concentrating on all along.”The company brands comprise Chicken Slice, Creamy Slice, Pizza Slice and Slice Express. “We are very sensitive about the standards of our services, which is the main reason why we have taken a back seat in as far as expansion is concerned,” said Mutyebere.

“Now that we are stable and the business is viable we can now focus on growth.” A number of small-scale businesses in the country have been operating at low capacity levels owing to liquidity-induced challenges.

However, the fast-food business has taken the young and feisty market by storm.


Mutyebere: The brains behind Chicken Slice

The brand comprises Chicken Slice, Creamy Slice, Pizza Slice and Slice Express.
Naturally the question that has been on almost everyone’s lips has been on the personality behind the brand.
The driver of the brand is none other than Packers International founder and chief executive Mr Tawanda Mutyebere.
After rising from humble beginnings Tawanda was driven by a vision to be his “own boss” one day and this saw him attaining a brand name in the local food industry.

Tawanda grew up in a Christian family and said he believes that “Mwari vanoropafadza basa remaoko” (God blesses the works of your hands) thus believes in self-employment.
At 35, he has vast experience in finance and administration in the private sector at senior level and has always aspired to be a businessman.
“I always had that ambition of becoming a businessman because when I was young I always used to say when I grow up I want to be a businessman. So it was always my prayer,” he said.
The company opened its first project on May 1 2010 along the Harare- Masvingo highway at the 192km peg in Mvuma.

“The Mvuma food court incorporates a pizzeria, coffee and ice-cream, fried chicken and an express convenience superette.
“The major thrust was and is still to leave a lasting impression after the World Cup 2010. Over this period, the company has sourced state-of-the-art equipment,” said Tawanda.
Tawanda decided to venture in the fast-food business after the realisation that a void had been created due to a slackening in the provision of quality products to the market.
“The Slice brand aims to be an effective and efficient preferred supplier of all fast foods and convenience groceries,” said Tawanda.